Haworthia are a popular succulent for good reason–they are adorable AND easy to care for! There are too many types to name (around 150 species) but whether you choose the more common Haworthia fasciata (Zebra) or the harder to find Haworthia cooperi, you will be delighted by the beauty and ease of care required to keep your Haworthia happy. Like most succulents, Haworthia are very easy to care for but you do want to take certain measures to keep your plant living its best life. When it comes to caring for any plant there are three important factors: light, water, and soil.
In our area (Central North Carolina), Haworthia does well outside in the summer but will need to live inside during the late fall and winter months. Haworthia can handle bright light, but they are unique to succulents in that they need less light to thrive than other types of succulents. If you have primarily had your haworthia inside and you want to take it outside, be sure to keep it out of direct sunlight or your plant could be damaged by the sun. A covered porch or patio would be perfect. Sunburn can not only damage your Haworthia, but may eventually kill it. So be kind, and don’t expose it to direct sun.
If you are keeping your Haworthia indoors, place it near a window that receives easterly or westerly light. Again, even indoors you want to be careful about ensuring your plant does not receive direct sunlight.
Because Haworthia store water so efficiently, they do not need to be watered very often. Only water when the soil has been completely dry for a number of days. This may be every two weeks, or in warmer months or warmer climates, it could be more often. Similarly, in more humid environments, it may not be as frequent. When in doubt, water less. During the winter months, you will definitely reduce how often you water to as infrequently as once a month.
When you water, use distilled water or tap water that has sat for more than 24 hours (this allows yucky chemicals to evaporate into the air). You can also use rain water if you have a way to collect it. Do NOT use tap water directly from the faucet. If you water from above, make sure to not leave any water sitting on the leaves or in the center of the plant as this can cause rot. If your Haworthia is outside, avoid watering when it is extremely hot and/or humid. Never allow your plant to sit in water for an extended period of time.
All succulents, including Haworthia, need the right type of soil. We sell an Organic Cactus mix that makes a good starter substrate, but be sure whatever you use consists of 30- 50% pumice or perlite. Sand makes a good addition for drainage but avoid using fine sand that can compact the soil. Haworthia are best planted in shallow pots with ample drainage. You can actually grow your haworthia in straight pumice, but you would need to water and fertilize more often.
A Few Other Tips
- Fertilize Haworthia with an appropriate, balanced, reputable plant fertilizer once in the fall and once in the spring.
- Top dress with stones to keep soil in place and to keep leaves from sitting on wet soil
- If your plant is not thriving, or if leaves are getting mushy, you are likely watering too often.
- Repot every few years to keep the root system and soil healthy.
Happy house planting, friends!