Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map!

Do Green Plants Give Off Oxygen?

By Michael Black
All green plants give off oxygen.
Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

Through the complex process of photosynthesis, all green plants produce oxygen. Because oxygen is vital to human life, people would not be able to live in a world without numerous green plants.


Through photosynthesis, plants use the energy from sunlight to convert water and carbon dioxide into sugar and oxygen. Some bacteria and some protistans also go through this process.


The leaves of green plants work as small solar panels that collect energy from sunlight. The process is complex, but it can be simplified by examining the specific pigment, chlorophyll, that gives plant their green color. Chlorophyll collects energy from all wavelengths except for green, which is reflected and picked up by human eyes.


The photosynthesis equation — 6H2O (water) + 6CO2 (carbon dioxide) yields C6H12O6 (sugar) + 6O2 (oxygen) — sheds light as to exactly what is happening when green plants give off oxygen. What this equation is saying is that through photosynthesis, plants use energy gathered from sunlight to transform six molecules of water and six molecules of carbon dioxide into one molecule of sugar and six molecules of oxygen


About the Author


Michael Black has been a freelance writer based in South Central Pennsylvania since 2010. He graduated from York College of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Arts degree in professional writing. He has written music- and writing-related articles for various websites.