Understanding the Differences between Cactus and Aloe Vera

If you are curious whether “is aloe a cactus” or it is some other plant or whether there are 2 different types of plant belonging to different genus or family. We will discuss all the questions here on our aloe and cactus relations, similarity and whether aloe can be called as cactus.

Difference Between Cactus And Aloe Vera – Aloe Vera and cacti have different-looking leaves. Many species of cacti have spines, and their leaves are thick and waxy. The leaves of aloe vera, in contrast, are long, thin, delicate, and have serrated edges. They include a transparent gel that is frequently found in skincare products.


Features Cactus Aloe Vera
Leaf Shape Thick and waxy, some with spines Long, slender, and soft with serrated edges
Water Storage Stems Leaves
Growing Environment Dry, arid environments Tropical or subtropical environments
Flowers Showy and colorful Small and tubular
Uses Decorative, food and medicinal Skincare, wound healing, and medicinal

Is Aloe Vera a Cactus?

Aloe isn’t a cactus, but cactus and aloe plant both have ability to be called as as succulent plants means they share lots of similarity whether aloe cactus both have good tolerance to heat or they both have kind of common looks which creates confusion among many that aloe vera is cactus but it’s not.

Cactus and aloe vera both are different plants belonging to different families. Aloe vera and Cactus share common traits like low watering, low maintenance and much more that is why they may confuse people and some might call them by each other name.

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Some people may think that aloe may be a variety or a type of cactus that is unknown to them because most cacti look the same. Some have shaped leaves while other have thorns.

Cactus and aloe vera as succulent are adapted to warmer temperature environments while cactus can tolerate much heavy heat compared to aloe vera. Both were discovered in deserts to heat climate areas where they become drought resistant and now they have capability to store water inside the leaves for dry days.

Cactus is a member of Cactaceae family which is different then aloe which belong to Asphodelaceae (liliaceae). Aloe being a genus have over 500+ succulent species with some do flower and the most known one is aloe vera which is also known by the name “true aloe”. 

Names of some species:

  • Aloe Aculeata
  • Aloe Broomii
  • Aloe Capitata
  • Aloe Ferox
  • Aloe Maculata
  • Aloe Nyeriensis
  • Aloe Perryi
  • Aloe Succotrina, etc

While cactus have over 1700 species, this is known by the name spiny plant?(not spiky). Cactus species are different, everyone comes with different size, and shape but common is the dark green color, the thick skin and fleshy thrones.

Cactus can store water in thick stems while aloe vera stores inside the green leaves. Can’t say about cactus but aloe vera is surely used in cosmetic industrial products and we don’t know exact numbers but about 70+ are used in medicinal use. 

When I say that both aloe and cactus are succulents, I mean both are plants living in desert regions where you see mostly heat with less or no water.

One of the things that plants need for them to be called as succulents is their ability to store water; it could be stem or leaves or elsewhere and doesn’t rely on ground for water requirements.

Some succulents do have spikes but you can see aloe don’t have bigger thorns that would hurt but in case of cactus we should wear gloves to touch them while repotting as they may hurt badly if your skin is touched by the thorns of cacti. I have experienced this so I can tell how much it pains so i would highly recommend not to pick them up without safety measures.

Is aloe a cactus

Shop Aloe Vera Plant :


Shop now ETSY

Is aloe vera part of the cactus?

No, aloe vera is not a part of cactus by viewing both look similar but cactus aloe both have different family. In case of aloe vera it is a member of the lily(Asphodeloideae) family while cactus is species inside the Cactaceae family. Both aloe vera and cactus are part of different families and aloe consists of leaves while cactus have thorns instead of leaves.

We humans get confused by the look of a plant which is very similar to one another. same case of aloe vera as it looks quite cactus but it doesn’t belong to its family which has an appearance with thorns on it. Both aloe vera and cactus are succulents. That is true but they are not a part of each other’s family or don’t have any connection that holds them together.

I even given above the difference between both these plants, even cactus have no medicinal property while aloe being a good indoor plant holds medical use to humans. Aloe is popular for its skin healing properties but cactus doesn’t have any of them. In case of cactus it has an advantage over growing in desert places and if we grow aloe there, it might burn its leaves.


What is cactus and aloe vera good for?

Cactus and aloe vera both have no. of benefits like in case of aloe plant leaf juice is useful in treating skin burns while if the aloe vera juice can hydrate the body and provide vitamin A,E,C, amino acid and many antioxidants that can protect our cells from damage. In case of cactus you can’t use any cacti as they might be harmful for the human health so particularly “nopal cactus” juice has anti-inflammatory properties and is able to lower or treat high cholesterol, hangovers, can be effective for diabetes patients and can reduce obesity.

There are some studies that did show signs of lower blood sugar levels and this plant is native to Mexico. Some of you guys may have heard of this flat leaves cactus plant.

Data source : Mayoclinic, webmd.

Nopal Cactus :

Shop now ETSY


What is cactus and aloe vera good for

Caution: Lotusmagus.com don’t recommend using any the juice by yourself, please make sure do take advice from expert first before attempting anything.

Is aloe vera a type of cactus?

No, Aloe vera is not a type of cactus, they both are member of different family. Some traits of Aloe, Cactus doesn’t match with each other but yes they both are succulent as aloe and cactus stores water on leaves or stems. Aloe vera grows in semi tropical to tropical climate while cactus grows in desert regions. Aloe vera have medicinal properties in it while cactus doesn’t have any such, and if we specifically talk about nopal cactus then yes it has beneficial in research but not all cactus would give you benefits.

Thrones on cactus are harsh while aloe vera can be carefully taken out with gloves as aloe vera spiky leaves doesn’t hurt that bad as compared to cactus. The thorns succulent like cactus have over 1800 species with unique structure to it and cacti can be recognized easily as they always have sharp thorns.

Their are some cactus forms like columnar, flobular, arborescent cacti grown in different habitats. Cactus always have spines that are not but modified leaves while if we see branches of some cactus are called thorns. Aloe vera doesn’t have thorns but tiny spikes in its leaves. 

Cactus And Aloe Vera Benefits

For reducing joint inflammation, cactus and aloe vera are equally useful. Nopal juice has been shown to lessen joint inflammation by preventing inflammatory cells from migrating to the joints. Comparably pleasant when applied topically, aloe vera and prickly pear cactus may improve skin healing, lessen inflammation, and ease redness and irritation.

The blood sugar levels may be controlled with cactus and aloe vera. By delaying the absorption of glucose from the intestines, mucilage, a complex carbohydrate and fiber found in prickly pear cactus assist maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Aloe vera has been demonstrated to enhance insulin sensitivity and lower fasting blood glucose levels, making it a possible assistance for people with diabetes.

Cactus and aloe vera may also help with weight reduction, too. Enzymes included in aloe vera aid in the body’s breakdown of fats and carbohydrates, facilitating their excretion. Cactus is a great meal for those trying to lose weight since it has a low glycemic index and is rich in fiber.

Cactus and aloe vera are fantastic for the skin in addition to being good for the body. Aloe vera has long been known for its ability to heal skin because it contains substances that encourage wound healing and lessen scarring. The high water content and antioxidant content of cacti, on the other hand, aid to moisturize and shield the skin from free radicals that may harm it and speed up the aging process.

Reference : https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/aloe-vera

Cactus and Aloe Vera Care Tips

Cacti and aloe vera have variety of care requirements that must be considered in order to ensure their healthy growth.

While being potted, both aloe vera and cacti require well-draining soil, such as varieties made specifically for succulents and cacti. Gardening soil shouldn’t be used since it retains too much moisture, which might lead to root rot. While aloe vera plants require a slightly acidic sandy soil, cacti require a more alkaline sandy soil mix. Before placing anything inside the containers, check that they have drainage holes to prevent water from pooling at the bottom.

One of the key differences between caring for cacti and aloe vera is the need for watering. Aloe vera plants don’t require frequent watering since they store water in their leaves and roots. They need watering on average every two to four weeks, depending on the humidity and temperature. Contrarily, cacti need less water than aloe vera plants, and how often they require watering depends on the kind and the season. Before watering again, it is advisable to wait until the soil is completely dry.

Aloe vera and cacti can both withstand direct sunlight, but they both require strong, indirect light to flourish. Aloe vera plants need at least six hours of sunlight each day, whereas cacti may tolerate greater solar exposure. If they are planted inside, they may be placed near to a bright window or beneath grow lights.

By creating offsets, sometimes referred to as “pups,” that may be removed from the mother plant and planted in a separate container, aloe vera plants can be duplicated. Cacti may, however, be grown from seeds or stem cuttings.

When it comes to plant maintenance, cacti and aloe vera require relatively little. However, they might be more susceptible to diseases and pests. Keep a watch out for pest indicators, such as mealybugs or spider mites, and take immediate action to remove them using organic pest control methods.

Final Words

I hope you have understood every difference about cactus and aloe vera plants and how they do have similarity but don’t have any connection in terms of family relation and now you can share this knowledge about “is aloe a cactus”. I am happy to help you in this subject of getting the right answer. Please check more such articles below.

  1. Why Is My Cactus Squishy? (10 Reasons And How to Fix Them)
  2. Cactus Corking: What Is It, How To Identify And What To Do
  3. 15 Tall Cactus Plants With Names
  4. What Type Of Cactus Do I Have? Ways To Identify Your Cacti Type
  5. Does Cactus Need Direct Sunlight?
  6. Is Peruvian Apple Cactus the Same As San Pedro Cactus?
  7. Cactus Puns: Pricklin’ Funny Power Words That Make Life Succ
  8. Cactus Cuties: Hilarious Names to Give Your Spiky Pets
  9. Why is Cactus Fruit Called Tuna?
  10. Is Cactus a Fruit Or Vegetable?
  11. Euphorbia Vs. Cactus: The Ultimate Battle of Succulent Powerhouses
  12. How to Treat Scales on Cactus – 6 Causes & Solution
  13. Can You Eat Cactus – Edible & Non Edible List
  14. How to Graft Moon Cactus: Propagate Without Grafting Possible?
  15. Moon Cactus Growing Arms, Propagation, Care, Grafting
  16. Health Benefits Of Cactus Tuna Fruit

© 2024 Lotusmagus.com. All rights reserved. This content is protected by copyright. Visit Lotusmagus.com for more information.

Amelia Clark

I'm Amelia Clark , a seasoned florist and gardening specialist with more than 15 years of practical expertise. Following the completion of my formal education, I dedicated myself to a flourishing career in floristry, acquiring extensive understanding of diverse flower species and their ideal cultivation requirements. Additionally, I possess exceptional skills as a writer and public speaker, having successfully published numerous works and delivered engaging presentations at various local garden clubs and conferences. Check our Social media Profiles: Facebook Page, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Youtube, Instagram Tumblr

Recent Posts