11 Great Plants that Release Oxygen at Night

  • By: SFUAA
  • Date: December 22, 2022
  • Time to read: 6 min.

Most plants absorb CO2 during the day and release oxygen, but when night rolls around, they start absorbing the same oxygen they helped to create.

While they still produce more oxygen than they absorb on average by quite a bit, this isn’t a tradeoff that you have to live with.

In this list, we cover a great selection of plants that produce oxygen at night due to a process known as Crassulacean Acid Metabolism, which is an adaptation specific (mostly) to plants that come from arid climates like deserts.

(If you want to learn more about plants producing oxygen, by the way, check out my post here.)

Snake Plant

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Snake Plant in Bloom | Photo 208859831 © Rahmi Amilia | Dreamstime.com

The snake plant is one of the most popular plants with the ability to generate oxygen at night. Through the process of Crassulacean Acid Metabolism, it actually produces more oxygen in the dark than it does during the day. Not only that, but snake plants also filter various pollutants from the air, such as formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene, among others.

This makes them especially beneficial for people who are sensitive to air quality, as they reduce the levels of airborne pollutants in the room. With its appealing foliage and air-purifying benefits, the snake plant makes a great addition to any bedroom.

African Milk Tree

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Photo 111955998 / African Milk Tree © Gene Zhang | Dreamstime.com

The African Milk Tree, or Euphorbia trigona, is an eye-catching houseplant with interesting features. Even though it is a cactus, its leaves are deep green and glossy with a distinct three-sided shape. This plant is also known for its air-purifying capabilities, as it can absorb and filter out toxins including formaldehyde and benzene from the air.

Additionally, the African Milk Tree is one of the few plants that release oxygen at night. This makes it a great plant for your collection, as it will help freshen the air while you sleep.

Bromeliadsred petaled flower

Bromeliads are another great houseplant to have in your home or office. Not only do they come in a variety of shapes and sizes, they also provide a lush, vibrant aesthetic to any room. In addition to their visual appeal, bromeliads are incredibly low maintenance and make a great addition to any environment.

Furthermore, bromeliads produce oxygen at night, making them especially beneficial to have in the bedroom. This oxygen production helps promote a more restful sleep and can help reduce stress levels.

On top of all this, bromeliads are also durable and can survive for up to two years with minimal care. You don’t even need to plant them in dirt – just tacking them up on a nice board will do fine for them.

Saguaro Cacticloseup photo of cactus

You may not be aware of the fact that saguaro cacti actually make decent houseplants. As long as you have a good spot for them where they can soak up plenty of light, you should consider potting one of them and taking it indoors.

Like the other plants on this list, it’s low maintenance and produces oxygen at night. Outdoors, they grow up to 78 feet tall, but due to their slow growth rate, you’ll likely only see it grow a couple inches even if you keep it for decades.

shallow focus photo of pink flowers

Orchids are a great choice for houseplants due to their unique beauty and ability to filter pollutants out of the air. Their delicate flowers are a striking addition to any home décor and their diverse range of colors and sizes make them a perfect choice for any setting. In addition to making a home look more attractive, orchids can actually improve air quality.

Studies have shown that orchids can absorb and filter pollutants such as formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene from the air. This makes them an excellent choice for improving air quality in the home and can help to reduce the risk of respiratory ailments.

Bishop’s Cap Cactus
pink petaled flower cactus plant on brass-colored pot

The Bishop’s Cap Cactus (Astrophytum myriostigma) is a great houseplant for anyone looking for an easy-care succulent. Its unique star-shaped appearance and low maintenance requirements make it an ideal addition to any room. It grows best in bright, indirect sunlight and requires only occasional watering. It is also highly resistant to disease and pests, so it can survive for long periods in any environment. 

The Bishop’s Cap Cactus is also great for those looking for a low-impact, eco-friendly option, as it is naturally drought-tolerant and requires minimal fertilization. It is also a good choice for those looking for a low-maintenance, aesthetically pleasing houseplant. With its unique star-shaped blossoms, the Bishop’s Cap Cactus is sure to add a touch of beauty to any living space.

Aloe Vera
green aloe vera plant

Aloe vera is one of the most important plants that produces oxygen at night, due to its adaptations to arid conditions. It is able to absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen during the night, which helps to purify the air and provide people with a high-quality of air to breathe. Aside from its oxygen-producing properties, aloe vera is also known for its medicinal properties, making it a great choice for those who want to reap the benefits of both a night-time oxygen provider and a natural healer.

Christmas Cactus

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Christmas Cactus | Photo 65987880 © Nadin333 | Dreamstime.com

The Christmas Cactus is a delightful, low-maintenance flowering cactus that’s easy to care for and can bloom for several months, making it a great addition to any home. The Christmas Cactus is known for its bright pink, red, or white flowers that appear just in time for the holiday season. When given the right care, this plant is not only an attractive decoration for your home but also a great way to keep your air fresh and oxygenated.

Pineapple Plant
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The pineapple plant (Ananas comosus) is an evergreen perennial that produces an edible fruit that’s popularly used in desserts and salads. It’s a highly productive plant and can produce several fruits over the course of its lifespan. The pineapple plant also produces oxygen at night, due to its ability to perform a process known as Crassulacean Acid Metabolism (CAM). This process allows the plant to store carbon dioxide during the daylight hours and then release oxygen at night. As an added bonus, the pineapple plant can also help to purify the air in your home, as it absorbs pollutants from the air.

Angel Wing Cactus

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Angel Wing Cactus AKA Bunny Ear Cactus | Photo 199102518 © Anutr Tosirikul | Dreamstime.com

Angel Wings Cactus is a great houseplant if you’re looking for an aesthetically pleasing cactus for your home. It is a succulent that is native to Mexico, and has attractive leaves that look like wings. The plant is low maintenance and easy to care for, making it ideal for beginner gardeners. It thrives in indirect sunlight and in temperatures between 65-85 degrees Fahrenheit – which most homes provide perfectly. Angel Wings Cactus also produces oxygen at night and helps to purify the air in your home.


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Kalanchoe | Photo 15372854 © Alena Brozova | Dreamstime.com

Kalanchoe is a genus of tropical, succulent plants that are native to Madagascar. These plants tend to be easy to care for, and they can even blossom in dry air. Even when not in bloom, they still look great. It’s important to note that these plants are toxic if ingested, so be sure to keep them out of the reach of children and pets.

Barrel Cactus
green cactus on brown rock

The barrel cactus is one of the best plants that you can have in your home if you’re looking for something that produces oxygen at night. This cactus is native to the deserts of the southwestern United States, so it’s well-suited to dry and warm environments. Barrel cacti need little water, and they don’t need a lot of light, so they are a great choice for a room that doesn’t get much sunlight. During the night, the barrel cactus will produce oxygen, filtering out toxins and making the air in your home much cleaner and fresher.

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Sedum is a genus of succulent plants that thrive in very dry climates, and it’s also one of the few plants that produce oxygen at night. It’s a great choice for those living in areas with consistently high temperatures, as it thrives in hot, dry conditions. Sedum is also incredibly easy to grow, so it’s ideal for those just getting started in gardening. The plants also produce small yellow or pink flowers that add a splash of color to any indoor or outdoor space, though they’re less likely to bloom indoors due to reduced light availability.

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