How Do Plants Get Rid of Waste?

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Plants get rid of waste through a process called excretion. Different waste products are excreted in different ways.

Plants break down waste products at a much slower pace than animals. They convert a lot of their waste into useful substances through photosynthesis. Gaseous wastes are excreted during respiration through the plant’s stomata and root cell walls. At night, when photosynthesis cannot occur, excess water is released through the tips of the leaves.

Other waste products are released as leaves and flowers fall off of a plant. In addition to oxygen, water and carbon dioxide, other plant waste products include resins, saps, latex and tannins. Some of these products are released into the soil surrounding the plant.