Haworthia belong to the aloe family and to the succulent plants. There are about 160 species. Most of them can be recognized by their rosette-like leaves growing out of the stem axis. There are quite different varieties, so that it is difficult to describe them in general. Many have very interestingly shaped colored or patterned leaves. The Haworthia originally comes from South Africa and Namibia, where they thrive in rocky places in the shade of bushes and grasses. The plants are often offered under cacti. They are succulents, but they are not cacti.
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Inflorescences appear from the center of the rosette. The flowers are small, but there are usually a lot of them on each inflorescence, up to 50. As there are different leaf shapes and types, the flowers also differ considerably in some cases.
Haworthia take about eight weeks of rest in July and August. Above-ground growth ceases. The roots are renewed in the earth. To do this, they use the substance of the old root. The plants are also suitable for hydroponics. I would rather recommend using vessels with an irrigation system. The roots then only take as much water as is required by the plant. However, you must always keep an eye on the water level. The water tank must be emptied in summer.
Haworthia – Pflege
Caring for the haworthia is not difficult. You just have to be careful with the watering. Too much water is clearly harmful. The roots, which are often fleshy, rot quite quickly. Under no circumstances should you pour too much. Usually it is enough to give a sip of water once a week, even less in winter. Opinions differ when it comes to fertilizer. Some hobby growers recommend not to fertilize because the growth is changed, others against it, to fertilize regularly, but with weak cactus fertilizer. The best thing is to try it out for yourself, then you know exactly. There is not much else to do. The wintering succeeds without any problems. The cooler the winter is, the less water the plants need. Propagation is easy, the plants usually take over it themselves. You just have to separate the daughters and replant them. The Haworthia is a very versatile and easy to care for plant.
The location is important for a Haworthia to feel comfortable. It shouldn’t be too sunny, either outdoors or indoors. The plants cope much better with shade. I have my Howarthia in the north window. It only gets some sun early in the morning and thrives there very well. But there are definitely types and varieties that can make ends meet with a little more sun.
- Light, partially shaded place
- Likes to be outdoors in summer
- No direct sun – leads to shrinking of the leaves
- Morning and evening sun is usually tolerated without any problems.
- Get used to the sun slowly as you clear it out.
- A rain-protected place is favorable
- Normal room temperature in the room
Avoid heat build-up behind window panes.
- Better to put it in the east or west window.
- Cooler in winter, but very bright
- Additional lighting is favorable
In the case of the plant substrate, it is beneficial if it is mineral. Otherwise, the soil has to be permeable to avoid waterlogging. Drainage in the planter is beneficial. This allows excess water to drain off easily. Avoid floors that are too heavy!
- Mixture of sharp sand and loose, coarse compost soil (1: 3)
- No clay, no peat
- Mineral substrate is favorable
- Mineral substrate = pumice gravel, lava gravel, expanded shale, coarse sand
Planting and repotting
There is not much to consider when planting or repotting. The substrate has to be right. It is recommended to repot the Haworthia regularly, about every other year. For me, the plants stay in the ground longer and also thrive well. It certainly depends on the type. Mine seems to be tough.
- Put in shallow vessels
- Group planting is good
- Repot in early spring, at the beginning of the growing season
- Always remove all dead leaves.
- Larger vessel only if the rosettes cover the entire surface of the earth.
- In general, however, it is best to repot annually or every two years, because the remains of the old roots should be removed just to avoid rot.
Watering and fertilizing
As with all succulents, the Haworthia does much more damage to moisture than dryness. Before such a plant dries up, it has to stand dry for a long time. On the other hand, if the soil is too moist, it kills it very quickly. The roots are rotten. The plant can no longer absorb water when its stores (leaves) are full. The Haworthia cannot tolerate very long drought, although it is a succulent plant.
- Water evenly during the main growing season, from April to November
- Let the top layer of soil dry off slightly between watering
- In July and August, do not water, just spray the plants with water – rest period
- Water significantly less in winter
- Never pour between the leaves, i.e. in the rosette – risk of rot
- Do not fertilize, as the growth will then be unnatural
- Succulents are better not fertilized
- Some hobby plant friends recommend fertilizing with 0.25 mm cactus fertilizer every month
Haworthia does not need to be cut. You just remove the dried up leaves. Of course you can cut, for example if you need a leaf for propagation. Otherwise you shouldn’t snip around at the plants.
Wintering is usually not a problem. Again, it is important not to pour too much. Especially when the plants are cool or cold, they don’t need a lot of water. Standing water or constantly damp earth lead to rot and the Haworthia does not survive that. You have to be very careful there. Less is usually more.
- Winter frost-free at 5 to 15 ° C
- Some species are surprisingly insensitive to cold.
- It is also possible to overwinter at 16 to 18 ° C.
- The warm living room is not ideal.
- The warmer the plants are in winter, the more light they need.
- It may be necessary to use special plant lamps.
Propagating the Haworthia is easy. There are multiple possibilities. Whether sowing, daughter rosettes or leaf cuttings, it is really easy in principle.
- Side shoots (daughter rosettes) – can simply be cut off if they have well established roots
- You can then plant them directly in a new container
- If the separated shoots have not yet formed roots, the piece is left to dry for about three days and then the cut surface is pressed into new plant substrate. They take root quite quickly.
- Another type of propagation is that of leaf cuttings. However, this is more complex.
- Growing from seeds is also possible and uncomplicated. As a rule, however, there are no single-variety plants. You never really get out of it.
- Very fine mineral pumice is suitable as a seed soil.
- It can be sown all year round, at temperatures between 15 and 20 ° C.
- Overheating is bad, the germination process will stop.
- The germination capacity is limited. The seeds do not last longer than 1 year.
Diseases and pests
Diseases are rare. If the plant dies, it is usually due to too much water.
Root, mealybugs and scale insects are pests. However, these are often difficult to discover. They hide in the leaf rosettes or in the ground. It is therefore important to take a closer look at the plants from time to time. The pests are fought with the usual means.
There are numerous subgenera and species of this plant.
- H. angustifolia – stemless, sprouting, lanceolate, pointed, thin and often somewhat slack leaves that form a rosette, finely serrated edges, white to pale pink flowers
- H. attenuata – stemless, sprouting, triangular leaves narrowed to the tip of the leaf, also forms a rosette, rough leaf surface with clearly raised warts
- H. coarctata – trunk-forming, sprouting, upright, but inwardly curved leaves that form a rosette. Brownish green leaf blades, very interesting plant
- H. fasciata – stemless, sprouting, upright growing pointed leaves which form a rosette. Rough leaf surface, leaf underside with warts. The white horizontal stripes on the green leaves are characteristic.
- H. bolusii – stemless, slowly sprouting, inwardly curved, elongated lanceolate leaves, growing to form a rosette, leaf blade bluish green, thorns on leaf margin and leaf keel
- H. cuspidata – stemless, sprouting, densely leafed rosettes, soft gray-green leaves with hard, bristly tips, leaves obovate, wedge-shaped, very short and about the same length as thick
- H. magaritifera – very short trunk, sprouting, triangular-egg-shaped, coarse, dark green leaves that form a rosette. The white warts, which are densely packed on the leaves, are characteristic.
- H. reinwardtii – very diverse in appearance, many varieties and shapes, e.g. stem-like leaf rosette, leaves that are spread out upright or inwardly curved, rough leaf surface, blue-green leaves with flat white nodules
- H: chloracantha – sprouting, stemless, firm to rough leaves, very light green, short and thick, leaf surface with a reticulate pattern, thorns on leaf margins and large thorn on leaf keel
- H. nigra – trunk-forming, slowly sprouting, upright, bent back, spreading, ovate-triangular leaves, forming a rosette, blackish to gray-green leaf blades, rough leaf surface with warts
- H. venosa – stemless and slowly sprouting, curved, ovate-triangular leaves that grow into a rosette, reticulate leaf surface, leaf underside with warts
- H. emelyae – rarely sprouting, stemless, leaves clearly truncated, pointed, hardly translucent, forming a loose rosette, dark green, lined leaf surface with scattered small spots and indistinct raised warts
- H. viscosa – trunk-forming, sprouting, spreading, triangular leaves, closely arranged in three rows on the shoot, unusual appearance, rough leaf surface. Leaf tips spread out and piercing.
- H. truncata – stemless, slowly sprouting, suddenly truncated leaves, arranged in two rows on the shoot, dark gray-green with flat, semi-translucent end surfaces, rough leaf surface with tiny warts, bizarre appearance
The Haworthia is easy to care for. It impresses with its diverse appearance and the many shapes and colors. They are interesting plants and there are many plant enthusiasts who have become collectors and who cannot hoard enough different plants. They buy, trade and breed until there is no more space for new specimens. I am not necessarily one of the lovers of the genus, but there are some nice varieties. But for me it also fails because of the space and too much sun. Nevertheless, I can only recommend Haworthia, decorative, easy to care for and grateful. She only resents too much water, heat and midday sun, otherwise there are no problems.