How To Grow and Care Of Haworthia Pumila Plants

The Haworthia (ha-WORTH-ee-a) genus is a small collection of succulents from the Western Cape of South Africa. These, along with Aloes belong to the subfamily Asphodeloideae (ass-fo-del-oy-de-ay-ee), a member of the Xanthorrhoeaceae (zan-thor-ROH-ee-uh-see-ay-ee) plant family. 

Haworthia pumila now Tulista pumila was a member of this group. You may hear this perennial succulent referred to as “Pearl Plant” or “Tears of Angels”.

Leaves of Haworthia Pumila Up Close
Haworthia are popular succulent plants for use indoors

Haworthia Pumila Care

Size & Growth

Pearl Plants are fairly slow-growing and can live as long as 40 years with proper care. This type of Haworthia grows to be a bit larger than most other species.

The leaves grow in a rosette formation, and the stems are quite short. Individual rosettes can grow to be 6″ inches across and 3″ or 4″ inches high. The rosettes grow in clusters to create an impressive spread.

The dark green leaves of pumila Haworthia are quite tough, triangular, and marked with white, pearl-like warts or tubercles. The thick leaves can grow to be 3″ inches long and 1″ inch wide.

More mature leaves at the base of the plant stand erect. Fresh, young leaves growing near the center of the rosette curve inward.

Flowering & Fragrance

Tears of Angels produce large, waxy brownish white flowers in the summertime. The flowers transition into seeds in the autumn.

Light & Temperature

These succulent plants are well-suited to hot, dry environments with bright light. Because of their South African origins, they are not frost hardy. If you live in a very cold climate you’ll need to bring your Pearl Plants indoors during the winter.

Indoors or outdoors, keep these Haworthia in bright, indirect sunlight. Harsh direct sunlight during summer causes the leaves to shrivel. The right amount of light facilitates growth of the attractive, pearl-like white tubercles.

During the growing season, Haworthia does well at temperatures between 65° to 75° degrees Fahrenheit. During the winter, give the plant a rest with temperatures around 59° degrees Fahrenheit. Don’t allow the temperature to drop below 39° degrees Fahrenheit.

Kept outdoors, Haworthia pumila can tolerate morning full sun and a light frost as long as it doesn’t get wet. Protect your plant against prolonged frost and severe cold.

Watering & Feeding

During the spring, summer, and early autumn, water potted Haworthia Plant moderately. Allow the top 1/4″ inch of soil to dry, but maintain slight moisture throughout the rest of the soil. Water thoroughly and check the soil condition between waterings.

In wintertime, water very sparingly. The goal is not to allow the potting mixture to become completely dry. These plants cannot tolerate complete drought.

Potted Haworthia pumila do not need fertilizer. They will get ample nourishment from a good soil mixture.

When planted in the landscape, watering needs will vary depending on the plants location and weather conditions. During warm, dry weather provide more frequent watering.

During extreme heat, withhold water. These plants tend to experience summer dormancy during very hot weather. In the winter, do not water outdoor Haworthia at all.

Feed Haworthia planted in the landscape early in the spring a diluted liquid fertilizer mixture.

Soil & Transplanting

Use a porous, well draining, non-acidic potting mix for Haworthia. A combination of two parts good quality potting soil and one part perlite or coarse sand works well.

These plants have shallow roots and a clustering growth habit, so wide, shallow pots are best. Be sure to leave plenty of room around the edges (about 2″ inches) to allow the plant to grow and spread.

You will not need to repot the plant until the rosettes completely cover the surface of the soil.

The best time for repotting is springtime. Prune back any shriveled or dead leaves. Divide large plants and repot in new, fresh substrate.

Grooming & Maintenance

Tears of Angels requires little or no grooming and maintenance. Trim off damaged or dead leaves as needed. Remove spent flowers or allow them to transition to seed heads.

Other Popular Haworthia Varieties

How To Propagate Haworthia pumila

The plant will produce offsets in the summertime. To start new plants, just pull away the number of offsets you want and pot them up as mature plants. Some gardeners like to let the offsets dry for a few days before repotting. They should already have a few small roots in place and will soon develop more.

Like most succulents propagate Haworthia from leaf cuttings.

Remove an individual leaf and allow it to dry in the open air for a few days to a week. Lay it on top of appropriate potting mixture with the base of the leaf buried very slightly.

It will soon begin forming roots and the tiny plant will start to grow from the base of the leaf.

If you have no parent plant, you can grow Haworthia from seeds. This is a slow process, though. It can take as long as five years for a plant to reach full maturity when grown from seed.

Haworthia Pumila Main Pest or Disease Problems

With the correct temperature, proper watering, and lighting, your plants should have few problems.

Overwatering causes problems with root rot. Weaken plants are more susceptible to mealybug infestations.

Sudden drops in temperature can also cause root rot. Temperature drops may also cause your plant to take on a reddish hue.

To avoid these problems:

  • Water sparingly
  • Avoid overhead watering which gets leaves wet

During the growing season maintain a warm temperature and light and consistent moisture. During the dormant season, keep the plant cool and dry.

Is Pumila Considered Toxic or Poisonous?

Haworthia are generally non-toxic.

Is The Pumila Hawortha Considered Invasive?

These slow growing succulents need very specific conditions to thrive and are not considered invasive.

Suggested Haworthia Pumila Uses

These small succulents are very popular potted and container plants and also make a good addition to a temperate garden.

Indoors Pearl Plant is a pretty addition in any room with a consistently warm temperature and bright, indirect sunlight. This small, pretty plant makes a good addition to a cactus and/or succulent dish garden.

Outdoors, it makes a nice container plant on the deck or patio. It’s also a good addition to your rock garden or miniature succulent garden.

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