Aloe Vera vs. Snake Plant: All the Differences

Suyash is a Master Gardener and the Editorial and Strategy Director at With a focus on houseplant care, he combines over a decade of hands-on horticultural experience with editorial expertise to guide and educate plant enthusiasts.
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Aloe Vera vs. Snake Plant – Confused about which Green Guardian is Right for Your Home? Keep reading to find out!

Aloe Vera vs. Snake Plant – Dive in to discover the unique features, care requirements, and utility of each plant, and find out which botanical powerhouse reigns supreme for your specific needs!

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Aloe Vera – An Overview

Aloe Vera vs. Snake Plant 1

Aloe vera, scientifically known as Aloe barbadensis miller, is a succulent plant from the Liliaceae family. It’s known for its fleshy leaves that store soothing gel used in skincare and medicinal products.

Originally from arid regions in Africa, it’s now popular worldwide. Aloe vera grows in rosette shapes with long, pointed leaves, typically 12-24 inches long.

Snake Plant – An Overview

Snake plant, also known as Sansevieria or Mother-in-law’s tongue, is a hardy, low-maintenance plant from the Asparagaceae family. Native to West Africa, it has become a favorite houseplant globally.

Snake plants have long, upright, dark green leaves often variegated with yellow or white. They’re known for their air-purifying abilities, removing toxins like formaldehyde and benzene from indoor air, making them ideal for low-light spaces.

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Differences Between Aloe Vera and Snake Plant

Aloe Vera vs. Snake Plant 3

Light Requirements

  • Aloe Vera: Prefers indirect light and can even become stressed if exposed to strong, direct sunlight for an extended period. It’s advisable to place it near east facing windows.
  • Snake Plant: Extremely versatile when it comes to light conditions. It can tolerate full sun to low light conditions, making it ideal for any indoor setting.

Watering Needs

  • Aloe Vera: Requires infrequent watering. Over-watering can lead to root rot. It’s best to let the soil dry out between waterings to avoid this.
  • Snake Plant: Known for its remarkable drought tolerance. It requires watering only when the soil feels completely dry to the touch. Over-watering should be avoided to prevent root rot.

Air-Purifying Abilities

  • Aloe Vera: It’s effective in removing formaldehyde and benzene from the air, which commonly emanates from cleaning products.
  • Snake Plant: A powerhouse in air purification, Snake Plant removes a variety of harmful toxins like benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, and toluene from the air.

Growth Habit

  • Aloe Vera: Grows both horizontally and vertically, with new leaves emerging from the center of the plant, pushing the older leaves outward.
  • Snake Plant: Grows vertically, with new leaves appearing from the soil, growing straight up next to existing leaves.

Similarities Between Aloe Vera and Snake Plant

  • Low Maintenance: Both Aloe Vera and Snake Plants are low-maintenance that can withstand a certain level of neglect.
  • Succulent Features: Each is a succulent, which means they store water in their leaves, making them incredibly resilient.
  • Indoor Adaptability: Both plants adapt well to indoor conditions and can purify indoor air to some extent.

Aloe Vera vs. Snake Plant – Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Do Aloe Vera and Snake Plants need direct sunlight?

Answer: No, both plants thrive well in indirect light, although the Snake Plant can tolerate low light conditions more effectively.

Q2. How often should I water these plants?

Answer: For Aloe Vera, water sparingly and let the soil dry between watering. Snake Plants need even less frequent watering.

Q3. Are Aloe Vera and Snake Plant safe for pets?

Answer: Aloe Vera is generally safe for topical application but can be harmful if ingested by pets. Snake Plant is toxic and should be kept out of reach.

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Q4. How to propagate Aloe Vera and Snake Plant?

Answer: Aloe Vera can be propagated using its pups or offsets, while Snake Plants can be propagated through leaf cuttings or division.

Q5. Do they have medicinal properties?

Answer: Aloe Vera is renowned for its skin-soothing and digestive benefits, whereas the Snake Plant is known more for its air-purifying properties.

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Q6. Can I grow these plants outdoors?

Answer: Both plants are quite hardy but have different ideal conditions. Aloe Vera prefers warm, sunny environments while the Snake Plant can adapt to a broader range of conditions.

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