Help! Which house plants produce the most O2?

anita_carswellJanuary 9, 2007

I love plants, but don't know a lot about their characteristics in general. I live with a bunch of domestic companion rats and cats and don't have that much indoor light.

Pet rats generally have poor lung function and lose more and more lung capacity until they can't breathe and have to be euthanized.

I have air filters, and do a lot to help the rats live longer and more comfortably, but I am hoping someone knows which house plants are super producers of oxygen. Ideally this plant isn't toxic to cats, and doesn't need much light. Please help! Thanks so much!

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naturelover_mtl(z5QC)

All plants produce a substantial amount of oxygen. And, more or less, the more plants you have, the more oxygen available. And, the size of the leaves can also play a role in that. A plant with many, large leaves will produce more oxygen than a plant with fewer, smaller leaves. Another thing to bear in mind is that the healthier the plant, the better job it will do. A healthy plant growing vigorously will produce more oxygen than a plant in poor shape.

There are too many plants to choose from for dimly areas, so I would suggest doing a google search for Âhouseplants for low lightÂ, Âlow light houseplants or something like that. That way, youÂll get to see photos to be able to choose plants you like. And youÂll be able to learn all about them and the specific care they need.

As for non-toxic types for cats, you can visit this web page:

Extended list of toxic plants compiled by the ASPCA

Good luck! A friend I worked with had a pet rat - up until last year. I got a chance to see it before it died when she asked a whole bunch of us over for dinner. I'd never seen such a pet before that. I have to admit it was adorable!

    Bookmark   January 9, 2007 at 9:40PM
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gabro14

I'm just guessing here, but do you guys think a spider plant would be good? I know it's an air purifying plant (like I'm sure most plants are!), and it usually grows vigorously and has large leaves. But I'm not sure about it being in low light. Anita, I would look it up on the web.
Gabi

    Bookmark   January 10, 2007 at 11:02AM
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justaguy2(5)

I have air filters, and do a lot to help the rats live longer and more comfortably, but I am hoping someone knows which house plants are super producers of oxygen. Ideally this plant isn't toxic to cats, and doesn't need much light.

Sorry, but plants aren't really going to help here.

I had 2 rats as pets and know what you are talking about regarding their health. They were adorable pets and super friendly. I chose them because of their friendliness and short life span as I wanted to teach my young son about death while allowing him to have a pet that wouldn't bite him and rats fit the bill perfectly. Their sharp nails were the only drawback, but overall I strongly recomend rats over hamsters and gerbils to any parent wanting a pet for their young children.

Unfortunately a plant is not going to raise the oxygen levels in your home any more than walking around with a spray bottle spritzing the air is going to raise humidity levels in your home. The effect will be extremely minor and short lived as there is constant air exchange with the outside.

There is evidence that having *a lot* of plants in a 'tight' building can improve indoor air quality by filtering out the bad and replacing it with clean, but in all likelihood your air filters are significantly more effective than a handful of plants in low light (meaning slow growth and transpiration) will be.

By all means start growing houseplants if it interests you, but I strongly doubt it will do anything to assist the rat's respiratory function as they age.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2007 at 2:35PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Right! You'd need a heck of a lot of plants in a fairly confined area to result in air quality benefits of the amount that would affect the health of your pets. Are you doing what you can to maintain a healthy humidity in the home?

I vote you post some pictures of your rats here in this thread. I wanna see!

    Bookmark   January 10, 2007 at 3:49PM
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justaguy2(5)

I vote you post some pictures of your rats here in this thread. I wanna see!

Me too. While I do not miss cage cleaning, I do miss just about everything else about the rats. Their intelligence, curiosity, playfulness and sociability were quite endearing.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2007 at 4:21PM
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naturelover_mtl(z5QC)

Anita, I'll cast my vote for photos too! These pets really are cute and quite friendly. Who knew?

    Bookmark   January 10, 2007 at 4:38PM
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subtropix

Seems like I rememeber spider plants being particularly good as well.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2007 at 4:57PM
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webkat5(Z6a MO)

I would also love to see pics! I had a fabulous little friend in college named "Bilbo Baggins"...he performed tricks and was extremely gentle...so smart!

    Bookmark   January 10, 2007 at 7:54PM
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larry_b(Zone5/CO)

Hi,

Have to concure with guy2 and rhizo. The average house has its air completely replaced from the outside in a matter of hours. Any oxygen produced by your houseplants would be gone in no time.

This is interesting, because I saw some experiments where they had an enclosed greenhouse with hundreds of plants and it that was completely airtight. Not sure how long the man was able to survive in there by himself, I think it was a couple of days. They plan on doing a similar experiment with a larger greenhouse and several more people for a much longer period. This experiment they are working on is for the possibility of prolonged space travel.

Getting back to your situation though. Unless you are planning on making your House airtight(and of course another oxygen source) and having the plants contribute to the manufacturing of oxygen, you're not going to see any benefit.

Larry

    Bookmark   January 22, 2007 at 7:17PM
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senga(z6NJ)

Check out book "How to grow fresh air" by Dr. B.C. Wolverton.
I came across an article on internet on plants ability to purify indoor air, then bought the book and after reading it I put plants in bedrooms. I used to avoid doing this since they tend to collect more dust then plants in other rooms of the house. The book I mentioned does not specified which plant produces most oxygen, but plants ability to remove different pollutants from air, xylene, toluene, acetone and some more. All those chemicals are emitted by common household products, e.g. carpet, paint, new furniture. I think it may help your problem. They used common house plants in experiments, and also included are basic characteristics and requirements. There are slso pitures of every plant, so if you are new to plants, it will be easier to find something you like. Some of those plants are relatively low light, like peace lily, janet craig,philodendrons.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2007 at 10:09AM
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claudosu(z7 OK)

BTW: beware of air purifiers that purify via ionization of air, as opposed to simple mechanical filtration; they have been found by the consumer's report to produce elevated levels of ozone which coupled with a small, "trapped" environment, may end up causing problems for people with asthma and other respiratory disease... anyone noticed how suddenly, Sharper image they added a catalytic converter to ionicbreezes to filter out ozone? BTW not trying to promote or knock any brand of air purifiers!

    Bookmark   January 23, 2007 at 3:22PM
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