How to grow and care for Haworthia Plants Indoors

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Houseplant, Zebra Plant, Haworthia Plant

Botanical name: Haworthia spp
Family: Asphodelaceae
Sufamily: Asphodeloideae

Haworthia plants resemble miniature aloes except in their flowers which are distinctive in appearance. They form a rosette of warty leaves from 1.2 in to 12 in. in diameter. Many species have firm, tough, fleshy leaves, usually dark-green in color while others are softer and contain leaf windows with translucent panels through which sunlight can reach internal photosynthetic tissues. The flowers are white and small. When the plants are stressed like when deprived of water, their color can change to reds and purple. If deprived of nitrogen the leaves become paler. Plants in this genera are endemic to Southern Africa; Mozambique, Namimbia, Lesotho, Swaziland and South Africa.

Many species and hybrids of Haworthia can be grown indoors. These include Haworthia margaritifera (Pearl Plant) which forms a ball-like rosette about 5 in. across. The white tubercles which cover the back of the leaves gives the plant a pearly appearance and hence the common name. Haworthia papillosa is similar to Pearl Plant. In Haworthia fasciata (Zebra Haworthia) the warts are arranged in horizontal bands giving it the "Zebra striping". This feature is also in Haworthia attenuata (Big Band Zebra Haworthia) but the horizontal bands are larger. Others like Haworthia tessellata (Star Window Plant), Haworthia cuspidata and Haworthia cooperi have semi-transparent "windows" instead of warts on the upper surface of the leaves. While Haworthia reinwardtii (Wart Plant) forms an erect stem which is clothed with thick triangular leaves.

Pearl Plant

Haworthia margaritifera (Pearl Plant)

Star Window Plant

Haworthia tessellata (Star Window Plant)

Haworthia cooperi

Haworthia cooperi

Wart Plant

Haworthia reinwardtii (Wart Plant)

Haworthia genus is closely related to the genera Aloe and Gasteria. The species of these genera are known to hybridise relatively easily with each other.

How to grow Haworthia Plants

Light for Haworthia Plants

Haworthia grow best in bright light away from direct sunshine. Should you choose to take the plant outdoors, acclimatize it gradually and place in a shaded place. Learn how to ensure your plant receives the correct light in this guide on understanding light for houseplants.

Watering Haworthia Plants

Water Haworthia Plants thoroughly during the hot season while allowing the soil to almost dry out between waterings. Water very infrequently in the cold months. Avoid waterlogging as it can lead to root-rot. Avoid wetting the leaves as it can lead to rotting. Water from the bottom instead. Use room temperature water to avoid plant shock. Learn more on how to water houseplants.

Temperature for Haworthia Plants

Average warmth temperatures, from 18-260C are ideal for Haworthia Plants. The sudden change in temperature between day and night is excellent for this succulent. Learn more on temperature for houseplants.

Humidity for Haworthia Plants

Haworthia Plants have no need for high humidity. Average room humidity is ideal for these plants.

Feeding Haworthia Plants

Feed Haworthia Plants monthly during the growing period with a water soluble fertilizer. Withhold feeding in the cold season as growth is minimal. Find out more on how to feed houseplants.

Repotting Haworthia Plants

Repot Haworthia Plants once every year at the beginning of the growing season; this will ensure a healthy and vigorously growing plant. Use a shallow rather than a deep pot; they have shallow roots. The pot should be only 1 size larger than the previous one. Ensure the pot has a drainage hole as waterlogging can lead to root-rot. Use a sandy or rocky soil to ensure proper drainage.

Pruning Haworthia Plants

Pruning Haworthia Plants only requires removal of dead or diseased leaves. Cut the leaves at the base with a sharp knife or pair of scissors to detach them from the stem. As much as possible avoid excessive injury to the plant.

How to Propagate Haworthia Plants

Haworthia Plants can be propagated at the beginning of the growing season from offsets (pups) which form at the base of the plant. Seperate the offset from the mother by cutting with a sharp knife or a pair of scissors to avoid excessive injury to the plants. Select an offset which has several leaves. Plant the offset in free-draining soil and ensure the pot has a drainage hole. Water sparingly, only when the soil is dry; avoid waterlogging as it can lead to root-rot.

Common Problems in Growing Haworthia Plants

  • Brown soft spots
  • The reason for brown soft spots in Haworthia Plants is Leaf spot disease which is promoted by poor air circulation.

  • Leaves wilted and droopy
  • Underwatering is the cause of wilted and droopy leaves in Haworthia plants; do not leave the soil to dry our completely. Immediately water thoroughly and the plant should perk up.

  • Leaves wilted and discolored
  • Overwatering during the cold season is the cause of wilted and discolored leaves in Haworthia Plants; water sparingly during the cold season and always allow the soil to almost dry out between waterings.

  • Rot at base followed by yellowing and shriveled leaves
  • Basal stem rot disease due to overwet conditions is the cause of base rot followed by yellowing and shriveled leaves in Haworthia Plants. Avoid overwatering during the cold season. Use a fungicidal solution ocassionally to prevent infection. Water from bottom. Remove and discard the infected parts to prevent spread.

  • Pests
  • Common Pests in Haworthia Plants are Scales and Mealy Bugs. Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to other houseplants and treat appropriately.


Haworthia Plants are non-toxic to both humans and pets. They are safe to keep in the home.

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