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Is Aloe a Succulent? – (Looks like Cactus But Not Why)

If you already have an this plant and you may get curious that Is Aloe a Succulent? or a normal indoor growing plant, we know that it has the ability to grow like a succulent with minimal needs for a person to take care of. You can say it is succulent but when it comes to growing them it definitely needs some care. Let’s find out the answer whether it is good to call them as succulents now or if it is simply a plant with benefits.

Is aloe a succulent

Is aloe a succulent?

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Yes, Aloe is a succulent plant which grows indoors with minimal care. Aloe as succulent has a very short stem and entirely the plant produce thick spiky leaves. Succulent like Aloe vera can tolerate different climatic conditions and it doesn’t require much light and water -this plant follows all criteria to be called as succulent. So aloe plant is succulent and way back in time it get this ability to grow in desert areas where water is low it develop a technique to store water in its leaves and only use it when it feels like this surely makes it slow growing succulent but at least the aloe plant survives in harsh environment where most plants fails.

If have a succulent you probably know this that aloe doesn’t get water and is neglected for some days it will still grow a few weeks until someone gives it water, it won’t die in 2 weeks  but giving it water and good amount of light will help the aloe vera foliage to grow more.

Aloe succulent do attract many as it is a popular indoor plant that has medicinal use to cure skin problems and it can hold a position in house for a view. Leaves of aloe succulent are used in skin dryness, burns, skin related problems and much more.

Aloe succulent grows in partial to full sunlight but harsh sunlight damages the leaves that result in sunburnt leaves. Also at that time you need to increase the watering so it doesn’t get dried completely.

There are other succulents that you may have heard of but never bought for example string of dolphins, string of hearts, string of bananas and now there’s a new succulent in market that is bunny ear succulents or rabbit succulent.

Here are some tips to grow aloe succulent :


Watering in aloe succulents is not required frequently for those who grow them indoors, as they get indirect light daily so they don’t need water on a regular basis. 

For those who do grow them outdoors or indoors with south facing windows they need to water them every 5-10 days depending on the hours of sunlight your aloe vera gets in a day.

I suggest you water only when top soil looks dry otherwise no watering. Aloe succulent  frequently needs water if you put them in direct sun as soil dries there quickly so in every 2-3 days you may need to give them water along with you may see symptoms including sunburnt, leaf spots, leaves turning brown or droopy.

Growing in partial sunlight and giving it less water will work.

aloe succulents

Light Requirement

Aloe succulent grows in shade, partial sunlight, full sunlight but mostly it prefers shade with few hours of sunlight. It could be the morning sunlight that doesn’t harm the plant leaves. Some people who have south facing windows can get a few hours of sun and then its shades will work best for aloe succulent.

When grown outdoors, your succulent needs a place which will have 2-3 hour sun and then shade , some trees might provide a few hours sun then get no sun rays passing through the tree branches and leaves. 

Giving light with direct sun may enhance the growth of aloe succulent but it damages the leaf from edges, may burn them if put in too harsh sunlight. 

Aloe succulent is beautiful so to maintain its beauty you should give them proper partial sunlight otherwise if you want the plant to grow faster then sun is the best source. Too much sun is still a problem and you may need water on a regular basis.


Using succulent and cacti potting mix in your aloe succulent will grow more healthier and faster. It does add aeration, drainage and nutrients of all kinds needed in the growth of the plant.

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When using poor soil in aloe succulent you may not notice this at start but once this makes the plant suffer root rot and fungal infection it is very clear that we should use a good well drained + fertile soil.

Aloe succulent needs fertile soil that should provide good drainage. As we want water to drain and doesn’t stay any longer as this creates fungal disease in roots.

The best potting mix for aloe succulent that worked for me is 2:2:1 ratio where 2 parts of sand and gardening soil with 1 part of perlite or pumice both worked for better drainage. Also you can mix succulent potting mix that are commercially available that would fertilize the soil more. You can put 1 part of that potting mix as well. 

If you use fertilizer for succulent then no need for extra potting mix addition as it works the same. Using gravel can also enhance the drainage and may provide air inside the soil for aloe succulent roots.


Aloe succulent is toxic to dogs and cats so you should place the plant in a corner or room where your pet doesn’t stay long. The aloe succulent has gel inside its leaf that is  edible and used in treating skin problems according to ASPCA but it is poisonous outside and may upset the stomach which results in vomiting and diarrhea. 

Aloe succulent is of moderate level toxic so it is not too harmful but it is not even safe also. Once the aloe plant ingested the plant it may see some symptoms like anorexia, depression and change in urine to be different means something is not good.


You can grow aloe succulent in ideal room temperature conditions. This plant doesn’t like freezing cold days so you shouldn’t place them outdoors in winters. Providing them warm temperatures in winters could save the plant from the frost.

Although succulent like aloe can grow between 65 to 80 degree F and it is a growing plant so we don’t generally measure these things when grown aloe plants. Aloe vera don’t have much high needs as they can adjust to harsh situations.

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These plants are so beautiful and beneficial that most plant based companies are now hiring people to grow these in a large agriculture land and get advantage of it in ayurvedic. If you have these product tried it ever they do have good results.

Are succulents and aloe the same thing?

Succulents and aloe are the same thing as aloe vera plants are succulent plants. succulent requires minimum care and even can stay without water for many days. Succulent uses a potting mix that is also made from cactus and succulent itself. Using poor soil may grow the plant but how will it survive if the poor soil drainage is compromised. I have seen people using bad soil that would lead to root rot that happens in plants.

Aloe as succulent is very similar to cactus having spiky leaves, dark color and ability to grow in moist conditions. As you know succulents require less water and our aloe plant is the same as it does not require daily water and can stand for weeks without water. Indoors aloe succulent can live longer and preserve water on its leaves if the owner is not at home for a few days or weeks. It would not die and still grow slowly; this is what makes it a succulent plant.

Does aloe need succulent soil?

Yes Aloe Plant needs succulent soil for its growth, drainage and additional nutrients requirement. Using a poor potting soil can also work but it should have perlite, pumice to enhance the air circulation and drainage in the existing soil. You can also use liquid fertilizer for aloe plant rare bloom while it needs water and light for all its natural growth so make sure to care as this plant can easily break if not maintained properly.

It isn’t necessarily true that aloe needs succulent soil but for its darker healthier leaves it can grow best in a potting blend that has cacti and succulent mix. If you want to make a blend use 2 cups each of coarse sand, garden soil and 1 cup is needed to add pumice or perlite for better drainage this will make aloe’s natural succulent potting mix. 

Best recommended soil for aloe succulent is Miracle-GRO succulent mix and Hoffman’s cactus and succulent blend available in market works for any kind of succulent. They come in 4 to 10 Quart packs you can choose according to your need. Hoffman soil has additional ingredients like peat moss, limestone and reed sedge peat with that they included perlite as well, all these increase the drainage in the soil so water doesn’t stuck inside the soil and slowly drain out , letting the plant take all the water it needs and excess would be drained out.

Is aloe a cactus?

No Aloe is not a cactus, it does look like a cactus with thick leaves, with thorns on sides of each foliage. Both cactus and aloe vera are succulent and grow in harsh climates and tolerate heat in those desert areas so they have the ability to grow in higher USDA zones. Aloe belongs to liliaceae while the cactus belong to the Cactaceae family which consist of over 126+ species.

Cactus were sometimes incorrectly said to be succulent because of spiky leaves and grow in desert areas. The use of cactus is for fodder or outdoor ornamental purposes while succulent like aloe used basically for medicinal use and indoor ornamental purpose.

Final words

I hope you get the answer on “Is Aloe a Succulent?” and it meets all the aspects of being called as succulent. If you want to read more articles, check below.

Aloe Vera Turning Purple – How to Fix(6 Causes with Solution)

Leggy Aloe Vera – Stem Too Long(How to Fix), Repotting Plant

Aloe Vera Flower – What to do, When and How often It Bloom? 

Droopy Aloe Plant – Wilt, Limp, Not standing(8 Reasons & Solutions)

Amelia Clark

I have over 10 years experience in gardening and here I try to answer every question about plants and how you as a beginner gardener can able to solve various problems. Also If you would like to check our Designed Plant T-Shirts. Please do so.

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