Watering Haworthia Plants: Do You Keep Haworthia Soil Wet or Dry?

The Haworthia plant (zebra plants) are perfect succulents for any household. They are often enjoyed as window houseplants.

The genus of Haworthia contains over 70 species, with 150 varieties of Haworthia from South Africa.

Potted Haworthia plantPin

The plant types vary in size and markings. In this genus, the plants have rosettes with leaves curving upward, adding to their aesthetics.

There are several types of Haworthia, with some popular names including:

  • Haworthia fasciata: Known as the Zebra plant or cactus because of its horizontal white stripes
  • Haworthia cooperi: Known as the cushion aloe small rosettes, transparent tips, white flowers.
  • Haworthia margaritifera: Also called the Pearl plant because of its color and attractiveness
  • Haworthia attenuata: Much like the fasciata, and also called Zebra Cactus
  • Haworthia retusa: Compact plant with leaves tightly clustered together.
  • Haworthia tessellata: Due to its smaller star pattern, it’s known as the Star Window plant

Read on for watering tips and general care information on your succulent Haworthia.

How Often Should You Water Haworthia Plants?

Haworthia plants are easy to care for but have specific care instructions to ensure plant survival.

Generally, these Haworthia watering schedule rules or guidelines apply:

  • Water every 2 to 3 weeks, enough for water to drip out the bottom of the pot.
  • Water every week in the summer months.
  • Water every other month during the winter and once a month in areas with not so cold winters, like Florida. Check soil moisture beforehand.
  • Allow the soil to be dry before watering, but do not allow the soil to dry completely.
  • If the root is too damp, it can cause root rot, killing the plant.

If your plant is outdoors, it may need more frequent watering. If it’s indoors, monthly watering may be enough.

Factors To Consider In Haworthia Watering

For the best waterings and plant health follow these tips.

Soil Mixture

The potting mix for Haworthias must be a well-draining soil. Haworthia plants do not like wet soil or their roots wet for an extended period.

Use a cactus or succulent soil mix or mix equals amounts of commercial soil with adequate drainage material including:

  • Perlite
  • Aquarium gravel
  • Horticultural pumice
  • Poultry grit

A garden center specializing in cactus and succulent plants is the best place to buy these supplies. They can also be purchased online.

Excellent drainage is a must. Never use sand, which can clog the pores in the soil.

It’s best to avoid peat-based soil, as it decomposes, resulting in unhealthy soil.

Pots without drainage holes allow water to collect and roots to rot. Always use a pot with holes for the excess water to escape.

Haworthia is slow-growing and can be in the same pot for years. Replace the soil every 2 to 3 years.

Type Of Water

When watering Haworthia use distilled water or rainwater if available. If using tap water let the water sit out for 24 hours to allow chemicals to evaporate. Minerals can collect in the soil over a period of time.

Root Rot

Rotting roots are common in Haworthia plants because of their fleshy roots. Too much water first damages the roots then spreads to the stem and leaves.

The cause is excess water.

It is important to note when you water, what season it is, and the temperature. The rot is more deadly in high warm temperatures.

Common symptoms include stunted growth, plant size reduction, or dried up leaves.

You may still save the plant by following these simple steps:

  • Unpot it and inspect the roots.
  • Remove decayed or weak roots, including the stem of the plant.
  • Allow the plant to lie unpotted for several days to dry out.
  • Re-pot in new, fresh soil. Begin watering when roots start to re-establish.

Related: Propagating Succulent Haworthia Plants

Pot Size And Pot Types

Haworthia can grow in any pot, whether it’s ceramic, plastic, or terra cotta. Terra cotta pots do release moisture faster than plastic or ceramic, which may reduce the risk of root rot.

Shallow pots are usually good, but a Haworthia with thick and heavy roots may do better in a deep container.

The pot must have drain holes. You do not have to use a saucer. If you do, empty any standing water to avoid excessive moisture, leading to root rot.


Haworthia is best with 2 to 3 hours of indirect bright light. That’s why it’s best near a window as opposed to direct sunlight.

If the plant gets too much sun, it gets sunburnt, and the leaves may turn white or yellow.

Temperature And Seasons

Haworthia thrives in the summer, but also requires the most watering during the season. Water every 7 to 10 days, making sure the soil is dry before each application.

When the temperature drops in the fall, Haworthia requires less water.

In the spring, water every 2 to 3 weeks, as long as the soil is dry before each watering.

Haworthia requires much less water during the winter. Once a  month in the winter is good if the soil is not wet.

Haworthia does best in 65° to 90° degrees Fahrenheit year-round.

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