Can Succulents Purify the Air?
Succulents have been consistently growing in popularity over the past few years, thanks to their resilient nature which makes them particularly easy to care for. But these tough little house plants can bring an additional huge benefit to your home. A study conducted by NASA found that succulents removed up to 90% of certain toxins from a space within 24 hours! In addition to this, they constantly release fresh oxygen through the room, creating a refreshing and relaxing atmosphere in any indoor space.
The Silent Home Polluters
Keeping your home free from harmful chemicals and pollutants is not an easy task. They can come from a range of products that you use on a daily basis, things such as household cleaners, paint, and even personal care products. Some of the most common pollutants found in households are formaldehyde, benzene and trichloroethylene.
But by strategically placing succulents around your home, you can finally dispel these toxins and bring a breath of fresh air into your home. According to the data from NASA's study, having these indoor plants in a room for just 24 hours can remove up to 90% of these nasty & harmful pollutants and drastically improve your indoor air quality.
And with this comes reduced levels of carbon dioxide, less irritation from smoke, dust and pollen, and a touch of greenery that can brighten up any space. So why not pick up some succulents, breathe a little easier and enjoy the positive impacts that these handy little plants can have on your life?
|Succulent||Notable Characteristics||Potential Pollutants Removed (if available)|
|Aloe Vera||Can photosynthesize at night||Formaldehyde, Benzene|
|Jade Plant (Crassula ovata)||Can photosynthesize at night||Volatile organic compounds (General)|
|Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera)||Can photosynthesize at night||-|
|Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)||Can photosynthesize at night||Formaldehyde, Benzene, Trichloroethylene, Xylene, Toluene|
|Zebra Plant (Haworthiopsis attenuata)||Can photosynthesize at night||-|
|Pincushion Cactus (Mammillaria)||Can photosynthesize at night||-|
Note • The primary benefit of most succulents is the night-time photosynthesis (via a process called CAM photosynthesis), which helps in increasing oxygen levels during the night. Specific air purification qualities (like toxin removal) of each succulent variety aren't as well-documented as they are for some other indoor plants. Always ensure you're selecting plants suitable for your specific environment and needs.
Practical Uses of Succulents in the Home
Succulents act as natural humidifiers, pumping indoor spaces full of fresh oxygen day and night. Placing a few of these nifty little plants around the house can bring a whole host of health benefits, from easing headaches to alleviating the symptoms of nausea and several respiratory problems.
The bedroom is the perfect room to place a succulent in - they continuously release waves of fresh oxygen at night, which is a key component in getting a good night's sleep. They also can bring a whole host of aesthetic benefits - the touch of greenery that they bring to any room can help reduce stress, improve productivity and even foster creativity.
Which Succulents Perform the Best?
Succulents are a diverse family of plants that come in all colours, shapes and sizes. But with so many to choose from, it can be hard to know where to start - here are a few options that can work in a range of rooms and environments.
Before we begin, let's address a common misconception from the NASA study: the belief that the tested plants are the only ones capable of cleaning and purifying the air. This is inaccurate. All plants possess this ability. Nevertheless, we have referenced some of the top-performing options from the NASA study for your convenience.
1. Snake Plants If you're looking for an indoor succulent, then a snake plant is the perfect choice. Like many other succulents, these air-purifying plants can survive in areas with less light, but snake plants will thrive in places where they can absorb indirect light. A kitchen windowsill makes an excellent home for a snake plant, giving them access to direct sunlight so they can continue to grow and purify the air in your home effectively.
2. Aloe Vera Plant An aloe plant makes an excellent addition to any space, and can really improve the air quality in homes. These attractive houseplants only require moderate watering and thrive in indirect sunlight. Not only do they help to purify chemical toxins, but they're also great natural healers - aloe vera is great for healing kitchen burns, cuts and other skin conditions.
Top Performing Houseplants
3. Peace Lilies Peace lilies are a particularly beautiful family of indoor plants, who also make for great natural air purifiers. Much like snake plants, they enjoy bright light, but can still grow in environments with less light. They are particularly effective at removing formaldehyde, and infrequent but deep watering will keep them healthy and thriving. A good rule of thumb is to water them once the top inch of the soil is dry, to keep the soil moist for healthy growth.
4. Spider Plant If you're looking for a way to breathe a little easier at home, why not go for a resilient spider plant? Like other succulents, these do not need frequent watering - a deep watering once the top of the soil is dry will suffice. Direct light will be enough for these tough little plants to survive, and they're well-suited to office spaces and bedrooms.
5. Devil's Ivy (Golden Pothos) Devil's Ivy or Golden Pothos is another fantastic choice for anyone looking to breathe a little easier in their own home, whilst also bringing a unique bit of greenery into their space. This plant thrives in direct, natural light and can bring drastic improvements to the quality of air in any living space.
These are just some of the many houseplants and succulents that'll bring a breath of fresh air to your home - but to really get the most out of your succulents, you'll need to know how to take care of them correctly. We've got a great beginner guide that'll give you everything you need to know as a succulent owner, so whether you have green fingers or not, you'll be prepared to get the most out of your succulents!
Sold on succulents? That's great, you'll likely need plant pots to display them in all their glory. Check out our collection of succulent plant pots. Chose from a selection of glazed and raw plant pots with amazing decorative features.