Difference Between Agave & Aloe

Updated: September 16, 2022

Difference Between Agave & Aloe

Agave and Aloe vera plants look similar, which makes it hard for a common individual to spot the difference between these two drought-tolerant succulents. As they both are adapted to survive in hot and dry climates, agave and aloe vera plant care are also similar. This article will discuss the main points of difference between aloe and agave

Difference Between Agave & Aloe

Difference in Size

The primary difference between agave and aloe plants is their size. Agave succulent plants are usually larger than aloe plants at maturity. At the blooming stage, their size difference is very clear as some agave plants can produce up to 40 ft. tall flower stalks. Some aloe varieties can be quite large, like the Tree Aloe, but generally, agaves are larger than aloes. 

Difference in Leaves

Secondly, the leaves of aloe and agave succulents are different. Aloe vera plants produce thicker and more fleshy leaves than Agave. Their leaves have a softer and spongy texture.  

On the other hand, the Agave plant leaves are usually thinner and fibrous. It’s an interesting fact that fibers of some agave varieties are utilized to design outdoor rugs.  

If you still have any confusion about agave vs aloe vera and cannot tell whether a succulent is an agave or aloe then simply break one leaf of each plant. The leaf that easily breaks off is the aloe leaf and the other is the agave leaf. It is tough to break the leaves of the blue agave plant and other varieties. 

Another thing that is different between the leaves of these two succulents is the spines that exist along their margins. The spines on aloe leaves are visible and softer to touch; they won’t hurt your skin. On the other hand, the agave leaf spines are harder and can cut you so either don’t touch them or touch them gently.  

Difference in Flowering

When agave vs aloe on flowering habits, there is a huge difference. The agave and aloe vera flowers look similar but their blooming frequency is very different. Both of them output flowers on long stalks growing from the middle of the plant. These stalks can be of different lengths depending on the types of aloe vera plants and agave plants. However, the flowers are produced in yellow, orange, and red colors. 

If you notice a succulent in bloom, there is a higher probability that it’s an aloe vera variety. Owing to their polycarpic nature, aloe vera blooms repeatedly. Usually, their flowers are bell-shaped or tubular and bloom once every year between December to May. 

On the other hand, agave plants are monocarpic. It means they bloom only one time in their lifetime, generally between 10 to 30 years of age. Once pollination has happened and the seed is produced, the succulent starts to die. 

Difference in Their Growing Periods

When aloe vs agave, they also differ in their growing periods. Agave succulent plants grow during the warmer period and become dormant during the colder season. If you have Agave attenuata, Agave bracteosa, or any other type of agave plant in your garden, you should stop feeding them during dormant months. The agave water requirements in the winter season are minimal so you should focus on it to prevent root rot. 

If you are wondering how often to water aloe vera plants, you should feed them occasionally during the colder months as they grow in the winter season. Watch for an overwatered aloe plant; giving your coral aloe plant too much water can kill it. 

Difference in Their Origins

Knowing where your plant hails from and what type of climate it loves will assist you to do proper agave and aloe vera care

Aloe succulent plants hail from Africa, particularly the Southern hemisphere and Madagascar island. 

Agave succulent plants hail from the Southern U.S., Central America, and Mexico. Both plants can survive in almost all regions of the world if given proper care. 

How often to water aloe vera plants and agave plants? What is the best soil mix for agave and aloe? Their infrequent frequency of watering and well-draining type of soil is similar. However, their differences in flowering and growing seasons are likely due to their origin points. 

Both aloe and agave plants are drought-tolerant and similar in shape and look. You can do proper aloe and agave succulent care only when you know about their differences. 

Now that you know what is the difference between aloe and agave, visit a nursery online and test your knowledge by identifying these succulents. If you are thinking about where to buy aloe vera plants or agave plants, check out Planet Desert for exquisite varieties of these plants such as agave americana variegata, aloe karasbergensis, etc. 


1. What is the best pot for an aloe plant?

A ceramic or terracotta pot with a porous base that is at least 2 inches wider than the aloe plant works best.

2. What are agave light requirements?

Whether you are growing Agave stricta, Agave isthmensis, or any other agave variety, make sure you offer it full sunlight. It means a minimum of 6 hours of direct sunlight almost every day will help your agave succulent plant grow ideally. 

3. What about aloe and agave temperature tolerance?

Your agave plants can ideally grow in temperatures ranging from 60-90°F while aloe temperature tolerance is between 55 to 80°F. 

4. What are the agave and aloe vera uses?

Aloe vera plant is also called medicinal aloe owing to its healing properties. It is widely used for treating problems related to skin, hair, and even metabolism. 

Agave plants, on the opposite side, can be toxic so they cannot be consumed like aloe vera gel. However, you can make agave tequila for yourself from this plant.  Additionally, agave sisalana is a great variety that is used to design sisal rugs. 

5. How does an overwatered aloe and agave plant look?

An aloe plant that is overwatered may become darker and wilt. You will also notice blistered cells in its leaves, stems become softer, and mold appears in the soil. 

The leaves of an overwatered agave plant will become yellow, mushy, and translucent. You may even notice light spots on the leaves. Hence, it is highly important to take care of aloe and agave water requirements.

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