How to Grow and Care for Haworthia Cymbiformis

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Haworthia cymbiformis is a flowering perennial that grows remarkably slowly. Its leaves resemble the shape of a boat’s bow. They are tapered obtusely at their ends and are broad at the base. The leaves occur in a spiral around the center of the rosette, where a distinct stem is absent. 

For that bright flush of green, add a few clumps of Haworthia cymbiformis to your succulent collection. Its rosettes look great in both outdoor and indoor setups. 

History

This miniature plant is native to the Eastern Cape of South Africa, where summers tend to have rainfall due to ocean winds. In the wild, it favors exposed conditions on cliff faces and can tolerate fairly harsh winds. It is often confused with H. cooperi, another delicate Haworthia with translucent foliage.

Just the tips of H. cymbiformis are see-through. For this reason, it is commonly called cathedral window haworthia. At maturity, this species can produce clumps with multiple offsets. A single clump (including its offsets) can be quite expansive, measuring up to 2 feet. Those cultivated in pots rarely reach this width. 

Plant Facts

Scientific nameHaworthia cymbiformis
Common namesCathedral Window Haworthia
GenusHaworthia
FamilyAsphodelaceae
Height3 inches
Width4 inches 
USDA Plant Hardiness Zone10a-11b
OriginSouth Africa
Flower colorsWhite
Blooming seasonSummer
Plant/Flower special featuresTranslucent leaf tips

How to Plant and Grow Haworthia cymbiformis

Haworthia cymbiformis should be planted via seed or using its offsets in a porous container. Growth from seed will take some time and is highly dependent on the consistency of ambient conditions. Gardeners are usually more successful at expanding populations with the use of pups. 

Fill a small pot with a well-draining substrate and create a vertical hollow for the young roots of the pup. Gently arrange the roots so that they are extended and not clumped underneath the rosette. The substrate should securely hold the roots along with a few millimeters of the base of the offset. Place the young plant in an area with mild exposure while it becomes established. 

How to Propagate Haworthia cymbiformis

Apart from its pups, this species can be propagated using its leaves. Only mature, intact leaves are likely to generate new shoots and root tissues. Gently remove them from the main plant, making sure that the base of each leaf isn’t torn in the process. Lay these out on a thin layer of moderately dry soil, over which roots will eventually extend from each leaf base.

Haworthia cymbiformis

Care and Maintenance

Here’s how to care for Haworthia:

Soil

H. cymbiformis will require a well-draining, porous mixture that need not be organically rich. A standard succulent potting mix or a homemade sandy formulation, with pumice or perlite, should work well. The soil pH should be slightly acidic to neutral, ranging from 6.1-7.6. 

Water

When providing water, make sure that it is poured directly into the soil and not over the rosette. Only water your plant when the first few inches of soil have dried out. 

Lessen watering frequency through winter or during rainy periods of the year. Pay attention to the leaves of the plant as they can become wrinkled when they are parched. 

Fertilizer

A mild fertilizer can occasionally be used to encourage the plant to produce pups. If conditions are optimal, this is not necessary.

Sunlight

Outdoor partial sun conditions are best for Haworthia cymbiformis rosettes. If summers are intense in your area, you may need to provide your plant with a shade cloth or relocate it. If placed indoors, the pot should be located at a sunlit window, where it receives around 5-6 hours of sunlight per day. 

Temperature and Humidity

This plant is unable to tolerate frosts and low winter temperatures. Those cultivated outside USDA zones 10-11 may have to be brought indoors through winter. H. cymbiformis is not sensitive to humidity as long as its substrate does not retain too much moisture. 

Pruning

Rosettes need not be pruned. Pups may occasionally arise on short stalks from between the leaves. They can be cut down and potted in soil. 

Repotting and Transplanting

H. cymbiformis should be repotted whenever it has outgrown its pot or once every 3 years. 

Pests and Diseases

The shoots and roots may attract mealybugs, especially when they are compromised due to overwatering. Manually remove these as soon as they are spotted.

Uses of Haworthia cymbiformis

The bright green rosettes are a favorable addition to succulent arrangements and can complement a small collection of indoor plants. 

Haworthia cymbiformis Varieties

Collectors should keep an eye out for these types of Haworthia: H. cymbiformis ‘Variegata’, ‘Ramosa’, and ‘Setulifera’.

Conclusion

H. cymbiformis is a great option for bringing eye-catching shades of green to your shelf or garden. It is a low-maintenance plant that can produce a profusion of pups for many years.