Haworthia Succulent Care (Zebra Cactus)

Haworthia succulents

Haworthia succulents are some of the easiest houseplants you can grow since they require very little maintenance or tend to thrive in even the most basic of homes.

This succulent has long been prized by gardeners, but many of them have no idea how to care for these fascinating plants. Since Haworthia succulents do not like to be kept too wet or too dry, it can be tricky to keep them alive and healthy in your home garden.

While relatively easy to care for, there are still some specific guidelines that will help your plants thrive and stay healthy.

Fortunately, if you follow these simple tips on how to care for haworthia succulent plants, you’ll be able to keep your succulents healthy and thriving with minimal effort!

Origin and distribution

The Haworthia genus, with more than 100 species, is native to South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Angola, and Mozambique. Haworthia succulent are frost-sensitive succulents that do best in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9 through 11; some species can be grown outdoors year-round in zone 8.

Numerous cultivars exist for indoor growing as houseplants or for outdoor use in containers; however, wild types make popular landscape plants when container-grown.

Plants produce rosettes up to 12 inches tall and 6 inches wide. Leaves are oblong, pointed at the tips, and arranged along the central stem from base to tip in a single plane. Colors range from grayish-green to light green and red; other varieties feature white margins or variegated leaves.

In cultivation, Haworthia plants will flower only under specific conditions: warmth (80 degrees Fahrenheit), low humidity (less than 40 percent), and frequent night temperatures above 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

Haworthia succulent propagation

Haworthia succulents

Haworthia succulent plants are easy to propagate, especially by leaf cuttings. Use a clean, sharp knife or razor blade to take off part of a healthy, mature leaf at an angle. The cutting should be about 3–4 long—don’t take too much or it will be hard for roots to form. Cut across the petiole (the stem that attaches the leaf to the plant) as close to the stem as possible.

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Plant in well-draining soil so that only half of the cutting is buried. Make sure you put it in a sunny spot so it can grow faster! When your new plant has rooted and grown enough, transplant it into its own pot with fresh potting soil.

You may want to use a mix of sand, perlite, potting soil, and peat moss if your tap water tends to be on the acidic side. Allow the top two inches of soil to dry out between watering.

If succulents are wilted or drooping after watering, it means they need more moisture; conversely, if they perk up right away after watering, then they need less moisture.

Haworthia succulent care information

Haworthia succulents

If you’re new to succulents, Haworthia makes an excellent choice for your first introduction to these drought-tolerant houseplants. They’re easy to care for and often tolerant of mistakes. As long as they’re watered enough, this succulent will thrive in most conditions.

Light requirement

Haworthia succulent are generally a fairly easy succulent to care for, although their light requirement is slightly higher than some other succulents. Haworthia succulents do best in bright indirect sunlight, but you can place them near a sunny window as long as they don’t get direct sunlight.

Plants that are too close to a sunny window will develop thick green leaves while neglecting new growth and flowers.

Soil/potting mix

If you’re keeping your Haworthia succulents in a pot, choose a soil or cactus/succulent potting mix. For container gardening, use an equal amount of soil and sand to ensure proper drainage. Your pots should be well-draining, so don’t use garden soil.

If you can’t find sandy soil, you can purchase a bag of perlite at your local garden store (perlite is cheap) or order it online.

Watering

Haworthia succulent are generally known to be very drought-tolerant, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need a little water now and then. In fact, most Haworthia succulent will benefit from regular watering (about once every two weeks or so). You want to avoid letting your succulents dry out completely—and overwatering is as dangerous for them as underwatering is.

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For example, if you forget to water one day, it’s not the end of the world; just be sure to give it some more moisture on the next day.

If you have any questions about whether or not your succulent needs more water, gently poke it with your finger; if it feels crispy or brittle in spots, it probably needs some help.

Fertilizer

When it comes to fertilizing your succulents, less is more. Fertilizers made for other plants can be too rich for succulents and cause them to grow leaves when they’re not supposed to. Stick with a slow-release fertilizer that has a lower concentration of nitrates.

These formulations typically have N-P-K values below 20-5-5 or 10-10-10. If you’re unsure what the numbers on the label mean, do some research on this topic first so you know what to look for. And make sure you read the instructions before applying any type of fertilizer to your plant!

Temperature

Haworthia succulent are from South Africa, so they need to be acclimated slowly to lower temperatures. But don’t let them get too cold. The ideal temperature for your succulents is 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit at night with a 10-15 degree rise during the day. If you can’t provide that much warmth in your home, place them by a sunny window that doesn’t receive direct sun.

Humidity

The humidity of your succulent’s environment is crucial to their health. Haworthia succulent is native to semi-arid regions, so you should aim for a relative humidity level of between 40 and 60 percent.

In most cases, it is not necessary to keep Haworthia succulent in a terrarium or other enclosed environment with higher humidity levels, unless you live in an area that experiences very dry air during certain times of the year.

Pruning

If you’re going to be growing Haworthia for a long time, it’s a good idea to start by pruning dead or broken leaves from your plants. This will help them form new ones, so when you eventually repot them, there won’t be any bare patches of soil that need to be filled in.

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You should also make sure the roots are not touching the potting soil because this can lead to rot, but if they are then gently prune off some of the roots so they have room to grow without touching the ground.

Remember that succulents like more water than many other houseplants, so don’t forget to give them a thorough watering at least once per week and fertilize them with an organic fertilizer every few months.

When to repot

Haworthia succulents

Repotting your Haworthia succulents can extend their lifespan by a few years. On average, you should repot them every 3-4 years to give them fresh soil as well as space to grow.

If your plant’s leaves look lighter in color than usual or are becoming too big for its current container, it may be time to repot it into a larger pot. Only do so if your plant looks healthy, with plenty of new growth sprouting from its existing leaves.

Dormancy/Winter rest

During periods of dormancy, it’s a good idea to keep Haworthia succulent (and all succulents) cool and dry; when they’re actively growing, they should be watered well, but don’t give them too much water.

Another thing to keep in mind is that certain Haworthia succulent are known for their variegated leaves, meaning some portions of each leaf will have a different color than others.

When these plants grow new leaves from the center of the rosette, many times the new growth won’t match the existing colors because they were produced during active growth.

Haworthia succulent flower & fragrance

Haworthia succulent may have flowers, but they are often small and white. They also don’t smell very good—but their leaves, however, are a whole different story. Haworthia succulent have incredibly fragrant leaves that smell like peaches, honey or coffee beans.

The leaves of some varieties even change color when exposed to sunlight or in reaction to temperature changes. Make sure you add these plants to your office or living room!

Growth rate

Haworthia succulent are generally slow-growing, meaning you don’t have to worry about repotting often. If you want your plant to grow faster, water it with a dilute solution of fertilizer every two weeks. It’s also important to note that Haworthia succulent are susceptible to root rot if kept in poorly drained soil or watered too frequently. Always check for drainage holes in containers before planting.

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Toxicity

Haworthia succulent are non-toxic but keep them away from pets, children, and anything else that might try to eat them. They’re also prone to root rot in soggy soil, so make sure your potting mix drains well. Avoid repotting during fall and winter; you can do it during spring or summer without worrying about hurting them.

USDA hardiness zones

Haworthia succulent thrives best in USDA hardiness zones 9-11. These plants are perfect for indoors or outdoors, though they require lots of sunlight. Since the plant is not a cactus, it can tolerate colder temperatures.

You can water haworthia once every week or two weeks to keep the soil moist. As with all other plants, make sure to thoroughly clean off any fertilizer or pesticide that may have been used on your plants beforehand.

Pests and diseases

Haworthia succulents are susceptible to a variety of pests and diseases, including mealybugs, mites, scale insects, aphids, whitefly, root rot fungi (Phytophthora spp.), leaf spot fungi (Cercospora spp.), fungal leaf spots (Alternaria spp.) and others.

The most common pest is mealybug because they tend to occur on many different types of succulents. It is important to get rid of them as soon as possible because the bugs can suck out all the juice from the plant’s leaves, causing them to dry up and die.

If you see some gray or black spots on your plant’s leaves that could be a sign that your plant has spider mites. Spider mites also cause yellowing of the leaves or slow growth in plants, so it’s important to get rid of them quickly before they infest your entire garden!

Conclusion

Haworthia succulent are pretty easy to care for, with low-maintenance requirements that make them a favorite among succulent enthusiasts. If you’re looking for an attractive succulent that requires little in terms of care, consider adding a Haworthia to your collection. The best part is that they’re so beautiful when their colors come out!