Haworthia plants are a popular succulent plant that many people love. These are easy to grow, look attractive, and can be very rewarding for beginner plant carers. If you have no experience with growing succulent species, though, you might be uncertain about how to get started with these plants and how to make sure you are treating your plants as well as possible.
Let’s take a look at haworthia plants, exploring exactly what they are, how to look after them, and all of the tips you might ever want in order to help you make sure you look after your plants at their best. Read on below to find out everything you might ever want to know about haworthia succulents!
What is Haworthia?
Haworthia, often known as the “pearl plant” or the “haworthia zebra cactus” is a group of small succulent plants ideal for beginners who only have space for very small plant pot setups in their homes. These are small, low succulent varieties that grow in thick rosettes of dense, fleshy green leaves covered with white bands or lumps, earning them names such as “pearl plant” or “zebra haworthia.”
There are several different haworthia species and varieties, which can range in size from 3 to 5 inches for most species to as much as 20 inches for the very largest species of pearl plant. Make sure you know which variety you are buying before you commit to anything! These plants are simple to grow, easy to care for, and ideal for anyone relatively new to the world of succulents.
How to Grow Haworthia Species
Haworthia is generally considered an easy type of houseplant to grow, even for people with very little experience. The biggest risk when growing haworthia is that of overwatering. The quickest way to kill a haworthia is too much water, and they should never be left to sit in standing water in any situation. These simple, rewarding plants can be easily grown in any small container of soil, from a standard small plant pot to a teacup or some other pot alternative.
If you are going to use an alternative vessel rather than a pot, though, make sure it has adequate drainage. If your vessel of choice has no drainage holes, try adding a layer of gravel at the bottom of the container!
How much light do Haworthia Plants Need?
Like most other varieties of succulent, the haworthia plant naturally grows in hot, dry environments, in the shade cast by a rock or other large object. That means that when you are growing this plant (or most other varieties of succulent) at home, you will want to put your haworthia succulents in an area where they have access to bright light, but not direct sunlight. The best option for this is to put your haworthia plant in a room with a window that faces east or west if you have one so that the plant can get bright light for a few hours every day.
You can tell if your haworthia plant is getting the right level of light from the color of its leaves. If it has bright green leaves with white bumps, then the light levels are about right. If your plant is getting too much bright light, then the leaves will bleach to white or yellow, and you should put it in a more shaded location. If the leaves fade to a paler green color, then your plant is not getting enough light.
If you decide to move your haworthia succulent outdoors during the summer, start by putting it in a shaded location, and slowly move it into more direct light over the course of a few days, so it does not get sunburn. Plants can be sunburned just like humans can!
What Type of Soil is Best for Haworthia?
Haworthia naturally grows in dry, sandy soil. The best bet for growing this succulent in a pot at home, though, is a soil mix designed specifically for cacti, or some sort of potting soil that drains very fast. Mixing standard potting soil with sand to mimic the natural soil in which haworthia grows is a bad idea. However – the sand clogs up the pores of the soil and prevents drainage. Instead, you should mix your potting soil with pumice, aquarium gravel, or perlite in order to increase drainage.
How Often to Water Haworthia
Watering haworthia is easy once you get into a routine, as this succulent requires only occasional water. Water it generously and evenly during the summer, ensuring that the soil is allowed to dry out before you next water it. In cooler weather such as the winter, you can water your haworthia as infrequently as once every second month. It is important that you do not leave water pooling in the rosette formed at the center of the plant, where all the leaves come together.
Best Temperature and Humidity for Haworthia Succulents
All species of haworthia grow best in warmer temperatures, but they are more than capable of surviving winter temperatures of as low as 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything lower than 40 degrees Fahrenheit can cause damage to the leaves, though, so it is best to try to keep your succulent a bit warmer than this.
Haworthia does not need additional humidity and is more than happy in relatively dry environments. Instead, this succulent needs good ventilation, particularly during the night when the leaves absorb carbon dioxide. Setting up a small fan near your haworthia might be a good idea, as this will circulate air around the leaves and let the succulent breathe properly.
Should you Fertilize Haworthia Plants?
During the growing season for your haworthia, which is generally the summer, you should fertilize the succulent with a standard cactus fertilizer. Don’t fertilize during the winter, though, as there is no new growth during this season.
Potting and Repotting Haworthia
Haworthia grow quite slowly, and most varieties stay fairly small, ranging between 3 inches and 5 inches in height. A new haworthia succulent is usually grown in a shallow, wide dish, where the mother plant will send off more, smaller plantlets to make a larger colony with more leaf clusters and more individual succulents.
Once your cluster is too large for its container, you can repot it. This is best done in the spring or early summer, so it can spend the summer bedding into its new home and growing fresh leaves. A wide, shallow container filled with fresh potting soil is the best bet here. If you are interested in propagating your haworthia, then this is also the ideal time to take an offcut to use for propagation!
When you repot your haworthia, you can also propagate it in order to grow an additional fresh cluster. Use a sharp knife or fine clippers to take an offset, and cut as close to the mother stem as you can in order to keep as many roots as possible attached to your offset.
Allow the offset to dry a little, and then repot it in a small pot, using the same soil that the mother cluster is growing in. At that point, you can place it in a warm, well-lit spot, just like you would with an adult haworthia, and water it a little more than you would with a larger and better-established plant.
There are more than 80 different varieties of haworthia out there, and telling the difference between them can be difficult. For the most part, the main difference between the common species (of which the three most popular are haworthia fasciata, haworthia cooperi, and the related but distinct haworthiopsis fasciata) comes down to the size of the leaves and the arrangement of white markings across the leaves. They are all grown in the same way, so you should just choose the one that looks most attractive to you. Let us quickly run through some of the most popular varieties.
Haworthia fasciata has horizontal white stripes across its leaves, and is the variety most commonly known as the “zebra haworthia.” Haworthia margaritifera has warty white bumps protruding from each leaf, while Haworthia attenuata has long green leaves with sharply pointed tips. Haworthia bolusii is one of the other popular varieties, thanks to the tufted, feathery edges to its leaves. There are many other varieties out there, all of which have different patterns and aesthetics, so pick whatever appeals to you the most! These are just a few of the most popular varieties available currently, and a few of the ones you are most likely to encounter in your local garden supplies store.
Haworthia succulents are easy to look after and very rewarding to most succulent enthusiasts, even if you are nervous and have little or no experience in looking after succulents. There are many different varieties, all of which look different, and most of them take up minimal space, making them ideal for small apartments or cramped rooms. They are also very easy to look after, and that is a valuable trait. If you are interested in getting started with caring for succulents, then there is nothing better than a haworthia succulent for you.
These are low maintenance succulents, and anyone can get great results from them. Haworthia succulents can brighten up any room and are ideal for the modern world of apartment living with minimal spare space for larger planters. You don’t have to have a conservatory or a garden in order to plant haworthia succulents, and even the smallest of apartments will make a good home for one, as long as you have access to bright sunlight.