Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

What Do Plants Give Us?

...
Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images

Without plants, life on earth would be confined mainly to mushrooms and algae. Everything else that is alive on this planet is dependent, directly or indirectly, on plants. Given this fact, it is accurate to say that plants have given humanity everything, since without them humans would not exist.

Food

Everything that humans eat is either a plant or derived from a plant, with the exception of peripheral items such as salt. The animals that some humans eat are themselves dependent on plants for food. Plants can be produced for food directly in a backyard garden, or can be bought from others who have grown them and processed them into commercial food. The simplest way to acquire plant food, and the way that humans fed themselves for most of human history, is to forage for wild food within nature.

  • Without plants, life on earth would be confined mainly to mushrooms and algae.
  • The simplest way to acquire plant food, and the way that humans fed themselves for most of human history, is to forage for wild food within nature.

Oxygen

Oxygen is a by-product of the plant life cycle. While animals breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide, plants do just the opposite: they intake carbon dioxide and excrete oxygen. Without plants, animals would have no oxygen to breathe, and life as we know it would be impossible. Plant-rich environments naturally create cleaner and healthier air; this is one argument for the existence of large parks within urban areas, to counterbalance in a small way the degradation to the air caused by automobiles and other polluters.

Beauty

Because humans evolved from their very beginnings surrounded by plants, we have developed a very deeply rooted aesthetic appreciation for plant forms. Most people appreciate the beauty of plants, whether in the form of small domestic touches such as flowers and houseplants, or in the form of vast forests and wilderness. The beauty of plants can be naturally occurring and untouched by the human hand, or the result of very refined culture, such as the tradition of bonsai trees that developed in Japan. The beauty of plants has been a central factor in many aesthetic traditions for thousands of years.

  • Oxygen is a by-product of the plant life cycle.
  • The beauty of plants can be naturally occurring and untouched by the human hand, or the result of very refined culture, such as the tradition of bonsai trees that developed in Japan.

Soil

Topsoil is formed over many years through the rotting and decomposition of plant life. This topsoil in turn is the basis from which new plant life appears. Although animal life also contributes to topsoil, the sheer biomass of plant life on the surface of the planet means that the majority of topsoil is the result of plants that have lived, died, fallen back into the soil, rotted and contributed to the ongoing fecundity of the Earth.

Related Articles

Facts About the Plant Kingdom
Facts About the Plant Kingdom
What Are the Benefits of Topsoil?
What Are the Benefits of Topsoil?
Characteristics of Green Algae & Plants
Characteristics of Green Algae & Plants
What Is the Organic Material Formed in Soil From the Decayed Remains of Plants & Animals?
What Is the Organic Material Formed in Soil From the...
Components of Topsoil
Components of Topsoil
Difference Between Water Plants and Land Plants
Difference Between Water Plants and Land Plants
Which Organisms Are Characterized As Decomposers?
Which Organisms Are Characterized As Decomposers?
What Is Humus Fertilizer?
What Is Humus Fertilizer?
Types of Soil Bacteria
Types of Soil Bacteria
Importance of Water in Plant Life
Importance of Water in Plant Life
Nonflowering Plant Characteristics
Nonflowering Plant Characteristics
Are Ferns Non-Vascular?
Are Ferns Non-Vascular?
Importance of Landscape Planning
Importance of Landscape Planning
What Are the Four Phyla of the Plant Kingdom?
What Are the Four Phyla of the Plant Kingdom?
What Parts Do Non-Vascular Plants Have?
What Parts Do Non-Vascular Plants Have?
Characteristics That Plants Share With Algae
Characteristics That Plants Share With Algae
Facts About Vascular Plants
Facts About Vascular Plants
Difference Between Topsoil & Subsoil
Difference Between Topsoil & Subsoil
Ecosystem of a Garden
Ecosystem of a Garden
How We Classify Vegetables and Fruits
How We Classify Vegetables and Fruits
Garden Guides
×