Haworthia come in a fantastic range of unusual shapes and colours from spiralling formation to geometric sculptural forms. They are mainly slow-growing plants, most of which enjoy warmer temperatures and don’t require intense light, making them well suited to life indoors. The majority of the Haworthia growing season is in the wintertime. They come in a range of unique colours with many popular hybrids coming out of Asia.
Haworthia are native to South Africa where they can be found growing camouflaged in arid and rocky outcrops, they have adapted to survive in extreme heat with little water required. They are closely related to Gasteria and Aloe and often referred to as rock plant or crystal plants.
They grow in rocky outcrops to disguise themselves from animals, so not to be eaten for their moisture content. Due to this, Haworthia have the most impressively tall flower spikes, this is so they can attract pollinators without exposing their location to thirsty animals. They also have tiny flowers on their very thin flower spikes which are pollinated by flying insects.
Haworthia grow in the sweltering temperatures and will not tolerate frosts or cold weather so are best grown indoors or overwinter in a greenhouse.
These plants can be impressive artistically sculptural in growth formation with the most fascinating features, of these being their translucency fleshy parts. Giving these plants the nickname window plants as you can literally look into the centres of the leaves and plants. Haworthia are a talking point in any collection, they are very photogenic for social media platforms with all of their exciting and unusual features.
One of the most enjoyable parts in growing Haworthia is the impressive range of colours you can achieve in your plants from different heat and light conditions. In low light, they can have a very lush appearance, whereas when grown in hot and intense light levels, they can take on a different array of colouration. There are even hybrids with golden metallic lines in the leaves that look electric.
There are many colourful variegated forms of these unusual plants, but due to the slow growth rates, they can command extremely high prices. The variegation can come in several colours from yellow to the highly collectable and rare pink and orange forms of many of these species.
Some Haworthia have a vast root system in comparison to the plant above. The roots can almost look like a hand made out of parsnips. With these large root systems, Haworthia are typically planted in ceramic pots as the root system can grow and reshape the pot when they run out of growing space.
In habitat, these plants grow very low in the ground with only the tips of the leaves visible, this isn’t necessary when potted as you can admire more of the plant when planted up higher.
We use a grittier soil mix for all of our Haworthia, of 50 percent soil and 50 percent perlite and grit.
They will benefit from an extra thick layer of top-dress starting at the base of the plant.
You can feed them for faster growth rates, but it will have an influence on the colour with a lusher appearance.
Haworthia require very little water but make sure the soil is dry before its next watering, but water as you would with most succulents, drench the plant but avoid getting the crown of the plant wet.
If your plants look dehydrated, you can water more often or plant your Haworthia deeper into fresh substrate.
Happy plants will look full and plump with a shiny appearance.
Haworthia will enjoy feeding during their growing season.
Haworthia growers often trim the root system to encourage the plant to sprout more roots but be sure to let them heal before watering them.