Understand These Myths About Succulents

Succulents tend to be the first choice of plants being chosen by beginners. As of now, there are many different kinds of succulents you can choose from.

However, do you ever have any “misunderstanding” about these simple-to-raise, easy-to-get plants? This included things like radiation, air purifying, watering, and many others? We often seem to forget that succulent is a plant, instead of an inorganic ornament.

To understand more about succulents, I have compiled some of the most common myths about raising succulents for you. You may get these things right so you won’t treat them the wrong way anymore.

succulent myths

1. Not All Succulents Are Suitable For Indoors

Succulents are often used as office ornaments and houseplants. But we need to know that succulents are native to arid areas, therefore, not all succulents are suitable to be planted indoor.

We should say that most succulents are more suitable for outdoor environments, especially those with bright colors. They need more sunlight to survive. Insufficient sunlight can easily lead to poor growth and eventually death.

Those succulents that are more suitable for indoor growth are crown of thorns, jade plant, aloe vera, zebra cactus, etc.

It is recommended to confirm their sunlight needs before purchasing. If you don’t have a balcony or backyard, you can place your plants close to your windowsill so that your succulents can receive the most sunlight while placing indoor.

2. There Is No Such Thing As “Absorbing Radiation”

We’ve heard more or less than a succulent or cactus can “absorb radiation” when placed next to a computer or laptop. If you have left a succulent next to your computer for a long time, and think it helps you to absorb radiation, I’m sorry to say that this just didn’t happen.

This is just a myth! Succulents do not have this magical effect. The National Health and Welfare Administration has refuted the rumor and announced that “succulent cannot absorb computer radiation”, and pointed out that the extremely low-frequency non-ionizing radiation of computers cannot be absorbed by succulents.

Is, no plant can absorb radiation. But we don’t have to worry too much about the adverse effects of radiation from electronic products on our health, because the current regulations in most countries have properly regulated the electromagnetic wave limit values ​​of electronic products.

3. Air Purifying With Succulents

In addition to “absorbing radiation”, another succulent myth is “purifying the air”. According to an article in National Geographic that cleaning indoor air is practically “impossible”.

Richard Corsi, who studies air pollution, said: “Indoor plants can do as much to clean the air as a few pairs of old socks or baseball caps that are hanging on a wall.”

The range of air that succulents or other indoor plants can purify is very small. According to experts’ measurements, to purify the air quality of your room, it may require “more than 100 plants per square meter” to make it possible.

succulent plants

NASA Clean Air Study

The NASA Clean Air Study did study the air purification efficiency of snake plants, but the study did not indicate that it can be effective for all indoor environments. You can refer to this: NASA Clean Air Study

NASA’s research has long been clarified. They are carrying the research of plants in very small spaces (like in a spaceship). The research results are not suitable for ordinary indoors.

If you want to achieve the effect of purifying the air, you cannot rely on plants.
Many people believe that plants can really purify the air, and even have the ability to maintain physical health and protect eyesight, etc.

However, they do not know that opening windows for ventilation and using fewer electronic products are more practical than plants.

4. Succulents Can Survive Without Watering

Although a succulent is drought-tolerant, it is still a plant and still needs water. In terms of frequency, if it is kept outdoors and has sufficient sunshine, it is recommended to water it once a week; if it is not ventilated, it needs to be watered once every two weeks; indoor planting with less sunlight can even be watered once every 3-4 weeks.

During the “growing season”, like during the summertime, water can be poured all at once until the water flows out of the holes at the bottom of the container. While in the non-growing season, the amount of water can be halved or reduced to one-third.

Note that when watering, try not to let the water stay on the stems and leaves, which is easy to cause rot.

It is not advisable to water succulents outdoors at noon in the summer, because the temperature difference can be extreme. If the water droplets are not dry, it may cause “leaf burn”.

Some succulents are watered “seasonally”. For example, the special-looking Lithops should be watered after the old leaves die in late spring. After all, there are too many varieties of “succulents” in this world, you can’t treat them all the same way. That’s also the main reason why many succulents failed to grow by beginners.

5. Raise Succulents in Glass Containers

The choice of containers for plants is very important. Many people now keep their succulents in glass containers. Although it looks beautiful, the drainage can be an issue. This may make the succulent roots unable to “breathe” well, resulting in unhealthy stems and leaves, and causing pests and diseases.

A glass container can heat up quickly but dissipates heat slowly, so it is difficult to measure the amount of sunlight for the succulents.

Therefore, it is recommended for beginners to use pots with good drainage and ventilation such as pottery. If you want to use glass pots, you have to seek advice from the store that helps you set up the pots and ask them how to take care of the succulents properly.

6. All Succulents Are Going Through the Same Photosynthesis

Most succulents absorb carbon dioxide by photosynthesis during the day. But some desert plants are exceptions. They are called Crassulacean Acid Metabolism plant, or CAM plant. They breathe carbon dioxide and release oxygen at night.

CAM plants like snake plants can indeed open their stomata to absorb carbon dioxide at night, but since there is no light for photosynthesis, so at night it is impossible for the plant to release oxygen.

CAM plants store the carbon dioxide absorbed at night and use it for photosynthesis during the day, so it still has to release oxygen during the day.

These are some myths about succulents and I hope after reading this post, you will be able to have a better idea of succulents and avoid blindly believing in these plants.