Haworthia: Tough on the outside, soft on the inside


When I was on a business trip in Manila last October 2003, I couldn’t resist to take a side-trip to Baguio City, Philippines. It was at Mines View Park that I discovered these tough-looking plants. I have cactus fever during that trip so naturally I thought Haworthia plants were cacti; the plants were placed next to large cylindrical and globular cacti at that garden fair.

Haworthia ubomboensis

The impulse to have a specimen of the different varieties was so strong that I ended up buying Haworthia plants worth three thousand pesos. Sad to say, the first batch of my Haworthia from Baguio City died one after the other. I observed that despite the firmness and toughness of their leaves, they were rot-prone.


Ah hindsight…I knew I should have done my research on these plants before I decided to make them part of my garden plants.

Haworthia reinwardtii

Anyway, I was flipping through an old book of House Plants by Better Homes and Gardens when I came across the succulents. It was then that I learned the species of Haworthia plants have similar basic needs like other succulents.

Haworthia tortuosa

So learning from the book and my mistakes, I potted my new batch of these dwarf succulents in sandy-loam soil and put them in the area where they’re not exposed to direct sunlight. Also, I water them just once a week; I avoided sprinkling water directly on the plants, just enough water poured near the rim of the pots would suffice.


Though I haven’t seen any flower buds yet, my Haworthia plants are thriving well. I’ve been told that they would yield small white flowers. Some of them form rosettes like the Haworthia limifolia while some have long grass-like leaves like the Haworthia reinwardtii. These are some of the recent photos of my Haworthia plants.

mestiza zebra
haworthia reinwardtii var chalumnensis
'Eagle's Claw'

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