Haworthia vs Aloe: 3 Interesting Differences and Similarities

Both Haworthia and Aloe plants look remarkably similar. They even behave the same way in certain aspects and this makes it tricky to tell them apart. But if you are experienced and know what you’re looking for, this isn’t so hard.

Let’s see how you can distinguish Haworthia vs Aloe.

haworthia vs aloe

Haworthia vs Aloe: Differences

There was a time when both these plants were believed to be relatives because they look similar. But since, we’ve learned a lot more and here’s a look at Haworthia vs Aloe: 3 key differences and similarities.


The biggest difference is the size of both these plants. When Haworthia matures, it is still small, even though some species have rosettes that have a diameter of about 12 inches.

haworthia coarctata
Haworthia coarctata

Aloe plants, on the other hand, get large. Some species of these plants are even 30-40 feet tall and quite wide. Some species also have long stems which makes them look like trees. The stemless varieties still have long and reaching leaves.

aloe mawii
Aloe mawii


Haworthia plants have petite flowers that are white. They might have striations in green or brown color depending on the specific species. They are also tubular and have a wide and open end.

Aloe plants produce blooms that are more tubular than Haworthia flowers and they are also large. They can be white in color but also come in red, orange, pink, yellow or a combination of these colors.

Leaf Margins

Another difference is that Haworthia plants don’t have teeth along their leaf margins but Aloe plants do. These teeth are not like cacti, but they will feel sharp if you are not gentle. If the plant has a smooth leaf margin, it is a Haworthia.

Some species of Aloe don’t have teeth but they have other features like the size that separate them from Haworthia plants. Some Aloe species also have leaves that don’t have a complete set of teeth on their margins. But if there are teeth at all then they are Aloe plants.

aloe nobilis
Aloe nobilis

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Haworthia vs Aloe: Similarities

Now let’s look at the three similarities that make it confusing to tell these two plants apart.


Both these plants are from southern Africa. They also have leaves that are in different shades of green and are triangular in shape. Some species of both plants have a solid green color, but some of them are mottled or striped, which adds to the confusion.


Both these plants also change colors when they are stressed. If you notice the leaves turning yellow, or worse, brown, you should make a change to adjust the amount of sunlight.

Healthy plants have green leaves, which means if they are discolored, they might be getting too much sun or not enough.


Both these plants are quite easy to propagate. You should collect pups or offsets from them when they are healthy. Cut and place these pups in a container till you see them grow roots.

This is a very easy and efficient way to propagate both these plants and even beginners find it easy to do this.

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How To Care For Haworthia and Aloe

Here’s a look at how to care for both these plant varieties.


Haworthia plants need bright light, but it shouldn’t be strong and direct. Naturally, they grow near shade, so you should try to replicate that by placing a rock near the plant.

The leaves of this plant turn from green to yellow, red or white if they are getting burnt. And they fade if they are not getting enough sun. So, place the plant near the east or west window.

Aloe plants, on the other hand, love 6 hours of bright and natural light. But in the afternoon, you should get them some shade and indirect light. You can grow them indoors, but the atmosphere needs to have indirect light and brightness.


Haworthia plants like gravelly or sandy soil because it has very good drainage. You can get a standard succulent mix or any other potting soil that drains quickly. If not, you can mix the soil with pumice, gravel or perlite.

Aloe plants grow well even in soil that is nutrient poor, only if it is on a slope that guarantees drainage. So, you must make sure that the pot is filled with standard potting soil mix and add some coarse sand and perlite.

Aloe plants also prefer soil that’s slightly acidic. So, aim for the pH value to be 6. But they can adapt to alkaline and neutral soil as well.


Haworthia plants need to be watered in spring and summer whenever one inch of the top layer of soil is totally dry. In fall and winter, you should reduce the watering. Make sure the rosettes never collect water because root rot is a real risk.

Aloe plants must be watered whenever the soil is completely dry. But if the soil is dry for too long, the leaves will start to shrivel. Just adjust the watering and it will recover.

Overwatering will turn Aloe leaves into yellow color and eventually kill them. So, don’t water them during the monsoons. The same is true for winter as well when they go dormant.


Haworthia plants like warm weather. So, when the temperature is 70-95°F (21°C-35°C), they grow well. They can handle a winter drop up to about 50°F (10°C) but if it goes under 40°F (4°C), they might get damaged.

Naturally, Aloe plants grow in arid and tropical weather. So, the ideal temperature for them is 55-85°F (13°C-29°C). This is quite easy to achieve in most indoor setups. These are container plants that shouldn’t be left outdoors if the mercury drops under 40°F (4°C).