How to Grow and Care for Haworthia Fasciata

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This is perhaps the most popular of all Haworthia succulents due to its remarkable features and ease of care. H. fasciata, commonly known as zebra plant or zebra cactus, is an ideal species for the beginner gardener. It is not at all demanding and can thrive even under scenarios of neglect. 

The zebra succulent is distinguished by its foliage, which is marked by horizontal white stripes. These protrude from the back portion of the leaves, making them highly textural. The inner portion is more smooth. Depending on the cultivar and on sun exposure, the leaves can be light to dark green and may even have variegation.

History

This species has actually been re-classified under the Haworthiopsis genus, though it is still widely regarded as a Haworthia. It is often confused with Haworthiopsis attenuata, which also has striped foliage. To distinguish between the two, peer closely at the inner part of each leaf. If it is highly textured, it is likely an H. attenuata

Haworthia fasciata hails from South Africa’s Eastern Cape. It arises in the form of compact rosettes with sharply tapered foliage. The leaves are quite tough, making them resistant to harsh weather conditions and sea spray. Rosettes reach a maximum height of about 5 inches and are a desirable addition to miniature gardens. 

Plant Facts

Scientific nameHaworthia fasciata, Haworthiopsis fasciata
Common namesZebra Plant, Zebra Cactus, Zebra Haworthia
GenusHaworthia, Haworthiopsis
FamilyAsphodelaceae
Height8 inches
Width5 inches 
USDA Plant Hardiness Zone9-11
OriginSouth Africa
Flower colorsWhite
Blooming seasonSummer
Plant/Flower special featuresStriped foliage, smooth inner leaves

How to Grow Zebra Plants

H. fasciata can be planted in small pots as its roots will not require too much vertical space. The pot should preferably be made of a porous material, like terra cotta, to prevent moisture retention. A hole at the bottom is a must in order to prevent excess water from pooling in the pot. 

If placing your zebra plants outdoors, the best time to plant it is during spring. Allow the plant to become fully established before exposing it to direct sun. It may need to go through a brief acclimation period prior to being outplanted. 

How to Propagate Haworthia fasciata

A mature mother plant will readily produce a few offsets each year. It is best to grow your collection using these, as leaf or shoot propagation are not as ideal with this species. 

Fully uproot the mother plant so that you can separate the offsets without causing injury. Allow any exposed wounds to callous over before repotting both the main plant and offsets. To encourage optimal growth and leaf orientation, each young rosette should have its own pot. 

Care and Maintenance

Here are important haworthia succulent care tips:

Soil

Haworthiopsis fasciata will thrive in a soil mix that is formulated just for cacti and succulents. A standard houseplant mix may be too dense and prevent proper root aeration and evaporation. Though this species is able to tolerate more moisture than other succulents, it can still be compromised by an excess amount. 

Water

Use the soak and dry method whenever the soil has dried out completely. This can take up to a week in optimal outdoor conditions and up to 2-3 weeks indoors, depending on humidity levels and ventilation.

Fertilizer

Zebra cactus does not require fertilizer. It will grow normally in nutrient-poor soil.

Sunlight

Full sun exposure may cause leaf tips to scorch if the plant has not been acclimated beforehand. Place young plants in an area with partial or filtered sun.

Temperature and Humidity

This species is sensitive to cool temperatures and should be brought indoors for winter. Normal indoor humidity levels should suffice. 

Pruning

Foliage of Haworthia fasciata will not need to be pruned. Simply make sure to remove leaves and bloom stalks that have dried out.

Repotting and Transplanting

The zebra plant will benefit from being repotted once every 2-3 years. If rearing from a small size, the plant should be transplanted to a larger pot every few months. 

Pests and Diseases

The tough foliage of H. fasciata is resistant to pests and diseases. Roots may suffer and rot from excess moisture, so provide water sparingly. 

Uses of Zebra Cactus

H. fasciata rosettes are often added to small container gardens. They are also used as indoor desk plants as they remain small throughout their lives.

Haworthiopsis fasciata Varieties

Cultivars of this species have the same morphological structure, with varied coloration and tubercle forms. Popular Haworthia varieties are listed below. 

  • H. fasciata ‘Royal Albert’
  • H. fasciata ‘Patensie’
  • H. fasciata ‘Super White Zebra’
  • H. fasciata ‘Browniana’

Conclusion

Haworthia fasciata is a must-have for every succulent collector. Its leaf forms and zebra-like pattern are unforgettable and would look great next to other miniature plants. 

Check many different types of succulents you can grow.

~ image source: depositphotos/yanishevska.photo