Watering Haworthia succulents can be very tricky. Even an experienced gardener can make mistakes while watering Haworthia.
So, in this guide, we shall learn all about the water requirements of haworthia and also how often to water haworthia?
Haworthia needs to be watered every 2-3 weeks in winter and 1-2 weeks in summer. But checking out their soil and watering the plant only after the soil is completely dry is a better approach as it helps prevent the problem of overwatering. While watering, remember to water them thoroughly.
Always remember that, Instead of following any schedule, it is better to water when the soil dries out completely.
It is confusing to understand the watering needs of Haworthia. So, in this article, we will discuss every point in detail about watering – how often to water, various factors determining correct watering, and how to water.
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Why scheduled watering fails for Haworthia?
A scheduled watering works rarely.
Setting a strict schedule, e.g., watering once a week, can cause overwatering.
If you set different routines for different seasons, you could forget it.
Suppose you water Haworthia once every 2-3 weeks in their growing months. It will differ during the summers or winters.
In the summers, they stay mostly dormant.
So, they don’t need much water but, you can water them once a week if the weather is dry.
On the other hand, you can water Haworthia once every 3-4 weeks because of low evaporation in the winters.
All these things are baffling, especially the summer seasons.
So, instead of following these schedules strictly, check the soil’s moisture level before you water them.
It is the best way to understand the water requirements of the plant.
How often should I water my Haworthia? – Factors to consider
As a general rule, Haworthias need watering once in 2-3 weeks in their growing seasons.
But, this varies depending on a few aspects.
Many factors determine the correct watering frequency for these succulents:
- Temperature and humidity levels
- Exposure to sunlight
- Time of the year
All these factors need consideration to understand how often to water Haworthia.
Otherwise, they might experience overwatering or underwatering, which can ultimately lead to the plant’s demise.
Now, let’s understand these aspects in detail.
Two things determine good drainage – soil and container.
Some people grow Haworthia in containers, and some keep them outdoors, while some plant them directly in the garden.
Though it’s okay, I would suggest containers because it is comfortable.
In their native land, Haworthia grows either in deserts or over rocks.
These substrates don’t hold water for a long time.
Thus, Haworthias grow best in well-drained soil.
They won’t enjoy standing over a wet soil bed for prolonged periods.
Their roots are suited to dry conditions.
If they don’t experience a dry environment, their roots will rot.
If you have potted Haworthia, use commercial cactus and succulent soil.
It contains perlite and pumice, which helps in good drainage.
A recommendation for both soil bed and potting mix would be:
- Horticultural pumice
- Aquarium gravel
- Poultry grit
Mix the above ingredients in equal amounts with your garden bed.
Tilt the planting site to mix these products properly.
If you use these soil mixes, you can water them every 2-3 weeks.
Avoid using sand.
Even if you use it, take it in a small amount because it can clog pores.
Also, ignore peat because they decay and make the medium unhealthy.
Container with drainage holes
The pot you choose for Haworthia should have drainage holes.
Without drainage holes, the water will stay stagnant, and the roots will remain damp and start rotting.
The water will remain stagnant despite having drainage holes if the roots come out of the holes.
In such circumstances, repot them.
Haworthias are slow-growers and need re-potting once in 2-3 years.
Along with drainage, make sure the pot is not too large.
A larger container will require more soil which will take forever to dry after watering.
The pot size should be according to the plant size.
If you want to use bigger containers, try planting multiple Haworthias together.
When the plant sits under the full sun, you can continue the standard watering frequency during the growing season, i.e., every 2-3 weeks.
Water more frequently if Haworthias are exposed under brighter locations and the soil is drying faster.
When the plant is under indirect sunlight or low light, decrease the frequency and increase the gap between watering.
Due to low light, the soil will take time to dry.
Always check the moisture level before watering.
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Temperature and humidity
An ideal temperature for Haworthia is 65-75°F, a range comfortable for humans.
You can water these plants normally at such temperatures.
But if the temperature increases or decreases too much, double-check the moisture before watering.
Reduce frequency in the low temperatures because the evaporation rate drops.
When the temperature rises above 80°F, Haworthia slows down its growth and becomes dormant.
The plant won’t grow and absorb water rarely.
So, you must be careful while watering them at such temperatures.
The average humidity for Haworthia is 25-35%.
But a highly humid and hot environment will result in fungal development.
So, you don’t need to overwater them during high humidity levels.
Maintain an ideal distance between each plant to encourage good airflow.
It will reduce humidity and help in the fast drying of the soil.
Haworthia’s demand for water is different during the different times of the year.
Generally, Haworthias are winter growers, but they start to grow in spring or fall.
Their growing period starts from late winter through spring when the day lengthens.
Watering Haworthia during the spring and fall
Haworthia grows moderately in these two seasons.
So you can water them just after the soil has dried out.
It includes watering every 2-3 weeks.
Just make sure to water them enough to soak the soil.
Don’t water them when they are directly under the sun.
When you water the Haworthia, make sure to drench the soil medium (in a garden bed or container).
It supports flushing off the salts gathered from fertilizers or tap water minerals.
Watering Haworthia in the summers
Haworthias go through dormancy in the summers.
As a result, Haworthia will need less water than spring and autumn.
But some gardeners advise watering Haworthia once a week due to the dry climate.
It might not be apparent which one to follow.
Instead of following these, just feel the soil dampness and then water.
When the temperature rises, the plant slows down or switches off its growth and enters a survival phase.
Thus, they don’t need much watering.
If you are unaware of this situation and randomly increase their watering because it’s summer, it results in overwatering and root rot.
Once the temperature reaches around 80-90°F, cut back watering.
Water the Haworthias 1-2 times a month and continue checking the soil.
Make sure they are receiving indirect sunlight.
Watering Haworthia in the winters
Though Haworthias are winter growers, they grow best during the spring and fall.
Since the evaporation rate is relatively less in winter, Haworthias will need less watering.
They will also slow down their growth in the winters due to low-intense and short hours of daylight.
But they won’t necessarily go dormant like they do in the summers.
If you are growing Haworthia indoors, don’t keep them near any heating device to warm them up in winters.
This will, on the contrary, affect the plant’s health.
You can water them once every 3 weeks.
It may vary depending on the weather conditions.
It is better to feel the soil and understand how quickly it can dry.
Adjust watering according to that.
To understand how often to water Haworthia, always feel the soil’s moisture level and then water them.
Try a finger test by poking your finger in the soil.
If it feels wet and cold, wait for some more days.
If the soil is dry, you can water them.
Also, try to estimate the time your plant’s soil takes to dry out sufficiently.
Along with feeling the soil, you can come up with a schedule.
How do I understand whether my Haworthia is overwatered or underwatered?
Some beginners don’t understand how much or how often to water Haworthia.
If you are a beginner, you have understood the watering frequency by now.
But at some point in time, you might face watering issues.
Even experts commit such mistakes.
In this point, we will discuss two watering issues which can weaken your plant and even result in their death:
When your plant faces either of the two, it will show some symptoms to tell you that they are in trouble.
Let’s see when it happens and how to solve it.
When you overwater your plant, like, more than once a week, you water them too frequently.
It results in overwatering.
And, if you continue this, the plant will suffer root rot.
Other than frequent watering, poor drainage could also be the reason.
- Yellow or brown leaves
- The leaves will be soft and mushy
- They will turn black, indicating root rot.
- In worst cases, the soil will release a foul odor.
How to fix it?
When the leaves turn yellow/brown and soft, stop watering and wait for the plant’s reaction to it.
Make sure they are under bright light.
It may help to dry the soil faster to some extent.
If the problem is root rot, take the plant out, remove the damaged roots and plant it back to a different location.
The previous location may develop fungus.
If the problem is drainage, add some porous materials to the soil.
If your Haworthia is in a pot, make sure the pot has drainage holes.
Just because Haworthia stores water and endures drought, it doesn’t mean that they will stay without water for months.
Eventually, they will require watering.
Without proper hydration, Haworthia will suffer underwatering despite being a drought-tolerant plant.
- Browning at the leaf tips and edges
- The bottom leaves will become brown and crispy.
- The plant will have a dry and shriveled look.
- The fat leaves that carry water will look thinner due to the lack of water.
How to solve the problem?
Give the plant a good soak.
Increase the watering frequency until the plant revives back.
Along with that, check the moisture level not to overwater.
Continue 2-3 cycles of frequent watering.
Within a few weeks, the plant will recover.
Haworthia can suffer underwatering at any time of the year.
You must increase the frequency depending on the weather.
How to water Haworthia? – Top watering vs. Bottom watering
Before watering, make sure that the soil has completely dried after the previous watering.
Otherwise, if the soil is still damp and you water them, it will undergo overwatering, and roots will start rotting.
Water the plant well by soaking the soil when the soil dries completely.
Top and bottom watering are the two standard methods of watering. Let’s see how to do it.
Top watering is a common way of watering. It is done both for ground and potted plants.
Pour water over the soil using a watering can, bottle or mug.
If they are growing in a container, you can take them and put them directly under a tap.
Continue watering until the soil is drenched well.
Poke finger deep enough to understand whether the soil bed is soaked entirely or not.
If it is the pot, water until excess water flows out of the drainage holes.
It will ensure complete soaking of the soil.
If there is a tray under the container, empty the saucer.
Don’t let it sit over the saucer.
Bottom watering is an excellent method and reduces the chances of fungus development.
Bottom watering also ensures that the soil has soaked well and water has reached the roots.
But you can do this only with potted Haworthias.
- Take a tray and fill it with water.
- Place the container on the saucer.
- The pot must come with drainage holes so that the soil comes in contact with water.
- Wait for some minutes, like 10-15 minutes.
- Check whether the soil is damp or not. If you feel the soil is moist, it means they have absorbed enough water.
- If the soil still feels dry, increase the timing.
Note: Bottom watering won’t flush off the accumulated salts as the top watering would do.
Perform top watering once a month to wash off the salts from the soil.
Another method is a water bath.
This method is also applicable only for potted plants.
Most gardeners prefer growing Haworthia in containers because they are small and look good in pots.
And potted plants don’t need to be kept only indoors.
They are also kept outdoors.
So, if you have containers, you can try all the 3 methods.
- Take a bucket or deep bowl and put the container in it.
- Fill it with lukewarm water and stop from where the stem starts.
- The soil must be beneath the water.
- Water will start bubbling. Wait until the bubbling stops.
- Now raise the container and wait for seconds until the excess water drains off.
- Put the container back in the saucer. Check whether the saucer is gathering water from the pot or not.
- Empty the saucer timely whenever you find water accumulating. Don’t let the container stand in water.
What kind of water should I use for Haworthia?
While watering Haworthia, use distilled water or rainwater.
They are pure and free from harsh minerals.
Avoid using tap water because it contains harsh minerals like chlorine, fluorine, and other bicarbonates, deteriorating the plant’s health.
Moreover, white spots will be visible on the foliage, which is the salts.
If you don’t have the option of distilled or rainwater but only tap water, let the tap water sit for 24 hours overnight.
Once the minerals evaporate, you can use them for watering Haworthia.
How much water should I use for Haworthia?
There is no fixed amount for watering Haworthia.
You have to water enough until the whole soil is drenched well.
In a container, soaking gets confirmed when water drains from drainage holes.
But in the garden, you have to poke your finger deep inside the soil to feel whether the soil is thoroughly soaked or not.
Different factors influence the watering frequency, but the amount should stay the same.
Don’t water too lightly.
Otherwise, the water will dry quickly and won’t reach the roots.
It happens mainly with the in-ground plants.
Later on, they suffer shriveled and dry leaves.
Final thoughts on watering Haworthia
Initially, watering the Haworthia can seem confusing, but checking the soil’s moisture level helps to understand the plant’s watering needs best. So, always check the soil and then water.
Let the soil dry before you go for the next watering. In general, you can water Haworthias every 2-3 weeks. It will be enough for the soil to dry, especially in the spring and fall.
During the summers, they will need less watering due to dormancy. In the winters, too, they will need less watering because of low evaporation.