The Haworthia Zebra Plant ‘Haworthia Fasciata’

Haworthia Fasciata Image

If you’re anything like me, you’re tickled pink admiring the awestruck beauty of Zebras in the jungles of Africa.

But you’re also frustrated when you just can’t figure out whether Zebras are white with black stripes or black with white stripes. Well, thanks to the quirkiest plants on the planet, you can have a green version of the Zebra growing in your garden or living room!

These eye-catching succulents 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.

The Zebra Plant – Haworthia Fasciata

The Zebra plant is a low-growing succulent reaching a height of between 4-8 inches. This heavily suckering plant forms proliferating rosettes arising from the base. Haworthia fasciata is generally a slow-growing succulent that can last a lifetime. This dainty succulent is clump-forming and thus it can fit well with other succulents in the same container.

This South African succulent stands out for its erect, multifarious leaves having streaks of white tubercles on the green outer surface which gives it the Zebra effect.

When stressed (mainly due to long hours in the hot sun), the tip of the leaves may turn red. Haworthia 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, blooms appear in summer characterized by tiny, tubular pink or white flowers on an inflorescence (a thin tall stem).

Scientific Classification

Botanically referred to as Haworthia 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, who was an entomologist and a botanist. (How cool is it to have a plant named after you!)

With about 80 species under its belt, Haworthia is one genus that offers a wide variety of succulents for one to explore.

Haworthia fasciata is commonly known as the Zebra cactus though it’s not a cactus but a succulent. Other names include the Zebra Haworthia and the Zebra plant. It’s like the Zebra name is given to anything that has white stripes on it and thus, the name Zebra plant can be quite misleading.

Two other plants (that are not succulents) are also referred to as Zebra plants. These include Aphelandra squarrosa and Calathea zebrine. However, nothing can come close to the glamour exuded by our Zebra Haworthia.

Origin of the Zebra Plant

Haworthia Fasciata or the Zebra plant is native to the Eastern Cape of South Africa. They always get the good ones!

It was introduced to Europe in 1600 by a group of adventurous collectors and is now a popular household beauty around the world.

Haworthia attenuata closely resembles the Zebra cactus. In fact, both succulents share the name Zebra plant. The only distinguishing feature between the two is the tubercles on the leaves.

Whereas Haworthia attenuata has both of its leaf surfaces covered by white tubercles, 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 are both native to South Africa, but there are marked differences that distinguish the two.

Haworthia Fasciata Care

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 turn out to be healthy.

Continue reading for an in-depth guide on how to grow and take care of your Zebra Haworthia.

What is the ideal temperature for the Zebra plant?

This xerophyte has long adapted to desert conditions and will thrive even in high heat levels. As an indoor plant, it will do just fine with room temperatures between spring and autumn. During winter, it prefers cool temperatures. However, Haworthia fasciata can’t tolerate freezing or anything below 4°C.

As the case with many succulents, the Zebra plants don’t require any humidity.

Light requirements for haworthia fasciata

Although The Zebra plants are total sun zealot, they can also do well in partial shades. If growing outdoors, find a spot where your Haworthia will receive at least four hours of bright, indirect sunlight. Indoor Zebra plants will receive adequate lighting when placed near a huge, 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.

For our indoor plants, we prefer this lighting system as so much can be adjusted to perfectly fit our needs.

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 bet is a commercial cacti mix which you can easily buy online.

We highly recommend this soil mix. It is one of the best soil mixes on the market. It doesn’t need to be mixed with any other soil, it helps fight root rot, perfectly pH Balanced & is pathogen-free (ie: won’t kill your plants). This soil is the go-to for our office plants.

Give your Zebra plant a weak solution of fertilizer occasionally. Twice or thrice a year is probably too much. Do NOT feed it during winter.

Watering your Zebra Plant

The Zebra cactus 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. Water the Zebra plant once a fortnight in cooler areas.

Use the “soak and dry” method to water your plants. This is giving your succulents a drench and waiting for the soil to dry before watering again.

Minimize watering during winter as these plants lapse into inactivity.

Pests to look out for

Fortunately, Haworthia fasciata does not suffer from many pest invasions. Aloe mites and mealybugs are the most common insects that occasionally plague it. Nothing too unordinary!

Haworthia Fasciata Care Tips

  1. 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 fade back to normal. (Keep in mind if your succulent is sunburnt, it may not be reversed).
  2. 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.
  3. 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.


5 Reasons to Grow a Zebra Plant

  1. It’s one of the most visually appealing succulents.
  2. It requires minimal maintenance, super easy to take care of.
  3. The Zebra Plant is not poisonous, being safe for both humans and pets.
  4. They take up very little space. So much so that little baby shoes and teacups are used as planters. (We prefer to use cute planters like these).
  5. It has a long life span, perfect for gifting to generations.

How to Propagate Haworthia Fasciata

Just like Aloe, propagating Haworthia fasciata is a painless and straightforward process with a high rate of success. 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. 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.

In some cases, a knife may be completely unnecessary 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 up the dried offset in a cacti 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 Haworthia Fasciata

The zebra plant is generally tiny and slow-growing. Therefore, it might take a while for the plant to outgrow its pot. Repotting is done every so often and only when the pot is filled with offsets.

In some cases, the roots may overgrow the pot and hence a repot may be necessary. Use a similar potting mix when repotting.

The recommended time to repot is during summer or late spring. Change the soil every two years to get rid of molds, pests, and to revamp the nutrition of the soil. Read more about repotting succulents here.

Where can I buy the Zebra Plant Succulent?

Haworthia fasciata is a rare and hard to find succulent. However, during summer or spring, it can easily be sourced from nurseries, conservatories and local garden centers. If not, online stores such as Mountain crest gardens, succulent box, and Etsy may be your best bet.

Have you had enough of the Zebra Plant yet? If not be sure to spread the word to your friends about how amazing and 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.

Loved learning about this succulent and now inspired to add more to your collection?! (We don’t blame you) Check out Succulent City’s new line of ebooks covering topics from, “All the Types of Succulents for Indoor and Outdoor,” “Different Types of Planters,” and many more helpful in-depth ebooks. Head to this link to view our full line of ebooks and get started with our complementary guide. 

Happy Planting!


Richard Miller

Salute everyone. It's Richard, the author of this Succulent & Xeriscaping blog. I am a traveler and a nature lover looking for a connection with the wild green. In my journey, I found a love for succulents and xeriscaping. What attracts me is the long-lasting & unique beauty of every plant I have the chance to see with my own eyes. Welcome to my little blog and let's enjoy a good time together!

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6 thoughts on “The Haworthia Zebra Plant ‘Haworthia Fasciata’

  1. Hi, I want the black and white one…NOT green. How can I make sure that is what I get? If there is a specific name for the black/white one I missed it in the article. Your help is appreciated as I love this little guy!

  2. Thanks For the information. I enjoy trying to start new plants from a leaf. I need to wait and let the plant tell me it growing then pulling it up. Thanks for information and pictures.

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