Haworthia Attenuata Care Tips: Growing The Zebra Cactus

Haworthia Attenuata [ha-WORTH-ee-a, at-ten-yoo-AY-tuh] refers to a small succulent plant belonging to the genus Haworthiopsis in the Asphodelaceae family.

This species of evergreen plants are native to the Eastern Cape Province in South Africa.

Attenuata is prized for its ornamental foliage and is a good choice for beginners looking for low-maintenance indoor plants.

Potted Haworthia Attenuata aka Zebra Cactus

Common names include:

  • Haworthiopsis Attenuata
  • Zebra Haworthia
  • Zebra Plant
  • Zebra Cactus
  • Aloe Attenuata

Note: the Aloe attenuata is very similar to Haworthia fasciata. the main difference between the two species lies in the pattern and texture of their leaves.

H. attenuata has small protuberances on the surface of the leaves whereas H. fasciata has relatively smooth leaves.

Haworthia Attenuata Care

Size & Growth

The easy to grow Zebra Haworthia has a short and compact growth pattern resembling an Aloe vera plant.

It reaches a height of about 6” inches and consists of short green leaves arranged in a rosette, measuring 2” – 4” inches in diameter.

The leaves are thick and fleshy and covered with white tubercles all over them.

Tubercles are small rounded projections which divide the plant’s foliage into green and white stripes, hence, the resemblance to the pattern on a zebra’s skin.

Flowering and Fragrance

Like most Haworthia plants, attenuata does not usually bloom indoors.

However, in its natural habitat, the plant produces small tubular pink or white flowers borne on an inflorescence, measuring almost 16” inches long.

The non-fragrant flowers have delicate green veins appearing during November or December.

Light & Temperature

Attenuata is quite demanding when it comes to lighting needs.

It requires bright light, so it’s preferred to plant it in a place where direct sunlight falls.

South-facing aspects are recommended although it will perform equally well in east or west-facing aspects as long as it receives full sun for a considerable amount of time each day.

These succulents are suitable for growth in USDA hardiness zone 10a and 10b and tolerate temperatures up to 35° degrees Fahrenheit (2° C).

Watering and Feeding

Haworthia attenuata has the basic watering needs as of various other succulents.

Follow the usual ‘soak and dry method’ to fulfill the plant’s watering requirements.

Water the plant properly and then allow the top layer of soil to get sufficiently dry (not completely dry) before watering it again.

In the summer season, offer plenty of water to Haworthia but avoid overwatering as it will kill the succulent.

Reduce the amount and number of watering sessions in the cold winter months.

Feeding Haworthias twice or three times a year is more than enough to ensure healthy growth.

More feeding might be required if you are growing these succulents in large clusters, otherwise, they are not big feeders.

To meet the feeding requirement, fertilize the plant in the summer season using a cactus mix.

There is no need to feed the plant in winter.

Soil & Transplanting

Haworthia requires slightly acidic and well-draining soil. Use a succulent potting mix in combination with perlite for best results.

The approximate ratio is to combine two parts of a succulent mix with one part of perlite.

Repotting is recommended during springtime but only if the plant has outgrown the current container.

Grooming and Maintenance

This ornamental species of succulents require little to no pruning.

If you want to keep the growth under control, you might have to remove the baby plants growing at the base of the main succulent.

Otherwise, no further grooming is needed.

How to Propagate Zebra Cactus

Since Haworthia attenuata belongs to the same subfamily as aloe plants, it is propagated in a similar manner as well.

  • The mother plant produces pups or offsets which need to be separated carefully using a sharp knife.
  • Remove the offshoots from the main plant and plant them in the required spot.
  • A good tip for successful propagation is to cut the offsets very closely to the mother plant.
  • This allows the maximum number of roots to stay attached to the baby plant.

Alternatively, you may propagate the plant using the leaves only.

  • Cut the leaves a couple of inches from the top and use them to grow new ones.
  • Let the wound dry out a little bit before repotting the cut leaves.

Regardless of which method you use, water the plant only when you see some sign of new growth.

Watering it any earlier will loosen the soil and therefore, increase the risk of killing the plant.

Zebra Haworthia Pest or Diseases

Haworthia attenuata is not susceptible to common garden pests and diseases, except when over watered.

Under these circumstances, it may be susceptible to attacks from succulent mealybugs and diseases like root rot.

Look out for white, powdery spots on the surface of the leaves.

If you notice any such patches, gently clean it off with a cotton swab dipped in alcohol.

Uses For Haworthia

Haworthia attenuata is a truly fascinating and gorgeous plant. Its small size and easy maintenance make it the ideal houseplant.

The dark green leaves of Haworthia make a fine addition to bedroom stands, kitchen counters, living rooms, windowsills, office desk or virtually any other indoor space in need of a touch of liveliness.

Plant it in a visually aesthetic pot and gift it to a friend or family member to brighten up their day.