How Succulents Produce Oxygen – Complete Benefits

If you’re a plant enthusiast, you’ve likely heard about the many benefits of succulents. These hardy plants can survive in arid conditions and require minimal maintenance, making them a popular choice for both indoor and outdoor spaces. But did you know that succulents also produce oxygen? But how much oxygen do succulents produce?

On average, a small succulent might produce around 5-10 milliliters of oxygen per hour. Succulents produce oxygen during photosynthesis, but their output is relatively low compared to other plants. 

In this section, we will delve into the fascinating process of how succulents produce oxygen and the numerous benefits they offer for both indoor and outdoor spaces. From improving air quality to providing health benefits, succulents are more than just pretty plants!

So, how much oxygen do succulents produce? Let’s explore.

Key Takeaways:

  • Succulents are not just aesthetically pleasing but also have the ability to produce oxygen.
  • Indoor air quality can be improved by growing succulents as they can filter out harmful toxins.
  • Succulents require minimal maintenance, making them an ideal choice for those with busy lifestyles.
  • By releasing oxygen, succulents can help reduce blood pressure and relieve dry coughs and skin.
  • Succulents can play a role in reducing indoor air pollution by absorbing harmful pollutants such as cigarette smoke and carbon monoxide.

The Process of Photosynthesis in Succulent Plants

Succulent plants, similar to all green plants, carry out photosynthesis to produce oxygen. Photosynthesis is the process by which plants use energy from sunlight to convert carbon dioxide and water into sugars (glucose) and oxygen. The oxygen produced from this process is then released back into the air, providing a source of oxygen for all oxygen-dependent life forms, including humans.

The Role of Chlorophyll in Photosynthesis

Photosynthesis occurs in the chloroplasts of plant cells, which contain the pigment chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is responsible for capturing light energy from the sun, which is then used to power the photosynthesis process.

When light energy is absorbed by chlorophyll, it causes a series of chemical reactions to take place, which ultimately result in the production of oxygen. During photosynthesis, water molecules are split into oxygen and hydrogen ions. The oxygen is released back into the air, while the hydrogen ions are used to power the production of glucose.

The Photosynthesis Process in Succulent Plants

Succulent plants, including cacti and other desert plants, have adapted to their arid environments by developing unique photosynthesis strategies. For example, these plants can close their stomata (small pores on their leaves) during the day to reduce water loss and open them at night to take in carbon dioxide for photosynthesis, a process called Crassulacean Acid Metabolism (CAM).

The process of photosynthesis in succulents is similar to that in other green plants, with the primary difference being the timing of stomata activity. Because succulent plants can conserve water, they are ideal for arid environments and have become popular houseplants worldwide due to their low maintenance requirements and unique appearance.

Crassulacean Acid Metabolism (CAM) in Succulents

Succulent plants have a unique adaptation called Crassulacean Acid Metabolism (CAM), which allows them to conserve water while still conducting photosynthesis and producing oxygen.

Unlike most plants that take in carbon dioxide through their stomata during the day, succulents open their stomata at night to absorb carbon dioxide and store it in the form of malic acid. During the day, the malic acid is broken down, and the carbon dioxide is used in the process of photosynthesis to produce oxygen, while the stomata remain closed to help conserve water.

This process of CAM has been deemed so important that some species of succulents exclusively use this method of photosynthesis, such as cacti and plants from the Crassulaceae family.

The CAM process is not only significant for the survival of succulent plants but also contributes to their oxygen production. By conserving water through CAM, succulent plants can thrive in arid environments and provide numerous benefits to the air we breathe.

Succulents as Indoor Oxygen Boosters

Indoor spaces can often have lower oxygen levels than outdoor areas, leading to poor indoor air quality. However, certain succulent plants can help improve the oxygen levels and filter out harmful toxins, making them excellent choices for indoor spaces.

Harmful toxins called volatile organic compounds (VOCs) can be found in common household items such as cleaning products, paints, and furniture. These toxins can cause respiratory problems and other health issues when inhaled.

Thankfully, succulent plants such as the peace lily, snake plant, and spider plant are known for their air purification properties. According to a study by NASA, the peace lily can remove benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene from the air. The snake plant is also effective in removing these toxins, as well as nitrogen oxides and xylene. Meanwhile, the spider plant can filter out carbon monoxide and other VOCs.

Table: Air Purification Properties of Indoor Succulent Plants

Succulent Plant Air Purification Properties
Peace Lily Removes benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene
Snake Plant Removes nitrogen oxides, xylene, benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene
Spider Plant Filters out carbon monoxide and other VOCs

Not only do these succulent plants produce oxygen, but they also contribute to a healthier living environment. By adding these indoor plants to your living spaces, you can enjoy both their aesthetic appeal and their numerous health benefits.

Succulents for Outdoor Oxygen Enrichment

As we’ve previously discussed, succulent plants are excellent oxygen producers and can improve air quality, making them a great addition to both indoor and outdoor spaces. When it comes to enhancing the oxygen levels in your outdoor areas, some succulent plants stand out.

Areca Palms

Areca palms are one of the best choices for increasing oxygen production in outdoor spaces. These palms are known for their ability to remove harmful toxins, including benzene, formaldehyde, and carbon monoxide, from the air. They are also effective in humidifying the air, which makes them a great addition if you live in a dry climate.

Weeping Figs

Weeping figs are another popular choice for outdoor oxygen enrichment. These trees are easy to maintain and can grow up to 10 feet tall. They are known for their ability to remove common air pollutants such as formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene. They also help to increase humidity levels, which can be beneficial for those with respiratory conditions.

Adding these oxygen-producing succulent plants to your outdoor space can improve air quality and provide numerous health benefits. Not only are they aesthetically pleasing and low maintenance, but they also have practical uses in creating a healthier living environment.

Succulents vs. Other High Oxygen-Producing Plants

While succulents are popular for their oxygen-producing abilities, there are other plants that have been studied for their potential use in space stations and other oxygen-deprived environments. In fact, some of these plants have been found to produce even higher levels of oxygen than succulents.

Top 5 Highest Oxygen-Producing Plants

Plant Name Scientific Name Oxygen Production (ml/hr)
Bamboo palm Chamaedorea seifrizii 970
Areca palm Dypsis lutescens 840
Gerbera daisy Gerbera jamesonii 770
Spider plant Chlorophytum comosum 630
Peace lily Spathiphyllum sp. 600

According to the Agricultural University of Norway, these five plants have been found to produce the highest levels of oxygen compared to other plants.

However, it’s worth noting that succulents still have their advantages, such as their ability to thrive in arid and drought-prone regions, making them an ideal choice for oxygen production in areas where water is scarce.

Overall, whether you choose succulents or other high oxygen-producing plants, incorporating them into your living spaces can have numerous benefits for your health and well-being.

Health Benefits of Oxygen-Producing Succulent Plants

Not only do succulent plants produce oxygen, but they also offer numerous health benefits through their clean air production. Scientific studies have shown that oxygen-rich environments can lead to lower blood pressure, reduced usage of pain medication, relief from dry coughs, and healthier skin.

“By increasing the oxygen concentration in the air, we can stimulate the body to release more oxygen to the tissues and promote more efficient cell function.”

The clean air produced by succulent plants can also help alleviate symptoms of respiratory problems such as dry coughs and dry skin. Indoor spaces that are filled with oxygen-producing plants offer a healthier and more vibrant environment.

Furthermore, the presence of succulent plants in indoor and outdoor spaces can help reduce stress levels and promote a sense of well-being. Their aesthetic appeal and low maintenance make them a popular choice for people looking to improve the ambiance of their living spaces while reaping numerous health benefits.

Succulents as Low Maintenance Houseplants

One of the greatest benefits of incorporating succulents into your home or office is their low maintenance nature. Proper care is essential for the health and longevity of your plants, but succulents require less attention than many other common houseplants. With just a few simple steps, you can keep your succulents thriving:

  1. Watering: Succulents prefer dry soil, so be sure to let the soil dry out completely before watering them. In general, you should only water once a week, but be sure to adjust based on your specific plant’s needs.
  2. Exposure to water vapor: Succulents benefit from occasional exposure to water vapor. Simply mist your plants with a spray bottle once or twice a week.
  3. Proper soil: Succulents require well-draining soil to prevent root rot. Be sure to plant your succulents in a mix of sand, perlite, and peat moss to promote healthy growth.
  4. Proper lighting: Succulents thrive in bright, indirect sunlight. Be sure to place your plants near a window or in a well-lit room.

By following these simple steps, you can enjoy the beauty and benefits of succulents without the hassle of high maintenance plants. Plus, their unique shapes and colors add a touch of natural beauty to any space!

Succulents as Decorative Elements

Succulents are not just beneficial for their oxygen-producing abilities but also for their aesthetic appeal. These versatile plants can be used as decorative elements in countless ways, from building materials to common houseplants. One stunning example is the jade plant, known for its vibrant green leaves and easy-to-care-for nature.

One way to incorporate succulents into your home decor is by creating a succulent wall. This involves arranging several small succulents in a frame or planter to create a vertical garden. Not only does this add an eye-catching focal point to any room, but it is also a functional way to purify the air.

Another way to use succulents is by incorporating them into your daily routine. Consider adding a small succulent to your workspace or arranging a few on a coffee table for a natural touch. Succulents can also be used to decorate outdoor living spaces, like patios and decks.

Succulent Building Materials

Besides using succulents as decorative elements on their own, these plants can also be incorporated into building materials like living roofs or living walls. A living roof is a roof covered in vegetation, which can provide insulation and absorb rainwater. Succulents like sedum and echeveria are popular choices for living roofs because of their ability to tolerate drought and intense sunlight.

A living wall, on the other hand, is a vertical garden that can be attached to the exterior or interior of a building. Succulents like hens and chicks and string of pearls are popular choices for living walls due to their unique shapes and sizes.

Succulents and Indoor Air Pollution

Indoor air pollution is a significant concern for many homeowners, and succulent plants can play a role in reducing harmful pollutants. These plants are known for their ability to absorb toxins, including cigarette smoke and carbon monoxide, which can improve indoor air quality and lead to a healthier living environment.

According to research conducted by NASA, succulents have been shown to remove approximately 87% of indoor air pollutants in just 24 hours. This is due to their unique ability to absorb and process airborne chemicals such as benzene and formaldehyde.

“Plants take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen; they also remove significant amounts of benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene,” says Dr. B.C. Wolverton, an environmental scientist who conducted the study.

Succulents are particularly effective at removing cigarette smoke from indoor environments. They absorb the smoke particles and convert them into harmless substances, reducing the risk of respiratory illnesses and other health problems.

Indoor Air Pollutants Succulent Plants that Absorb Them
Benzene Snake Plant, Spider Plant, Aloe Vera
Formaldehyde Peace Lily, Boston Fern, Jade Plant
Carbon Monoxide Areca Palm, Rubber Plant, Dracaena

It is important to note that while succulents can help improve indoor air quality, they should not be relied upon as the sole solution for reducing indoor air pollution. Proper ventilation, air filtration systems, and reducing the use of harmful chemicals are other effective measures to ensure a healthy living environment.

Incorporating succulent plants into your indoor space can be a simple and effective way to improve air quality and reduce the risk of respiratory illnesses. With their low maintenance requirements and aesthetic appeal, succulents are a great choice for any homeowner looking to create a healthier living environment.


In conclusion, it is clear that succulent plants are more than just beautiful additions to your living spaces. With their unique process of photosynthesis and adaptation of Crassulacean Acid Metabolism (CAM), succulents are among the highest oxygen-producing plants, making them ideal for both indoor and outdoor spaces.

Not only do succulents improve air quality by filtering out harmful toxins and pollutants, but they also offer numerous health benefits, including lowered blood pressure and relief from dry coughs and skin.

Additionally, succulents are low maintenance and versatile, making them a great choice for busy individuals or those new to gardening. Whether used as decorative elements or for their air-purifying abilities, succulents are an excellent addition to any living space.

Choose Succulents for Healthy Living

By choosing succulents, you are not only adding a touch of natural beauty to your surroundings, but you are also creating a healthier living environment for you and your loved ones. So why not add some succulents to your indoor or outdoor spaces and enjoy their many benefits?


What are the benefits of succulent oxygen production?

The oxygen produced by succulents improves air quality, enhances indoor and outdoor spaces, and provides various health benefits.

What is Crassulacean Acid Metabolism (CAM) in succulents?

CAM is a unique adaptation in succulent plants that allows them to conserve water by opening their stomata at night and conducting photosynthesis.

Can succulents improve indoor air quality?

Yes, succulents can improve indoor air quality by producing oxygen and filtering out harmful toxins, such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Which succulent plants are recommended for indoor oxygen boosters?

Some succulent plants known for their excellent air purification properties include the peace lily, snake plant, and spider plant.

Do succulents enhance oxygen levels in outdoor spaces?

Yes, certain succulent plants like areca palms and weeping figs can enhance the oxygen levels in outdoor gardens or patio areas.

How do succulents compare to other high oxygen-producing plants?

While succulents are known for their oxygen production, other plants also excel in this aspect. The Agricultural University of Norway has studied various high oxygen-producing plants for their potential use in space stations.

What are the health benefits of oxygen-producing succulent plants?

Oxygen-rich environments created by succulent plants can lead to lower blood pressure, reduced use of pain medication, relief from dry coughs, and healthier skin.

Are succulents low maintenance houseplants?

Yes, succulents are known for being low maintenance. They prefer dry soil and occasional exposure to water vapor.

Can succulents be used as decorative elements?

Absolutely! Succulents are not only oxygen-producing plants but also highly versatile and aesthetically appealing. They can be incorporated into various living spaces and even used in building materials. The jade plant is a popular decorative succulent.

Can succulents help reduce indoor air pollution?

Succulents can play a role in reducing indoor air pollution by absorbing harmful pollutants such as cigarette smoke and carbon monoxide.

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