Zebra cactus: features of a houseplant
The Haworthy zebra (Haworthia fasciata) is native to South Africa and named after the English explorer Adrian Haworth. It belongs to the Haworthia family, which has about 150 species, and belongs to the Aloe family. However, very few of them are suitable for growing indoors; most of them thrive in their natural habitat.
Cultivated as a houseplant, the Haworthy zebra reaches a maximum height of 20 cm and a diameter of about 15 cm. It forms rosettes of erect, thick, green leaves that are slightly curved inward. The underside of these leaves is intensely covered with white markings resembling a zebra pattern.
Under absolutely optimal environmental and care conditions, long stems form from the center of the rosettes, at the end of which there are delicate white flowers, but even without flowers, the small succulent looks attractive.
Low maintenance succulent
Although Haworthia fasciata is native to South Africa, it cannot stand in full sun. The leaves not only dry out, but also lose their noticeable attractiveness. This is the only condition that needs to be taken into account. Leaves may turn red.
This happens when the plant is exposed to direct sunlight. The sun can damage it to such an extent that the plant may die.
Ideally, a partially shaded place (both in the apartment and on the street) is suitable for them. Succulents also grow well outdoors in a place protected from the sun, as long as the air temperature does not drop below 10 ° C. Once late frosts are not to be feared, the Haworthy zebra can be taken outside again. First of all, you should choose a shady place so that the succulent slowly gets used to the sun. After about two weeks, it can be moved to its final, partially shaded location.
Normal room temperature is suitable for growing Haworthia. In winter, you should find a cooler place (temperatures between 5 ° C and 15 ° C are ideal for a dormant period). When choosing a winter room, it should be borne in mind that the warmer it is, the lighter it should be.
Haworthia fasciata is rather undemanding: it does not grow in nutrient-rich soil, but in rather poor substrate. Flower shop cactus soil is suitable for growing Haworthia. It must be permeable so that it is not waterlogged.
Haworthia fasciata does not tolerate waterlogging; too much moisture will cause the succulents to rot and die. As a result, water should be poured sparingly. Water only when the topsoil dries well. During the winter holidays, watering stops completely.
Haworthia fasciata does not need to be heavily fertilized. A small succulent plant in nature is used to poor soil, and if it receives too many nutrients, it will form side shoots, resulting in an unsightly appearance. If it is transplanted annually into a fresh substrate, it does not need to be fertilized at all.
Fertilizer for cacti[/ caption]The Haworthie cactus can be fed cactus fertilizer every six weeks, from April to September, but only half the recommended amount.
Zebra Clipping – Haworthias
It doesn’t need to be cut. Even shriveled leaves are removed when they are completely dead. The cactus will still be getting nutrients from those parts of the plant.
Small succulents are not hardy, so they need to be brought indoors as soon as the temperature drops below 10°C. They can overwinter there at normal room temperature, but it is better to place them in a cooler room where Haworthia fasciata can spend the winter resting period.
Note! This applies not only to those plants that have spent the summer outside, but also to those grown indoors all year round. Winter rooms should have a temperature between 5 ° C and 15 ° C. The warmer it is there, the brighter it should be.
Since Haworthia fasciata has a shallow root, it should be planted in a wide pot. A layer of gravel is laid on the bottom to avoid waterlogging.
Zebra cactus get along well with other succulents and cacti. However, this planting should take into account the individual needs of each plant in terms of location and care, and that the roots of the succulents do not intertwine. In this case, they need to be transplanted in the spring.
Zebra cactus growth is slow, so transplanting into a larger pot is rarely required, and should only be done after the plant has fully rooted in the previous flowerpot. However, fresh substrate should be given each year to ensure nutrient intake.
This should be done in the spring after a winter holiday:
- carefully remove the plant from the container;
- if possible, free the roots from the old substrate;
- check the roots for damage and pest infestation;
- remove damaged parts of the root;
- drainage is poured into a new container from above, covered with soil;
- insert a seedling and pour the substrate;
- watered from above.
Reproduction of Zebra-Haworthy
It is advisable to do this in the spring. Haworthia produce many side shoots that can be successfully used for propagation. As a rule, the lateral shoots have already formed roots, so they can be placed in a pot immediately after removal.
Even if they are still without roots, the cuttings are dried for two to three days, after which they can also be planted in their own pot.
Reproduction by seeds
It can also be propagated by seeds that can be obtained from plant flowers. However, this method is more complicated. Sowing can be carried out all year round:
- fill the tray with loose substrate;
- seeds are spread on the surface;
- from above, the crops are covered with glass or film;
- the container is cleaned in a well-lit and warm (from 20 to 25 degrees) place;
- keep the substrate slightly moist.
It is important to ensure that the soil does not overheat. This will inevitably lead to a halt in the germination process. The first shoots may appear in a few weeks.
Note! Seeds can be stored for no more than one year, after which they lose their ability to germinate!
Diseases and pests of the Zebra haworthia cactus
The small succulent plant is extremely disease resistant. Damage can only occur due to improper care:
- too much water leads to waterlogging, which, in turn, leads to rotting of the roots, and the plant dies;
- a lot of sun: the leaves wrinkle and lose their pattern (it must be immediately moved to a shaded place);
- scaly sucking insects usually sit in the middle of rosettes and are difficult to see with the naked eye, their presence is noticed only when the plant suddenly droops;
- mealybugs, like scale insects, live in hard-to-reach places;
- root lice live underground in the root system;
If a root lice infestation is found, it should be dealt with immediately with pesticides. For preventive purposes, with an annual transplant, a root check should be carried out. Regularly check the cactus for pests, it is very important to use a special pesticide.
In recent years, succulents and, in particular, various types of cacti have become an interior decoration. If you do not overdo it with watering, and direct sunlight, during the warmer months the plant can bloom: small cream-colored flowers appear.