Haworthias, often dubbed as “polka-dotted” or “zebra plant,” are dainty succulent houseplants that are well-loved for their exotic, aloe vera-like appearance and soft, fleshy leaves. They grow in a rosette pattern resembling an aloe plant in many ways.
Haworthia succulents come in multiple classifications, with at least 60 named species and approximately 150 named varieties.
Taking care of your new haworthia plants involves ensuring that their root system is well-established, making them a lovely and hardy addition to your home or garden.
Due to their small size, filling a flowerbed of haworthia plants can be pretty expensive. As a result, owners would often propagate them instead of buying multiple Haworthias at a time.
Luckily, Haworthia care is surprisingly easy, and propagating these gorgeous succulents is easy too.
This article guides you through each step, from using a clean knife for cuttings to preventing root rot in your new plants.
What’s the Easiest Way to Propagate Haworthia Plants?
Like most succulent plants, there are three methods to propagate haworthia plants:
- Offset division from the parent plant
Each method comes with a set of techniques that need to be followed. From taking care of the moisture level in your propagation environment to encourage growth and prevent diseases.
Haworthia seeds can be obtained online or from a blooming haworthia. Seeds that are found online give you a chance to propagate several haworthia species at a time, but they’re usually quite costly.
Propagation through leaf-cutting requires you to cut a healthy, young leaf from the haworthia plant with a sharp, sterilized knife.
As the name suggests, offset division requires you to split a haworthia pup or plantlet into two before planting them in a different pot.
Haworthia Propagation Through Seeds
The first method we’re going to look at is propagating haworthia plants through seed germination.
Keep in mind that growing haworthia from seeds often takes an exceptional amount of time. Some may take several weeks or even months to germinate. With that said, seed propagation is a relatively straightforward process.
First, you must soak the seeds in warm water for about 30 minutes. This process softens their coat and allows the seedlings to propagate faster.
While waiting for the seedlings to soften, prepare your succulent pots by adding a decent amount of cactus soil mixture in each. Then, place several softened seedlings into the pots.
NOTE: Make sure propagation pots have proper drainage holes. This step is crucial in avoiding too much moisture in the soil that can lead to root rot.
Once done, sprinkle just enough gravel or sand over the seeds to cover them. Give the soil a few quick spritzes of water and seal the seeds in a sealed container or clear bag.
Place said bag or container in an area where they’ll receive a decent amount of bright, indirect sunlight.
For the next several days, monitor the seedlings’ water levels. The seeds won’t grow if the soil is too dry or too wet. If algae begin to form, don’t panic! Open the container and let the soil dry before covering it again.
In a few weeks, you’ll notice the haworthia seeds sprouting. If this happens, keep them inside the bag until the pot is completely overgrown.
Popular Haworthia Varieties Include:
Haworthia Propagation Through Leaf Cutting
For this method, you’ll need to choose a healthy, young leaf from your haworthia plant. Avoid older leaves near the base of the plant as they don’t root as well as juvenile leaves.
Make sure your haworthia is at the beginning of its growing season or at the end of its dormancy period.
Using a small but sharp precision knife, cut off the leaf from the base of the haworthia. You can also gently twist the leaf from the plant, but be extremely careful as this might tear the leaf.
Once you’ve extracted the leaf, dip the edge in the rooting hormone if available. Rooting hormone powder can help speed up the propagation process of your haworthia plant.
Give the leaf you’ve cut several days to dry and heal. If the edge of the leaf has scabbed over, it’s now ready to plant.
Afterward, fill a pot with a cactus potting mix and place the leaf on the soil. Water the leaf and put it in an area where there’s plenty of bright, indirect light.
The leaf can be transplanted once it establishes a solid rooting system. This may take anywhere between two to five weeks.
Haworthia Propagation Through Offset Division
Due to its high success rate, the offset division is my favorite method when it comes to haworthia propagation.
The optimal periods for taking out offset shoots are during the repotting process in either spring or autumn, where offset shoots are common.
Wait until the offset has at least four leaves so that it’ll survive the separation from the mother plant.
Remove the entire plant from the pot. Loosen the soil with water and use a sharp knife or shears to remove the offshoots. You’ll want to get as many of the roots as possible, so make sure to cut close to the mother plant.
Transplant the pups in a pot with well-draining soil. We recommend cactus potting soil for new baby plants. Allow them to dry before watering them.
Again, like the two techniques above, place the small pot in a brightly lit area where there’s no direct sunlight. Water the plant sparingly for the next few weeks.
Haworthia propagation isn’t as complicated as one might initially think. Propagation through offset division is by far the easiest and fastest method to grow new haworthia.
Still, propagation through seeds and leaf propagation is also proven to have high success rates.
The recommended soil blend for initiating new succulent plants remains consistent regardless of the propagation method.
You can either utilize a pre-packaged cactus soil mix or create your own mixture by blending a 2:3 ratio of sand, crushed lava rock, or perlite with a 1:3 ratio of potting soil.
Try any of the above methods and see what best suits you. Good luck!