Succulent Basic: Do Succulents Clean the Air?

Do Succulents Clean the Air?

In our modern world, there’s lots of toxins floating around in the air.

Don’t you think?

Outside, we get exposed to toxins from things like car exhaust and industrial facilities. We think that we get a break from pollution when we step inside, but our homes and offices still have harmful chemicals.

Radiation is a real thing unfortunately.

Also, outdoor air can make its way inside and household items like cleaning supplies and furniture give off even more toxins.

So what can you do to improve the air quality in your home?

Luckily, if you’re a succulent plant owner, you’re already doing something to purify your air. Succulent plants can help remove toxins, improve airflow, and humidify dry indoor air.

If you don’t have any succulent plant yet, now is the time to get some! Today we’re going to tell you more about their beneficial qualities and also recommend a few succulents that do the best job of cleaning the air.


Aloe plant in cute little white planter

Harmful Toxins in the Air

The toxic compounds that are in your air are known as volatile organic compounds. You may expose yourself to volatile organic compounds like benzene, formaldehyde and ammonia if you use common household products like detergent, paper towels, tissues and cleaning products.

How ironic, cleaning supplies may or may not be that clean after all…

Studies have shown that higher levels of volatile organic compounds are found indoors. In some cases, indoor levels are up to ten times higher than outdoor levels!

This is because pollutants can take a while to disperse from indoor air. Even after you’re done cleaning, pollutants will hang around.

Yikes! Who knew that just going about your day as normal could expose you to so many harmful chemicals?

If you’re exposed to these chemicals often, you could experience symptoms like itchy eyes, sore throat, headaches, and nausea. Those symptoms sound a lot like seasonal allergies, so we wonder if some of the people who think they’re suffering from allergies are actually experiencing side effects from poor indoor air quality.

Air purifying with the corn plant

How to Remove Harmful Toxins with Succulents

We’re not saying that you need to throw away all of your household products, though! (We love our laundry detergents!) Plus, you don’t need to spend more on fancy, organic cleaning products.

The best natural solution to poor indoor air quality is plants, and NASA agrees with us too!

In the late 1980s, NASA built a fully functional home called the BioHome that could support all of the needs of one person. It had a garden, a water purification system, and a waste management system. In order to make this home energy efficient and cheap to produce, NASA made it airtight and used synthetic materials to build it.

Whenever anyone would go in there, though, their eyes would burn and they would have breathing problems. This is because the volatile organic compounds in the synthetic materials used to construct the building were polluting the air.

NASA had a solution, though—plants. They had studied volatile organic compounds in the past and knew that plants could absorb these harmful chemicals. After they added houseplants like the Snake Plant to the BioHome, testing showed that most of the pollutants were gone. Best of all, nobody reported having those nasty symptoms anymore!

If a building that caused awful symptoms like stinging eyes and respiratory difficulties could be fixed by adding house plants, then your home can surely be made safe by adding some air purifying plants!

Can you imagine sipping on some coffee with a cactus mug in NASA’s BioHome? Talk about comfy living next to your beautiful plants!

Snake plants purifying the air

Best Air Purifying Succulent Plants

Studies have shown that Aloe and Snake Plants are some of the best air purifying plants. But really, any type of succulent you choose will help clean your air.

All plants are capable of absorbing gases through pores on their leaves. When plants take in carbon dioxide to carry out photosynthesis, they also absorb lots of other gases in the air, including the harmful ones that can make you sick.

Succulents also improve the airflow in your home by releasing oxygen. Unlike other plants that stop releasing oxygen at night, succulents continue to release oxygen while you’re asleep. If you keep a few in your bedroom, you may sleep better because of all the extra oxygen!

Take a look at these planters found perfect to sit on a window sill for optimal plant growth and air cleaning!

Succulents can also increase the humidity in your home, which improves air quality even more. Indoor air can get dry, especially in the winter, and cause symptoms like a sore throat and dry skin. Because plants like succulents release water vapor through the pores in their leaves during photosynthesis, they can humidify the air around them.

As you can see, succulents do so much more than beautify your home. They help remove toxins from the air that can make you sick, increase the amount of oxygen in your home, and humidify the air.

Those are some great reasons to go out and buy more succulents! We’re going to pick up a new Aloe plant at our local garden center as soon as we can. Want to learn more about the aloe plant and why it’s so unique? Check it out here.

Corn plant purifying the air or cleaning the air

Are you going to get some succulent plants for your home now? The reason for helping airflow and clean oxygen is enough for me personally to get even more succulents!

If this post inspired you to pick up some more Aloe and Snake Plants too, let us know in the comments section below. Happy air purifying, and happy planting!

If you’d like this read you’re going to love our full in-depth ebooks! With so many of our succulent lovers asking for more, we listened and can’t wait to share it with you here! With our very detailed ebooks, you’ll get more information than these short articles, some ebooks are 30+ pages, perfect for a weekend read.

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