Hey, have you ever seen this dark green succulent with white stripes? The succulent you’re asking about must be the little zebra haworthia ‘Haworthiopsis fasciata.’ Tell me whether you think this plant is white with green stripes or white with green stripes. Haha. It’s funny as this question makes up a whole debate on it. And we know it’s just for fun. You can also grow a green version of the Zebra in your living room or garden. Today, I will discuss the most common Zebra plant, “Haworthiopsis fasciata”!
This eye-catching succulent can add an ambiance of wildlife to living rooms and offices. Their versatile and tenacious qualities ensure that even the most amateur gardener has an easy time growing them.
Quite a conversation starter, the Zebra plant is one succulent you’ll want to grow.
Origin & The Fascinating Appearance
The Zebra plant is a low-growing succulent that can eventually reach a height of 4-8 inches. This heavily suckering plant forms proliferating rosettes arising from the base. Haworthiopsis fasciata is native to the Eastern Cape of South Africa. It was introduced to Europe in 1600 by a group of adventurous collectors (I forgot the name, sorry) and is now a popular household beauty worldwide. This plant can last a lifetime. This dainty succulent is clump-forming; thus, it can fit well with other succulents in the same container.
This South African succulent stands out for its erect, multifarious leaves with streaks of white tubercles on the green outer surface, giving it the Zebra effect. When stressed (mainly due to long hours in the hot sun), the leaves may turn red (see images from Veronique sending a question to me). Haworthiopsis fasciata has a miniature leafy stem that appears to be almost invisible.
Due to its slow-growing nature, the Zebra Haworthia rarely blooms, especially when planted indoors. When it does, zebra succulent blooms appear in summer, characterized by tiny, tubular pink or white flowers on an inflorescence (a thin, tall stem).
Therefore, seeing a succulent zebra plant growing long stems might be a good sign of upcoming blooms. You may want to encourage it by giving it a little fertilizer and getting it enough sunlight.
Botanically referred to as Haworthiopsis Fasciata, this fascinating succulent hails from the family Asphodeloideae and Haworthia as the Genus. The genus Haworthia is named in honor of Adrian Hardy Haworth, an entomologist, and a botanist. (How cool is it to have a plant named after you!)
With about 80 species, Haworthia is one genus offering a wide variety of succulents to explore.
Haworthiopsis fasciata was formerly known as Haworthia fasciata, and other names include the Zebra Haworthia and the Zebra plant. It’s like the Zebra name is given to anything with white stripes. Therefore, it can be quite misleading. Two other plants (that are not succulents) are also referred to as Zebra plants. These include Aphelandra squarrosa and Calathea zebrina. However, nothing can come close to the glamour exuded by our Zebra Haworthia.
Images from the Community
Haworthia attenuata closely resembles the Zebra cactus. Both succulents share the name Zebra plant. The only distinguishing feature between the two is the tubercles on the leaves.
Haworthia attenuata has both leaf surfaces covered by white tubercles, but Haworthia fasciata’s leaves have a smooth inner surface devoid of any white marks.
Something else to note is that Haworthia fasciata is considered a rare species.
Hordes of succulent beginners tend to think that the Zebra plants are a stripped version of the Aloe. It’s not. Sure, they are from the same sub-family and native to South Africa, but marked differences distinguish the two.
Caring For Haworthiopsis Fasciata
The Zebra plants top the list in the succulents’ starter pack for beginners. They’re easy-care plants that will grow brilliantly even when most neglected. However, giving ideal growing conditions when young will ensure that Zebra plants are healthy. Continue reading for an in-depth guide on growing and caring for your Zebra Haworthia:
1. The Ideal Temperature
Haworthiopsis fasciata has long adapted to desert conditions and will thrive in high temperatures. It will do just fine as an indoor plant with room temperatures (between 65-80°F ~ 18-27°C) between spring and autumn. During winter, the little Zebra Haworthia can’t tolerate freezing or anything below 4°C. As with many succulents, the Zebra plants don’t require any humidity.
2. Light Requirements
Although The Zebra plants are total sun zealots, they can also do well in partial shades. If growing outdoors, find a spot where your Haworthia will receive at least 4 hours of bright, indirect sunlight. Indoor Zebra plants will receive adequate lighting near a vast, uncovered south-facing window.
Avoid exposing your Haworthia fasciata to direct sunshine for long hours, especially during summer. This leads to sunburn, giving the leaves an undesirable purple, red or brown color. Similarly, placing your Zebra plants in a shade for extended periods will result in weak and lanky plants. Avoid both extremes for robust growth!
I recommend having an extra lighting system for indoor plants as so much can be adjusted to fit the needs perfectly.
3. Soil & Fertilizing
The ideal soil for Haworthia fasciata is grainy and well-draining to ensure that the plant does not sit on damp soil for long. The best commercial bet, in my opinion, is this Hoffman 10410 Organic Cactus and Succulent Soil Mix, 10 Quarts. This mix promotes aeration and drainage and is perfectly pH-balanced and pathogen-free, 100% suitable for Haworthia fasciata.
Regarding fertilizers, give your Zebra plant a weak solution occasionally (half strength or 1/4 strength). Twice or thrice a year is probably too much. Do NOT feed it during winter. This succulent deals with fertilizers like the others, so see an overall guide here.
How often to water Zebra cactus? This plant can go for long periods without water. On that account, they can cope with underwatering but easily succumb to root rot due to overwatering. In warm climates, watering it once a week is recommended. Minimize watering during winter as these plants lapse into inactivity. When experiencing sun stress, use the “soak and dry” method or, in other words, water therapy. This is giving your succulents a nice massage 🙂
5. Pests & Problem Alerts
Fortunately, Haworthia fasciata does not suffer from vast pest invasions. Aloe mites and mealybugs are the most common insects that occasionally plague it. Nothing too unordinary! However, if you see these signs:
- Leaves turning red: This is due to excess sunlight. Move your zebra plant in a shaded area, and the undesirable red tinge will begin to return to normal. (Remember, if your succulent is sunburnt, it may not be reversed).
- Leaf tips are brown and dead: This is quite normal, depending on the degree of color on the tips. Browning is typically only confined to the tips of the leaves; don’t worry.
- Plant collapse: This is typically caused by overwatering and exposure to very cold temperatures. Warm that baby up and let it drink all of its nutrients first.
How to Propagate Haworthia Fasciata
Like Aloe, propagating Haworthia fasciata is a painless and straightforward process with a high success rate. Either offsets or leaves can be used as propagates. When propagating using leaves, pluck a healthy leaf from the mother plant. Allow the wound to heal for a few days, and check for signs of new roots. Stick the calloused leaves in a well-draining potting mix. Water only once and wait for signs of growth to water again.
Propagating using offsets is much easier and thought to have a higher success rate. Any healthy Zebra plant will often produce offsets. Use a sharp knife to neatly remove them, cutting as close to the mother plant as possible. This is to ensure that the offset gets some roots. A knife may be unnecessary in some cases as the offset may be loosely attached to the plant and come off easily with a gentle tug.
Wait a few days for the wound to heal. This is to reduce the risks of rot in the new wound. Set the dried offset in a succulent potting mix, water slightly, and place in a warm, brightly lit area.
The best time to propagate Haworthia fasciata is during summer or at the end of spring. This is because it’s warm and there is a lot of sunlight – excellent conditions for optimum growth.
Repotting Tips for Haworthiopsis Fasciata
The zebra plant is generally tiny and slow-growing. To be specific, how big do zebra haworthia get maximum? Generally speaking, just my observation at stores, this plant can be as tall as 5 to 8 inches (12 to 20 centimeters) and about 4 to 5 inches (10 to 12 centimeters) wide in diameter. Furthermore, this plant might take a while to get there, typically 2-3 years. Most pots are big enough for that size eventually.
However, repotting for this plant is recommended, though not necessarily done in short periods. Changing the soil every two years to eliminate molds and pests and revamp the soil’s nutrition even if the plant hasn’t yet outgrown the pot. It needs repotting when the roots fill the pot, causing overcrowding, or when you observe signs of stress like stunted growth or roots emerging from drainage holes. The recommended time to repot is during summer or late spring.
Haworthia Zebra Plant Benefits
Yes, there are Haworthiopsis fasciata benefits for having this plant at home. Here are my views:
- The Looks: I mean, honestly, the Zebra plant is fantastic to look at. I personally like the stripes. Do you like succulents with stripes?
- Easy to Care For: This Zebra cactus plant doesn’t need much attention like any succulent. No need to water often, no fertilizing. Just enough air circulation and sunlight.
- Cleaner Air Indoors: This succulent is among the plants that make the air inside your home a bit cleaner by removing harmful stuff and giving out oxygen.
- Fits Anywhere: This plant is small, slow-growing, and doesn’t take up much space. You can put it anywhere.
- Relaxing: Caring for a plant like this can be a calming activity.
- Learning Opportunity: Growing a Zebra Plant can be a fun way to get first-hand experience in succulent gardening. Did you know this plant is among the easiest succulents I recommend for beginners? See the list here.
In general, having a Zebra cactus is good in many ways. Or else, just have it as a normal decorative 🙂
Haworthiopsis fasciata is among the most popular succulents in the world. I saw many have this plant in their bedroom or at the window sills. Spread the word to your friends about how easy it is to care for a rare succulent like this. Leave a comment below about how this article has helped you with your zebra plant. Happy Planting!
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Richard | Editor-in-chief at Succulent City
Hey everyone! I’m Richard. Welcome to my blog, which is all about succulents, cacti, and a bit about air plants. Ten years back, in 2013, I began my journey with succulents. It started as a simple hobby, crafting and selling charming succulent-themed pins and decorations. But as time passed, my fascination with these remarkable plants grew, and I gained extensive knowledge about them. Therefore, Succulent City is the blog as you see it is now. Enjoy your visit and happly planting!