Haworthia obtusa, also known as the common haworthia, is an excellent houseplant if you’re looking to add something unique and beautiful to your home or office space. If you’re thinking about bringing one home, but don’t know much about caring for it, you’ve come to the right place!
If you’re looking to grow your own succulent collection, Haworthia obtusa makes an excellent starting point. These hardy little plants are among the easiest succulents to care for, and their variety of compact shapes and vibrant colors will help you add some much-needed color to any indoor space in your home or office.
Haworthia obtusa, or the common haworthia, has narrow leaves and white flowers and it’s very easy to care for this succulent houseplant.
Origin and distribution
The Haworthia genus is endemic to South Africa, and its approximately 150 species grow in a variety of habitats within a roughly 200-mile radius around Cape Town. These succulents are adapted to survive long periods of drought as well as occasional flooding or temporary submergence underwater.
They are also able to withstand high temperatures, from 70 degrees F (21 degrees C) down to below freezing. In cultivation, they prefer bright light but will tolerate low light levels. Most varieties do best when grown outdoors during summer and brought indoors before nighttime temperatures drop below 50 degrees F (10 degrees C).
Some species can be grown outdoors year-round in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10 through 12, with protection against frost. During the winter months, plants should be placed where they can receive at least four hours of direct sunlight each day.
Haworthia obtusa propagation
Haworthia obtusa, also known as the chameleon plant, is a popular succulent species because of its beautiful patterning and ease of care. Propagating Haworthia obtusa can be accomplished in two ways: stem cutting or leaf propagation. Both techniques are easy to master and can create beautiful new plants to enjoy year after year.
By following these simple steps, you’ll have healthy new plants in no time!
Steps for Stem Cutting Propagation
- Cut your stems into pieces with at least one node (where leaves emerge) per cutting. Remove all leaves from your cuttings except for three to four pairs at each node. This will encourage growth at that spot and give your new plant something to hold onto while it roots. If you are propagating multiple plants, make sure to label them so you know which is which!
- Fill a container or pot with well-draining soil. Haworthia obtusa prefers soil that is on the dry side, so choose a soil mixture of two parts sand and one part peat moss or other well-draining media. If you are using a commercial cactus mix, add an equal amount of perlite to improve drainage.
- Place your cuttings in pots filled with soil and water them thoroughly until water drains from holes in the bottom of the pots. Make sure not to overwater! Succulents like Haworthia obtusa do not tolerate soggy soil! Keep them lightly moist at all times but never allow them to sit in water for long periods of time. If you notice leaves beginning to droop, it’s a sign that they need more water. Be careful not to over-water succulents as they are susceptible to root rot if left too wet for too long.
- Place plants in bright, indirect sunlight.
When propagating Haworthia obtusa via leaf propagation, plantlets will form on both sides of leaves and can be planted directly into your garden once they have grown several sets of leaves. For stem-cutting propagation, place cuttings in full sun for 4-6 weeks before moving them to shade or partial shade. This process is called hardening off and will help ensure that your new plants survive their first few days outside after transplanting.
Haworthia obtusa care information
Haworthia obtusa is a species of succulent plant with green stems and tiny, finger-like leaves. It’s native to South Africa and likes full sun exposure in winter but should have shade during the hot summer months.
Water generously during winter but reduce water levels in summer, letting the soil dry out between waterings. Feed every six weeks with a balanced liquid fertilizer throughout its growing season from spring through fall (March through October). Use fertilizer at half strength, following label instructions for application time and amount.
Haworthia obtusa care should be spot on, as they need lots of sunlight. In fact, you can often see how well your Haworthia is doing based on how much sun it gets. If they’re getting no light at all, they may start to lose their color and their leaves will begin to droop.
Haworthia obtusa succulent prefers bright, indirect light—but that doesn’t mean you should put it in a dark corner. It tolerates low-light conditions, but it needs to get at least eight hours of sunlight per day.
If it doesn’t receive enough light, its leaves will turn pale and wither. If your home or office is unusually dim for any reason (you know those older windows!), try moving your plant to a sunnier spot for half of each day.
Haworthias are succulents and prefer soil that is on the sandy side; any good potting mix should work, but we’d recommend something like cactus soil. It’s not necessary to fertilize these little guys; they’re slow growers and will be in their pots for a long time. Keep them well-watered, especially if it’s a particularly dry period in your area.
Haworthias are desert plants that like well-drained soil. Place your Haworthia in an area with bright, indirect light and water once a week. When watering, make sure to pour out any excess water after about 30 minutes to prevent rot or fungal growth. If you live in a particularly hot or humid area, use a pebble tray to increase airflow around your plant and keep it from getting too soggy. Misting will also help keep your Haworthia nice and healthy.
Haworthias are notoriously slow growers but can be easily accelerated with a controlled-release fertilizer. Look for something that is specifically labeled for succulents and cacti (the two types of plants most similar to haworthias) to ensure that you’re giving your plant exactly what it needs. If your haworthia is planted in a pot without drainage holes, you’ll need to mix any fertilizer with water so it can soak in.
Haworthia obtusa is a succulent, which means it’s sensitive to temperature. These houseplants like temperatures between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit (16 to 27 degrees Celsius). However, they should be placed in a sunny spot during warm seasons.
When you move them indoors for winter, put them somewhere that’s cooler than usual. That way, they won’t get stressed by cold temperatures or low light levels.
Haworthias are native to arid regions of South Africa and therefore require a lot of moisture in order to thrive. While indoors, you can provide them with enough humidity by misting their soil every few days.
Haworthias need about two inches of water per week—and many owners who have plants at home don’t realize that too much water is as bad as too little when it comes to planting care. Mist your Haworthia’s soil every few days and ensure that it drains completely after each watering.
The ideal humidity range is 50 to 70% relative humidity. You can check your room’s relative humidity with a hygrometer, which you can buy at any hardware store. If your room is too dry, place a humidifier in an out-of-the-way spot and let it run for a few hours to increase moisture levels. You should also mist your Haworthia’s soil if it looks dry.
Haworthia obtusa plants can be pruned in order to reduce their overall size. However, regular grooming is not a necessity and is done for purely aesthetic reasons. These succulents are slow-growing and take a long time to reach maturity, so there is no need to remove excess growth in order to speed up maturity rates.
In fact, if you do attempt to trim off new growth on your plant too soon, it may stunt its development. Instead of cutting off new shoots or leaves that have sprouted from your plant’s rosette (the center point of where leaves emerge), simply wait until they grow larger before removing them. The best time to prune haworthia obtusa is during springtime when temperatures begin to rise after winter has ended.
When to repot
Because of its small size, Haworthia obtusa doesn’t need to be repotted very often. Repot it every three to four years and you’ll have a thriving plant. If your plant has outgrown its pot, however, repotting is necessary immediately.
Haworthias, including Haworthia obtusa, can go through periods of dormancy in the winter months. This is not detrimental to their health as they are accustomed to such conditions in their natural environment and will thrive when introduced to milder temperatures once again.
During cold times, ensure that soil has been allowed to dry out between waterings. Make sure the soil is well-drained and does not remain overly wet for long periods.
Haworthia obtusa flower & fragrance
Haworthia obtusa is a great houseplant that blooms in winter and has pale green leaves with white variegation. The flowers are a showstopper and smell like vanilla or almond. This plant can be propagated from stem tip cuttings and will flower within two years of being potted up. It’s easy to care for once you understand its needs.
Haworthia plants are not generally considered to be fast growers, and those with fleshy leaves are particularly slow. Although there is great variety between species and cultivars in terms of growth rate, Haworthias generally take anywhere from 2 to 5 years to reach maturity. Some plants can take up to 10 years or more!
This species contains calcium oxalate crystals, which are needle-like in shape and may cause irritation if touched or ingested. For example, accidental ingestion of these crystals could occur if a pet or small child ingests part of your plant.
It is important to contact your veterinarian immediately if you believe your pet has consumed any part of a succulent. Like many other succulents, Haworthia are not toxic. Caution should be taken to ensure that pets and children do not ingest any parts of these plants.
USDA Hardiness Zones
Haworthia obtusa thrives very well in USDA hardiness zones 9-11. It is possible to grow it outside of these zones, but you will need to bring it indoors during the winter months. This plant can tolerate temperatures as low as 20 degrees Fahrenheit.
However, if you live in a colder climate and want to try growing it outdoors, be sure to provide it with plenty of shade and keep its soil moist at all times.
Pests and diseases
Haworthias are resilient, but they aren’t immune to pests and diseases. They can suffer from scale insects, mealybugs, thrips, aphids, and mites. Treatment is easy, simply dip a Q-tip in rubbing alcohol or insecticidal soap and apply it to any pest you find.
This will ensure that your plant is protected against pests for a long time to come. If you have a lot of pests on your plants, just repeat as necessary.
Haworthia obtusa is an easy-to-grow plant and is often recommended for beginners. They’re great additions to any plant collection and a wonderful way to bring nature indoors. While they do prefer well-drained soil, they don’t require much.
Give them a little water when they dry out but otherwise let them be, they’ll reward you with their unique appearance year after year.