It's common knowledge that plants produce oxygen, but which plants are most responsible for creating the air we breathe? Can you use plants to create cleaner air inside your home? The answers to these questions can be found by understanding a little about which plants generate the most oxygen and which plants will thrive in your home.
According to Ecology.com, "It is estimated that between 70% and 80% of the oxygen in the atmosphere is produced by marine plants." Because so many species of marine plant life are technically algae, that makes algae the plant singly responsible for producing most of the oxygen we breathe. The earth contains almost three times as much water surface as land surface, so it stands to reason that marine plant life produces much more oxygen than land plants. Ocean plants may be difficult to see because they often span great distances under water, but they are essential to our atmosphere.
Oxygen is released into the air through plant leaves. On average, leaves produce about 5 milliliters of oxygen per hour. So plants that have more leaves produce more oxygen than plants with few leaves. Therefore, large trees or leafy vines produce more oxygen than weak, sparse foliage. In addition, larger leaves produce more oxygen than smaller ones.
If you're looking to add clean air to your home, consider adding a heart-leaf philodendron to your decor. This plant variety has evergreen vines that are easy to grow and maintain, and it is recommended as one of the top houseplants for improving indoor air quality by Clean Air Gardening. On mature plants, the dark-green leaves can grow up to 12 inches long.
The peace lily is another recommended plant for clearing indoor air. With long, oval foliage, there is plenty of leaf surface to add oxygen back into the air. The peace lily is easy to care for and blooms in beautiful white flowers.
The bamboo (or ladyfinger) palm is an excellent indoor plant and helps to create clean indoor air and fresh oxygen. Its trunks are reed-like, and perhaps its most distinctive feature is the foliage that resembles fingers on a hand. This slow-growing plant can reach up to 10 feet tall.