Zebra Haworthia/Haworthia Attenuata

This small, charming rosette succulent is very popular as a houseplant. But is often seen wrongly identified as H. fasciata, which is a similar, but larger-growing plant.

Rosettes of this species grow to 5-8cm (2-3in) in diameter, but offset freely to make larger clumps. Although the plants are normally dark green with white dots, they will turn reddish and then chocolate coloured if grown continuously in full sun. In their natural arid habitat, the plants would be found under other vegetation, such as dead grass, which provides a little shade.

While this plant is attractive on its own, because it is comparatively slow-growing, it is also ideal for use in a cactus garden. It is easy to grow and look after, and is propagated by division. The small, white flowers, which are produced from Spring to Autumn, are born on long thin stems.

The Zebra Haworthia is quite tolerant of low temperature in Winter (down to 5°C/40°F) if kept fairly dry. Like most plants, it will benefit from good ventilation, but not draughts.

This plant requires a bright situation and will grow happily in any window. Kept in full sun in Summer, it will turn reddish brown and become dormant. To keep the rich green colour, plants should be shaded during the height of Summer.

Water well during the Spring and Summer, then allow the compost to dry before watering again. During the Autumn and Winter, the plant should be kept fairly dry, being given only enough water to prevent shrivelling. This plant will soon rot if kept wet at low temperatures.

Being a native of arid areas, Haworthia attentuata will tolerate a dry atmosphere.

Feed this succulent regularly every fortnight during the Spring and Summer, using a cactus food, or one recommended for tomatoes at about half strength.

Grow this plant in a well-drained compost containing about one third grit. Repot the plant at least every two years.

This plant is ideal for young people, as it is easy to grow and offsets freely. It is also remarkably tolerant of neglect and will revive quickly with good treatment. It is easy to propagate by division, which always seems to fascinate children. When the plant has grown into a clump, remove it from the pot and shake off all the soil. Haworthia make an annual root system, so remove all the old dry roots. Turn the plant upside down and gently prize away all the offsets with roots. These can be potted individually and will re-establish quickly.

PLANT SURGERY

Pests and diseases: This tough plant is not particularly prone to disease or pests, but Mealy Bug can be a problem; eradicate these with methylated spirit and a cotton bud. Over-watering can cause this plant to rot, particularly if kept too hot in mid Summer so that it becomes dormant.

11. August 2013 by admin
Categories: Tips and Advice | Comments Off on Zebra Haworthia/Haworthia Attenuata

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