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Any differences in CO2 uptake in indoor plants?

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2005
by odox on November 14, 2005 11:14 PM
Hello everyone,

I just have a quick question.

I've searched everywhere I can to try and find if there are any real differences in the amount of CO2 uptake by housplants.

What I mean is, all other things being equal, such as light, humidity, temperature, size etc, are there plants that draw CO2 out of the air and/or expire O2 more than others? I have a small apartment, and I'd like to grow indoor plants which maximize one or both of these.

Thanks so much!
by margaret e. pell on November 17, 2005 08:57 AM
I hate to see a question go unanswered, but I don't know the answer. I've heard that spider plants are good 'air scrubbers' but I don't really know where I heard that. Sorry. Good luck.

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may God bless the WHOLE world!
by Will Creed on November 17, 2005 09:16 AM
There is no one plant species that is better than any others.

The rate at which plants exchange carbon dioxide for oxygen depends on the amount of leaf surface, the overall health of the plant, and its growth rate.

Thus, a large plant that is healthy and growing rapidly will exchange more rapidly than a small plant that is languishing and growing very slowly.

In selecting a plant for this purpose, it is best to select a plant that matches the available light. That way the plant is more likely to remain healthy and grow faster. Concentrate on keeping your plants healthy and the health benefits to you will then fall into place.
by odox on November 18, 2005 03:00 PM
Hello and thanks for your responses.

I know that certain species of maize uptake CO2 more efficiently under optimum conditions of warmth and light, and store carbon in C4 rings rather than the much more common C3 rings. I was curious if any houseplants might also have this characteristic.

Thanks again!
by Cricket on November 18, 2005 05:39 PM
My limited understanding of C4 carbon fixation (botany classes are a very faint memory) is that it reduces photorespiration, giving plants that use C4 metabolism a competitive advantage over plants using vastly more common C3 metabolism in extreme conditions of very high temperatures, drought, and nitrogen limitation, none of which are relevant to houseplants. As a point of interest only, plants of the genus Euphorbia, in which are included Poinsettias, use C4 metabolism (but I don't know if that includes the entire genus so you will have to verify which pathway Poinsettias use on your own), however, you are not going to receive any additional benefits from growing Poinsettias as opposed to other houseplants. Will is absolutely right, focusing on maintaining healthy houseplants of the kind suitable to conditions in your home is what will provide benefits. Anything else is, at most, academically interesting with no measurable impact on the real life application of growing houseplants.

by tkhooper on November 19, 2005 01:14 AM
wow I had no idea. And I have to go back to school to understand about half of that conversation. I love this website. I learn loads and then I learn all about what I didn't even know there was a need to learn about. I love it here, I love it here, I love it here.

Tell me more please.

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by Cricket on November 19, 2005 02:35 AM
Tell me more please.
Tammy, I think Odox is the one to teach us more about that particular subject! [grin]

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