If you’ve ever been to a coffee shop, restaurant, or practically anywhere with plants, you’ve probably seen Haworthia. While your aloe plant is all smooth and green, Haworthia is like a mosaic of green and white dots, making it look like every little leaf is its polka-dotted creation. It’s just so darn cute.
Haworthia is recognizable by its pearly warts (it’s cuter to think of them like polka dots) and is commonly called zebra cactus, pearl plant, star window plant, or cushion aloe.
Haworthias are perennial succulents that grow in clumps or clusters. The thick leaves form a rosette formation and many species have a window at the tip of the leaf that looks translucent.
Each leaf is lined with soft teeth along the edges. The flowers are small, white, and bell-shaped, and bloom on a stalk.
The plant does well in both sunlight and shade, making it a great choice for your home or office. You can place it on a windowsill or a desk near a window and watch it thrive. Haworthia can easily be propagated from offsets.
Haworthia Plant Varieties
The Haworthia plant can grow up to 4” in height and width, with a rosette-shaped appearance. The leaves are typically green but can also be white, depending on the variety. This plant is grown outdoors in USDA hardiness zones 9b through 11, but when grown indoors they prefer bright light and warm temperatures.
The Haworthia Fasciata variety has green leaves that have white stripes running down them. The leaf tips are typically pointed and sharp, which causes them to have a bumpy appearance.
The Haworthia Truncate is another variety that has sharp tips on its leaves, with bands of white coloring running across them. These varieties both do best when allowed to dry out between waterings and rarely need fertilizer.
Haworthia Plant Varieties
The Haworthia succulent is a low-maintenance plant that can thrive in your home. Unlike many other plants, it can withstand high temperatures, so it’s perfect to keep in your window or on a windowsill. The Haworthia succulent will thrive in the summer months and can even be kept outdoors if you prefer. This plant is resistant to cold temperatures down to about 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
In most areas, you’ll need to grow the Haworthia succulent indoors during the winter months when temperatures drop below 50 degrees. In areas without freezing winters, you may be able to keep this succulent outdoors. If you do, just make sure not to leave it outside on nights when temperatures are expected to dip into the 40s or below.
Haworthia plants are slow-growing succulents that rarely exceed 4 inches tall. The foliage crowns the plant at its tip, with the root system located at the base of the plant. The stems are short, thick, and covered with fleshy leaves that grow in rosette patterns with each leaf overlapping the next. Species vary in leaf color from shades of green to gray and tend to be translucent when exposed to sunlight.
Haworthia plants grow slowly, with one variety — Haworthia attenuate — only growing 1/4 inch each year. You can prune your plant so it stays small or you can allow it to expand outwards from the center of the plant by growing new offsets. Plant growth slows down during winter because the plant is dormant then.
Light condition is of the utmost importance in the health of your Haworthia plant.
Haworthia plants thrive in partial to full shade, but they can also tolerate a moderate amount of direct light, or even some filtered or indirect sun depending on how intense the light is in your area.
Soil & Transplanting
If you are not using a commercial well-draining succulent soil mix, add an equal amount of pumice or perlite to your potting soil. Loam and coarse sand can also be used in equal portions.
If you’re using any of these soil options, we recommend using a clay pot with drainage holes for better air circulation to the roots. We also think to scatter pretty pebbles on the surface of the soil to make them even more beautiful and festive!
Water & Humidity
Haworthias are slow-growing succulents that like a little extra water in the summer but can be pretty forgiving if you forget to water them now and then. Let the soil dry out almost completely between waterings in fall and winter. They don’t need humidity, so there’s no need to mist them.
The propagation of Haworthia plants can be accomplished either by seed, offsets, or leaf cuttings.
Propagation by seed is the slowest method of producing new Haworthia plants, but it also usually results in the strongest, most disease-resistant plants. Seeds should be sown in a sterile potting mix and kept warm (75°F). They will take three to four weeks to germinate. Once the seeds have germinated, keep them moist and allow them to grow for several months before repotting into their containers.
Offsets are produced by many varieties of Haworthia and can be potted up when they are about ¼ inch in diameter. The careful use of a sharp knife allows you to remove the offset from the mother plant without damaging either one. These offsets can be potted up immediately into a well-drained potting mix and kept on the dry side until they take root.
Propagation by leaf cuttings is a relatively easy way to propagate Haworthia plants. To do this, place a leaf vertically in moist soil or sand so that only the top half is above the surface. This should be done once the leaf has become slightly shriveled to prevent it from dying on you before root development begins.
When you’re propagating Haworthia plants by leaf cuttings, it’s important to have patience and not give up too early. Root development may take several weeks or months, depending on the species of Haworthia you’re dealing with.
Pest and Disease Control
These are the most common problems with Haworthia plants:
These plants do not require much water. If you find yourself overwatering your Haworthia, try switching out your regular watering schedule for a slightly drier one, and be sure to keep the plant in a well-draining pot with soil that drains quickly.
Pests – Aphids, Mealybugs, and Spider Mites
They are all attracted to Haworthia plants. If your plant is infested with any of these pests, spray it down with insecticidal soap or use rubbing alcohol on a cotton swab to wipe them off individually.
Because Haworthias don’t require much water or direct sunlight, it’s easy to accidentally overdo it and burn your plant’s leaves. Make sure you’re keeping up a routine watering schedule (but not too often!) and avoid placing the plant in direct sunlight for long periods.
Leaves Turning Yellow
If your Haworthia’s leaves are yellowing, that’s often a sign that it’s getting too much sun. You might also see red or white leaves, which can also be signs that the plant is getting too much light. If this is the case, you’ll want to move your plant to a slightly shadier spot—but not full shade.