In this ultimate collection, you will find 40+ plants that look like aloe vera, thus look-alike succulents, including some poisonous ones.
Whether you are considering adding aloe vera to your garden or growing it as an indoor plant on your windowsill, you may be interested in exploring plants that resemble aloe vera but are different.
Even though aloe vera is a healing herb that is useful for burns and even heals minor wounds quickly, on the outside, it acts very modestly like a simple green cactus that can be easily confused.
In this list of plants, we will delve into plant varieties that mimic the appearance of aloe vera and examine what they have in common and what sets them apart.
However, let’s start first with aloe vera itself. What makes it so unique?
What Is Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is a succulent plant with thick, fleshy leaves containing gel-like substances. This gel has medicinal and cosmetic properties and makes the aloe vera plant unique. The plant is native to North Africa, Southern Europe, and the Canary Islands but is now cultivated in many regions with suitable climates.
The gel extracted from the aloe vera plant has been traditionally used for centuries for its soothing and healing properties. Using just knife, you can remove one side of the outer leaf and scrape the inside gel. You can apply the gel directly on burns, sunburns or minor irritation. I always keep this simple healing burn gel in the freezer.
Renowned for its moisturizing properties, aloe vera aids in the healing of scars and marks (1). When incorporated into facial masks, aloe vera ease eczema, psoriasis, or acne mainly due to its anti-inflammatory properties (2)
Functioning as an antiseptic agent, aloe vera alleviates pain, reduces swelling, and relieves itching, making it effective for treating mosquito bites. Additionally, I use aloe vera to make homemade mouthwash, shampoo, hair conditioner or soap bars.
In addition to its topical uses, Aloe vera gel aka aloe juice is sometimes consumed as a dietary supplement. This aloe vera smoothie soothes digestion and speeds metabolism. However, it’s essential to note that while aloe vera has potential health benefits, one has to be careful not to consume aloe latex derived from the inner leaf skin. So before scraping the gel from the inner leaf, leave it upside down for 10 minutes, allowing the yellow latex to drop off.
Succulent Plants that Look Like Aloe Vera
The Aloe Vera plant is among the most frequently cultivated species of Aloe, and it is often described as “the marvel plant. However, several plants look like Aloe Vera.
1. Agave plant
Native to the Americas, Agave is commonly found in desert landscapes. Its rosette shape, fleshy leaves, and spiky edges closely resemble aloe vera, but Agave tends to be larger, although exceptions like the tree aloe or Aloe Bainesii exist. While both plants thrive in well-draining soil and sunlight, Agave can tolerate more extreme drought conditions. In addition, aloe plants typically have a lifespan of around twelve years, agave plants can endure for up to a hundred years. Furthermore, aloe plants often produce multiple flowers, whereas agave typically has a single flower, with the plant often dying after blooming. Like aloe vera, Agave has been used traditionally for medicinal purposes, with potential benefits for wound healing. Interestingly, Agave is also a source of agave nectar, a natural sweetener.
The main distinguishing factor is the gel-like substance in Aloe vera leaves, whereas agave leaves are fibrous and lack the gel consistency found in Aloe.
The Aeonium is similar to aloe vera in some aspects. Native to the Canary Islands, Madeira, and North Africa, Aeoniums often share the rosette growth pattern with aloe vera but are more diverse in color and shape. Moreover, Aeonium species display stunning color changes in response to sunlight or temperature variations, adding to their allure in gardens and succulent collections.
While both plants favor well-draining soil and ample sunlight, Aeoniums thrive in slightly cooler conditions. In terms of size, they can range from compact rosettes to larger, branching structures. Aeoniums don’t possess the same gel-like substance as aloe vera, but they are appreciated for their unique foliage.
Ariocarpus is a genus of small, slow-growing cacti native to arid regions of North America, particularly Mexico and southwestern Texas. These cacti are often called “living rocks” due to their low, compact growth habit and the way they blend into their rocky surroundings.
Compared to aloe vera, Ariocarpus cacti have a markedly different growth form and belong to the cactus family, Cactaceae. They have adapted to arid conditions and are designed to store water in their thick stems to survive periods of drought. The leaves are often reduced to tiny, inconspicuous structures or are absent altogether.
Bergeranthus is a genus of succulent plants within the family Aizoaceae, native to Southern Africa. These plants are known for their low-growing, spreading habit and are commonly grown for their interesting foliage and colorful flowers.
Regarding appearance, Bergeranthus plants are succulents that form small, fleshy leaves varying in color and texture. They may form dense mats or clusters, making them suitable for ground cover in gardens or container plantings.
Compared to aloe vera, Bergeranthus plants have a different growth form, and they belong to a different botanical family. While aloe vera is known for its upright rosettes and healing gel, Bergeranthus is recognized for its low-spreading habit and colorful displays of flowers.
5. Cape Aloe (Aloe Ferox)
Cape Aloe, also known as Red aloe, Tap Aloe, Bitter Aloe or Aloe ferox, distinguishes itself with its robust, spiky leaves and vibrant, orange-colored flowers. Native to South Africa, this aloe species is renowned for its medicinal properties and is often cultivated for its gel. Unlike the familiar Aloe vera, Aloe ferox plant has long and more toothed leaves, forming striking rosettes. Both are succulent plants that thrive in arid conditions.
6. Carrion Flower
The Carrion Flower, also known as Stapelia, is a succulent plant native to Africa with thick, fleshy leaves resembling Aloe. Unlike aloe vera, Stapelia is a member of the Apocynaceae family and is recognized for its unique and peculiar characteristics. The plant derives its common name from the distinctive scent emitted by its flowers, which resembles the odor of rotting meat. This scent is meant to attract flies, which act as pollinators.
7. Dryland Bromeliads
Dryland Bromeliads plant, belonging to the Bromeliaceae family, are a group of succulent plants known for their ability to thrive in arid conditions like the Aloe. However, Dryland Bromeliads feature rosettes of thick, fleshy leaves that can vary in color and texture. The leaves are arranged in a symmetrical pattern, creating a distinctive look. On the other hand, Aloe vera has long, pointed leaves arranged in a rosette.
Echeveria is a popular genus of succulent plants known for their rosette-shaped growth and striking foliage. Unlike aloe vera’s long, tapering leaves, Echeveria leaves are flashy often more rounded with intricate textures and patterns. Echeveria is primarily grown for its ornamental value.
Euphorbia belongs to the diverse Euphorbiaceae family, encompassing a wide range of succulent and non-succulent species. While aloe vera’s leaves store a soothing gel, certain Euphorbia species, like the Euphorbia trigona, feature cylindrical stems with a milky latex sap. Like an aloe, Euphorbias are resilient plants that easily adapt to arid conditions.
Faucaria, commonly known as “Tiger Jaws,” is a succulent that shares some similarities with aloe vera but stands out with its unique leaf structure. While aloe vera boasts long, pointed leaves, Faucaria’s leaves resemble open jaws, forming distinctive pairs with serrated edges. Native to South Africa, Faucaria, like aloe vera, thrives in well-draining soil and sunlight,
11. Ox Tongue Plant
The Ox Tongue Plant, belonging to the genus Gasteria, is distinct for its thick, tongue-shaped leaves arranged in rosettes. Native to Southern Africa, it has a succulent nature like Aloe plants but features a unique leaf structure. While both thrive in well-draining soil and sunlight, Gasteria’s leaves are often mottled and resemble a cow’s tongue, setting it apart as a visually interesting and resilient succulent.
Haworthia is a succulent within the Asphodelaceae family and another aloe vera look-alikes. Also called Zebra Cactus, this plant is recognized for its rosette growth pattern and fleshy leaves, Haworthia species come in various shapes and sizes. Similar to Aloe Vera plants, the foliage of Haworthia develops into a rosette, sprouting from the stem axis of the plant. Unlike the longer leaves of Aloe vera, Haworthia leaves are often shorter and arranged in intricate patterns, featuring window-like translucent areas.
The Haworthia plant is not only an excellent alternative to Aloe Vera, but it is also much easier to care for since its watering and light needs are easy to meet.
Even though Hechtia belongs to a different genus of bromeliads than Aloe vera, it stands out with similar rosettes of stiff, often pointed leaves. Hechtia species, originating from Mexico and Central America, add an unique touch to succulent gardens.
14. Maguey Plant
The Maguey Plant, scientifically known as Agave americana, stands apart from Aloe vera with its robust and symmetrical rosettes of spiky, succulent leaves. Native to arid regions of the Americas, this species, commonly referred to as the Century Plant, have a distinctive growth pattern that set it apart as a resilient and iconic plant in arid landscapes.
15. Mountain Aloe Plant (Aloe Marlothii)
Aloe marlothii, commonly known as Mountain Aloe, stands out with its tree-like structure and large, spiky leaves. Indigenous to Southern Africa’s mountains, This succulent plant species showcases a distinctive fan-shaped foliage, differing from the familiar Aloe vera. Despite sharing some traits, such as succulence and a preference for sunny, well-drained conditions, Aloe marlothii’s unique appearance makes it an iconic species in its own right.
16. Sawblade Plant
Dyckia brevifolia, commonly known as sawblade, belongs to the Bromeliaceae family and is exclusively found in Brazil. Snowblade plant has rosette of spiky succulent leaves like aloe vera.
17. Spider Aloe
Spider Aloe, scientifically known as Aloe spinosissima, is a hybrid between Aloe and Gasteria. is often confused with Aloe Vera with its rosette of fleshy, pointed leaves, but it is distinguished by its spikier and more intricate leaf margins.
18. Stonecrop (Sedum)
Stonecrop, a member of the Sedum genus, is a succulent plant with some species resembling fleshy aloe leaves. However, Stonecrop produces clusters of small, star-shaped flowers and the often glossier leaves look to aloe veras.
19. Tiger aloe
Tiger Aloe, also known as Aloe variegata, is a succulent that forms rosettes similar to the Aloe vera genus.
However, Aloe variegata’s leaves are often triangular with white spots and stripes, resembling a tiger’s stripes.
20. Tiger Tooth Aloe
Aloe juvenna, commonly known as Tiger Tooth Aloe, is a hybrid between Aloe and Gasteria., This succulent plant is unique, with teeth-like edges on the rosette of leaves.
21. Whale’s Tongue Agave
Whale’s Tongue Agave, scientifically known as Agave ovatifolia, is renowned for its large, broad leaves resembling a whale’s tongue. Native to Mexico, this succulent forms striking rosettes of fleshy, blue-green leaves with smooth edges. Unlike Aloe vera, Whale’s Tongue Agave has a more substantial and compact growth habit, making it a prominent choice for arid landscapes.
22. Yucca Plant
Yucca plant leaves form rosettes of stiff, sword-like leaves. Unlike Aloe vera, Yucca plants often have a more tree-like or shrub-like growth habit, with some species producing tall flower spikes. Native to arid regions of the Americas, Yucca plants are well-adapted to dry conditions and are valued for their ornamental appeal in gardens.
Other Types of Plants often mistaken for Aloe Vera
Anubias is a genus of aquatic plants belonging to the Araceae family, typically used in aquariums. It features broad, leathery leaves that grow in a rosette pattern like the aloe genus; however, its habitat is predominantly aquatic or semi-aquatic.
24. Java Fern
Believe it or not, even aquarium plants look like Aloe Vera. Java Fern is a good example. Unlike Aloe Vera, which has thick, triangular leaves, the Java Fern has slender, pointed leaves arranged in a circular pattern. The main distinction is that Aloe Vera is a land plant, while the Java Fern is an aquatic plant. Being a slow-growing and resilient plant that can attach to rocks or driftwood, it serves as a decorative and sheltering element in fish tanks.
25. Pineapple Plant
Surprisingly, the pineapple plant takes the lead among the young plants resembling Aloe Vera. Though reminiscent of the healing plant, its rosette-like leaves stand out with their broader, smoother texture and distinct tropical appearance. Placing it in sunlight, watering sparingly, and protecting it from the cold allows the young pineapple plant to thrive as a lively addition to your home or garden.
26. Red Hot Poker (Kniphofia)
Red Hot Poker has the foliage of aloe vera plants, but it stands out from Aloe Vera’s fiery-colored flower spikes, resembling a hot poker. Native to Africa, these hardy perennials attract hummingbirds, making them great for wildlife gardens. They prefer sunny locations and well-draining soil; once established, they are quite tolerant of drought conditions.
27. Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)
Also known as Snake Plants or Mother-in-Law’s Tongue, snake plants have upright, elongated leaves similar to Aloe Vera. However, Sansevierias are hybrids, not succulents, storing water like Aloe Vera. They are incredibly hardy and excellent indoor plants known to remove toxins such as formaldehyde and benzene from the air.
28. Sotol (Dasylirion)
While Sotol, belonging to the Dasylirion genus, is not a succulent, its long, spiky leaves look very similar to Aloe. Native to arid regions of North and Central America, Sotol is well-adapted to thrive in harsh, dry environments.
Poisonous Plants That Look Like Aloe Vera Plants
Among the numerous plants that look like aloe are poisonous, some are aloe species, and others are not.
29. Aloe striata
Originally from the arid landscapes of South Africa, Aloe Striata, also known as Coral Aloe, resembles Aloe Vera but comes with a caution: it’s toxic to pets and humans if eaten. Despite this, it is a captivating choice for indoor and outdoor settings. Handle it carefully, keeping it out of reach from children and pets due to its harmful properties.
30. Aloe aristata.
Plant Aloe aristata (Lace Aloe) is A low-growing succulent South African plant known for its circular arrangement of delicate, lace-like green leaves with spiky white or brown edges. While it looks impressive, it can be harmful if ingested by pets or humans. Placing it in an area inaccessible to pets and small children is crucial to avoid potential digestive and neurological issues.
31. Aloe ruspoliana
Aloe Ruspoliana is a stemless aloe with yellow-green or green foliage forming big clumps. It stands out among Aloe Vera look-alikes with its tall, fleshy, and spiky leaves growing directly from the soil. This plant can grow outdoors and indoors, catching attention with its attractive appearance, although it’s not recommended for consumption.
32. Aloe polyphylla
Aloe Polyphylla is distinguished by its captivating spiral arrangement, with foliage forming either counterclockwise or clockwise in five spiral rows. The leaves are egg-shaped to elongated, exhibiting a vibrant green color with a purple end, tapering to a pointed tip.
33. Aloe Koeneni
Originating from North Africa, Aloe Koenenii is characterized by crawling trunks reaching up to 47 inches in height. In their youth, the foliage is thick and white, transitioning to green as the plants mature. These Aloe plants boast branched inflorescence with striking deep carmine-colored blooms.
34. Aloe ballyi
On the list of poisonous plants, Aloe Vera look-alikes Aloe ballyi, also known as Rat Aloe, stands out. This rare species from the Asphodelaceae family can grow up to 8 meters tall as a tree. Native to Madagascar, with long, spiky, grayish leaves, it’s a slow-growing flowering plant with a toxic nature.
35. Aloe elata
Aloe elata, while showcasing tall spikes of yellow flowers in winter, serves as a noteworthy Aloe Vera look-alike. Unlike Aloe Vera, its foliage emits an unpleasant smell, signaling it’s not for consumption. Ideal for outdoor gardens, Aloe elata needs ample sunlight to thrive.
36. Aloe Chabaudii
Originating from Africa, Aloe chabaudii, also known as Dwala Aloe, is a hassle-free succulent that clusters into large colonies of turquoise green rosettes. Its spiky-edged foliage takes on a pinkish hue in sunlight, and young plants display white spots that fade as they mature. During winter, Aloe chabaudii blooms with orange-red, tubular flowers arranged in branched inflorescence, attracting nectar-loving insects and birds.
37. Aloe Cryptopoda
Aloe cryptopoda is a tall succulent, reaching up to 5.74 feet without a trunk. The leaves are impressive, slightly pointed at the end, and measure between 23.62 to 35.4 inches in length. Its vibrant blooms, which appear in branched inflorescence, are a striking combination of bright orange and scarlet red. This Aloe species stands out for its notable height, distinctive foliage, and eye-catching flowering display.
38. Aloe Grandidentata
Aloe Grandidentata is a group-thriving, low-growing species characterized by dark green foliage adorned with white-toothed edges and dull white markings, forming a dense rosette. The plant produces tabular, coral pink blooms arranged in two to three stemmed, erect racemes. The leaves, marked with white and green spots, stand together in a compact rosette. This Aloe species is known for its attractive foliage and distinctive coral-pink flowering display.
39. Aloe humilis
Aloe humilis is a low-growing succulent plant native to South Africa. The most enticing feature of this plant is its prominent spines along the edges of flashy and triangular leaves. The plant typically has a green to reddish hue, producing tall flower spikes with tubular, orange-red flowers.
40. Aloe aculeata
Aloe aculeata is a succulent plant native to South Africa, recognized for its rosette growth habit and distinctive leaves. The leaves are thick, fleshy, and armed with small spines along the margins. Typically green, the leaves may display a reddish tint. Aloe aculeata produces tall flower spikes with tubular orange or yellow flowers.
41. Uitenhage Aloe
The Uitenhage Aloe (Aloe africana) is much like aloe vera a succulent with rosettes of thick, toothed leaves. What sets it apart are its distinctive greenish-blue leaves and the tall, tubular flower spikes that emerge from the center of the rosette. While Aloe africana is not typically considered highly poisonous, caution is advised, especially for pets, as ingesting aloe plants can lead to mild gastrointestinal discomfort.
42. Foxglove (Digitalis)
Digitalis, commonly known as foxgloves, is a genus of flowering plants known for their tall spikes of tubular flowers. While it is not similar to aloe vera, the leaves of young Foxglove plants can be mistaken for Aloe Vera. it’s important to note that all parts of Digitalis plants are highly toxic if ingested, so they should be grown cautiously,
43. Lily of the Valley
While the mature Lily of the Valley plant may not resemble Aloe Vera significantly, its young shoots are often mistaken for Aloe vera leaves. It’s important to note that this plant is highly toxic and can be deadly if consumed.
44. Star of Bethlehem (Ornithogalum)
The Star of Bethlehem, belonging to the Ornithogalum genus, has elongated leaves that can be mistaken for Aloe Vera. However, it is not a succulent recognized for its star-shaped flowers and poisonous bulbs that can cause serious health issues if ingested.