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Do Plants Release Heat? Not all plants do, The Process Explained

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Plants do release heat. Although they don’t have the ability to dissipate it, they do produce some. 

Plants also release heat as they grow, using most of their energy to grow new cells and develop new tissue.

Growing plants require more energy to function and therefore become warmer as they grow. 

This article will explain how some plants release heat with examples.

Why do Some Plants Give off Heat?

Plants give off heat because they are living organisms. They need to produce energy in order to survive and grow.

Thermogenic plants have the ability to raise their temperature above that of the surrounding air. Heat is generated in the mitochondria as a secondary process of cellular respiration called thermogenesis. [Wikipedia]

Plant Cell

These plants are thought to have an overactive reproduction cycle. These plants are generally much larger plants with broad foliage and are found mostly in the Araceae species of plants, which generally resemble the likes of a peace lily plant but are much larger.

Some examples of such plants, as stated by Wikipedia are:

  • Dead-horse arum (Helicodiceros muscivorus)
  • Eastern skunk cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus)
  • Elephant foot yam (Amorphophallus paeoniifolius), 
  • Elephant ear (Philodendron selloum), 
  • Lords-and-ladies (Arum maculatum)
  • Voodoo lily (Typhonium venosum).

These plants release heat via transpiration (the evaporation of water from their leaves) 



A hot greenhouse in summer can also cause plants to give off heat because of the increased humidity. 

Plants use water to transport carbon dioxide from the air into their leaves and stems; this process is called transpiration. In dry air, transpiration contributes to cooling by releasing water vapor into the atmosphere. 

However, when there is more moisture in your greenhouse than usual, plants will produce more transpiration and thereby increase their temperature by up to 2 degrees Celsius (3 degrees Fahrenheit).

Exothermic Vs Endothermic

This exothermic process uses energy to break the strong hydrogen bonds between liquid water molecules; the energy used to do so is taken from the leaf and given to the water molecules that have converted to highly energetic gas molecules. [source]

NOTE: If you have a warm greenhouse in summer, it’s essential that you provide your plants with adequate humidity levels so they don’t overheat. This can be effectively achieved through misting.

Does Photosynthesis Cause a Release of Heat?

Photosynthesis is an overall endothermic process whereby heat is absorbed in the form of sunlight for the reaction to occur.

Plants can produce heat through the metabolic process during photosynthesis. Plants use sunlight to turn water and carbon dioxide into sugars, which they then use to make their own food. 

The sugar that is produced through photosynthesis is usually used by the plant itself, but some of it is also converted into a form that other organisms can use. This sugar gives off heat when it decomposes.

As the plant uses up its supply of sugar, it releases carbon dioxide in the process. In this way, plants are able to produce heat as well as give off oxygen.

Do plants release heat

How Much Heat Can Plants Generate?

Plants can generate heat, but it’s not the same as burning fuel. Plants don’t burn carbon or hydrocarbons to produce heat. Instead, they use sunlight to convert carbon dioxide and water into sugars that they use for energy.

The amount of heat plants produce depends on many factors, including light exposure and whether or not there is snow cover in the wintertime.

Some plants create more heat than others because they have more green leaves or grow in warm climates. 

For example, frost-tender plants require more water than drought-tolerant types. They also have less leaf area than other types of plants, so they lose more heat through their leaves in colder temperatures.

Plants with fewer leaves will have a lower temperature than other plants because of their smaller surface area exposed to air and sun rays.

How much Heat can Plants take?

How much heat plants can take

If you want your plants to survive and thrive, you need to figure out how much heat they need in order to remain healthy and comfortable. This is where it helps to know what’s going on under the hood!

Plants are designed to survive in a wide range of conditions. They can withstand freezing temperatures, scorching sun, and even the occasional hail storm. 

But at the same time, plants need to be able to regulate their own temperature. Otherwise, they’ll overheat or freeze, which can cause damage or death.

Signs of Heat Stress

Heat Stress

Heat stress is a significant problem for many plants, especially those that need to be able to tolerate high temperatures and their effects. 
The most common signs of heat stress are wilting, reduced growth, and poor color.

  • Leaf curl is one of the plants’ most common symptoms of heat stress. The leaves of the plant curl up, roll over and eventually die. This symptom arises when the leaf cells are unable to properly absorb water from the soil due to high temperatures.
  • The leaves may turn yellow, brown, or purple, depending on the type of plant, and drop leaves if it is exposed to heat for too long. In some cases, sunken areas appear on the leaf surface.
  • When plants are exposed to excessive heat, they release water from their roots and stems in an attempt to cool off.

    This reduces the plant’s ability to absorb nutrients and water and can lead to wilting. Wilting may also occur if the soil gets too hot or dry. In addition, some plants have a higher tolerance for heat than others.
  • In addition to wilting, excessive heat can also cause reduced growth or even death in some plants. This may happen if the plant is not adapted or adapted poorly enough to handle the conditions or if it has lost too much moisture through wilting or transpiration (evaporation).

Generally speaking, if you see any of these symptoms in your plants, it is time to move them indoors and cool them down as soon as possible.

How to Help Plants Cool off?

Extreme Temperatures

If you’re helping your plants stay cool, use these tips:

  1. Some plants may show signs of dehydration when their leaves have been exposed to high temperatures for a long time period. 

If this happens, it’s essential to take immediate steps to cool off your plants by moving them indoors where it’s cooler or providing them with shade until the weather warms up again.

  1. Water early in the day. If you water only at night, the moisture won’t evaporate as quickly. As a result, the soil will stay hotter longer, and the plant will have to work harder to cool itself down during the day.
  1. Use mulch or shade cloth over your plants and pots. Mulch keeps down weeds, while shade cloth provides shelter from direct sunlight and helps reduce evaporation. Both can help keep your soil cooler than bare ground by trapping heat close to the surface.
  1. Don’t let pots or trees get shaded out completely by nearby plants or buildings; leave some space between them for air circulation!
  1. If you have a large area of plants, consider getting a portable air conditioner or setting up an evaporative cooler. These can help reduce the temperature of plants.

Do Plants Help Cold Down a Room?


The answer is yes, adding plants to an outdoor space can help cool down a room.

Plants are one of the best ways to cool down a room. Plants absorb and release moisture, which can lower the temperature in a room. 

In addition to cooling, plants also add color and life to any space.

Plants are good at absorbing heat and keeping it out of the room. This is because they are able to do this through their leaves, stems, and roots. 

They also trap air in their tissues, which can help to keep the air temperature in a room lower than the outside air temperature.

Plants are also helpful in reducing humidity levels in your home. The humidity from the air causes hot air to rise up, which can be uncomfortable and make you feel sick when exposed to it for long periods. 

Plants help remove this humidity by absorbing water through their leaves and stems, which reduces the amount of moisture in the air around them. 

This can improve indoor air quality and make you feel more comfortable at home.

Plants can also filter out some pollutants in the air, which is considered beneficial for health. Additionally, plants release oxygen at night, which keeps air quality high.

Will Adding Plants Help Cool Down an Outdoor Space?

Adding plants to an outdoor space is one of the best ways to cool down an area. Plants and trees release moisture into the air and trap it on their leaves, which then evaporates. 

In addition, plants can reduce the amount of sunlight that reaches the ground by shading it from direct sunlight or blocking it from reaching certain areas.

The best way to determine whether or not adding plants will help cool down an outdoor space is by looking at their specific needs regarding shade and water. 

For example, if you live in an area where summers are extremely hot, and winters are extremely cold, then having a lot of trees would be beneficial because they provide shade and can insulate your home during the winter months. 

However, if you live in a more temperate climate with mild winters and warm summers, then it may not make much difference whether or not you add trees to your yard because they do not get much use during these seasons anyway.

Adding plants to your outdoor space can help to cool down your home. Plants absorb heat from the sun, which creates shade over the area once that heat is absorbed. 

The shade creates an excellent environment for you and your family.

The Takeaway:

Plants are naturally adapted to survive in a wide variety of environments, from deserts to tropical forests. 

They have evolved over time in order to survive in their specific environment and absorb as much sunlight as possible.

Plants release heat in the form of infrared radiation. This heat is a byproduct of photosynthesis and is used to keep them warm. The process also helps plants grow and stay healthy.

To survive and grow, plants must release some heat into their surroundings so that they stay warm enough for growth (but not too hot).

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