Haworthiopsis Fasciata “Zebra Plant” Care

Haworthiopsis fasciata
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Haworthiopsis fasciata, or haworthia fasciata, is a small succulent plant native to South Africa and its common name refers to its hairlike leaves that resemble the zebra plant’s stripes.

It is also known as ‘carpet haworthia’ because of its spreading habit and carpet-like appearance in its natural environment where it serves as ground cover for aloes, bulbs, mosses, and other plants. It has small rosettes up to 1/4 inch wide, made up of stubby leaves with tiny teeth along their edges. The leaf tips are sharply pointed giving the overall appearance of cutting or tearing which earned it the nickname “cutleaf haworthia.”

Haworthia fasciata is easy to identify because its leaves are striped: green with a white stripe in the center, giving it a polka dot appearance.

They mature to have pale pink leaf borders and they get greener as time goes by (similar to haworthia haworthii). The rosette form can be up to 4 inches wide but will slowly spread out via offsets and become a flat carpet of cutleaf haworthia.

Haworthiopsis fasciata”,   also known as “zebra plant” is a species from the haworthia genus. It has become very rare in nature and these species have found refuge at the Tree of Life. The haworthiopsis fasciata has developed a new defense mechanism against the disease that plagues them in nature so they are able to survive and grow at the Tree of Life.

This species is one of the few haworthias (haworthiopsis), which are easy to propagate via cuttings. Haworthiopsis has leaves that are crinkled like papyrus with zebra stripes.

Haworthiopsis fasciata propagation

Haworthiopsis fasciata

The haworthiopsis fasciata is a plant that can be propagated from leave cuttings fairly easily. Cut off a branch of the haworthiopsis fasciata and place it in some water to let it callous over for about 10-14 days, since it has no roots keeping it hydrated.

Then you should place the cutting in soil with indirect sunlight (so that there are not too many leaves shading out the stem) and make sure that if you will keep the plant indoors, then it should be humid so misting this plant once per day or lightly spraying with water will do. It will root faster with heat but not necessary.

A haworthiopsis fasciata will root faster if you use cuttings with nodes on them, as opposed to cuttings that have leaves or buds at the tip.

The haworthiopsis fasciata growing tips are fairly resistant to rooting compared to other succulents, though it can be a bit difficult for people who are used to propagating from stem cuttings. The haworthiopsis fasciata stems don’t break off very easily and can grow roots along their length when placed in the soil with no problems. Probably the best way for most people is to just snip some stem off and lay it in some water until it’s ready for planting! But if you’re not in a rush, the cuttings will usually root in soil too.

Haworthiopsis fasciata has a very interesting growing pattern (to propagate haworthiopsis you’ll need to begin by removing/plucking off a leaf-blade from haworthia without damaging any of the plant tissue below it on the main stalk; this will cause haworthia to regenerate a brand new plant at its base stem). Haworthiopsis can be propagated by leaf-blade division, and haworthia is also easily rooted from cuttings.

Haworthiopsis fasciata stems are capable of producing roots along the entire length; new haworthia ‘daughter plants’ will grow from the top and lateral sides of the main stem, sometimes even if there is a leaf blade still attached at that location. Haworthia daughter plants will continue to form as long the plant itself remains healthy worth (often in groups of up to 3 or 4). This unique growth pattern allows you to propagate haworthiopsis in many different ways.

Haworthiopsis fasciata care

Haworthiopsis fasciata

Light requirement

Haworthiopsis fasciata will grow and thrive best in bright light conditions, but can also be grown in lower lighting if kept dry between waterings. I have grown haworthiopsis fasciata under a 4K MH with great success (see picture above).

Watering

Haworthiopsis fasciata should not be allowed to sit in stagnant water for too long, which may lead to root rot or bacterial infection if the plant isn’t moved up out of its previous water source immediately. The soil should be kept slightly moist at all times; Haworthiopsis are very resilient plants when it comes to watering frequency, as long as they are not allowed to completely dry out before being watered again. If haworthiopsis does become too dry, it will turn a grey/white color and may drop leaves if not re-hydrated.

Fertilizer

Haworthiopsis fasciata should be fertilized moderately from spring to fall with a fertilizer low in nitrogen (N), high in phosphate, and potash. The key to the N:P:K ratio is for haworthiopsis plants to have more P (Phosphate) than K (Potash).

This ensures that haworthiopsis plants are provided with ample amounts of phosphorous so haworthiopsis plants do well during vegetative growth without becoming ‘leggy’ due to lack of certain nutrients.

From winter until spring, haworthispsis should only be watered with rainwater or distilled/r.o. water in lieu of fertilizer to encourage the growth of nice healthy haworthiopsis leaves rather than haworthiopsis stems during the growing period before blooming.

In addition, haworthiopsis plants should not be fertilized too much, as this is one of the causes that haworthiopsis will drop its lower leaves prematurely.

Potting mix

Haworthiopsis fasciata

Haworthiopsis fasciata can be potted in any kind of soil, but a potting mix that is rich in peat moss and perlite (or vermiculite) will produce the best results.

The cycad loves lots of lime (or dolomite) in the potting medium, so using horticultural grade limestone is a good choice. The pot should be well-drained however, as soggy soil will cause problems with the roots rotting (particularly when growing from seed).

Repotting

Haworthiopsis fasciata typically requires repotting every 2-3 years when haworthiopsis plants are kept indoors under artificial lighting conditions. Repot haworthiopsis fasciata during spring or early summer when they’re 3-4 inches tall into pots with drainage holes and using a well-drained media like volcanic rock or lava rock mixed with your organic potting mix. The haworthiopsis plant should be able to thrive in this size for one growing season before repotting again.

Light period after repotting indoors

When haworthiopsis is re-potted, it requires less light to continue photosynthesis than it did previously in its previous pot size (when it was younger). Using a lower wattage fluorescent bulb between 2-4 K for the first few weeks after it is repotted will ensure that the roots grow themselves into the new pot.

If haworthiopsis plant becomes leggy within 3 days of moving your plant under full strength lighting conditions it means that your plants are receiving too much light and the wattage of your fluorescent bulb needs to be lowered.

Watering

Water moderately, not allowing your plants to sit in water for too long before being moved out of their previous water source immediately after watering. The haworthiopsis ‘root-ball’ should always be kept slightly moist at all times; haworthiopsis can withstand dry periods as long as they are re-hydrated before completely drying out.

If haworthia does become too dry, it will turn a grey/white color and may drop leaves if not re-hydrated. When it drops its lower leaves prematurely (due to overwatering) make sure that when you move your plant up out of its previous water source, it is placed in a spot that will get indirect sunlight until it begins to recover from the shock of being moved.

Temperature

When growing haworthiopsis fasciata as houseplants, it should be kept at temperatures between 60-75 degrees F (16-24 C). Temperatures above 85 degrees may result in leaves becoming thinner and smaller than normal (but will still remain green).

During the winter months, keep your plants away from heat sources such as furnace vents, fireplaces, and radiators. This is especially important when humidity levels are very low; haworthiopsis will desiccate (by shriveling up) quickly in low humidity, hot conditions. Therefore, they should only be placed within a few feet of heat sources during cold winter months if it is also dry inside.

Fertilizing

Haworthiopsis fasciata

The haworthiopsis plant should be fed about every other time you water your plant using a balanced fertilizer diluted to half the recommended strength once a month from spring until late fall year-round.

During very warm summer months when haworthiopsis are actively growing, they may need to be fertilized often to ensure that it remains healthy and does not become “leggy” due to a lack of sufficient nutrients. Haworthia should be fertilized less often during winter months when it is resting, and they shouldn’t be fertilized at all during the winter months.

Pinching its flowers

When haworthia is indoors, it’s important to pinch off haworthiopsis flower buds as soon as they begin to appear in order to ensure that haworthia plants remain bushy and succulent-looking.

If you allow haworthia flower stems to develop into flowers, they will have a tendency to become leggy because their self-produced “sucking” growth regulator (called auxin) is diverted away from where it would have gone had the stem not been producing flowers.

Haworthia plants that are pinched before the buds open will grow into bushy plants with many new leaves, while the plants that are not pinched early on, may produce fewer leaves and remain “leggy” because they received too much auxin from the stem’s own production of flowers.

Pinching: this is when you use your thumb and forefinger to remove the growing points of stems. This will encourage side branching which will increase the number of flowering shoots. It should be done frequently, every week or two during the active growth period from spring through summer.

Humidity

Humidity should be high but not so much that water collects on the foliage. 50%-75% is good, particularly if the potting medium is open and drains well. You can use a humidity tray or place the pots above your tank for continual humidity.

Growth rate

The growth rate is moderate, as many cycads are. Some have almost no growth for a long period of time (years) and suddenly begin to increase in size and number of fronds.

Toxicity

The sap from this cycad is toxic. Avoid handling it or getting it on your skin, and wash your hands well after working with the plant.

Hardiness zone

Haworthiopsis fasciata is native to the Hawaiian Islands and can be grown outdoors year-round in USDA zones 10 and 11 with protection against frost. It is also tolerant of occasional light freezes; it tolerates a low of 15 degrees F (6 degrees C). In areas with severe winters or where nights are cool, grow as an indoor plant.

Pests and diseases

This species is susceptible to scale, mealybugs, and root rot. If the plant gets too warm (particularly in winter) fungus gnats may attack. Treat these infestations with mild soap, hot water, or an insecticidal soap spray.


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