Haworthia Plant: DO They Need Direct Sunlight?

Haworthia, as a species, are very easy to grow and can tolerate neglect. Haworthia are drought tolerant. Haworthia require strong sun for flowering and healthy green leaves

Haworthia is one of the best indoor plants because it is easy to care for. While caring for your haworthia plant, it is critical to pay close attention to watering and lighting needs as they are very sensitive. A slight mistake with any of the two and your succulent could easily suffer premature death.

So, does haworthia need direct sunlight to survive? The simple answer is no. It’s a common myth that haworthia plants need direct sunlight in order to thrive. In fact, these plants can grow quite well in shaded areas – making them perfect for indoor gardening. Even in their natural habitat, they mostly grow in the filtered shade of rocks, bushes, and shrubs to avoid contact with direct sunlight. However, you also need to ensure the light isn’t too low because it will cause the plant to experience etiolation. Typically, you should provide your haworthia with four to five hours of bright indirect sunlight for it to thrive.

If you want to learn more about haworthia plant light requirements, you have come to the right place. Read on to find out everything you need to know to make your succulent happy.

General Haworthia Plant Light Requirements

As a general rule, haworthia thrives under bright indirect sunlight. So, if you are growing this plant at home, you need to ensure you provide it with four to five hours of bright indirect sunlight, preferably in the morning hours.

Haworthia plant with Offset.
You also need to be careful not to deny your plant access to a sufficient amount of light needed for survival.

Some haworthia species, such as Haworthia fasciata, can survive well under low light. When exposed to excessive direct sunlight, the succulent can suffer severe sunburn that may lead to its death.

This makes them perfect for indoor growth. In fact, if you want to have haworthia in your outdoor garden, you need to position them under tall plants to provide them with enough shade.

But you also need to be careful not to deny your plant access to a sufficient amount of light needed for survival. Generally, if you notice your plant stretching towards the direction of light and showing signs of stunted growth, it could mean you are not providing it with sufficient amounts of light.

If it is indoors, move it to a bright sunny spot immediately and give it a few days to recover. If your house doesn’t have a good spot that receives plenty of sunlight, consider installing artificial grow lights to fulfill your plant’s light requirements.

The only haworthia species that can survive low light is the Haworthia fasciata. In fact, if you have this type of haworthia, lighting shouldn’t be among your list of worries when caring for the plant.

As long as the plant receives some light enough to conduct photosynthesis, it will be fine.

What Is the Importance of Good Light for Haworthia?

All green plants require sunlight to thrive and photosynthesize their own food. Generally, the plant does well under bright indirect light because it grows in areas that experience a tropical climate.

Some haworthia species can tolerate full sunlight as long as the intensity isn’t too strong. Adequate sunlight helps the plant conduct photosynthesis and maintain its unique patterns and colors.

Haworthia Caorctata Plant.
They may survive the full sun, keeping it in a relatively shaded area makes it feel better.

Most haworthia species have relatively long leaves with white stripes hence the nickname the zebra plant. The succulent requires exposure to sufficient amounts of light to maintain its rich color and beautiful pattern.

While it may survive the full sun, keeping it in a relatively shaded area makes it feel better, and it will appreciate it by maintaining its beautiful color and patterns. Depriving it of sufficient light exposure can be catastrophic in the long run.

What Is the Difference Between Direct and Indirect Light?

We have constantly mentioned that haworthia does well when exposed to bright indirect light throughout this post. So, what is the difference between direct and indirect light?

Well, the best way to figure out if you are providing your plant with direct or indirect light is using your hand.

Stretch your hand between your haworthia and the light. Look at the shadow formed carefully. If it is clear and sharp, then the light is direct. You will most likely also feel increased heat intensity for the direct light.

Haworthia plant in a pot.
Haworthia does well when exposed to bright indirect light.

On the other hand, if the shadow formed is somehow blurry, the light is indirect. In most cases, indirect sunlight will also be quite soft and gentle. The heat you feel in such a case will be less intense and more bearable.

It is always good to feel the light and determine whether it is direct or indirect before planting your haworthia in a given spot. If you have a spot in mind and realize that it receives a lot of direct, intense sunlight, be sure to choose a different spot for the safety of your succulent.

What Is the Appropriate Light Intensity?

As mentioned earlier, haworthia, just like other green plants, requires exposure to sufficient light to photosynthesize. Light intensity refers to how strong the light rays are.

Typically, this succulent can tolerate around 6,000 to 12,000 lux of light. If the intensity goes beyond 12,000 lux, the plant may suffer severe sunburn. Some of the common signs of sunburn in haworthia include leaves turning brown.

If you notice signs of sunburn and do nothing about it, your plant will most likely die. So, you need to do everything possible to ensure you maintain the light intensity within the acceptable range.

In some cases, the intensity differs and may be slightly higher for mature plants and the varieties that produce rich color and patterns.

The succulent takes time to adapt to intense light. So, you need to introduce it to bright light gradually.

To estimate the exact intensity of your light, feel free to use a measuring device to count the intensity level of your preferred planting spot.

To be on the safe side, it is important to understand your plant’s stage to provide it with appropriate light intensity.

Established or stressed haworthia needs a maximum of 5,000 lux; a plant that is still growing requires 10,000 lux maximum, while a robust and well-established haworthia can survive in relatively intense light conditions of up to 20,000 lux.

Relatively larger, matured haworthia plants with prominent patterns can handle full sun pretty well and will thrive in intense light of up to 23,000 lux.

What Is the Best Light Quality for Haworthia?

When we discuss light quality, we are mainly talking about artificial grow light. Generally, haworthia will survive under grow lights, but you still need to ensure the intensity is right and the light isn’t too low.

A Haworthia house plant.
The succulent requires exposure to sufficient amounts of light to maintain its rich color and beautiful pattern.

When you live in an area that doesn’t receive plenty of sunlight, you can supplement the little amount of natural sunlight that your succulents receive with artificial grow lights.

When installing artificial grow lights, make sure you use a blend of warm and cool white bulbs to deliver adequate intensity and balance in the plant color.

We highly recommend using the T5 fluorescent lights to achieve better results. These lights tend to produce the right intensity needed by haworthia to thrive. Just ensure the lumens stand at around 6k to 12k lux.

Can Haworthia Receive Too Much Sunlight?

The simple answer is yes. While some haworthia species can tolerate full sun, some can’t. You need to be extra careful with your plant in summer when temperatures rise too high, and sunlight becomes too intense since it can affect your plant’s overall health.

Keep in mind that in their native habitats, these succulents don’t grow under full sun. Most of them take refuge under shades of bushes, shrubs, and even rocks to avoid the effects of bright, direct sunlight.

No matter the type of haworthia you have, just know that it will need protection from a full sun at some point. It is your duty to monitor your plant and take action whenever you notice any signs of sunburn.

Haworthia succulent plant in a pot.
Some haworthia species can tolerate full sun, some can’t.

Besides developing sunburn, the plant leaves will also develop yellow/white patches when exposed to excessive light. The leaves may also turn from green to black or dark red, depending on the haworthia species you have.

Should I Rotate My Plant?

The simple answer is yes. If you are growing haworthia indoors, consider rotating it so that the entire plant gets sunlight evenly.

If you don’t rotate your plant, only one side will flourish while the other side of the plant remains stunted. Be sure to rotate your plant at least twice every week. Some gardeners even choose to rotate their plants every day!

For younger plants, avoid exposing them to direct sunlight as much as possible since they are weak and highly susceptible to sunburn.


While some haworthia species can survive in direct sunlight, most of the species require some form of shade during a period of too much intensity. To be safe, consider planting your haworthia in a spot that receives bright indirect sunlight.

Maintain the light intensity between 6,000 lux and 12,000 lux for better results. Once your plant is fully mature, you can gradually increase the intensity.

No matter where you plant your haworthia, ensure it receives at least three hours of morning sunlight every day for better results.

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