Sometimes, succulents such as Haworthias can give you a sweet surprise when you least expect it. One such thing could be by sprouting a flowering stalk with bell-shaped blossoms. But why did this happen, and is it a good thing?
A flowering Haworthia indicates that it has been thriving in optimal living conditions, encouraging the best growth out of it. Young Haworthias are unlikely to grow blossoms at all compared to mature ones. Unlike American Agave, you don’t have to worry about the plant dying after flowering.
Below, I elaborate more on the flowering phenomenon with beneficial tips on how to manage it:
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Table of contents
- Why is My Haworthia Growing a Long Stem with Flowers?
- How Do I Get My Haworthia Succulent to Produce a Flower Stalk?
- 1. Plenty of Bright Sunlight With Partial Shade From The Afternoon Sun
- 2. Weekly Watering After the Soil Has Dried Out Completely
- 3. Fertilize Twice in a Year in Spring and Fall
- 4. Plant in a Well-draining Soil Mix to Allow Quick Water Drainage
- 5. Place it in a Warm Area of 75-90°F, Away from Drafts
- 6. Use a Shallow Terracotta Pot to Dry Out The Soil Faster
- Can I Propagate and Plant my Haworthia’s Flowering Stalk?
Why is My Haworthia Growing a Long Stem with Flowers?
Primarily, this is a Haworthia’s way of enticing bugs/humming birds to help pollinate the blossoms. Haworthia will only grow a flowering stalk if its surrounding environment is ideal for reproduction. So, give yourself a pat on the back because that means you’ve been taking care of your succulent exceedingly well!
Think of this glorious, flowery emergence akin to your Haworthia’s way of thanking you and showing its appreciation. I personally think you should be proud of yourself too. Please teach me your ways, oh succulent whisperer :O
As a bonus, Haworthias are not monocarpic like Sempervivum and Aeonium succulents. A monocarpic plant means that it will die after it flowers like the paddle plant. These plants direct all their remaining living energy into creating these blooms to spread their seed after pollination before dying. Dramatic, I know. Luckily, your Haworthia is not a drama queen and will keep living as it continually flowers.
This blooming phenomenon is often rare in houseplants because their surroundings are typically not ideal. So you may be wondering now: what did you do right, and how can you replicate it?
How Do I Get My Haworthia Succulent to Produce a Flower Stalk?
1. Plenty of Bright Sunlight With Partial Shade From The Afternoon Sun
Contrary to popular belief, Haworthia succulents grow under shaded locations like shrubs or rocks in the wild. To replicate this, they require full morning sun with a side of indirect/filtered afternoon sun. The latter is as easy as covering the window with a curtain since the sun tends to be harsher later in the day. This is important because too much direct sun will cause Haworthia’s foliage to burn and change color.
2. Weekly Watering After the Soil Has Dried Out Completely
Again, this may vary depending on the area’s climate and the size of the plant. As always, check that the soil has completely dried off first before watering your Haworthia again. In this case, it’s better to use the chopstick method to determine whether it’s time to give the plant a thorough soak. You can find out more about that method in this article here.
The idea is you don’t want to add on any more moisture than is present in the soil. Otherwise, your succulent will be swimming in soggy soil and eventually suffer from root rot. Not a pleasant experience for either plant or plant owner.
In the winter, you should water your Haworthia about once every 3-4 weeks. The cold ensures moisture retains longer in the soil, so less watering is needed to avoid overwatering. When in doubt, check the soil.
3. Fertilize Twice in a Year in Spring and Fall
You can only start fertilizing your Haworthias after 1 year of active growth. This will help the plant to get established in its new surroundings and home before developing more. However, where possible, always fertilize less than the recommended dose to prevent fertilizer burn.
4. Plant in a Well-draining Soil Mix to Allow Quick Water Drainage
You can use a typical cactus and succulent soil mix for your Haworthia. These are often guaranteed to retain water just enough for the plant’s roots to take it up before draining it quickly. You can also easily create your own mixture by combining 5:3:2 portions of potting soil, coarse sand, and perlite/pumice. It’s really just as easy as that, and your Haworthia would be happy either way.
5. Place it in a Warm Area of 75-90°F, Away from Drafts
You don’t necessarily have to keep it at that temperature; as long as it is warm and consistent, your Haworthia will thrive. Just ensure that it is not placed next to any nearby air vents, radiators, and open windows or doors. Because if it is too cold, your succulent will be stressed out and start showing signs of leaf damage.
6. Use a Shallow Terracotta Pot to Dry Out The Soil Faster
The upside of using terracotta pots is that they can absorb and release moisture, allowing quicker water evaporation from the soil. But ensure that the pot’s size is just an inch bigger than the Haworthia’s root ball. The plant grows pretty slow, so it’ll be about 2 years or so before you need to repot it in a slightly bigger pot with fresh soil.
Can I Propagate and Plant my Haworthia’s Flowering Stalk?
No, you can’t. Haworthia’s flowering stalk is skinny and spindly. It won’t hold itself up when you cut it off the succulent and try to transplant them. As mentioned, the whole point of the blooming Haworthia is to pollinate and spread its seeds. Without any pollinators, all it’s good for is aesthetic appeal.
If you’re looking to propagate your Haworthia, look for offsets, i.e., mini versions of the parent plant, growing at the base. Sometimes these will appear on an aerial root growing above the succulent. This typically gets mistaken for the flowering stalk. The difference is that the flowering stem will have bell-shaped blossoms, while an aerial root will have a set of offsets. You can find out how to do this type of propagation in this article.
If you’re one of the lucky plant owners who has had the pleasure of your succulents, not just Haworthias, flower in your home, do share some pictures. It would be absolutely delightful and inspiring to see. As always, happy planting! 😀