Why to CO2

How important is CO2 to indoor plants? Can I grow beautiful home smoke with just regular air, or do I need to add CO2 containers or yeast product to get a nice luscious bud? Does CO2 only affect the size of the yields?
Jah Rasta Mon,
Alameda, California

Plants use CO2 as an ingredient of photosynthesis. Using light to fuel the complex chemical reaction, plants take hydrogen from water and carbon dioxide (CO2) to create sugar. Oxygen is also released in the process. The formula reads: 6(H2O) 6(CO2) = C6H12O6 6O2. This is the basis of plant growth because plants manipulate sugar as the building block for tissue.

Since plants don’t photosynthesize during the dark period, CO2 levels are not critical when there is no light.

Under high light conditions, plants can photosynthesize more quickly when high amounts of CO2 are also present. Conversely, photosynthesis slows when CO2 becomes scarce. In a well-ventilated space in which new air is constantly introduced and used air is blown out, the plants can obtain enough CO2 from the air.

In spaces where the air is cooled and conserved, CO2 levels are quickly depleted. The air must be enriched with CO2 or photosynthesis stops. CO2 tanks or CO2 generators are used to enrich the air.

The average CO2 level in the air is about 350 parts per million (ppm). As the level of CO2 goes up under bright lights, the plant’s photosynthesis rate goes up and growth proceeds at a faster pace. In very bright rooms plants can use levels as high as 2000 ppm, which significantly increases the growth rate and yield.

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