Do Succulents Produce Oxygen? [Amazing Health Benefits!]

do succulents produce oxygen

Plants are essential producers of oxygen, as we all know. Green plants take in carbon dioxide and expel fresh oxygen into the air for us all to breathe. But what about fleshy plants like succulents? Do succulents produce oxygen?

Succulents are one of the few species of plant that not only produce oxygen but continue to do so throughout the night.

Due to the fact that succulents are very common house plants, their ability to produce oxygen is actually incredibly beneficial to our health. Placing succulents around your house is a wonderful way to keep the air in your home fresh and decorate it at the same time.

This article is going to refresh your memory about how photosynthesis works and figure out whether succulents actually produce oxygen.

Grow Your Yard Fact
Spekboom, or ‘elephant’s food,’ is a succulent from South Africa that is known as a miracle plant. This is because it has the highest capacity for absorbing carbon dioxide than any other plant on the planet.

How Do Plants Produce Oxygen?

So, I know we all probably learned about this in high school biology class, but that was a long time ago! We don’t know about you, but we need a refresher.

Plants produce oxygen through a process called photosynthesis. But what does this involve? Let’s take a closer look.

Green plants contain chlorophyll, which is the chemical responsible for absorbing sunlight. During the day, the plants absorb sunlight and carbon dioxide through the stomata on their leaves.

The light energy, carbon dioxide, water, and minerals are converted into oxygen and organic compounds that feed the plant and provide energy. The oxygen is released back into the atmosphere. That is photosynthesis in a nutshell.

At night, however, plants use this time for respiration as there is no sunshine to photosynthesize. During this time, the plants will take in oxygen and expel carbon dioxide through respiration.

Even though succulents have fleshy, moist leaves, they are still capable of photosynthesis but in a slightly different way from leafy plants, as we will explore below.

Photosynthesis is an essential process that is responsible for not only providing food and energy for those that feed on the plant but also for the world at large, as their capacity to release oxygen affects our climate. This is why deforestation is such a catastrophic event for our environment.

Grow Your Yard Tip
Some succulents like aloe vera and snake plants not only produce oxygen throughout the day but also clean the air in your home.

Do Succulents Produce Oxygen?

Succulents produce oxygen during the day as well as at night.

As we discussed above, most plants produce carbon dioxide at night, but with succulents, that is not the case.

Succulents go through photosynthesis during the day just like other plants do. Then, once the sun has gone down, instead of switching into respiration mode, they switch into a different gear.

At night, succulents open their stomata and release fresh oxygen into the air.

But what happens to all the absorbed carbon dioxide?

Well, that’s the clever part. Instead of going through respiration, succulents will go through a process called ‘crassulacean acid metabolism’ or CAM. We know that this sound really complicated, but we will break it down for you.

Rather than storing up carbon dioxide and releasing it later on, succulents actually metabolize it. The carbon dioxide is converted into 4-carbon organic acid, which is used during the day for photosynthesis.

It’s a perpetual cycle that actively cleans the air and feeds itself for further photosynthesis simultaneously. This is an incredibly efficient system that only nature could have devised.

The succulents will also release moisture into the air, which will increase the humidity in your house. This can help prevent dry skin, sore throats, and dry coughs.

Grow Your Yard Tip
If your room gets really stuffy during the night, why not add some succulents to your decor to keep the air clean and fresh? We suggest putting a few in your bedroom, common areas, and studies.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What houseplant produces the most oxygen?

The houseplant that produces the highest volume of oxygen is the pothos plant.

These are aesthetically pleasing and very popular, so this fact only adds to this lovely plant’s charm. Luckily, there are many pothos varieties to choose from, so you should be able to find the perfect pothos to fit into your plant collection.

If you want added benefits, we suggest keeping snake plants and aloes in your home alongside the pothos, as these species will also purify the air.

Are succulents ok in bathrooms?

Succulents are very hardy and can handle most conditions, including bathrooms.

We suggest ensuring that your bathroom gets ventilated after a hot shower to prevent any excess moisture from having last effects on the succulent such as fungal diseases. Apart from this, succulents should be able to thrive in your bathroom, especially if they are species that don’t mind low light.

How many plants do I need in the house to purify the air?

If you are determined to use your plants to naturally clean and refresh the air in your house, then we suggest having two larger plants for every 100 square meters of space. The larger and more leafy the plant, the better.

Alternatively, you can use a more significant number of smaller plants, but they might not be as effective.


So, it turns out that our favorite succulents are, in fact, very good for the quality of your home’s air.

Succulents, unlike other plants that release carbon dioxide at night, produce oxygen around the clock.

Unlike leafy plants, they get to miss respiration altogether and focus their energy on producing oxygen and metabolizing the carbon they took in during the day.

And do you know what this means? Having succulents in your home is actually beneficial to the air in your house. This means you have even more excuses to fill your house with even more incredible succulents!

Happy plant shopping!

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