Category: Articles


Effect of CO2 on the plants


Hand in glove holding test tube with plantExperienced growers are aware of the fact that growing a high quality plant depends on many factors like: temperature, humidity, fertilization, light type and concentration of CO2. CO2 supplementation in commercial greenhouses is used for over 35 years now. The addition of CO2 accelerates time of the plant growth and development. As described below, researches have proven that the plant supplementation with CO2 comes with a lot of benefits – both in amateur and professional cultivation. Increasing the level of CO2 from 400 PPM to 800-1500 PPM, accelerates growth of the plant by up to 30% if appropriate light and fertilization is given.


“The aim of the present work was the study of the effect of doubled CO2 concentration on growth and development of young plants of winter oilseed rape belonging to some population varieties and hybrids, and particularly on the increase of fresh and dry mass of shoots and roots. In last years a lot of new high-yielding population cultivars and hybrids appeared. We studied plants of winter oilseed rape of the open polinated varieties (Bosman and Libomir), male sterile hybrids MH 35 F1 and MH 36 F1 (ingredients of combined hybrid varieties, respectively Mazur and Kaszub) and plants of the restored hybrids (Titan F1and Kronos F1). The plants were grown on sand with the Hoagland nutrient in two chambers with controlled conditions (PPFD 300 µmol⋅m-2⋅s -1 and temperature 16C) at two concentrations of CO2: 400 and 800 ppm. The experiment was conducted during four weeks, and the plants reached the phase of 5th–6th leaf. Doubling of carbon dioxide concentration in the vegetation atmosphere contributed to a considerable increase in total leaf area of the plants of all investigated genotypes by ca. 47% in the male sterile hybrids to 126% in Libomir, and slight increase (from 6 to 21%) of chlorophyll content in the leaves. Moreover, fresh mass of shoots of the plants grown at higher CO2 level was higher by 42 to 58% compared to the control, and dry mass — by 64% in the case of MH 36 F1to 96% in Titan. Fresh mass of roots increased by 40% in MH 36 F1 to 106% in Bosman, however , the increase of dry mass of roots was found only in the plants of population varieties by ca. 57% and the restored hybrid Titan (by ca. 23%). At double CO2, dry mass of both shoots and roots of the studied hybrids was significantly higher in comparison with dry mass of the plants of both population varieties.”

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Source: The effect of increased CO2 concentration in atmosphere on growth and development of some genotypes of winter oilseed rape – Andrzej Mila, Antoni Murkowski, West Pomeranian University of Technology, Department of Physics and Agrophysics

Further proof of the possitive effect of the CO2 on the plants are experiments done on green peas – the samples were isolated for 42 days – one sample was under 400PM CO2 concentration, other three under 1270PPM. The whole experiment is available on YouTube:

To summarize

Increasing the CO2 concentration to 800-1500 PPM indoors, with good light source, humidity and furtilization, results in acceleration of the whole grow and development process. There are many ways to increase the CO2 concentration but in case of the greenhouses though, it is always safer to leave it to the professional companies. At home, the CO2 generators are usually in form of buckets, mats, bags or pills. All of these are available in the grow shops. The cheapest and easiest way to increase the CO2 concentration at home is buidiling up a homemade CO2 generator. Construction is simple and it doesn’t require much money or manual skills. Below we present you the construction manual for the CO2 generator.

How does it work?

Yeast in combination with sugar begin the fermentation process wherein the CO2 is a by-product which is delivered by hoses. CO2 is havier than air so it fells down, because the hoses are placed over the plant. This method is safe and the gas obtained is 100% natural. The plants supplemented by CO2 have increased need of light and fertilizers – more care is required.

Shopping list:

  • Plastic bootle
  • Blood transfusion set
  • Yeast cube
  • Sugar 1kg
  • Soda 1 tablespoon
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