Haworthia are cute little succulent plants that make great beginner houseplants. There are various species and hybrids with striking spiral leaf patterns. Haworthias are easy to care for indoors. If we meet their basic needs, they can tolerate some neglect.
One of the easiest ways to propagate new haworthia plants is by using leaf cuttings. The propagation method is simple. Cut off a leaf. Let it callus over. Plant it in soil. If successful, tiny plantlets will emerge along the cut end of the leaf. In a few weeks or months, you’ll have new baby haworthia plants. You can add them to your collection or share with friends.
Propagating haworthia with leaf cuttings is a fun and rewarding activity. It is perfect for beginner indoor gardeners looking to grow their plant collection. All you need are a few simple supplies:
|1. Healthy Haworthia Mother Plant
|Ensure the mother plant is disease-free and thriving.
|2. Sharp, Clean Scissors or Blade
|Use a clean cutting tool for precision and cleanliness.
|3. Well-Draining Cactus/Succulent Soil
|Provide a suitable soil mix to promote root development.
|4. Small Container(s) for Propagations
|Choose containers with drainage holes to prevent overwatering.
|5. Bright, Indirect Light
|Place the propagations in an area with ample but indirect sunlight.
This beginner’s guide will show you how to propagate haworthia. We’ll use leaf cuttings and follow a simple step-by-step process. Follow along to grow these cute succulents from leaves!
Select a Healthy Leaf
When selecting a leaf for propagation, you’ll want to choose a mature, plump leaf without any blemishes, spots, or damage. The leaf should be thick and healthy looking. Avoid leaves that are thin, dried out or have brown tips.
Use a sharp, clean blade to detach the leaf as close to the base as possible. Sterilize the blade first with isopropyl alcohol to prevent transferring any bacteria or disease. Make a smooth, clean cut rather than tearing or ripping off the leaf.
Detaching the leaf closer to the base helps retain more of the vessels that transport water and nutrients to the leaf. This gives the cutting a better chance of producing new roots and plantlets.
Trim the Leaf
Trimming the leaf tip is optional, but can help the cutting develop roots and new growth. Using a clean, sharp blade or scissors, cut off the very tip of the leaf. Remove just a few millimeters. This exposes more surface area and plant tissues that can produce new roots. It also triggers the plant’s wound response, encouraging it to generate new growth.
Truncating the leaf tip minimizes water loss and prevents the end from curling or callusing improperly. A clean diagonal slice is ideal. Avoid crushing the leaf or leaving ragged edges, as this can impede healing and root development. Discard the trimmed portion, sterilize the tool, and move on to the callusing step. With the tip removed, more of the leaf can make direct contact with the soil and initiate roots.
Allow the Cutting to Callus
After you have trimmed the leaf from the main haworthia plant, you need to allow the cut end to callus before planting it. Callusing is an important step that allows the wound to heal and seal up. This prevents rotting and diseases when you eventually plant the leaf cutting.
To callus the cutting, simply place the cut end on a dry surface for 2-3 days. You can lay it on top of some paper towels or a porous surface like unglazed terra cotta. Avoid wetting the cut end at this stage. The extra time on a dry surface enables the cut to form a callus and scab over.
Once callusing is complete, the end of the leaf cutting should feel dry and tough. A thin brown layer will form over the cut. This is the protective callus that will help the leaf cutting form new roots once planted. Allowing 2-3 days for adequate callusing is vital for propagating haworthia from leaf cuttings. With the cut end callused, you can then proceed to the planting stage.
Prepare the Soil
Succulents like haworthia require a very well-draining soil mix to prevent rotting. It’s best to use a commercial cactus or succulent potting mix as the base. To further increase drainage, mix in 1 part perlite or coarse sand for every 2 parts potting soil.
You can create your own customized succulent soil by mixing together:
2 parts potting soil
1 part perlite or pumice
1 part coarse sand
Make sure the container you are planting in has drainage holes at the bottom. A terra cotta pot is ideal, as terra cotta breathes and helps prevent moisture buildup. Fill the pot about 3/4 full with your prepared succulent potting mix, leaving room at the top for watering. The soil should be loose and gritty. Gently compress it to remove any large air pockets. The soil is now ready for the haworthia leaf cutting to be planted.
Plant the Callused End
Once your leaf cutting has developed calluses on the cut end, it’s ready to be planted. Prepare a small pot with well-draining cactus/succulent soil mix. Make a hole in the soil that’s deep enough to bury about 1/3 of the leaf’s length. Gently stick the callused end of the leaf cutting into the hole you created. The calluses will form roots as they remain buried in the soil.
Press the soil around the leaf cutting to eliminate any air pockets. Keep the soil loose enough that water can penetrate it, but firm enough to support the leaf upright. Ensure the leaf is sitting upright in the soil and not drooping over.
Care for the New Propagation
Proper care is crucial during the propagation process to encourage healthy growth.
|Here are some key tips for caring for your new haworthia cutting:
|Provide bright, indirect light. Place the potted leaf cutting in a spot with filtered sunlight or in the shade of another plant. Avoid excessive direct sun to prevent leaf scorching.
|Water sparingly. Allow the soil to fully dry out between waterings. Since the cutting has no roots, overwatering can lead to rot. Keep the soil barely moist but not soggy.
|Maintain warm temperatures around 70°F to 80°F. Avoid cooler areas, as lower temperatures can slow down growth. Avoid drafty locations.
|Average room humidity is suitable. Occasionally mist the leaf to enhance moisture, especially in drier environments.
|Use a well-draining cactus/succulent soil mix. Avoid potting soils that retain too much moisture to prevent issues like rot.
With the right care, your new haworthia propagation will begin to form tiny roots and eventually sprout baby rosettes. Be patient, as it takes 2-6 weeks on average to see progress. Resist overwatering and disturbing the soil to check for root growth. In time, your diligent care will be rewarded with adorable new plant babies.
After planting the callused end of the leaf into soil, you’ll need to monitor its progress and watch for signs of new growth. This is an exciting stage!
It typically takes 2-6 weeks for new roots and plantlets to emerge. Check the soil every few days by gently digging around the planted leaf with your fingers. Look for new white roots beginning to form from the end you buried. This means the propagation was successful!
Small plantlets will begin pushing up through the soil as the new roots establish. At first you’ll notice tiny leaves forming at the base and tips of the mother leaf. Soon the plantlets will grow larger, forming a rosette of leaves.
Once the propagations have 2 or more leaves, they are ready to be separated and repotted. But don’t rush this step – wait until the roots are at least 1 inch long before gently removing the new plants.
With proper care and optimal lighting conditions, you should have brand new baby haworthia plants within 6 weeks! Just continue to wait patiently, provide routine care, and let nature take its course. Monitoring growth is key for determining when your propagations are ready for transplanting.
Transplant the Plantlets
Once your new haworthia plantlets have developed at least 2 leaves, they are ready to be separated and repotted. Use the following steps:
Gently separate the new plantlets from the main leaf, trying to keep some roots attached to each plantlet. Be careful not to damage the new leaves.
Prepare a small pot (2-3 inches wide) with drainage holes, and fill with a well-draining cactus/succulent soil mix.
Make a hole in the soil and place one plantlet in the new pot. Firm the soil around the roots to hold it in place.
Water sparingly at first, just enough to settle the soil. Allow the plantlet to root into its new pot before regular watering.
Over the next few weeks, gradually increase watering as the plant establishes itself. Allow soil to dry out between waterings.
Place the potted plantlet in bright, indirect light. Avoid direct hot sun which can scorch the leaves.
Transplant all separated plantlets this way. The small pots will allow room for root growth.
In a few months, you’ll have multiple new haworthia plants propagated from just one leaf!
Once your new haworthia propagations are potted in their own containers, they require a bit of specialized care to keep them happy and healthy. Here are some key tips for caring for your new succulent plants long-term:
Light: Haworthias thrive in bright, indirect light. Avoid direct sunlight, which can scorch the leaves. East or west-facing windows are ideal. Rotate plants weekly for even sun exposure. Use sheer curtains to filter harsh light if needed.
Water: Allow the soil to completely dry out between waterings. When you do water, thoroughly soak the soil until water runs from the drainage holes. Haworthias are especially prone to rot if overwatered.
Soil: Use a fast-draining cactus/succulent potting mix. You can make your own by mixing equal parts potting soil, perlite, and sand. This ensures excess water can drain away from the roots.
Fertilizer: Use a diluted, balanced liquid fertilizer every 2-3 weeks in the spring and summer. Cease fertilizing in fall/winter when plants are dormant.
Repotting: Repot in the spring only when severely rootbound. Haworthias have small root systems and prefer being a bit crowded. Use terra cotta pots with drainage holes.
Pests: Check regularly for common succulent pests like mealybugs and scale. Remove with a cotton swab dipped in alcohol. Don’t overwater if pests are present.
Troubleshooting: If leaves start turning brown, yellow or transparent, increase sunlight and cease watering until it improves. Shriveling or wrinkling leaves usually indicate under-watering. Rotten, mushy leaves point to overwatering. Adjust care accordingly.
With the proper care, your propagated haworthia will thrive for years to come! Be sure to watch for signs of distress and adjust factors like sunlight, water, and soil as needed.