Are there any other benefits of succulents, besides the fact that they’re absolutely adorable and beautiful and stunning? As a matter of fact there is a plentitude of interesting benefits of growing succulents and we’ll discover them together in this article.
If you don’t have at least a few in your house, after reading this article, you’ll want to own as many as you have free space available.
They always give the impression that they’re not real, some are just too stunning for them to be natural. But if you want to grow something truly exotic and tropical, check out crotons. On the other hand, I’m not as in love with lavender but those are two different discussions.
Top 11 Benefits of Succulents
Succulents are strong plants that have evolved to accumulate water inside their bodies (leaves, stems, roots) because they originated in areas that received very low rainfall.
This impressive adaptability will definitely lead to a few benefits but, I’m pretty sure that thanks to so many benefits of succulents, I’ll manage to surprise you with at least a couple.
1. Aloe vera is a succulent
Is there a more famous plant around the world than aloe vera? It’s hard to think of one that is so universally loved for its many benefits. This is definitely a darling of the beauty industry and not only.
You might not have known but aloe vera is a succulent. It actually represents one of the world’s largest succulent groups with its over 500 Aloe species.
What better way to talk about the varied benefits of succulents than to first introduce this famous plant belonging to this universe?
It’s clearly a succulent because what we call aloe vera gel it’s actually its ability of storing water into a slimy tissue. And that’s how the aloe vera gel comes to be.
- antioxidant, antibacterial, antiviral and antiseptic properties
- accelerates wound healing
- reduces dental plaque
- reduces constipation
- benefits dry skin because it helps the skin retain moisture and can prevent wrinkles
If you want to know how to easily plant aloe, check out my post on how to plant aloe vera without roots.
2. Some succulents are edible & have health benefits
Before reading this article on the benefits of succulents did you consider that some of these varieties are actually edible?
I hope it comes as a surprise for some of you, it’s always nice to learn new exciting things.
I believe that one of the most famous most delicious succulent is the dragon fruit. The taste can be described as a cross between a kiwi ad a pear.
Dragon fruit is not only delicious but it also has health benefits:
- high in nutrients – packed with essential vitamins and minerals
- an antioxidant-rich food (vitamin C, betalains, carotenoids) that strengthens the immune system
- a whole-food source
- it contains prebiotics, which are necessary for a healthy gut
- good magnesium source
Besides dragon fruits, other edible succulents with awesome benefits are:
- pineapple – high in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, can help with bronchitis, chest pain, sinus infections, arthritis, muscle soreness
- yucca – boosts immunity, high concentration of antioxidants, can reduce arthritis pain, can be used to treat dandruff, sores and cuts, sprains, infections
- sea beans – it’s called asparagus of the sea, a sea vegetable that can be boiled, steamed, stir fired, sauteed with garlic and olive oil, it’s rich in minerals and loaded with vitamins
3. Agave is a succulent
Why am I mentioning that agave is a succulent when talking about benefits of succulents?
Because agaves have a lot of benefits and uses. This is a magnificent genus of plant and its name in Greek means illustrious, noble, and brilliant.
Don’t mistake agave for aloe, although both are two of the most popular succulents with awesome benefits.
Agave have fibers in the leaves and they flower once and usually die after.
So, which are the benefits of succulents when it comes to agave?
It is one of the most commonly grown and harvested succulent because:
- mescal, a colorless spirit, can be made from any of the 30 distillable types of agave
- tequila is made from the sap of Agave tequilana
- the nectar is used as sweetener
- Agave sisalana is used for making rope and mats
4. Purifying the air
Among the most impressive benefits of succulents, I believe that their ability to purify our air is one of the best.
Plants capture carbon dioxide and release oxygen through photosynthesis.
We live in a polluted world without a doubt. When I enter my home, I just feel like I can breath properly for the first time. It has become my sanctuary.
What better way to develop a healthy sanctuary than by filling it with plants? Succulents should definitely be among those plants.
5. Improving humidity
Let’s continue with the benefits of succulents that positively influence the quality of the air we breath.
Plants emit moisture vapor, they simply increase moisture in the air by releasing roughly 97% of the water they take in.
That can help keep respiratory distresses at bay.
6. Increased productivity
A study conducted at Exeter University (U.K.) states that indoor plants can increase well-being by 47%, increase creativity by 45% and increase productivity by 38%.
If we were to consider all the other studies, I should also state that plants can boost cognitive skills such as creative thinking and spatial processing.
It’s considered that these positive effects are linked to the fact that plants create the right balance between oxygen and carbon dioxide.
As an air-purifying succulent, you could choose the Sansevieria (Snake plant). It can be the perfect office plant because it doesn’t mind the AC nor the artificial lighting and you don’t have to pay too much attention to it, just water it from time to time.
7. Succulents are long-living
If you want to grow plants that will be with you for a very long time, benefits of succulents include a long-lasting plant that doesn’t require too much of your attention.
The plants can live from 5 to 25 years.
They might be slow-growing, mainly because they do really well in a dry climate and live a dry life, but they seem to live forever.
This plant can become a friend that will be with you for a lot of years.
For example, an aloe vera can live between 10 and 20 years, a jade plant can live for 20 years or more.
If you want a long-lasting showy plant, go for the Christmas Cactus, it’s absolutely gorgeous with its red, pink or white blossoms.
8. So many varieties
I’m going to be talking about the absolutely complex universe that these plants constitute just below.
Cacti belong to the succulents universe but that’s just a small part of this world. There are a lot of varieties to choose from so they can suit any tastes.
Among the many benefits of succulents, variety is one of them. These unique plants are arranged in stunning ornaments that can be more beautiful than anything you could buy.
9. Succulents are strong plants
These plants have adapted to live in areas with little rainfall and extensive sunlight but they can also adapt to any other environmental conditions.
They can live in wet and humid climates and they can even survive without sunlight for a few days.
Succulents are strong plants because they adapt to circumstances, pretty much like humans do.
Those who don’t have the time or the patience to care for other plants but still want to enjoy a green house, should seriously consider succulents as their best option because they’re easy to look after.
10. Succulents are cheap plants
We saw some of the best benefits of succulents but the fact that they’re also highly affordable and can be found anywhere makes them even more great.
11. Beautiful gift
If you really want to put in a bit of effort, search online for succulents arrangements and you’ll see works of art, there’s no other way to describe them.
But even gifting a succulent in a very small pot will be just awesome. Succulents will always represent a thoughtful gift. Gifting any plant is like that.
I described above some of the most famous succulents for their benefits but there are many more varieties to choose from. If you don’t want to spend too much money, there are a lot of affordable varieties to choose from.
Since I have always loved both cacti and succulents, let’s answer the question is there a difference between cactus and succulents.
Well, a cactus is the only plant that can withstand the blazing desert sun forever while storing water in the stem, while succulents store water in leaves, stems, and roots. That’s one difference between them.
The second difference between cactus and succulents is that cacti is a succulent but belongs in a separate category (Cactaceae). On the other hand, not all succulents are cacti because these plants actually belong to over 40 botanical families.
So, the cactus is a small slice of the big pie that succulents represent. There are a lot of varieties so, I will just make a short introduction on a few of them because their universe is just too big.
There are so many succulent varieties, including flowering succulents. Check out my post on succulents with purple flowers or leaves that turn purple if you want to discover some really beautiful varieties.
Some of the most popular indoor succulents are: Burro’s Tail, Crown of Thorns, Flaming Katy, Jade Plant, Aloe Vera, Panda Plant, Pincushion Cactus, Roseum, Snake Plant, Zebra Plant.
When it comes to outdoor succulents, these varieties are popular: Hens-and-Chicks, Stonectop, Whale’s Tongue Agave, Ball Cactus, Plush Plant, Dudleya, Pig’s Ear, Zwartkop, Sunburst, Torch Plant.
If you want to know how to care for them, check out my post on how often to water succulents.
There are so many things to be known about these fascinating plants but knowing the many benefits of succulents and which varieties are the most popular can be all the motivation you need to become a grower of succulents.