Adrian Hardy Haworth was a pretty lucky guy to have such an amazing genus of plants named after him. The nearly seventy known species that make up the genus Haworthia, are relatively small in stature, but huge in beauty and hardiness (after all, Hardy was his middle name). In the sixteenth century, it would have taken a great deal of effort to travel between England and South Africa to study these amazing plants in their native desert habitat.
It would have been even more daunting to have taken small starts of the plants, hoping they would survive the return journey. Many of the starts did survive, and slowly, over many decades, Haworthias began making their way into private plant collections across England and Europe.
Today, Haworthias make great, small indoor plants. In their native habitat, they are often found in rock outcroppings or tucked up underneath other plants. This means that a bright room or slightly shaded windowsill is the ideal perch. If you notice the green, succulent leaves turning red, that means it may be in too much sun. This is unusual because most succulents require full sun.
Watering Haworthia plants can be very simple. Let the soil reach the dry point, then water thoroughly. Make sure that the plant isn’t standing in any water (a common theme amongst most indoor plants). It’s better to let the plant get a little drier than it is to keep it too wet.
Haworthias are related to aloe. They can have a similar appearance and flower structure. The white, pink, or orange flowers will usually shoot up in the spring or summer and can last for several weeks. Feed them with a mild, all-purpose fertilizer during these bouts of growth and flowering, but lay off the food for the rest of the year.
Whether they have zebra stripes, pointy leaves, or mounding, transparent, ‘window’ leaves, Haworthias are sure to bring a spot of interest to anyone’s indoor plant collection.