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Haworthia Obtusa Care Tips You Wish You Knew Earlier

Haworthia obtusa belongs to a genus that stumps lots of plant enthusiasts due to their uncanny similarity to the Aloe plant.

You may have heard these individuals be referred to as Haworthia cymbiformis, or as the “mini Aloe”.

Their fleshy, pointed leaves grow in the same rosette pattern that you would find in a true Aloe plant. Haworthia obtuse, despite all of these resemblances, is a favorite among houseplant owners!

Just as with Aloe plants, members of Haworthia are true succulents. They tend to be on the smaller side, sporting bright green leaves that are coated with longitudinal striping along the sides.

The foliage isn’t long and narrow, but rather compact and plump.

Those who manage to get a bloom out of their Haworthia obtusa will notice small flowers that tend to be white with either green or pink hues. 

One reason to own this plant is because of how vital they are in the wild. Haworthia obtusa is considered to be an endemic plant in the Eastern Cape Province within South Africa, meaning that they are native to only that region.

Raising them indoors is relatively easy and equally rewarding! Read on to find out how to keep your mini Aloe happily thriving!



Haworthia Obtusa Care

These plants are the healthiest when given the right amount of water and light. During the warmer months, you’ll want to give them a thorough watering once a week. As for lighting requirements, bright, indirect sunlight is key. Soil should be gritty or sandy, with cactus or succulents in mind. Too much moisture is an issue for these plants, so try to keep the humidity relatively low. 



All succulents are known for being somewhat picky about the state of their roots. Soil that remains wet for too long can harm their overall well being. You should choose a substrate that drains properly. Having drainage holes located on the bottom of the container or pot can also help the issue.  


There are soil mixes made specifically with desert plants in mind. We suggest searching for a substrate that is gritty or sandy, such as what you would find in a succulent or cactus mix. Perlite, gravel, and pumice also make for ideal mixtures. If you want to get specific, you can try to keep the pH level between 6.6 and 7.5 to meet their optimal soil conditions. 



Living in the deserts of South Africa, there’s no surprise that lighting is an important component of Haworthia obtusa’s survivability.

Most members of Haworthia prefer bright, indirect sunlight. This particular species can be found among the shaded locations. For this reason, they can handle being in a home with partial shade. Just because they can does not make it the best option. 

The best lighting situation for your Haworthia obtusa is to place it in a spot that gets at least a few hours of bright light that is not direct.

The leaves, although hardy, can sustain damage if given direct light for too long.

This will cause your plant to lose that vibrant green hue. Finding a west-facing window is the best solution! We have an article on a few plants that enjoy these conditions, and why it is a good option for plants that need plenty of bright, indirect sunlight. 



It’s important to keep in mind that these plants have a dormant period, usually during the warmest months of the year where the leaves will begin to shrivel.

This is a way to protect the individual from dying off in extreme conditions. You are less likely to see this in an indoor setting, but it isn’t impossible.

During these months, you’ll want to scale back on your watering regimen. This generally means once every few weeks. 

Between fall and spring, you’ll want to water your Haworthia obtusa more frequently, as this time is when they are growing the most.

Add enough water at a time so that the soil becomes fully saturated, letting it dry before adding more moisture. The average frequency for a watering schedule is once a week.

Checking the top inch layer of soil with her finger is the best way to tell what your mini Aloe needs!



As one would expect, these desert plants tend to favor warmer temperatures, though they can withstand a bit of cold. This is what would happen in their natural habitat anyhow!

Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about sudden extreme dips in temperature for your household individuals. 

The best range to raise a member of Haworthia in is between 20 and 32 °C (68 and 90 °F). This plant does tend to have seasonal preferences.

They go dormant in the winter and thus don’t mind the room being colder during this time. You can allow your room to get warmer in the summer months as this won’t negatively impact your Haworthia obtusa.



Most plants request that you implement a misting schedule to keep from losing any moisture to their warm environment. This doesn’t hold for Haworthia species. They actually would prefer not to have their leaves misted if their living environment has average humidity. 

Even if your home tends to run a bit dry, we suggest that you be mindful not to add too much water. In this situation, you’ll want to lightly mist the leaves every other week, but nothing more than that. 



You don’t need to use fertilizer to have your plant grow at its fullest potential, but it can’t hurt. You’ll want to be somewhat conservative with your overall use.

Fertilization should not be used in the winter months when your Haworthia obtusa is dormant. Using a cactus-specific fertilizer that has been diluted to half of its intended strength is key. You can expect to give your plant fertilizer once or twice a year in the fall and spring. 



The most common methods of propagating a member of Haworthia are through the division of offshoots, leaf cuttings, and seeds. Out of all these available options, the simplest is to tackle this process through the offsets.

These parts of the plant are essentially clones of the parent plant that share the same genetically. This makes it easy to propagate! We’ll discuss the steps involved in both offset division or stem cuttings later on. 



If you’re looking for a plant that grows at a quick rate, Haworthia obtusa is not it. They take a while to reach full maturity. On average, these plants can take up to five years to grow from a seed into a full-fledged adult. This is relatively normal for any succulent. Their overall size isn’t all that large even once they reach maturity. 


These plants grow in clumps, sporting fleshy rosettes. Lengthwise, a member of Haworthia will be about two inches. Their stems grow upwards to a height of three to five inches. 



These succulents do not need to be repotted regularly, making your job a little easier! Transferring them to a different pot will cause a lot of stress and can potentially their overall growth. Expect to repot your Haworthia obtusa every two years so that the soil can be freshened up and the plant has enough room to grow. When you go about doing this, wash off the roots in room-temperature water to make sure that the old soil has been completely removed. 


Haworthia Obtusa Propagation Step-by-step Guide


Propagating Haworthia Obtusa from Offshoots 

  • Identify a healthy Haworthia that will be a good candidate for propagation.
  • Use a sharp knife to make an incision down by the parent plant’s stem, including roots with it. 
  • Set your freshly cut offshoot to dry for a few hours.
  • Once dried, place them in a pot with the same soil that was held within the parent plant’s pot, making sure that they are watered with plenty of sunlight. 


Propagating Haworthia Obtusa from Stem Cuttings

  • Take the parent plant and remove it from the soil so that you can see the bottom growth with all of the stems. 
  • Find a stem that is ideally purple as this will be a matured plant and continue to cut towards the base with sharpened scissors. Keep in mind that your cut will be a clump of stems instead of just one, as you would with flowering plants.
  • Plant your newly separated cutting in a small pot of its own with soil from the parent plant. 


3 Common Problems with Haworthia Obtusa 


Shriveled Leaves

There may be a time where the leaves on your Haworthia appear either shriveled or wrinkled. If this happens, it will likely be on the top leaves before spreading. The reason for this change is due to a lack of water. 

Luckily, this is an easy problem to fix. Start by reducing any added moisture that you implement. So, if you tend to mist your Haworthia every once in a while, stop that completely. You’ll then want to scale back on your watering. 


Yellow Leaves

Anything other than a vibrant green color for Haworthia isn’t a good sign. Yellow leaves hint at a problem in regards to a lighting issue. The same issue can happen if the leaves have turned white. 

Normally, we would suggest moving your plant indoors, but if that’s already the case, you might have to try something else out. The leaves are susceptible to being burned if placed in a spot where there is intense sunlight. You’ll want to opt for a location that has plenty of bright, indirect light. 


Loss of Leaves

One of the most common reasons behind these plants losing a good amount of leaves is due to a problem within their root system.

Although root rot is frequently the cause of leaf loss, you should try to meet all of the basic needs. This includes lighting, watering, and temperature.

If that doesn’t work, carefully remove your plant from the substrate. Depending on how damaged the roots are, you can repot. Unfortunately, anything too severe is incurable. 

Steps can be taken to ensure that this doesn’t happen. The biggest culprit is overwatering. Be mindful of how much water you give to your Haworthia and make sure that there are plenty of holes on the underside of the container. 


Tips For a Thriving Haworthia Obtusa Plant

  • Plant your Haworthia in a cactus or succulent based soil that is properly draining.  
  • Allow the plant to dry out between watering once a week.
  • Keep the temperature between 20 and 32 °C (68 and 90 °F).
  • Fertilizer, although not crucial, can be added during the fall and summer months. 
  • Repot this plant once every few years so that you don’t damage the roots. 


Frequently Asked Questions About Haworthia Obtusa


Do Haworthias need full sun?

This question depends on the species. Haworthia obtusa prefers bright, indirect sunlight so that the leaves don’t become damaged. 


Should I mist my Haworthia? 

You can choose to mist your Haworthia plant, but this isn’t necessarily critical as they do poorly when overwatered. We suggest taking hints off of the leaves. If they start becoming discolored, scale back on adding moisture of any kind. 


Why is my Haworthia turning red?

The reddening of the leaves happens when these plants are getting too much light. Make sure that there is no direct sunlight that could cause this damage. 


Known falsely as “mini aloes”, Haworthia obtusa is a fun addition for those who like low maintenance succulents.

As long as you keep their water levels relatively low, give them plenty of indirect sunlight, and opt for a cactus-designed soil. These plants are easy to care for when having their basic needs met! 

If you want another Haworthia to accompany your most recent addition, you can read our article regarding the care of Haworthia cooperi. They have a similar indoor regimen, which means that you have the leg up!

Author Bio

Daniel Iseli

Taking care of houseplants and gardening are my greatest passions. I am transforming my apartment into an urban jungle and am growing veggies in my indoor and outdoor garden year-round.