Succulents are growing in popularity year after year. Colorful, versatile, and coming in all kinds of shapes and sizes, these plants thrive in neglect, what is an ideal combination for a busy man of 21st century. But what about their health benefits? Do succulents purify the air, and do they do it better than other plant families? And what about humidity in the air, and oxygen we breathe? What role do succulents play here? I will try to answer all these questions on the following linen, and I sincerely hope it will motivate you to grow even more succulents at your home :).
Before we dive into details, let me give you a quick answer: Succulents are good for air quality. Good is actually an underestimation here, since they purify the air better than almost any other plants you can grow indoors. Hence if you struggle with allergies, feel that there’s too much dust in the air, or it is way too dry in your house, growing succulents in the rooms where you spend most of your time when at home is an excellent idea. Let’s have a look at the specifics.
Most plants release carbon dioxide at night, but succulents do produce oxygen
Virtually all plants produce oxygen during the day, as a result of photosynthesis. But when the night falls, most plants breath just like humans do, absorbing oxygen and releasing carbon dioxide. That is the main reason why most experts do not suggest having many household plants in your bedroom. When you sleep, you want the oxygen for yourself, not for the plants. However, succulents are exception to the rule.
Members of this amazing plant family keep producing oxygen throughout the night, improving the quality of air you breathe, and in that way actually improving the quality of your sleep. Sure, most succulents are rather small and you cannot expect miracles in terms of the total amount of oxygen they produce in your room during a single night. But it is still better producing some oxygen than actually breathing it and releasing carbon dioxide, like vast majority of household plants do.
Succulents purify the air from volatile organic compounds, making it better for breathing
Snake plant, zebra plant, jade plant and aloe vera are just some of the succulents that, according to NASA’s research, are able to remove 87% of VOC (volatile organic compounds) from the air. You may think that you do not have such compounds in the air back home, but think twice. Benzene or formaldehyde are found in rugs, cigarette smoke, grocery bags, books and ink–and who doesn’t have any of such items at home?
What’s more, if you live close to a road with cars, and if it is quite busy (most of us live close to such roads), you can be sure there’s plenty of VOC in the air at your home. Having succulents in all main rooms, such as living room, kitchen, and bedroom, will help you reduce the amount of toxins in the air you breathe significantly. No doubt it would be better live in a place with good air quality, but I can assure you won’t find such places in any modern city. Hence it is important to at least somehow clean the air, for example with a little help from the succulents you grow.
Succulent groupings can significantly improve the humidity of the air in your home
Dry air does not help asthma, allergy, and many other conditions related to breathing many of us experience nowadays (as a result of constantly polluting our planet, and eating garbage food full of additives and chemicals). But you can make the air up to 10% more humid, which is a BIG difference indeed, with plants in your home, especially if you grow them in groupings, which is popular for the succulents.
Dry air promotes many problems such as sore throat, dry skin, or a common cold. Of course, it is just a part of a puzzle–you aren’t going to be super healthy just by placing a few succulent groupings around your home. It is also about what you eat, how often you exercise, your stress levels, etc. But each detail matters, and improving the humidity of the air in your house can help. Another plus point for succulents!
Both scientific and empirical evidence suggest that succulents aren’t only good for air quality–they are the best from all household plants, producing oxygen while other plants breathe it at night, purifying the air from more toxic compounds than other plants do, and also making the air in the house more humid, which is good for both your lungs and skin. At the end of the day, the only thing we can say is that succulents once again rein supreme, and I hope this post motivated you to get more of them :). Good luck!
May also interest you: Can succulents die of old age?