But this is not a rule. It's a recommendation to avid misunderstandings, but you can put it another place. Look: http://bertilow.com/pmeg/gramatiko/e-vortecaj_vortetoj/ceteraj/ankau.html#i-vb4
Can someone explain all the differences between vivas and loĝas? Is it that vivas is like to be alive and loĝas is more like to reside
Yes, it is. Vivi is to be alive. For humans hat is more than dwelling only. (to dwell = loĝi) And not all life forms do dwell.
Many people use vivi for loĝi as totum pro parte, most likely according to their native languages.
I wrote "Plants are alive," but that was apparently incorrect, despite "is alive" being listed as a possible translation for "vivas." Is it just Duolingo being rigid, or am I missing a distinction.