Do Succulents Clean The Air? Improving Air Quality (2023)

Do succulents clean the air? You might wonder about this. To answer your question, you need to know what succulents do and why they are popular. Succulent plants have leaves that store water if there is not enough rain. The air around these plants can be cleaner than the indoor air in some homes! Learn more about how succulents work and if they can improve your health by reading this post.

Do Succulents Clean the Air?

Succulents are often called “air cleaners” and do an amazing job of removing harmful toxins from the air. While they don’t clean the entire house, it’s a great way to give your home a fresh feel while also deodorizing it. This is because succulents have pores in their leaves that absorb pollutants from the air and store water to survive periods of drought, so they get rid of most toxins naturally!

How do succulents work?

1. Succulents are plants that store water in their leaves, stems, or roots.

Leaves: store water and nutrients from the soil for photosynthesis. They can help clean indoor air because they do not release a lot of carbon dioxide or oxygen, which are two major contributors to poor indoor air quality in homes.

Stems and Roots: allow succulents to absorb salts, minerals, and other substances that may be in the soil.

2. They are able to do this because they have a thick skin and spongy tissue inside of them.

The thick skin prevents them from leaking too much water, and the spongy tissue helps to store it.

Succulents also do not need a lot of water because they are able to conserve so well, which is an important feature for places with little rainfall, like deserts!

3. This means succulents can survive on less than half the amount of water other plants need to thrive. This water conservation is a trait that plants developed in arid environments, where there is less water.

4. The most common type of succulent is the cactus plant, which stores water in its stem 

5. There are many different types of succulents – some store water in their leaves while others do so in their roots.

succulent for air purifying
succulent for air purifying

There are succulents that store water in their leaves, which is a type of storage known as hydrophilic. These plants have specialized leaf cells called “stoma”  that allow them to take up and hold onto water molecules. This gives the plant more time before it needs more water because there’s still some left on its surface!

And then there are succulents that store water at their roots, where it’s referred to as being hydrophytic. These plants do not need any special parts or features, like stoma, since they can draw moisture from the ground around them all day long for an indefinite amount of time.

The thick skin prevents them from leaking too much water, and the song the succulent plants do help filter the air.

There is not a lot of evidence to show that they can clean toxins from the air, but there are some studies that say it could be possible.

It’s been said that many species of cacti produce natural enzymes called “laccase”  during decomposition (a process in which organic substances undergo chemical change due to bacteria) and this enzyme has an anti-toxic effect against airborne particles like formaldehyde and benzene.

7 Sources of air pollution at home

1. Smoking indoors 

2. Burning candles or incense inside 

3. Using aerosol sprays, such as hair spray, deodorant, and air fresheners 

4. Cooking with gas stovetops or ovens that produce smoke and fumes 

5. Painting your home without proper ventilation (e.g., open windows). 

6. Keeping the fireplace door closed when not in use to reduce drafts from the chimney flue pipe opening and prevent backdrafting of smoke into the room 

7. Running a clothes dryer with no vent outside of the house (e.g., through an attic) can cause moisture buildup in your home’s walls and ceilings, which may lead to mold growth if not properly addressed by professionals who specialize in indoor air quality remediation services.

Using Succulents To Improve Indoor Air Quality?

The uses of succulents in indoor environments are numerous. Not only can they be used as an ornamental plant, but they can also help improve your home’s air quality!

Succulents are a great way to improve indoor air quality. They produce oxygen at night, and they remove toxins from the air, such as formaldehyde.

1. Keep your succulents in a sunny spot 

2. Water them when the soil is dry to the touch 

3. Trim off any dead leaves or flowers 

4. Add a thin layer of gravel at the bottom of the pot for drainage, and use cactus mix as a soil substitute if needed 

5. Plant them with other plants that need less water, such as ferns or mosses, to help reduce moisture in the air 

6. Put an open dish with pebbles and water nearby, so they can absorb it overnight (this will also keep bugs away). 

7. Place them near windowsills or vents where they can get fresher air from outside while still staying inside your home’s temperature range.

9 Best Succulents to Clean the Air

1. Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is one of the best at cleaning the air because it removes formaldehyde, which many household products emit.

Aloe Vera Removes Formaldehyde from Air – A study done by US National Library of Medicine found that plants in general were able to remove some pollutants and hazardous gases out of the atmosphere, including carbon monoxide and ozone molecules. But Aloe vera was particularly efficient at removing formaldehyde

2. Jade Plant

Jade Plant is also a great option for purifying your home’s air quality. It will deodorize any room on contact with its natural fragrance. Jade plant is also considered as one among seven lucky plants in Chinese culture and brings good fortune wherever they’re placed! The shapely leaves are jade-green and glossy.

3. Peace Lily

Peace Lily is one of the plants that improves air quality in your home.

This plant purifies the air by removing formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene from it. It also eliminates odors like tobacco smoke or skunk spray instantly!

4. String of Pearls

String of Pearls are a very popular houseplant. It’s scientific name is Dracaena marginata and it belongs to the family Asparagaceae or Liliaceae.

The String of Pearls will remove formaldehyde, benzene, xylene from your home too!

5. Christmas Cactus

Christmas Cactus is one of the plants that improves air quality in your home.

The Christmas cactus is a succulent with thick leaves. It’s scientific name is Schlumbergera x buckleyi and it belongs to the family Cactaceae.

6. Dwarf Baby Tears

Dwarf Baby Tears is another succulent that purifies the air in your home.

The Dwarf baby tears are a small plant with thin leaves and it’s scientific name is Pilea peperomioides and it belongs to the family Urticaceae or Nolinaceae.

7. Snake Plant (or “Mother-in-Law’s Tongue”) 

The Snake Plant or “Mother-in-Law’s Tongue” is another succulent that cleans the air.

It’s scientific name is Sansevieria trifasciata and it belongs to family Liliaceae (the same as Easter cactus).

The snake plant will remove formaldehyde, benzene, xylene from the air.

A research study by NASA showed the snake plant removed formaldehyde, benzene and xylene from the air in a low-CO environment with concentrations of 15ppb to 30ppb (parts per billion). These three chemicals are emitted through gasoline exhausts, cigarette smoke or other industrial pollution sources.

8. Mother of Thousands (also called the “Devil’s Ivy” or the “Creeping Charlie”)

Mother of Thousands (also called the “Devil’s Ivy” or the “Creeping Charlie”) is a succulent that cleans the air.

It belongs to the family Crassulaceae and has been found in Australia, South Africa, Europe, India and North America.

9. ZZ Plant

ZZ Plant is a low-light plant that cleans the air.

It belongs to the family Crassulaceae and has been found in Mexico, Central America, South America, The Caribbean and West Africa.

Final words

Do succulents clean the air?

The answer is yes, they can. The key to whether or not a plant will help you breathe easier is what chemicals are in the atmosphere where you live and work.