Haworthia reinwardtii is a slow-growing and generally, quite a small succulent plant in the Haworthia genus cultivated mainly for its striking foliage. If they appear, the flowers are usually a surprise and their bright colors provide a vivid contrast to the fleshy leaves.
There are around 150 species of Haworthia with varying leaf shapes and patterns, each one of them making a lovely addition to a sunny windowsill plant gang. They look especially dazzling if potted with a layer of sand or pebbles on top of the soil to contrast the distinctive white spiral pattern. Like most succulents, Haworthia reinwardtii is easy to grow indoors because its foliage acts as the water-storage vessel, so it’s quite a forgiving plant and can survive long periods of neglect. Very bright light, well-draining cactus soil, and water only when the soil has dried out completely is a healthy routine for this succulent.
Continue reading for more information on how to care for Haworthia reinwardtii.
FUN FACT: Many Haworthias have a lens on the surface of the leaves that collects light and acts as a window to the outside world that adds to the fun of collecting them. Haworthia cuspidata is one such species.
If you are curious to meet some other family members, here’s the chance:
About Haworthia reinwardtii
Haworthia reinwardtii is a clump-forming, stemless succulent from the Eastern Cape Province with hard, fat, and somewhat narrower leaves in brownish-green. It creates tight and compact forms similar to Haworthiopsis coarctata but without the bronzed claws at the end of the leaves and it also resembles Haworthia fasciata, though the latter has more elongated rosettes and the leaves expand without spreading. Tubular pinkish-white flowers are a rare sight to behold.
Family: Asphodeloideae tribe
Common names: Zebra Wart, Zebra Cactus, Haworthiopsis reinwardtii
Area of native origin: Eastern Cape Province, South Africa
Height: 12 inches (30 cm) tall
Flowering: Flowers rarely appear on houseplants
Hardiness Zone: 11
Companions: agaves, aloes, senecios, euphorbias, and other succulents
Other Haworthia species
- Haworthia coarctata
- Haworthia cooperi
- Haworthia cymbiformis
- Haworthia fasciata
- Haworthia limifolia
- Haworthia retusa
- Haworthia truncata
- Haworthia cuspidata
Haworthia Reinwardtii Care Guide
Providing enough sun is one of the few basic requirements for Haworthia reinwardtii. This succulent prefers bright indirect light but can be grown in places with lower light levels than other succulents such as partial sun/partial shade on an east or west windowsill. The reason why it can take lower light levels is that it isn’t transparent and doesn’t have a lens on the surface that craves the light.
Observe the leaves for signs. If they turn brown, the light is too strong. If the leaves spread out, provide more light and consider using grow lights. Make sure to protect the plant from direct sunlight in the summer afternoons because the full sun can scorch the leaves. Bring the plant outdoors for better airflow in the warm months.
It is best to grow this plant in average household temperatures that are 10-24 degrees C. A drop in winter temperature to 14 degrees C is appreciated, but not necessary.
Always provide good air circulation since this plant is drought-tolerant.
Haworthia reinwardtii isn’t picky about humidity levels. It requires low humidity at all times.
Never mist the leaves and avoid splashing them when watering. Don’t sit the plant on a tray of pebbles.
Like most plants, this succulent appreciates a well-draining soil mixture, so add grit or perlite or use a cactus mix. A layer of grit on the top will prevent rot but refrain from using peat moss because this plant doesn’t require additional moisture.
Plant it in a small pot because it is a compact plant. When repotting, choose a pot one size larger than the old one. Always ensure adequate drainage and don’t test whether it likes non-quality soils.
Related: Best soil for succulents
Water the potted plant thoroughly in spring and summer and allow the excess water to drain out. Wait for the soil to dry at least 3 cm before watering again. This may be once a week during the growing season depending on the position.
Water once every two weeks in the fall and even less frequently and very minimally, once every few weeks or even once a month in the winter when the light levels and temperatures are low. This plant won’t tolerate overwatering, so don’t let it stand in water. Follow a healthy watering schedule.
Feeding Zebra Wart isn’t necessary. If your plant looks weak or its growth has slowed significantly, repot in fresh soil.
Other haworthia types like Haworthia attenuata benefit from a half-strength liquid fertilizer once in spring.
Propagate Haworthia reinwardtii from offsets. Offsets form readily at the base of the mother plant. Remove them with a sharp knife and use them for propagation.
If the offsets have roots, pot them up immediately. If they don’t have roots, allow them to air-dry for three days before planting, using rooting hormones as one option.
Another option is to grow it from seeds if you live in warmer climates. Soak the seeds for 15 minutes, fill a shallow tray with cactus compost, sprinkle a layer of seeds, and lightly cover them with soil. Moisten the medium slightly. The seeds will germinate after a few weeks.
Only repot Zebra Wart if it has outgrown its pot or if you need to save it due to some undesirable occurrence such as rot due to overwatering or some minor pest infection.
When it is plant time, choose a container that’s only one size larger.
This succulent plant is generally pest-free. Rot is the main issue due to too much water and some occasional visits by scale insects or mealybugs. Avoid watering too often and inspect your plant every few days to prevent these undesirable occurrences.
Frequently asked questions
How do you care for Haworthia reinwardtii?
In a nutshell, provide bright indirect light, but it will tolerate lower levels of light far better than direct sun. Water once a week in summer and spring, when the soil has dried somewhat and water every two weeks in autumn, less so in winter. Don’t feed. Propagate from seeds or offsets. Watch out for scale insects and mealybugs. Prone to rot if overwatered.
How do you propagate Haworthia reinwardtii?
There are two ways to propagate Zebra Plant – offsets and seeds. In the case of the former, pot up immediately if they have roots, let them dry if they don’t. In the case of the latter, sow the seeds in a tray of cactus mix and moisten it. They will take a few weeks to germinate.
Does Haworthia need sunlight?
All plants need a certain amount of light and they can’t develop properly without enough sunlight, including succulents. Most Haworthia plants require bright light such as east or west exposure, though they are tolerant of low light conditions and that makes them ideal houseplants. Provide light shade in the hottest months.
Haworthia reinwardtii is a compact and sculptural plant with brownish-green leaves and white spots that give it modern, minimalist appearance. It is also called Zebra Plant because of the white tubercles or encrustations on its fleshy foliage.
Plus, it is very easy to grow indoors. The most important tip to remember is to water succulents and this plant once the soil has dried at least half the way and to provide bright to lower light levels.
Check out some other closely related succulents you can introduce your haworthia to, be that in the Aloeae genus or some rounded succulents that contrast beautifully to the spiky Haworthia reinwardtii. They will make lovely additions to your windowsill display.