8 Amazing Facts You Didn’t Know about Haworthia

Haworthia are succulents (cactus plants). They absorb a very small amount of water and nutrients through their leaves, but they store the majority of these things in their main body. Here are 8 amazing facts that you didn't know about Haworthia.

Haworthia, also known as the zebra cactus, is one of the most amazing houseplants. This succulent is a great addition to sunny indoors and relatively bright window sills. You can also use it as a desk plant since it can survive in artificial medium light and only need to be watered once or twice a month. In fact, overwatering is one of the leading causes of death for this plant.

This article highlights some of the amazing facts about Haworthia that you need to know. Read on to find out everything you need to know about this amazing plant.

So, what are some of the amazing facts about Haworthia? The succulent is native to South Africa and can survive in drought conditions relatively long. It comes in a wide range of varieties, but the two common types of Haworthia are Haworthia Attenuata and Haworthia fasciata. The plant is closely related to aloe vera and can grow up to 15 centimeters tall when provided with the right conditions. Its rosette of leaves is usually approximately 20 centimeters wide. Haworthia flowers during summer, and its flowers are mainly white. The flowers can stay alive for a relatively long period if the growing conditions are right.

1. Origin

The Haworthia plant is native to the eastern parts of South Africa, where they thrive in relatively dry climatic conditions. The plant is often mistaken for aloe vera because of its similar shape.

Haworthia plant outdoor.
Haworthia thrive in relatively dry climatic conditions.

Haworthias are mostly found in relatively sunny or partial shade conditions where they may go without water for several months. This succulent is generally a hardy plant that requires minimal care to survive in any environment.

2. Scientific Classification

The scientific name for this succulent is Haworthia Fasciata, and it is from the Asphodeloideae family of plants. Haworthia is its Genus name.

The Genus Haworthia is named in honor of Adrian Hardy Haworth, a renowned botanist and entomologist.

With over 80 species of different plants under its belt, Genus Haworthia is classified as one of the biggest Genus that offers botanists and gardeners a wide range of succulents to study and explore.

Haworthia Fasciata plant in a pot.
Some of its other names include the Zebra plant and the Zebra Haworthia.

For instance, Haworthia Fasciata is commonly referred to as the Zebra cactus, even though it is not a cactus but a succulent. Some of its other names include the Zebra plant and the Zebra Haworthia.

The name “Zebra” is given to the succulent because it features white stripes on its surface, making it look like a zebra. Two other plants that are not succulents but are also referred to as zebra plants are Calathea Zebrine and Aphelandra squarrosa.

However, nothing comes close to the beauty exuded by the Zebra Haworthia, which has made it the most prominent among the Zebra plants mentioned here.

We have already mentioned that the most common Haworthia species is the Haworthia Fasciata which resembles a zebra hence the name zebra plant.

However, Haworthia attenuata is closely related to Haworthia Fasciata, and the only difference between the two plants is the tubercles on the leaves.

Haworthia attenuata has both sides of its leaf surface covered by white tubercles, while Haworthia Fasciata’s inner leaf surface is smooth and devoid of any white marks. Something else you need to note is that Haworthia fasciata is a rare species.

Closeup image of Haworthia Attenuata.
The only difference between Haworthia attenuata and Haworthia Fasciata is the tubercles on the leaves.

Many succulent beginners tend to think that the zebra plant is a stripped version of aloe vera. That is not true, even though the two plants are related.

Both are from the same sub-family and share a common origin, but there are clear mark differences that distinguish these two plants.

4. Notable Features

Haworthias are succulents adapted to surviving in relatively dry climatic conditions. They store plenty of water in their stems, allowing them to survive for relatively long periods without water.

These plants grow slowly and won’t invade your desk space at all. The white spots on their leaves are known as “pearls” and are responsible for their zebra-like appearance.

As these succulents grow, they usually form pups/ new offshoots, which can easily be separated from the main plant and propagated into new plants.

Unlike most of the other succulents that grow during spring/ summer and go into winter dormancy during winter, the Haworthias grow during winter and are semi-dormant during the summer season.

5. Haworthias Can Thrive Both Indoors and Outdoors

Haworthia is a highly flexible plant that gives you the freedom to grow it indoors or outdoors. You can cultivate them in your garden, greenhouse or conservatory. They are relatively easy to care for and thrive inside containers and planters in your office or home.

You must keep in mind that these succulents are desert plants and are adapted to a specific kind of climate. They are not cold-hardy plants and won’t survive in freezing temperatures.

Therefore, whether you are growing them indoors or outdoors, you need to provide them with relatively warm and stable temperatures for them to survive.

Haworthia plant with offset.
It is a highly flexible plant that gives you the freedom to grow it indoors or outdoors.

If you live in an area that experiences cold winters, consider covering your outdoor Haworthia during the cold season or move it indoors.

Room temperature provides the best conditions for these succulents to survive and thrive. It is advised to keep them at anything between 50oF and 65oF.

The plant is slow-growing and will take a couple of years to reach a height of 13-15 centimeters. Its rosette leaves are approximately 20 centimeters wide.

Although the stem of the Haworthia isn’t so large and tall, its roots grow deep into the ground pretty quickly. If you have the plant in a pot and the roots grow larger than expected, you should consider re-potting it to a relatively larger pot.

6. Every Haworthia Grown at Home Deserves a Name

So, are you fascinated about Haworthias and want to bring at least one to your home? If so, you need to do more than just ordering it from your nearest plant nursery, planting it in a pot and positioning it somewhere in your indoors.

Besides taking care of your Haworthia, you also need to give it a name as soon as it is delivered to your home. In fact, giving your plant a name will make it easy for you to remember to care for it since it will be part of your family.

So, think of a nice name to give to your plant. Something like “Peter the Haworthia” sounds great but feel free to choose whatever name you like.

A Howorthia plant recieving a sunlight.
Exposure to full sunlight provides essential chemicals needed to help the plant produce flowers.

Once you have given your Haworthia a name, find a good spot that receives plenty of bright light and position it there. If your house doesn’t receive plenty of natural light, consider using artificial fluorescent lights to provide your plant with the much-needed light.

Set a watering reminder and only feed your plant during the active growing season. If you notice that it is struggling to adjust to its new environment, find out what you are doing wrong and correct it immediately.

7. Only Re-pot When the Cluster Is Too Large for Current Container

Haworthias grow pretty slowly, and most species stay fairly small for a couple of years. Mature Haworthias will range between three and five inches tall.

It is advisable to grow a new Haworthia plant in a relatively shallow, wide dish where the mother plant can easily grow offshoots to make a large colony of plants with more leaf clusters.

Once your cluster is too large for the container, you should consider re-potting the plant into a bigger container. Re-potting should be done during spring or early summer so that the plant can spend summer bedding into its new home and growing new leaves.

The best option is a wide, shallow growing container filled with fresh succulent soil. If you are interested in propagating your Haworthia, this is the right time to take a few offsets from the mother plant and grow them into new plants. 

Ensure you use a sharp knife or pair of fine clippers when taking the offset from the mother plant to keep as many roots as possible. Allow the offset to dry a little bit, then transfer it into a relatively small pot using the same succulent soil that the mother plant is growing in.

8. Haworthias Are Not Monocarpic Plants

Haworthias usually don’t perish after flowering since they are not monocarpic plants. If you want to make these succulents flower, ensure they are getting optimal growth conditions and are grown in the right type of potting mix.

If you are growing them indoors, bring them outdoors and expose them to full sunlight for a couple of hours in the morning to stimulate flowering Exposure to full sunlight provides essential chemicals needed to help the plant produce flowers.

These succulents usually flower during summer, and their flowers can survive for a relatively long time as long as the conditions are right.

Summary

That is it about Haworthias, and we hope you are now looking forward to adding this succulent to your plant collection if you don’t have it yet. These plants are easy to care for and very rewarding to succulent enthusiasts.

Furthermore, there are many different types of Haworthias you can choose from and start your journey even if you have no experience growing and looking after succulents.

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