Do Succulents Clean The Air ?

Succulents are low-maintenance, water-storing plants that add a touch of green to your indoor space. While they do absorb some carbon dioxide, their air-cleaning impact is minimal compared to other plants. If you’re looking for effective air purification, consider other houseplants with higher air-cleansing abilities.

Curious about adding a touch of green to your home while enhancing air quality Explore the world of succulents and discover whether they can truly answer the question. Do Succulents Clean The Air Let’s embark on a journey to find out how these charming plants can contribute to a healthier living environment.

The idea that succulents significantly clean the air is a bit of a myth. While they do absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen, their air-purifying effects are relatively minor compared to other houseplants. If you’re seeking substantial air purification, consider alternatives with stronger air-cleansing abilities.

The Popularity of Succulents

The Rise of Succulents in Home Decor

Succulents, with their striking shapes and water-retention abilities, have made a significant impact on home decor. They are particularly favored for their adaptability to various environments and minimal care requirements. This section will discuss the rise of succulents in home decor.

Aesthetic Appeal

Succulents are renowned for their aesthetic appeal. Their diverse colors and textures make them perfect for adorning windowsills, shelves, and even office desks. These plants have the power to transform any space into a visually pleasing oasis.

Low Maintenance

One of the key reasons for succulents’ popularity is their low maintenance. They thrive in various conditions and require minimal watering, making them an excellent choice for those with busy schedules or limited gardening experience.

Do Succulents Actually Clean the Air?

Debunking the Myth

The notion that succulents significantly clean the air is widely debated. While it’s true that they, like all plants, absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen during photosynthesis, their air-purifying abilities may not be as impressive as other houseplants. Let’s dive into the details.

The Basics of Air Purification by Plants

Before we explore succulents’ air-cleansing properties, it’s essential to understand how plants contribute to air purification. During photosynthesis, plants take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen. They also help remove toxins from the air through a process called phytoremediation.

The Role of Succulents in Air Purification

“Succulents do play a role in air purification, but it’s relatively minor compared to other houseplants. Succulents Are Safe For Cats. While they can remove some pollutants from the air, their effectiveness in this regard is limited. Here are some reasons why succulents may not be the top choice for air purification.”

Limited Surface Area

Succulents tend to be smaller plants with limited leaf surface area. This means they have less capacity to remove pollutants from the air compared to larger leafy plants.

Slow Growth

Succulents are generally slow growers, which means their impact on air quality improvement is gradual.

Specific Pollutant Removal

Some houseplants are better at removing specific pollutants from the air, such as spider plants (chlorophytum comosum) and snake plants (sansevieria trifasciata), which are more efficient in this aspect.

The Oxygen and Humidity Factor

While succulents may not be the champions of air purification, they do contribute to oxygen production and can help maintain indoor humidity levels. This aspect can be beneficial for your overall well-being and comfort.

Oxygen Production

Succulents, like all green plants, release oxygen during photosynthesis. Having several succulents in a room can contribute to a slight increase in oxygen levels.

AspectSucculentsSnake PlantSpider PlantPeace LilyBoston FernRubber Plant
Air PurificationLimitedExcellentGoodExcellentGoodGood
Aesthetic AppealHighModerateHighHighModerateHigh
Low MaintenanceYesYesYesYesYesYes
Light RequirementsBrightLow lightModerateLow lightIndirectModerate
Soil TypeWell-drainingWell-drainingWell-drainingWell-drainingWell-drainingWell-draining
Watering FrequencySparinglyInfrequentModerateModerateFrequentInfrequent
Humidity ControlYesNoNoNoYesNo
Pollutants RemovedSomeFormaldehyde, BenzeneFormaldehyde, XyleneAmmonia, Benzene, FormaldehydeFormaldehyde, XyleneFormaldehyde
Growth RateSlowModerateFastModerateFastModerate

Humidity Control

Succulents release moisture into the air, which can help increase humidity in dry indoor environments. This can be particularly useful in arid climates.

Alternatives for Effective Air Purification

Exploring Better Options

While succulents are undoubtedly charming and have their place in indoor gardening, there are other houseplants known for their superior air-purifying capabilities. If you’re seeking to improve indoor air quality, consider adding the following plants to your collection.

Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)

The snake plant, often called the “mother-in-law’s tongue,” is an exceptional air purifier. It effectively removes toxins such as formaldehyde and benzene from the air and requires minimal care.

Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)

The spider plant is known for its ability to remove pollutants like formaldehyde and xylene. It’s an excellent choice for homes and offices, and it’s easy to care for.

Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)

Succulents clean the air, and peace lilies are not only aesthetically pleasing but also efficient at removing ammonia, benzene, and formaldehyde. They thrive in low light conditions and are known for their air-purifying qualities.

Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata)

Boston ferns excel at humidifying indoor spaces and removing pollutants such as formaldehyde and xylene. They are a lovely addition to bathrooms and areas with high humidity.

Rubber Plant (Ficus elastica)

Rubber plants are great at purifying the air by reducing pollutants like formaldehyde. They are hardy and easy to care for, making them an excellent choice for beginners.

Tips for Growing Healthy Succulents

While succulents may not be the primary choice for air purification, they offer numerous benefits, and taking proper care of them can enhance their appeal. Here are some tips for growing healthy succulents.

Provide Adequate Light

Succulents require plenty of sunlight. Place them in a location with bright, indirect sunlight to promote healthy growth.

Use Well-Draining Soil

Succulents prefer well-draining soil to prevent waterlogged roots. Use a cactus or succulent mix for best results.

Water Sparingly

Overwatering is a common mistake with succulents. Allow the soil to dry out between watering, and adjust the frequency based on the season.

Monitor Indoor Humidity

While succulents add moisture to the air, be cautious of excessive humidity, as it can lead to problems like rot. Ensure good air circulation in the room.


Which succulents are good for air purifying?

Succulents like Snake Plant, Spider Plant, Aloe Vera, Peace Lily, and Rubber Plant are excellent choices for air purification, removing common indoor pollutants.

Do cactus and succulents clean the air?

Cacti and succulents, like other plants, do absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen through photosynthesis but have a minimal impact on air purification compared to some other houseplants.

What are the disadvantages of succulents?

Succulents are susceptible to overwatering and root rot if not cared for properly. Some varieties may be toxic to pets, posing a risk to animals that ingest them.


Succulents are undeniably attractive and low-maintenance houseplants that can brighten up any living space. While they do contribute to air purification, their impact in this regard is relatively modest compared to other houseplants specifically known for their air-cleansing abilities. If your primary goal is to improve indoor air quality, it’s worth considering alternative plants like snake plants, spider plants, peace lilies, and Boston ferns.

Nevertheless, incorporating succulents into your home decor offers aesthetic and psychological benefits, making them a valuable addition to any indoor garden. The choice ultimately depends on your specific goals and preferences, whether it’s enhancing air quality, creating an inviting ambiance, or both.

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