Do Plants Need Oxygen?

We all know that plants need carbon dioxide, water, and sunlight to survive. Plants also take in carbon dioxide and give off oxygen, due to which the balance of oxygen is maintained in the atmosphere. So, plants are producers of oxygen. Do plants need oxygen to survive?

Do plants need oxygen?

Yes, plants do need oxygen. Oxygen is an important necessity for the survival of plants. The plant cells constantly require oxygen to survive. However, it may seem odd since plants give out oxygen as a by-product of photosynthesis. The reason plants require oxygen is to carry out the function of respiration.


Like animals, plants also tend to respire. Respiration does not simply mean breathing. It also involves the process of releasing energy for use in their cells.

Unlike photosynthesis, where the energy is captured by the plant, in respiration, the cells release energy for their use by breaking down sugars, and oxygen aids in the process. It is a continuous process.

While the plant can produce its oxygen when the leaves receive light, it saves up atmospheric oxygen to help it access the oxygen during the night. Further, parts of the plant that don’t photosynthesize, such as the roots and seeds require atmospheric oxygen to survive.

Signs in plants that lacks oxygen

So, let us explore the possible reasons for your plant to be lacking in oxygen-


If your plant is potted in a pot where there is stagnant water, the roots of the plant cannot have access to oxygen. It leads to a lack of oxygen in the roots, and they start to drown. Once the roots have drowned due to insufficient oxygen, there is a lack of nutrition which weakens the plant and eventually kills it.


Use a pot with proper drainage holes to pot your plant. Avoid watering the plant too frequently and ensure that no stagnant water is left behind. Some plants become dormant in winter, and they require very less water during this period. Watering it once a month during this period is generally sufficient for the plant. Always ensure enough water so that the soil remains moist and doesn’t become too dry.

Improper Soil

If your soil is not well aerated and has a lack of oxygen for the roots to absorb, it may cause severe problems. The cells of the roots would start to die and render it unable to provide the required nutrition for your plant. It will prevent the plant from carrying out the essential life processes, and it will die. Thus, providing the right kind of soil is very important.


Always use soil that is suitable for your specific plant. Avoid packing the soil too firmly as it makes the roots unable to absorb the required oxygen from the soil. Be careful while using store-bought potting mixes as not all types of potting mixes may suit your plant. It is best to re-pot your plant once every year to ensure that the soil is well aerated.

Thus, these are the reasons your plant to be lacking in oxygen.

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