Few succulents are as alluring as the eye-catching Haworthiopsis fasciata, also known as Zebra Plant. It’s perfect for beginners; it is easy to grow and propagate, in this article we will cover how to propagate, grow the zebra plant and its care.
- Plant type: succulent, perennial
- Family: Asphodelaceae
- Sun exposure: complete, partial
- Irrigation: Light
- Colors: Produces white or pink flowers
- Cut: 3-5 inches tall
- Soil type: sandy, well-drained
- Soil pH: Neutral
- Spread: Cuttings or “puppies”
- Toxicity: It’s not toxic
There are about 60 species and 150 varieties of Haworthia. It belongs to the Asphodelaceae family, the same family as the Aloe plant.
The zebra plant is native to South Africa. It has dark green leaves in rosettes with thin white “stripes”.
It is a small plant that reaches only a few centimeters in height and width. This means you can live anywhere.
How to Propagate a Zebra Plant
There are three ways to propagate the zebra plant, by dividing the plant, cutting the leaves and sowing seeds, we will look at each below.
propagate by division
A properly cared for zebra plant will produce its own baby plants (called “chicks” or “puppies”). These look like a miniature version of the Zebra plant growing from the base of the main plant.
To propagate them, slowly remove the pup from the parent plant. Some newborns come off easily, some don’t. Try to keep some root.
Dry the brood for a day to make sure all the cuts are sealed. Replant the pup in the sandy soil or cactus mix.
You can dip the pup in rooting hormone to speed up the rooting process. See: ROOTING
Fill lightly with soil and water from time to time. It is recommended to lightly mist the soil between waterings.
New plants need more water than mature plants. Protect young plants from direct sunlight. Over time, you can gradually increase the amount of sun your new plant receives.
A slower method of starting a new plant is to propagate from leaf cuttings.
Cut a leaf at the base and try to keep part of the white stem. Dip the underside of the leaf and the white stem in rooting hormone and place the underside of the leaf in the rooting medium.
Use a bottomless plastic bottle to cover the cuttings and water constantly. In a few weeks, new roots will appear.
If you want to grow Zebra Plant from seed, you will need to germinate the seed within six months of harvest.
Growing from seed requires a green thumb, but it’s not complex. To grow a zebra plant from seed, you will need a growing medium that dries out after 1-3 weeks of watering.
The most common mixes are 80% pumice and 20% peat or coco. The substrate must drain well and retain water.
Once you have the medium, moisten it and put it in an ovenproof container at 350 degrees for 30 minutes to sterilize it. This reduces the risk of fungal growth in a high humidity environment.
Sow the seeds in a clean container about 5cm apart. Then cover them with a layer of substrate.
Finally, seal the seeds and container in a clear plastic bag. This ensures the high humidity needed for germination.
Leave them in a bright place without direct sunlight. Within 2 weeks you should see new plants starting to grow. After 2 months the plants should begin to develop leaves. At that time, you can remove the bag so they can breathe fresh air. Water frequently during this time.
After 6 months, they can be replanted in a normal culture medium. Succulents prefer sandy soil, so be sure to mix sand, pumice, or vermiculite with your potting mix.
You can also buy a mix of succulents and cacti at the store. You now have a new plant to maintain, or several!
Zebra Plant Care
Thrives in partial or indirect light. Zebra plants can tolerate everything down to medium light. Direct sunlight, where the sun actually hits the plants, is generally not ideal for H. fasciata.
If you want your plant to be on a windowsill, go for a window that only gets a few hours of sunlight a day. An example would be placing the plant near a window but not directly on it.
If your plant is on or near a windowsill, consider opening the blinds if you have blackout curtains.
It can sometimes take on an intense purple/red hue when exposed to sufficient sunlight. Be careful, too much sun can turn the plants brown.
Water once every two to three weeks. Excess water or direct sunlight are the main ways to spoil this plant.
Allow the soil to dry out between waterings and pay attention to the plant’s light levels. This will affect the amount of water. Plants in partial or direct full sun need more water than plants in indirect light.
Remember to reduce watering when temperatures drop and let the soil on top dry out.
temperature and humidity
Zebra plants can tolerate high or low humidity. However, they do not support low temperatures.
If grown outdoors, even one or two nights of low temperatures are enough to cause damage. Freezing temperatures are too cold for this plant and ideally keep them at temperatures above 10 degrees Celsius.
Watch out for plants near windows and watch for freezing winter temperatures. Also check windows for drafts.
Indoors, the average ambient temperature is suitable for this plant. Warmer temperatures should not cause problems.
The zebra plant must be paid every 2 or 3 months during the year. You can use a half-mixed cactus fertilizer.
You can do this at any time of the year, but do not fertilize it in the summer as these plants enter a rest period which lasts 6-8 weeks during this time.
Containers and soil
The best containers for all succulents are clay or ceramic. If you buy a zebra plant in a small plastic pot, consider transplanting it to a terracotta or ceramic pot.
When repotting to accommodate a plant that is too large for its pot, do so in the spring when the root systems are strongest.
Plan to repot every couple of years or so with a well-drained cactus mix.
If you don’t want to use a ready-made cactus or succulent mix, you can experiment with a variety of succulent soils.
A well-drained mixture of sand, pumice and potting soil works well for zebra plants.
Despite our best efforts, all plants can have problems. Here’s a handy guide to walk you through the most common zebra plant problems.
Brown, dry or red leaf tips
Cause: Plunging or compacting the ground. Gently break up the soil around the roots of the plants and/or replant them.
Yellowish leaves, soft brown or transparent leaves
Cause: Overwatering, root rot
Solution: Gently wipe with a cloth and/or use a misting bottle on the leaves, plus water every few weeks.
Brown spots and/or cobwebs, especially on new plant growth
Cause: Red spider. See: How to control and avoid whiteflies on plants.
Solution: Insecticidal oil or neem oil sprayed on the plant, or an acaricide
It may also be interesting to read: How to grow cacti and succulents in the outdoor garden.
Cottony white areas at the base of the leaves
Solution: Spray 75% alcohol and leave it on the plant. See: Home methods to control cottony mealybug.
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