Benefits of Succulents Indoors (Scientifically Proven)

Would you believe us if we said one of the many benefits of succulents in your home is that they can clean the air in your house? Succulents are natures’ organic air purifiers, and cleaner air means:

  • increased oxygen levels in your home, leading to increased concentration and productivity,
  • a better nights’ rest and overall sleep quality, and
  • an overall increase in wellness and health.
Benefits of Succulents

Welcome to the Garden Bench Top, where we are going to be discussing the benefits of growing succulents in your indoor spaces, like your home or office.

Not only are succulents great for improving the quality of air in your home, they can also be used for many other benefits, such as medicinal purposes and nutritionally.

So if you’re ready to improve your life via some succulent therapy, grab a coffee and let’s begin.

Benefits of Succulents – Backed by Science!

We know it is all too easy to throw together a list of benefits and make claims that succulents are going to turn your life around. But how can you be sure what you are reading is legit?

The answer is science!

credit: giphy

In order for you to completely appreciate the true benefits of succulents, we believe it is important that you trust the information that you read.

With that said, we will be referencing scientific studies and reputable sources to back up our claims that succulents do, in fact, deliver many benefits to their owners.

Benefits of Succulents Indoors

We love growing succulents indoors. They are low maintenance, generally don’t take up too much room and can add texture and color to what would be an otherwise lifeless space.

Apart from these positives, there are many more reasons to keep succulents inside. Let’s look at these in more detail.

1. Natural Air Purifiers

succulents are air purifiers

We have already touched on the first benefit, that succulents are natural air purifiers. But let’s expand on this benefit to see how much of an impact they can have on our air.

Plants are able to absorb the carbon dioxide we breathe out through pores on their leaves. They are then able to turn that back into fresh oxygen that we breathe in.

But that’s not all they can absorb.

A study conducted by NASA was performed to investigate ways to clean the air in the sealed space stations. According to their results, they found that

in addition to absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen through photosynthesis, certain common indoor plants may also provide a natural way of removing volatile organic pollutants.

They tested a range of regular houseplants, including snake plants and English ivy, and all had varying degrees of success in removing different toxins from the air. During their experiments, the results showed that snake plants, a succulent, could remove 87% of toxins from the air, such as benzene, formaldehyde, tricholorethylene and xylene.

This benefit alone, is reason enough to stick a few succulent plants around the house!

2. Think Smarter and Work Harder with Succulents

Cleaner air doesn’t just mean we breathe easier. It can also improve our cognitive functions, like increasing our ability to think clearer and mental endurance.

succulents help to improve concentration

A paper released by the Nation Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) discussed the various studies of concentrated oxygen administered to both elderly and young subjects. In both cases, they found

These studies have shown that highly concentrated oxygen administration results in improved cognitive ability as demonstrated by an increase in the percentage of correct answers, and a reduction in response time.

Therefore, as succulents clean our air and increase the oxygen levels we breathe in, it increases our ability to process information quickly and efficiently. As well as improving our mental stamina, allowing us to work longer.

Now it makes sense why Susie from the Accounting Department has cacti covering every inch of surface area on her desk!

3. Improved Recall Abilities

A study by the University of Michigan found that people who walked around trees, were able to recall 20% more on a memory recall test, than those who stayed on urban pathways.

Now, we appreciate not all of us have the luxury of walking around trees every time we need to remember something, so why not bring a bit of the outdoors inside, with a cute little succulent plant.

Not only are they low – maintenance, but you can set up your own private oasis inside the sanctum of your house.

4. Succulents are great for Stress Relief

While we are talking about mental performance, did you know one of the other benefits of succulents is improved wellness and overall mental health?

Now, before you impale yourself on the spines of your succulent plant as you squeeze it like a stress ball, let us explain.

credit: giphy

Another crossover study from NCBI found

Our results suggest that active interaction with indoor plants can reduce physiological and psychological stress compared with mental work. This is accomplished through suppression of sympathetic nervous system activity and diastolic blood pressure and promotion of comfortable, soothed, and natural feelings.

This is fantastic news, because it gives us an excuse to fill our houses with more succulents.

In all seriousness, by bringing the outdoors into your home with succulents, you are mimicking the feeling of walking through nature. Nature has this strange way of de-stressing your thoughts and feelings. It promotes a sense of wellbeing and balance, which results in a happier and calmer self.

5. Succulents Prevent Sickness

This may sound like a stretch, but succulents can help you ward off common diseases and the feeling of being rundown.

Bear with us as we explain our rationale.

The increased oxygen you breathe in, helps to bolster your immune system. This, combined with the overall increase in wellbeing and lower stress levels, gives you the perfect defense against those pesky annual colds and flu.

Succulents also possess the ability to raise humidity levels in the surrounding air through a process called evapotranspiration. They release water vapor via pores on their leaves, called stomata.

In fact, a study on Jade Plants (succulents), showed that in a controlled environment, they increased humidity in the surrounding air by a very significant amount.

Why do we care about humidity? Increased humidity helps to improve common ailments associated with dry air, like dry skin, sore throat, dry cough and colds.

6. Some Succulents have Medicinal Properties

Some succulents don’t just clean our air – they can be used for medicinal purposes as well.

aloe vera is great for medicinal purposes

If you travel down the skincare aisle of your local chemist, you won’t be hard-pressed to find a product that contains aloe. Aloe is a magical substance that is renowned for its skin healing properties. It is an intense moisturizer that helps to repair skin.

If the name didn’t already give it away, aloe comes from a wonderful succulent plant called Aloe Vera.

If we ever receive a burn, we immediately run to our aloe plant and cut a piece off to apply to the affected area.

7. Hungry Much?

Did you know some succulents are edible? It may not be a ‘benefit’ by definition, but we think it is pretty amazing that these plants can clean our air, prevent us from getting sick, AND some can even be included on the dinner table for consumption. What an all-round plant!

Examples of succulents that are edible include the Aloe Vera, Yucca and the fruit of the good old succulent pineapple plant (yes it is classified as a succulent).

How to Care for Succulents the Right Way

Now that you know all the benefits of succulents, you may be wondering how to care for them. Here is a quick overview of the best way to care for succulents.

Best Soil for Succulents

In our books, the very first thing to consider is getting the soil right for your succulents.

Soil is where plants will live, drink and eat. It is everything, and if you get this right from the get go, you’ll have far fewer problems in the future – we guarantee it.

We’ve done a deep dive into the best soil for succulents in a separate article. We recommend checking it out to start your journey on the right foot.

Watering Your Succulents

It is hard to give you a definitive watering schedule to follow, as each succulent will have their own preferences for water.

What we can educate you on is what we consider to be one of the best techniques for determining when to water your plants.

It is called the soil moisture test. It involves using your fingers to determine the water content of your soil. We use this method for watering our plants, and it has not let us down to this day.

Succulents generally like their soil to dry out between watering, so wait until the soil doesn’t stick to your fingers when you inspect it, before giving your succulent a healthy watering.

Don’t forget to make sure any excess water drains out from the pot.

What’s Next?

We’re not sure about you, but after putting together this guide on the benefits of succulents, but we’re pretty excited to run down to our local nursery to fill our houses with some beautiful succulents.

They are low maintenance plants, look fantastic and don’t take up much real estate. You’d be crazy not to have a few in each room.

Drop a few pictures of the succulents you have at home – we love to see what creative ideas our community members have when it comes to indoor succulent designs.