Difference between Agave and Aloe Vera (With Similarities)

I’ve been obsessed with succulent plants since I ventured into gardening. But I once encountered a problem when buying an agave and aloe plant.

These succulent plants are super similar, and novice gardeners may find it challenging to make a perfect choice. Besides that, many plant stores tend to mislabel them.

If it is your first time growing agave and aloe, there is no need to worry. The information in this article will help you tell the difference and relationship between these succulents.

So, what is the main difference between agave and aloe vera? Agave plants have leaves with sharp spines, while aloe vera plants have serrated leaves without spines.

Keep reading this article to learn more about the differences between aloe vera and agave with their similarities. You’ll also get to know the agave plant uses in the long run.

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Comparison Table (Agave Vs Aloe Vera)

Basic TermsAgave PlantAloe Vera Plant
OriginMexicoAfrica and Saudi Arabia
Hardiness Zone8 to 109 to 10
Size6-inches to 10 feet tall2-inches to 50 feet tall
FlowersHave no to few flowersHave multiple flowers
Content of LeavesFibrousGel-like
Lifespan100 years plus12 years
SeasonalityWarm summer monthsCool winter months
Leaf MarginHave sharp spinesSerrated without spines
ApplicationProduction of ropes and strings.Production of tequila.Ornamental plant.Medicinal industry

What Is Agave?

Agave is a succulent plant native to Mexico (Source: Voxtatis Research Foundation). These succulent plants belong to Asparagaceae family.

It is among the 18 genera in the Agavoideae subfamily, where there are about 208 separate species. Agave plants have fleshy leaves with sharp spines on the edges.

The agave leaves are fibrous with incredible internal vascular structure. These fibers are ideal for producing ropes and strings.

The agave plant grows up to 6-inches to 10 feet tall. The plant has a lifespan of 100 years plus, and it is also nicknamed a century plant.

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What Is Aloe Vera?

Aloe Vera is also a succulent plant native to Africa and Saudi Arabia Peninsula. The plant belongs to the Asphodelaceae family and ashpodeloideae subfamily.

There are over 500 species within this classification. Some species thrive well in winter and others in summer. The hardiness zone of aloe plants ranges from 9 to 11.

Aloe leaves are gooey without sharp spines. The serrated leaves can be broken with ease to produce the juice ideal for medicinal purposes.

Aloe plants usually bloom throughout their life. The aloe flowers are red, orange, yellow, and white in colors. It is the best option as an ornamental plant.

Aloe Vera plant size ranges from 2-inches to 50 feet tall. The succulent plant has a lifespan of about 12 years. It also requires minimal care and maintenance.

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Main Difference between Agave and Aloe Vera


Agave plants are native to Mexico and the Southern United States. Aloe Vera plants are native to Africa (South Africa and Madagascar) and Saudi Arabia Peninsula. 


 Most agave species are relatively larger than aloe species. Agave grows up to 6-inches to 10 feet tall. Aloe plants are smaller and ideal as houseplants. Aloe Vera grows up to 2-inches to 50 feet tall. 

Leaf Design

Agave plants have fibrous leaves with pointed spines. The fibers are suitable for manufacturing ropes and strings. Aloe plants have fleshy and serrated leaves with the gooey substance. 

Growing Seasons

Agave plants thrive in warmer summer and become dormant in winter. These plants also bloom once in their lifetime. Aloe Vera plants prefer a cool winter climate. The succulent plant usually blooms in late winter or early spring. (Source: Missouri Botanical Garden).

Similarities between Agave and Aloe Vera

Both agave and aloe can survive in a tropical, semi-tropical, and arid environment. These plants have succulent leaves and stem for water storage.

Agave and aloe plants are the perfect choices as ornamental plants. These plants are ideal for landscaping your backyard.

Aloe and agave can tolerate both indoor and outdoor growing conditions. Besides that, they require minimal care and maintenance.

Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)

Is Aloe and Agave the Same?

Not really. Agave plants have fibrous leaves with sharp spines. Aloe plants have thick and fleshy leaves with serrated margins.

Is Tequila Made from Aloe Vera?

Yes. But you’ll need few leaves of a mature aloe vera plant. Preparing homemade tequila needs some sort of expertise.

Is there a Difference between Aloe and Aloe Vera?

Yes. The difference between aloe and aloe vera depends on their scientific classification. Aloe belongs to the genus and aloe vera is the species.

Is Agave Plant Poisonous to Humans?

Yes. The plant is slightly toxic to human beings. It contains oxalate crystals in the leaves that cause extreme skin irritation.

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In Conclusion

The difference between agave and aloe vera depends on their origin and leaf content. Agave plants have thick and fibrous leaves. Aloe vera plants have thick and fleshy leaves with a gel-like substance.

Use these facts in the article when you’re in doubt. These description features are ideal to use when visiting a succulent plant store for the first time. The information will help you tell the distinction between agave and aloe.