Do Succulents Purify the Air?
The Best 7 Air-Purifying Succulents Plants.

Discover how succulents plants purify and clean indoor air? See seven air-purifying succulents plants that remove harmful toxins in your air.

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Jimena Bolívar

April 12, 2021

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Should you be concern of the need to purify your indoor air with Succulents plants? Human life has been altered dramatically over the years, and the Coronal Virus epidemic has fast-tracked the drift of the changing lifestyle.

Household Air Pollution (HAP) is now the most critical public health and global environmental risk, with over 90% of people now spending their time in an indoor environment.

Unfortunately, radiation is real, coupled with rapid industrialization and sophisticated household devices changing the air quality and composition due to toxins. The World Health Organization published in 2018 that 3.8 million people die prematurely every year from illness associated with household air pollution.

Fortunately, the good news is that you can clean and improve your indoor air quality with succulent plants. But are succulents air-purifying? Please read on to discover how.

Can Succulent Plants Purify Your Indoor Air?

Growing succulents’ plants indoors will purify your air quality by cleaning and removing toxins, i.e., Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC). The plant increases oxygen levels to reduce carbon dioxide and filter the toxicants. The filtered toxic is pull trapped into the soil and used as the root’s nutrient.

How to Grow Succulents? An Extensive Guide with All the Helpful Tips !!

Succulents are easy-going, beautiful plants that can survive almost anything. Let's go in-depth and check out today's guide on how to grow succulents?

Harmful Volatile Organic Compounds (VCOs) in The Air

Volatile Organic Compounds (VCOs) are the toxic compounds in your air emitted from products or processes such as burning fuel, e.g., such as gasoline, coal, or wood. The byproducts are formaldehyde, benzene, Xylene, etc. It can result in nausea, sore throat, headaches, itchy eyes and eventually cause cancer.

Sources of Volatile Organic Compounds at home or in your offices are printers, shopping bags, detergent, paint, paper towels, glue, tissues, cigarette smoke, books, cleaning products, photocopiers, and printer inks.

Research and studies have shown that high levels of Volatile Organic Compounds found in homes are 2 to 5 times greater than those found outdoors. In some cases, the level of VOC gases indoors is ten times those outdoors.

Pollutants can take a long time to disperse from indoor air; they can be around for a long time after the occurrence. It is the reason you need Succulents plants in your indoor home to continue to help you clean and purifying your indoor air.

Signs and symptoms that are related to exposure to Volatile Organic Compounds include:

  • Fatigue
  • Allergic skin reaction
  • Conjunctival irritation
  • Declines in serum cholinesterase levels
  • Dizziness
  • Dyspnea
  • Emesis
  • Epistaxis
  • Eye and respiratory tract irritation
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Nose and throat discomfort
  • Visual disorders and memory impairment

Risk of High Toxic Exposure

Exposure to high toxic levels of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) can damage your body's vital parts, such as the nervous system, liver, kidney, etc.,

Ten Top Diseases Associated with Household Air Pollution

Household Air Pollution (HAP) is discovered to be responsible for almost 5% of global human diseases worldwide.

The World Health Organization confirmed that biomass fuel combustion causes almost 2.7% of yearly global disease.

Below is a list of ten diseases that are linked to Household Air Pollution:

  • Asthma
  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Eye diseases
  • Legionnaires disease
  • Lung function reduction
  • Pneumonia
  • Pregnancy complications
  • Respiratory illness
  • Sick building syndrome
  • Tuberculosis

Summary Table: Air Purifying Succulents Plants, VOCs Pollutants, and Its Source.

Pollutant VOCs Gases Source of Pollutant Succulents Plants
Ammonia Tobacco smoke, Building materials, and humans influenced by heating, indoor temperatures, and air conditioning Aloe Vera, Corn Plant Dracaena fragrans Janet Craig ’, Dracaena fragrans Red-edged Dracaena,
Benzene Tobacco smoke, Cooking Gas stations, and Furniture Aloe Vera, Janet Craig, Snake Plant, Red-edged Dracaena, ‘Warneckii’, Dracaena fragrans, Jade Plants
Formaldehyde Plywood, particleboard, glue, drapes, fabrics, foam insulation, adhesive binders, Wood, Kerosene, waxed paper, grocery bags, and tobacco products. Aloe Vera, Janet Craig, Snake Plant, ‘Warneckii’, Dracaena fragrans, Red-edged Dracaena, Jade Plants
Nitrogen Dioxide Tobacco smoke, gas, wood, oil, kerosene, and coal-burning appliances, stoves, space heaters, water heaters, furnaces, boilers, and fireplaces. Janet Craig, Snake Plant, Red-edged Dracaena, ‘Warneckii’, Dracaena fragrans, Jade Plants
Toluene Spray paints, Primers, Multipurpose cleaners, Contact cement, Floor polish, Paint thinners, Bathmats, Wood sealers. Janet Craig, Snake Plant, Red-edged Dracaena, ‘Warneckii’, Dracaena fragrans, Jade Plants
Trichloroethylene Wood finishes, adhesives, paint removers, and stain removers. Janet Craig, Snake Plant, Red-edged Dracaena, ‘Warneckii’, Dracaena fragrans, Jade Plants
Xylene Paints, lacquers, adhesives, rust preventers, thinners, gasoline, and magic markers. Janet Craig, Snake Plan, Red-edged Dracaena, ‘Warneckii’, Dracaena fragrans, Jade Plants

Air Quality Pollution Detector & Monitor

I recommend this pollution detector. It measures and detects temperature, humidity meter, check indoor air (VOCs Gases ) quality.

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Air Quality Detector & Monitor

I recommend YVELINES air quality tester for CO2, TVOC, (HCHO). It is a Multifunctional air pollution detector (it detects real-time.

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Second Generation Air Quality Detector & Monitor

I recommend this 2nd generation Air Quality detector and Monitor. It detects temperature, humidity, CO2 particles. It has an audio alarm, and you can export the data.

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NASA Clean Air Study Project

The theory of using Succulents plants to purifying our air started a long time ago with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration - NASA and Associated Landscape Contractors of America (ALCA) Clean Air Study project. It was aimed to study ways to clean and purify the air in space stations to explore the long-term space habitation impact.

Their findings suggested that photosynthesis will absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen back to the air. Some common indoor plants will need to provide a natural process of eliminating volatile organic pollutants like trichloroethylene, Xylene, benzene, and formaldehyde from the perspective.

The result showed that good air cleaning was achieved by placing a plant 100 square feet (9.3 m2) of gap or space (though the experiment was conductor under sealed conditions).

The NASA scientists team’s research shows that Succulent plants clean the air with photosynthesis’s natural process. They also discovered that the house plant leaves absorb the pollutants that were later processed by microbes and used up by the plant’s root via the soil.

The study noted that though most plants are beneficial, some specific plants (i.e., Succulents) are more effective at cleaning and purifying the polluted air.

Tips for Effective Purification

Place your Succulents plants 100 square feet (9.3 m2) of space apart. You will also need many Succulents potted plants indoors.

LEVOIT Air Purifier

Get this Air Purifier for Home. It Eliminates Allergies, Pets Hair, Odor, System Cleaner.

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How to Remove Harmful Toxins with Succulents

Succulents Plants absorb Volatile Organic Compounds from your indoor air. They achieve this with their leaves and roots with organisms’help in their (pot) soil. The plant later converts it into nutrients for the plants. The Succulents Plants use bioremediation process to clean pollutant in the air.

Succulents Plants clean the air through photosynthesis. We take in air (oxygen) and breathe out carbon dioxide. But Succulents plants do the opposite, and they convert the carbon dioxide we exhale into oxygen while they purify and clean toxins from the air we breathe.

Succulents plants accelerate the process of transpiration such that they pull the airborne toxins and pollutants in the air through their leaves transported to the soil and re-use as nutrients via their roots.

But why are Succulents plants are excellent for air purifying? They can continue to keep oxygen flowing even when you turn off their light at night.

Succulent plants have a natural photosynthesize tendency because minimal sunlight is enough for them. They provide oxygen by absorbing minimal sunlight, carbon dioxide with water to manufacture sugar. It is what creates oxygen as a byproduct that helps you breathe clean air.

According to NASA, the Succulents plant can clean and purify 87% of your indoor air of volatile organic compounds in 24 hours. It is because they can continue to keep oxygen flowing even when you turn off their light at night.

7 Best Air-Purifying Succulents Plants

Based on series of research and studies, Snake and Aloe vera succulents Plants are on the top list of the best Hardy succulents air purifying plants. But most succulent plants are qualified to clean and purify the air of toxic gases and pollution because they can use photosynthesis with little sunlight or no light at night.

Here is the list of excellent succulents’ plants that are great to clean and purify your indoor air.

Aloe Vera (Aloe barbadensis)

Aloe vera improves air quality because of its succulents nature; it photosynthesis at night with little or no light. Aloe removes 90% of formaldehyde with other VOCs and converts them into nutrients via its roots and potting soil. It is why alloy top NASA’s list of succulents plants air purifiers.

Recommendation and Care: Aloe Vera is one of the most popular succulents plants and it will needs to be water profoundly but not often. Always let the top third of the potting soil to be dry out before watering. It will also thrive in a sunny location.

aloe vera air purifying succulents house plants.jpg

Snake plant (Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Laurentii’)

The Snake plant is another excellent succulents plant that will clean and purify your air by absorbing toxins pollutants via its leaves. At the same time, it converts carbon dioxide (CO2) into oxygen during the night. It is an excellent potted plant that can be placed by your bedside because of its ability to convert CO2 to O2.

Recommendation and Care: Avoid overwatering of this succulents air purifying plants. Just water once in ten days. Snake plants love indirect and sometimes bright light; It will also grow well in a shady location with low light in your home.

how do snake plants purify the air

The Ultimate Guide to Propagate Snake Plant Like an Expert

Propagating snake plants is quite easy and you can choose from different methods the one that is more appealing to you.

Dracaena ‘Janet Craig’

Dracaena’ Janet Craig’, also refer to as Cornstalk dracaena, originated from South Sudan to Mozambique. Dracaena’ Janet Craig’ is on the chat for NASA ranking air-purifying succulent plants. It has removed formaldehyde and Xylene at a 1,328 and 154 micrograms per hour rate.

Recommendation and Care: The plant love semi-shade to a semi-sun location to achieve adequate growth. Janet Craig needs less light, and it is a slower-growing succulent air-purifying plant. Overwatering must be avoided to keep the soil moist but not soggy.

are succulents air purifying

Red-Edged Dracaena (Dracaena marginate)

The Red-edged Dracaena (Dragon Tree) is one of the best of the 40 species of Dracaena succulents plants that purify and clean most toxins in your indoor air. Red-Edged succulents plan will cleanse and purify your air by eliminating benzene, toluene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene.

Recommendation and Care: Red-Edged Dracaena does not need a lot of sunlight and can survive a lot of watering. The soil must be drained to avoid root rot. It can grow slowly but can get as tall as over 14 feet, needing a room with high ceilings.

Purifying Red-edged Dracaena Succulents plants

‘Warneckii’ (Dracaena fragrans)

The Dracaena Warneckii succulent plant will clean and purify your air of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) gases. The plant was tested in the clean air study by NASA and was found effective. It is known to filter and purify indoor air with its great white stripe, green-gray, and stiff leaves.

Recommendation and Care: Dracaena Warneckii will need less watering than other succulents air purifying plants. Let the top third level of the potting soil be dry always before the next watering. It is one of the shortest dracaenas succulent plants, but it will need moderate indirect light to grow.

dracaena Warneckii succulent plant

Corn Plant (Dracaena fragrans)

The Corn Plant is an idea succulents house plant that will naturally purify and clean your air by absorbing toxins and VOCs gases in your indoor. It requires low light and can photosynthesis even at night. Corn Plant will take a fair amount of neglect because it needs little care to thrive indoors.

Recommendation and Care: The Corn Plant succulents air purifier is easy to take care of and does excellently when in a bright but indirect light location. You must keep its potting soil moist consistently and can only be fertilized once every six months.

corn succulents plants dracaena fragrans

Jade Plant (Crassula Ovata)

Jade Plant, also referred to as Crassula Ovata, is another succulents plant that is perfect for purifying and cleaning your indoor air. Jade’s succulent plant doesn’t just appeal to you visually. It is also a catalyst for cleansing your air. It does that by effectively removing and absorbing toxins from the air.

Recommendation and Care: The Jade plant will grow a room temperature with medium-light, but once a week is watering. You will fertilize it about once in six months with a water-soluble fertilizer. Jade plants are one of the easiest succulents plans to grow and should be kept in a bright, indirect sunlight location.

jade succulent plants purify our indoor air.

How Many Plants You Need to Clean Your Indoor Air

The NASA research done in 1989 on indoor air pollution recommends 15 to 18 succulents plants in 6 to 8-inch- diameter pot to clean and purify the air in an average 1,800 square foot home. That is a succulent potted plant in 100 square feet of floor space for effective air purification.

Bill Wolverton, the NASA scientist that conducted this study, suggested an idea of what to look out for in the succulent’s house plant that for effective air purification. They stated that the leafier and more giant the plant, the better because the leaves’ surface will influence the air purification.

You may need multiple species of succulents plants to purify toxicants in your indoor air for maximum impact. It is also crucial to test how suitable your choice of succulents house plant is to your home before embarking on this project.

Another research and study funded by the Hort Innovation Australia concluded that one Succulents potted plant in a room (i.e., roughly 4 meters by 5 meters room, and or 13 by 16 feet); will bring about an improvement in air quality by 25%. They recommended that more Succulents potted plants in a room will clean air with a higher and better air quality percentage.

Red Edged Succulents Plants

I recommend this Red Edged Marginata Colorama plants. It is live plants with a 6 inches Pot, either outdoor/indoor air purifier.

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Three Different Aloe Plants

Check out these three different Aloe Plants. They are 3 inches pots of live plants with ornament decor.

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Varieties of Succulents

Get varieties of collections of rooted live succulents potted plants.

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The famous Nasa studies and experiments published in 1989 have shown succulents plants to be great air purifiers. They need little sunlight, and they can use photosynthesis in the night either with or no light. They purify, clean, and convert harmful VCOs gases and toxins in the air to nutrients via their potted root.

But do all succulents purify the air? Any succulent house plants will help clean your indoor air. Seven best of such air-purifying succulents’ plants are discussed and the number of plants you need for effective purification of your air.

Highlighted in this article are signs, symptoms, and ten top diseases closely related to household air pollution (HAP) and how to purify and clean harmful toxins in your indoor air with succulents plants.

8 Best Easy-to-Care Succulents for Beginners. You Will Love Number 5 and 6 !!

Are you a beginner and confused about how to start in the world of succulents? Don't worry follow my lead as we explore the top 8 succulents for beginners.

Jimena Bolívar Picture

By Jimena Bolívar

Easy Succulents Founder

My name is Jimena and I'm the the founder of Easy Succulents! I'm fascinated by this wonderful plants and I want to share with the world everything I know about them!

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Jimena Bolívar Picture

Jimena Bolívar

Easy Succulents Founder

My name is Jimena and I'm the the founder of Easy Succulents! I'm fascinated by this wonderful plants and I want to share with the world everything I know about them!



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