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Cultivating Haworthias
Growing Them


Soil:  Most Haworthia species grow well in a loamy medium.  The medium must be well drained, this is a critical factor as it will help prevent the plants from rotting.  I've had success with the following mix;

  • 4 parts washed fine riversand
  • 2 parts coarse grit
  • 1 part finely sieved compost
  • 1 part fern fiber or palm peat
  • 1 part vermiculite, remember to repot regularly if you use vermiculite as it breaks down quite quickly.

Light:  Plants grow well in bright well ventilated spot, this will bring out the plants colours.  Some species require heavy shade, H. pulchella being one.

Do not introduce plants grown in shade directly into strong light or full sun, this will scorch and possibly kill the plant.  Introduce the plants gradually into stronger light.  The leaf tips die back in certain species, H.longiana.  The leaves in H. lockwoodii die back to such an extent that the older leaves form a papery sheath to protect the plant.

Temperature:  Some Haworthia species can tolerate frost but it is safer to avoid temperatures below 5 C.

Watering:   Watering frequency is largely determined by ones own experience.  Many factors contribute to determining a watering regime.  Humidity, soil mix (heavy or light, heavy mixes retain moisture longer). 

Over-watering can cause Haworthias to become bloated and the leaves may start cracking (usually the top of the leaf).  A particularly nasty side effect is the development of rot.

Cut away all effected tissue, treat wounds with a powder fungicide (flowers of sulphur).  Water plants less and check your soil.

Regular deep watering, where all the soil is saturated, may also cause poor root formation, stem rot and green giants.

Steven Hammer's rule of thumb for plants in full growth is;

  • 1 - 2 days saturation
  • 3 - 4 days of even moisture
  • 1 - 2 days of near-dryness

Therefore a good watering regime would be every week to week and a half.

Repotting:  When to repotting your plants look for the development of a stem, if one is present cut it away and root plant.  In nature haworthias do not develop stems, roots develop directly below the lowest living leaves.

�"Haworthia Revisited - A Revision of the Genus, B.A. Bayer", Umdaus Press, 1999, Pg 15


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