How to Care for Haworthia Plant?

If you are looking for an easy care, decorative house plant look no further than Haworthia. These small house plants are one of the most popular African succulents among indoor gardeners because they are easy to grow and great to look at. They come in a variety of sizes and shapes and are very hardy.

Succulents are notoriously hardy plants that need little water or care to grow and thrive. The Haworthia plant is a mini-succulent that may need a little bit more care and attention than you may typically need with other regular-sized succulents. This beautiful and spiny plant gives satisfaction to those looking for a challenging succulent.

Since the Haworthia plant is one of the less hardy succulent varieties, it is essential to understand the limitations and extremes that it will endure. Also, a schedule of care is vital to keep the Haworthia succulent thriving and growing larger. Read on to find out more about this beautiful succulent and how to care for it like a professional botanist. 

How to Care for a Haworthia Plant

Even if you have significant experience with succulents, you must know where the succulent that you are growing comes from in the world. Information about the origins of plants is crucial for proper care. You may even change the positioning of your plant based on this knowledge. 

Haworthia is one of the lowest maintenance houseplants, but the plant requires a bit more care when grown outdoors.

The Haworthia plant is from the southern hemisphere near South Africa. Knowing that the Haworthia plant is from South Africa gives you a number of different insights about what it likes and how you should care for it. 

Haworthia is a notoriously easy plant to care for as a houseplant, so you shouldn’t have much trouble with it if you plan on keeping it indoors. However, things may get trickier if you plan on keeping your Haworthia plant outdoors. Make sure you read through and follow the guidelines for each of the recommendations in this list. 

(Source: The Sill)

Watering

The Haworthia plant doesn’t require much water for thriving conditions, as succulents are known for their ability to get by on only small amounts of water. Also, the Haworthia plant gets acclimated to the hot and arid conditions in South Africa, so it gets genetically designed for handling dry conditions. This information could get used for the placement of your plant out in the sun or dry, windy conditions.

Haworthia does not require much water. You just need to water the plant 2-3 times a week.

Make sure that you give your Haworthia plant water two or three times per week. Any more and the succulent will begin molding and becoming oversaturated. Any less and the leaves may begin wilting. 

Sunlight Required

As with most succulents, the Haworthia plant does best when left in direct sunlight throughout the day. However, the mini structure of the Haworthia succulent is ideal for hot conditions. Since the leaves on the Haworthia succulent are so small and compact, their stoutness can withstand direct and hot sunlight better than other succulents. 

Haworthia plants can grow healthy when exposed to direct and hot sunlight.

Climate

The South African climate where the Haworthia plant is indigenous is arid, warm, and sunny. However, there are spells of humid weather. The Haworthia plant is adept at maintaining and even thriving in the typical humidity in a home, Mediterranean climates, and warmer outside. 

Haworthia plant cannot grow in cold and freezing climate.

Cold, excess moisture, and freezing temperatures all affect the growth health of a Haworthia plant. In regions where the ground regularly freezes, most succulents cannot grow. The cold and freezing temperature causes the Haworthia to wilt, become discolored, and even die. 

Trimming

The Haworthia plant is a mini-succulent, which means that it will not grow much more in height than about two inches. The diameter of the plant can grow a bit larger if left untrimmed. However, trimming helps to spread new rhizomes around and create a larger surface area of growth for the plant. 

Although Haworthia plant does not grow tall, trimming is still essential to promote the growth of new rhizomes.

Trimming a Haworthia plant requires little skill and gets done much more quickly when you take your time and practice very carefully. Trimming and replanting pieces of Haworthia give your succulent garden a more comprehensive ground coverage and fantastic look! 

(Source: Apartment Therapy)

Soil 

The soil for your succulent plants is very important. The tiny structure of the Haworthia plant requires substrate and soil mixture because it does not like its roots getting wet for long periods. 

Drainage is critical for succulents and especially tiny varieties like Haworthia. There are a few different ways to ensure your succulent plant maintains proper hydration. You don’t want to overburden with water without adequate drainage. However, too little water will result in problems like drying leaves, leaves falling off, and the entire plant’s discoloration. Ensure that there is no excess moisture from a blockage in the soil, as they can contribute to molding, wilting, or death. 

Haworthia requires high-quality commercial potting soil with sufficient drainage.

You never want sand used as a substrate for your Haworthia soil mixture because it is too delicate and can get trapped in the soil’s pores. Also, if you use peat-based substrate, you may need replacement soil in a few years. However, it is good practice to replant Haworthia with new soil and substrate every two to three years. 

No matter the type of substrate you add, you should use high-quality commercial potting soil. Along with potting soil, you could mix in: 

  • Perlite: This additive to the soil is not organic. The substrate of perlite gets added to the soil for aeration and drainage. The compound itself is a volcanic rock with tiny air pockets throughout it, which have excellent surface area and space for moisture to leach out of the soil. Perlite is available at all gardening stores. (Source: Gardening Know How)
  • Aquarium Gravel: Usually, aquarium gravel gets made of small ground rock bits with a smooth edge from tumbling. You probably don’t want to use the aquarium gravel that has coloration added to your plant soil. This gravel is available at almost all pet stores. 
  • Poultry Grit: There are two types of poultry or “chicken” grit made from either oyster shells or flint. The shells or flint are ground down into a sandy powder that helps with drainage in soil and won’t affect moisture. Poultry grit is found at most feed stores or agricultural supply stores.  (Source: Organic Feeds)
  • Horticultural Pumice: A pumice is a delicate and aerated hard substance that helps with drainage. Horticultural pumice is a specially designed additive for soil that separates the dirt for better draining. This pumice substrate gets formed from volcanic processes and is eventually made into a rock by volcanic gases. This rigid foam has air pockets in it and is excellent for drainage in the soil. (Source: Acme Sand)

Containers

Succulents are healthy and hearty plants that can get grown virtually any place you like. Although they can do just fine in most places, there are favored and ideal situations and containers for succulents such as Haworthia growth. 

Of all the available container materials, terracotta material is the best for holding succulents like Haworthia. Terracotta is known for its porous material and gets made from clay. The terracotta’s porous material is ideal for succulents like Haworthia because it helps release moisture well and works great for a soil system built for aeration. 

Since terracotta is a porous material and offers superb drainage, this type of container is the best option for Haworthia.

Also, terracotta is better for heat regulation and won’t fluctuate with changing temperatures like porcelain. The terracotta’s ability to maintain heat exposure is excellent for succulents like Haworthia, which thrive in hot and arid conditions. 

(Source: Wisconsin Horticulture)

Succulent Dish

One of the most popular ways that succulents such as Haworthia are grown is in the succulent dish. The succulent dish is ideal for growing small succulents with only a small amount of quickly dried soil. The succulent dish is a beautiful addition for any yard, home, or garden because it showcases many plants at once and places them at different levels, in some cases. 

Pros:

  • Looks great and shows off multiple succulents at once
  • Great for drainage and soil use
  • Can place as a hanging container 
  • Good for shallow roots

Cons

  • More expensive than other containers
  • Larger than other containers
  • Not ideal for deeper roots 
  • Not suitable for mature and large succulents that weigh a lot

Small Pot

A small pot is an excellent choice for propagating a new Haworthia or growing one for several years. Succulents will only spread roots and propagate on their own if there is soil for their expansion. If there is not, their energy gets spent growing fuller and more prominent. 

Pros

  • Great for small and single Haworthia plants
  • Excellent for replanting and propagating
  • Nice if you don’t have much room for expansion of roots

Cons

  • Hard for growing more succulents 
  • No room for expansion of roots
  • Not ideal for sizeable mature Haworthia
  • Need to replant and re-soil occasionally

(Source: Wisconsin Horticulture)

Common Problems and Solutions When Growing Haworthia Plant

Even with the best care plan for your Haworthia plant, some problems will arise. Ensure that you know the various signs of a succulent plant in distress so that you can alleviate the distress before it kills your Haworthia plant. 

Below are some of the most common problems that tiny succulents, such as the Haworthia plant, suffer. Taking on the care of Haworthia is not tricky. There are only a few symptoms that your Haworthia plant is dying or unhealthy. Once you read on and figure out these symptoms, keeping your Haworthia plant healthy at all times will get much easier for you. However, without the knowledge of the problem and identifying the symptoms, your Haworthia plant may die. 

Leaves Curling

Curling leaves is a clear sign that your Haworthia plant is not receiving enough water. When a succulent like a Haworthia is under-watered, it begins to use the stored moisture in its leaves to survive. The leaves’ outer tips give up their moisture first, meaning they are the first to dry up and begin curling as though they were dying. 

If the leaves are curling, another symptom that you may notice is dry potting soil or mix. The potting soil of all succulents, including your Haworthia plant, needs some moisture. The succulent plants live without a water well, but only for a short time. After Haworthia has a dry potting mix for an extended time, it causes curling leaves.

If your Haworthia plant leaves are curling, it means that the soil is too dry and the plant is not getting enough water.

When you notice the leaves curling, check the soil. If the soil is also dry, the leaves curling are most likely due to under watering. A thirsty plant is a dying plant. Ensure that you water the Haworthia plant immediately and increase your watering schedule so that the soil is a little moist at all times. 

If you have consistent watering practices but still notice that the soil gets dry quickly, it may be time for a new soil mixture with less substrate. The substrate is the hard, usually porous material that helps drain the soil more quickly. If a soil mixture has too much substrate mixed in, it doesn’t retain water long enough. The plant won’t get the moisture that it needs before it gets drained away. 

Yellowing Leaves 

The color of your Haworthia leaves also tells you a lot about your plant’s health and the soil that it gets planted in. Yellowing leaves are a sure sign that something is wrong with your Haworthia plant and that it is dying. Don’t wait until your leaves turn fully yellow. If you notice any discoloration of yellow on the leaves of your Haworthia, take action immediately. 

Even plants that have a yellow hue to the leaves will not have spotty and completely yellow leaves. If the leaves are all yellow, or some of the leaves have completely changed color, make sure that you are not overwatering your Haworthia plant. 

If the leaves are yellowing, check the potting soil and ensure that the mix is not too wet. If there is standing water or the soil is very moist, the plant’s yellowing and health may get damaged from something called root rot. Haworthia gets damaged with too little or too much water. Standing water in the pot of your Haworthia plant is not good. The Haworthia plant and leaves don’t thrive in moist or submerged soil at all times. 

Make sure that you spread out your watering and set an on-again-off-again watering schedule. Also, make sure there is a leach hole at the bottom of the pot for your Haworthia and if there is not one, drill one in to promote draining. Finally, if all else fails, replant your Haworthia in soil with more substrate mixed in for increased drainage. 

The Leaves Keep Falling Off

Unless your Haworthia plant is tussled or knocked over, the leaves should not fall off on their own. Instead, an unhealthy Haworthia plant may lose leaves completely when stressed or in other less than-ideal-situations. If your leaves are falling off your succulent plant, it could be from one of the following conditions:

Way, Way Too Much Water

If the leaves are mushy and soft when they come off the Haworthia plant, it is probably because of overwatering. What tends to happen is that Haworthia continues to suck up the water that it is sitting in. Some leaves can’t take anymore, and instead of stopping, their connection to the plant itself becomes weakened, and it eventually falls off. 

Too Much Sun

Too much sunlight and extreme heat conditions or climate contribute to leaves falling off your Haworthia plant. If your Haworthia is in direct sunlight and the leaves start looking dry, or tight and shriveled, it could be because of dehydration. Make sure your Haworthia plant gets a break indoors during long periods of extreme sun and heat.

Although Haworthia loves direct sunlight, too much light and hot conditions can make the leaves fall off.

Dropping leaves in extreme heat is a natural response and helps the succulent conserve water. You can minimize the stress on your Haworthia by bringing it inside, covering it with a damp cloth, or shading it for the hotter parts of the day. If the leaves are damaged too much, the Haworthia plant needs better shade and a break from extreme climate. 

Discoloration of Leaves and Stem

The discoloration of succulents like Haworthia is usually because it is not getting enough nutrients in its soil. The leaves may turn red, yellow, or brown, and the stem can get solid brown or black. 

Even though you may add nutrients in the soil when you first plant or replant your Haworthia, these nutrients may leach out of the soil with continued watering. Adding nutrients to your watering schedule is not a bad idea and should get considered every three or four months. 

There are many fertilizers out there on the market which are great for succulents like Haworthia. Look for a well-balanced houseplant fertilizer or one specifically designed for cactus and succulents. Also, slow-release fertilizer is the best for succulents, since the nutrients tend to get leached out with the drainage substrate in the soil. 

Some of the best Haworthia fertilizers, based on reviews and our research, are listed below. Our research includes different approaches for fertilizer both indoors and outdoors: 

Osmocote Smart-Release Plant Food 

Any fertilizer gets leached out of the soil. However, fertilizers like this smart-release one are great for the slow release of continued high levels of nutrients. This is an excellent fertilizer for succulents as the soil drainage tends to leach nutrients from fertilizer even more quickly than ordinary soil. 

Pros:

  • It contains eleven nutrients that give your plants the full spectrum of nutrient balance and support. 
  • It lasts six months for average soil and watering conditions.

Cons

  • A potent formula that can burn plants and roots if used incorrectly

Cute Farms Succulent, Cacti, & Aloe Fertilizer 

Some of the fertilizers on the market may be great for larger gardens, which have room for spreading granulated products. However, this liquid gel form of succulent fertilizer is ideally sold in a squeeze bottle for a continuous and easy aim and squirt application on small succulent plants. 

Pros

  • Easy for smaller plants with the squeeze bottle nozzle
  • Great for continuous and small batches of use
  • Can get used on aloe, cactus, and other succulents, along with Haworthia

Cons

  • More expensive than other large format fertilizers
  • Leaches out of the soil more quickly than other slow-release fertilizers
  • Must get applied once a month

Miracle-Gro Indoor Plant Food

Miracle-Gro is a household name for fertilizer, and this squeeze bottle applicator is perfect for all of those house plants and succulents with small bases. The formula is mild enough for monthly use. The application is as easy as using a liquid hand soap dispenser. 

Pros

  • Easy for smaller plants with the squeeze bottle nozzle
  • Great for continuous and small batches of use
  • Can get used on aloe, cactus, and other succulents, along with Haworthia

Cons

  • More expensive than other large format fertilizers
  • Leaches out of the soil more quickly than other slow-release fertilizers
  • Must get applied once a month

Fat Plants San Diego Premium

Why deal with adding the fertilizer yourself, when you can replant your Haworthia in soil that is blended professionally and enriched with fertilizer and nutrients? This soil and fertilizer mixture is nutrient-rich and ready for planting. By using this product, you take the guesswork out of mixing your own nutrients into the soil of your plants. 

Pros:

  • Easy to use; you don’t have to mix the nutrients into the soil yourself.
  • Great and long-lasting nutrient-rich soil
  • Contains many nutrients that grow plants larger and stronger

Cons:

  • No control over the amount of fertilizer used
  • More difficult to get substrate drainage mixture correctly mixed for replanting

(Source: Succulent Plant Care)

How to Propagate a Haworthia Plant

Succulents are easy plants for propagating. The process of transferring mature rhizomes from one thriving Haworthia plant to the soil for replanting has several easy steps. Once replanted, the Haworthia is an excellent ground cover and propagates reasonably well on its own. 

The only thing that should get considered before attempting to propagate a Haworthia plant is where the replanting is taking place. As always, make sure you consider the climate, temperature, moisture level, and sunlight exposure before replanting and propagating Haworthia cuttings. The steps for propagating a healthy plant are useless without proper care.

To propagate Haworthia, transfer mature rhizomes from the plant to the soil.

The steps for propagating Haworthia are relatively simple and straightforward because this succulent is one of the world’s best plants at propagating on its own. Most of the leaves will get too heavy and then start growing small red roots and fall off on their own, spreading the plant’s surface area out as they fall off and set roots down. 

Although they are hardy succulents that are easy for propagating, growing Haworthia from clippings requires a little bit of time and a few materials and tools. Before beginning the propagation process for Haworthia plants, you need to include the port used for replanting, a soil mixture of commercial potting soil and substrate, and a small pair of scissors. 

The steps for propagating a Haworthia plant include: 

  1. Look for new roots: Typically, Haworthia likes to spread out and propagate on their own. If you have the original plant in a larger pot or the plant has leaves hanging over its side, they will naturally begin sprouting new roots. Identify these new roots that may already be showing without digging out any roots. 
  2. Snip a leaf: Identify the growth of Haworthia that you would like. The best leaf for propagating is the leaf with red roots already dangling from it. These new roots help the propagating process go more smoothly and quickly. Next, find the coarse and dried connecting point between it and other leaves and snip it from the plant. If you can’t find new roots, try snipping a leaf without roots, it will propagate once in soil independently. 
  3. Create the replant pot: Mix soil and substrate equally and pour into the new pot that gets the new clipping of Haworthia. Make sure there is not too much soil or depth for new and immature roots. Remember that terracotta pots are usually best.
  4. Replant: Take your snipping of Haworthia and place the cut end with exposed roots down into the soil. Gently cover with soil until about half of the leaf is exposed. Water thoroughly and gently. Follow regular care steps after the initial replanting gets completed. 

(Source: Gardening Know How)

Is Haworthia Toxic?

Although most succulents you have in your home are not known for being toxic, kids and pets should keep away. Haworthia is not known for its toxicity; however, it should not be ingested. 

Pick a safe place, possibly up high, for growing your Haworthia plant. This way, pets or children cannot get access and will not accidentally ingest any leaves that might happen to fall off. When Hawothria leaves get engorged and develop secondary red roots they will begin falling off. 

Haworthia has two varieties, and neither is known for its toxic qualities towards cats, dogs, or kids. However, the leaves tend to fall off freely and propagate on their own. It is better to be safe than sorry for choking small leaves or possibly toxic episodes due to ingesting Haworthia. 

(Source: Succulents Box)

Conclusion

Haworthia succulents are among the most successful and popular plants that people grow in their homes and gardens. This beautiful plant is easy and looks great as both a young and mature succulent. 

The fact that Haworthia is non-toxic for most individuals, propagates freely on its own, and grows in various climates makes it one of the best succulents that you can buy and grow. Take advantage of this excellent succulent from South Africa and add some beauty to your garden and life. 

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