Succulents that clean the air
Succulents are really beautiful plants and easy to care for.
These plants have the ability to store water in their organs, making them drought-resistant plants and with the characteristic of reducing their metabolism in the middle of a drought, to reduce their water consumption.
Another of its characteristics is that they are easy to reproduce, with a plant leaf (cuttings), you can reproduce your plant.
Furthermore, some plants reproduce on their own, they produce children.
These plants do not require great care.
Most of these plants can easily grow in semi-shade or direct sun, they also do not require soils with great nutrients, with good drainage and aeration is more than enough.
It also doesn’t need to be watered as often, so if you are a person who goes out a lot or forgets to water your plants, succulents are the ideal plants for you.
These plants are not only good to decorate your home or bring you health and beauty benefits, but they also help clean the air in your home or office.
This is a point in favor of these plants, since purifying the air of your home or office is important, the reason is that in closed spaces the impurities of the air are concentrated even more in closed spaces.
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So here is a list of the best succulents that clean the air.
Dracaena trifasciata also known as mother-in-law is a plant native to Africa, Nigeria, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
It is a plant that resists drought quite well, is easy to care for, and is not as demanding in terms of care.
Its leaves can measure between 30 and 90 cm in height, they are green with yellow edges.
This plant is not only incredible because it is easy to care for or because of its appearance, but it is also an ideal plant to purify the air in your home or office, and all of this thanks to the fact that it transforms CO2 (carbon dioxide) into O2 ( Oxygen).
And for all these reasons it is an ideal plant to have inside your home or office.
Dracaena trifasciata can grow both in direct sun and in the shade. The only difference is that if it is directly in the sun, its leaves will have a more intense green color and the plant will have more leaves unlike if it were in the shade..
The best thing is that if you want to have it inside your home, place it in a place where it gets a few hours of sun a day. This way the plant will have good growth.
This plant can live very well with a substrate (soil) that is quite poor in nutrients, the only thing that it must have is excellent drainage.
Succulents are very susceptible to waterlogging. So they must have good drainage.
As we mentioned earlier, this plant is quite resistant to drought so you don’t need to water it as often.
Although succulents do not require large nutrients, it is good to add some fertilizer in the growing period every 15 days, as long as it is low in nitrogen.
You can use purchased or homemade fertilizers.
The ideal temperature for Sansevieria trifasciata is between 16ºC and 21ºC both indoors and outdoors.
But if you have the plant outdoors, it can resist a temperature of up to 3 ºC.
If the temperature drops it is good to protect it or to put it inside until the temperature starts to rise.
The Dracaena fragrans or trunk of Brazil is an endemic plant from Brazil.
The leaves of this plant are of different shades of green, it also has a fairly thick tall. This plant is slow-growing and can be up to one meter long.
The trunk of Brazil is a plant that must be located in semi-shade, it is important not to have it in direct sunlight.
If you have it indoors, place it in a place where it receives a few hours of sunshine a day.
But if you have it outdoors, put it where it does not receive direct sun but is partially shaded.
The amount of water should be moderate, especially in winter. Before watering your plant you must make sure that the substrate is 100% dry.
This will prevent you from choking your plant or causing root fungus.
Like most succulents, DRACAENA FRAGANS does not need large amounts of nutrients in the substrate. It only requires a substrate with good drainage and aeration, to prevent fungi from growing on the plant.
The ideal temperature for the Trunk of Brazil is between 20 ºC and 15 ºC (the temperatures mustn’t drop any further).
In case you have the plant outside and the temperature is below 15 ºC, it would be good if you put your plant inside to avoid the plant suffering from the sudden change in temperature.
Plagues and diseases
You should be careful with mealybugs, aphids, fungi, and spider mites.
The symptoms of the presence of mealybugs are protrusions, hardening, waxy secretions attached to the leaf, or stem, they are seen both in more woody areas and green areas of the plant.
The symptoms produced by the attacks of the red spider are: yellowish or gray spots appear on the upper part of the leaves. You can also see cobwebs.
The symptoms of aphids are rolled leaves, twisted shoots, growth stop, and blackened necrotic areas. You must be careful with these pests, since the bite of the aphids, stop the growth and development of the plant.
Crassula Gollum or jade tree is a plant endemic to Mozambique and some provinces of South Africa.
The Jade tree is characterized by having fairly slow growth but can reach more than 50 cm in height.
The leaves of this plant are fleshy which together with its shape and color are the main attraction of this plant.
One of the characteristics of the Jade tree is that its color can vary according to the time of year, from bright green to dark green with red tips.
Flowering in this species is rare, we can only observe it in well-maintained plants with a few years of life.
Its flowers are white or pink in the form of a star. These are grouped into inflorescences that appear at the apex of the stems.
This plant is very susceptible to excessive watering, which is the number 1 reason why the plant does not grow.
For this reason, the plant should be watered only when the substrate is completely dry.
It is advisable to water the plant in the morning or afternoon to prevent the midday sun from burning the roots by heating the water in the substrate.
The more sun it receives, the better the crassula gollum will grow.
In winter times, we must provide at least 5 hours of direct sunlight so that the apex of its leaves is pigmented purple-red and the plant looks more attractive.
Despite the fact that the plant grows better in direct sun, you should be careful in summer, since excessive sun could burn the leaves.
Therefore, locate the plant where it receives direct sunlight, but not the midday sun since it is the hour when the sun is strongest.
Succulents do not require fertilizers. But it never hurts to add some fertilizer.
You can use earthworm compost or humus once or twice a year.
You can also buy specific fertilizers for succulents. You should only add it in the growing months, which are the cold months.
Plagues and diseases
Crassula Gollum is attacked mainly by aphids and mealybugs that we must eliminate with special insecticides or manually if the invasion is minimal.
If dark brown spots on the leaves and rough texture appear, they are sunburned, protect the plant from the intense sun.
If the leaves are wrinkled it is a symptom of water shortage, water urgently.
Crassula gollum does not tolerate temperatures below 10 ° C for a long time. You must be careful with frost, as they can kill your plant quickly.
The ideal growing temperatures are between 15 ºC – 30 ° C.
In temperate countries, we recommend keeping it in greenhouses or inside the house where it receives sun during winter.
The ideal substrate for crassula gollum must have perfect drainage, also they do not require nutrient-rich substrates. With a simple mixture of gravel, dirt, and coarse sand, your plant can grow quite well.
Irrigation for this plant should be limited. During the summer season, it should be watered twice a week, while the rest of the year it is more than enough with a watering every 10-15 days.
The most important thing is that you verify that the substrate is completely dry before the next watering, especially in winter.
All this is in order to avoid excess moisture and take care of your plant and to avoid the possible growth of root fungi.
Aloe vera is a cactus with many medicinal properties and cosmetic uses, which is also a plant that purifies the air from where the plant is located.
Its leaves are olive green, fleshy and you have teeth around the edge of the leaf. It is also a plant that resists drought quite well.
The ideal temperature for aloe vera is between 16ºC to 26ºC. For this reason, it is preferable to keep it indoors during the winter or grow it in a greenhouse, especially if there are frosts where you live.
This plant does not need great nutrients. With a mixture of sand, garden soil, and perlite or gravel, this plant can grow perfectly.
You can also buy a specific substrate for cacti and succulents. You can add gravel to this substrate to improve drainage.
Plagues and diseases
The most common pests that attack aloe are aphids and mealybugs.
It is recommended to remove the dry leaves of the plant to eliminate the hiding places of the pests and their production.
The symptoms of aphids are rolled leaves, twisted shoots, growth stops, and blackened necrotic areas.
This pest is relatively easy to control. The plant can be sprayed with pressurized water, thereby removing mealybugs.
You can also prepare a cotton swab soaked in isopropyl alcohol and run it over areas infested with the pest and then rinse with water.
Aloe vera is a cactus that does not need to be watered as regularly. This plant (like all cacti) are susceptible to moisture, this causes fungus to occur at the roots.
That is why it is important that you water the plant only when the soil is dry. You can verify this by inserting an orange stick into the ground, if the stick comes out clean it is because it is dry.
This you must apply even more in winter. Leave the substrate completely dry for several weeks before the next watering,
Dracaena marginata is characterized by having linear leaves with a sharp tip, quite narrow. They are strong olive green with reddish margins.
This plant is one of the best for air purification. Dracaena marginata has the ability to absorb carbon dioxide, also removes xylene, benzene or formaldehyde from the air where you locate the plant.
Another of their characteristics is that they are capable of regulating the humidity of the environment. So you will not only have a decorative plant but you will also have a natural air purifier.
This plant can grow both in direct sun or in half shade. If you want it as a houseplant, place it in a place where it receives a few hours of sun a day.
Another of the characteristics of this plant is that it does not need to be watered as regularly.
It is important not to keep the soil always humid, as the plant accumulates excess water at its roots, causing the plant to drown and its roots to rot.
So you should check that the soil is completely dry before watering the plant again.
To check this you just have to put an orange stick in the ground and if it comes out dirty it is because it is still wet.
This should apply even more in winter, at this time the soil takes longer to dry.
So leave the substrate for several weeks before watering the plant, and try watering the plant in the cooler hours, especially if the plant is outdoors.
You must be careful with low temperatures, they do not withstand low temperatures.
If the temperature is below 14 ºC the plant may suffer certain damages.
That is why the ideal temperature for optimal plant development is between 22 ºC and 26 ºC.
Ficus robusta is native to northeast India and western Indonesia. This plant can reach a height of 30 to 40 meters in height.
Its leaves are large and wide, measuring about 35 cm by 15 cm, are dark green and its trunk is thick.
Ficus robusta does not have great demands on the soil. It can grow in any nutrient-poor soil as long as it has excellent drainage.
You can use universal dirt with gravel and perlite or pumice to improve drainage.
As for irrigation, this plant should not be watered as often. In summer water the plant when the substrate is completely dry, this can be every 4 or 5 days.
In winter you should leave the substrate (soil) completely dry for several weeks. It is more than enough to water the plant once or twice a month depending on how intense the cold is in the area where you live.
This plant can grow very well in warm areas. If you live in an area where there is frost, you should be careful if the temperature drops below -5 ºC.
If the plant is outdoors you must protect them from frost to prevent the plant from suffering from the low temperature.
Although it is not strictly necessary to add fertilizer to this plant, you can do it from early spring to late summer or early fall to give the plant a plus and it will grow very well.
7. Aloe perfoliata
Aloe perfoliata or Miter Aloe is an endemic plant of the Western Cape and some adjacent areas in the North and East Cape of South Africa.
Aloe perfoliata has long, branching prostrate stems that can measure approximately 2 meters.
Its leaves are thick and fleshy, with small white to yellow “teeth” all around the edge of the leaves.
This type of aloe blooms in the summer.
The flowers protrude above the plant and are orange-red.
All Aloe plants require lots of light to grow healthy and flourish to the fullest.
It is recommended to expose the plant to direct sunlight in the colder times of the year and move to semi-shade or under filtered light in summer.
If you live in an area where summer is throughout the year, it would be good to put the plant in half shade, since the very intense sun could burn the leaves.
They are plants that prefer warm climates than cold. Some species survive in environments where temperatures exceed 40 ° C.
When temperatures are below 10 ° C you must be careful, because the plant will be more susceptible to fungal rot.
If the temperature falls between 10 ºC, you must keep the soil or the substrate of the pots completely dry so that they can withstand the cold and the low temperatures don’t kill the plant.
They are usually quite resistant to growth on a wide variety of substrates, as long as the soil has optimal drainage and good aeration.
2/3 of universal substrate or garden soil with 1/3 of coarse sand or gravel and perlite can be used.
Like all succulents, Aloe perfoliata prefers water shortage over excess.
They are susceptible to rot if the substrate remains wet for a long time.
It is recommended to water the plant when the substrate is 100% dry.
In summer you can water once a week or every other week. In winter you should be careful with watering, you can water the plant once a month.
Plagues and diseases:
They suffer attacks from mealybugs, aphids, snails, slugs and even birds.
All pests must be eradicated quickly to avoid serious damage to plant health or new pathologies associated with viruses or bacteria transmitted by these same pests.
The main enemies of plants of this genus are fungi; these appear if the humidity is very high and the substrate floods. Fungi are the main culprits in the death of many representatives of this group.
8.Crassula ‘Tom Thumb’
Crassula ‘Tom Thumb’ or Crassula `Klein Duimpje´ is a small succulent plant that belongs to the Crassulaceae family.
This plant is a hybrid, it is obtained after having crossed Crassula rupestris marnieriana with Crassula rupestris rupestris.
The stems of this plant are very thin, cylindrical, and branched, which do not exceed 15 cm in height.
With beautiful flowers.
For optimal growth and the formation of new branches on the stems, it requires a lot of lighting.
If you want to have it inside your home, place it in a place where it receives several hours of sun. If you want to have it outside, place it in a partially shaded place (especially if you live in a tropical area)
The Crassula “Tom Thumb” prefers a cool climate where summer temperatures do not exceed 32ºC nor in winter decrease from 8ºC.
If there are frosts in the area where you live, it is important that you protect your plant from frost, so that your plant does not die.
The ideal soil for this plant is that it be slightly rich in organic matter and with excellent drainage and aeration.
You must keep the soil moist. If you do not how to water your aloe what you should do is wait until the substrate is completely dry before the next watering.
In summer you can water once or twice a week and in winter it is advisable not to water more than twice a month, especially if the temperature where you live is extremely low.
You should only transplant the Crassula ‘Tom Thumb’ in case the pot where it was planted is too small to grow.
It should also be transplanted if the plant suffered from fungus or rot.
By transplanting it with a new substrate, you will not run the risk of the plant becoming ill again.
The best time to fertilize is in the spring and another in the summer. Just follow the fertilizer instructions you buy.
Before flowering, it is advisable to fertilize with a product rich in potassium, since it favors the formation of flower buds.
For the rest of the year, you can use a balanced product that contains all the mineral elements (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, etc.).
Currently, there are special fertilizers for Cactaceae and other Succulents.
Beware of excess fertilizers, particularly Nitrogen, since an excess of this element produces very weak and watery tissues, as well as fewer flowers.
Composting in the fall will allow the plant to accumulate food to sprout.
I hope this article was helpful.