Whether you have bought an air-purifying plant or a plant that attracts good luck, if you have ever wondered how do plants breathe, if they do not have lungs or noses, today we will explain the process in detail.

It is fascinating to understand how plants work, what are their needs and processes. How they use water, the sun, how they feed, reproduce and breathe. 

Plant Respiration vs Photosynthesis

Where do plants breathe? Plants breathe through leaves. No, there are no tiny noses scattered on the leaves of your dwarf olive tree, but rather structures called stomata . Stomata are more like skin pores than noses, but they fulfill the function of exchanging gases.In the trunks and stems of plants there are similar structures called lenticels , but the stomata are the most active in the process of breathing. Lenticels allow oxygen to pass through and allow water vapor to escape, but they do not allow carbon dioxide to enter, so it does not participate in photosynthesis. On the other hand, stomata are multifunctional structures: they absorb and expel gases, so they are a fundamental part of 3 processes: photosynthesis, transpiration and cellular respiration. When do plants breathe? Stomata are structures with a fairly heavy workload, so they must organize their time and functions. Since photosynthesis always requires sunlight, the most logical thing is that the respiration process occurs at night. This division of labor is quite efficient, since with breathing they obtain the energy they will need the next day to photosynthesize. This does not mean that plants only breathe at night, but that it is a much more intense process during those hours. During the day the plant can breathe, not only through its leaves but also by using the roots, although with this it obtains less oxygen than from the leaves. You are wondering how the roots breathe if they are covered with soil, right? Well, it is very simple: they obtain oxygen from the water and the substrate, which acts as a vehicle for this gas. Hence the importance of maintaining an aerated substrate, adequate to the needs of the plant, with proper drainage and allowing a decent oxygen level. The process of respiration and photosynthesis in plants is really fascinating, especially if you consider that a good part of our food comes from plants that are capable of developing flowers, leaves and fruits from these processes. Indeed, it is possible to stimulate the growth and flowering of plants by manipulating the amount of light they receive, changing the concentration of certain nutrients in the substrate.

There are those who confuse the processes of respiration and photosynthesis, but they are 2 different things. Plants breathe for energy that allows them to fulfil other life cycles. The absorption of oxygen allows them to use the carbohydrate reserves to obtain this energy, then expel carbon dioxide and water vapor at the end of the process. From this perspective, respiration is considered to be the opposite process to photosynthesis, since in this process carbon dioxide is absorbed and oxygen is expelled.

Photosynthesis equation

It is important to mention that although plant respiration is a process apart from photosynthesis, they are closely related; because when the plant breathes water evaporates, it dehydrates. If it does not get enough water from its substrate, the plant goes into water-saving mode and closes the stomata to prevent the water from evaporating so quickly. This makes photosynthesis difficult, which is the plant’s way of synthesizing its food. Hence the importance of watering your plant correctly, without flooding the roots but in such a way as to obtain the water it needs to guarantee its health.

Where Do Plants Breathe?

Plants breathe through leaves. No, there are no tiny noses scattered on the leaves of your dwarf olive tree, but rather structures called stomata. Stomata are more like skin pores than noses, but they fulfil the function of exchanging gases. In the trunks and stems of plants, there are similar structures called lenticels, but the stomata are the most active in the process of breathing.

Lenticels allow oxygen to pass through and allow water vapor to escape, but they do not allow carbon dioxide to enter, so it does not participate in photosynthesis. On the other hand, stomata are multifunctional structures: they absorb and expel gases, so they are a fundamental part of 3 processes: photosynthesis, transpiration and cellular respiration.

When Do Plants Breathe?

Stomata are structures with a fairly heavy workload, so they must organize their time and functions. Since photosynthesis always requires sunlight, the most logical thing is that the respiration process occurs at night. This division of labor is quite efficient since with breathing they obtain the energy they will need the next day to photosynthesize. This does not mean that plants only breathe at night, but that it is a much more intense process during those hours. During the day the plant can breathe, not only through its leaves but also by using the roots, although with this it obtains less oxygen than from the leaves.

You are wondering how the roots breathe if they are covered with soil, right? Well, it is very simple: they obtain oxygen from the water and the substrate, which acts as a vehicle for this gas. Hence the importance of maintaining an aerated substrate, adequate to the needs of the plant, with proper drainage and allowing a decent oxygen level.

The process of respiration and photosynthesis in plants is really fascinating, especially if you consider that a good part of our food comes from plants that are capable of developing flowers, leaves and fruits from these processes. Indeed, it is possible to stimulate the growth and flowering of plants by manipulating the amount of light they receive, changing the concentration of certain nutrients in the soil.

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