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HAWORTHIA margaritifera

Image of Haworthia margaritifera

James H. Schutte

Family

Liliaceae

Botanical Name

HAWORTHIA margaritifera

Plant Common Name

Haworthia, Pearl Plant

General Description

The largest member of the genus Haworthia, pearl plant looks like an aloe due to its relatively large rosettes of spotted, pointed leaves. This frost-tender, succulent perennial is native to southwestern South Africa where it receives rainfall mainly in winter. It grows from a fleshy, fibrous root system and slowly creates a cluster of plants in a pointy, mounded clump.

The plump, long, pointed leaves are rigid and succulent. They emerge from the center of the rosette. Each leaf is bright to olive-green, but winter chill or excessive drought stress will cause them to blush red. On the outer side of the leaves, hundreds of greenish-white bumps (tubercles) decorate the surface, making them look ornately spotted. A mature rosette produces an upright, wiry stem carrying tiny brownish-white tubular flowers in early summer.

Grow haworthia in any sandy, fast-draining soil that is slightly moist during the growing season. Soil should be drier during the winter months. A non-acid soil is ideal as is partial sun to bright filtered shade. Excessive sun and very dry soil causes leaves to turn red, curl and eventually dry out and die. Low ambient humidity is needed for best health. Plant this haworthia in frost-free shady rock gardens or patio containers. They also make great houseplants.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    10 - 15

  • Sunset Zone

    15, 16, 17, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Cactus or Succulent

  • Sun Exposure

    Partial Shade

  • Height

    7"-9" / 17.8cm - 22.9cm

  • Width

    8"-12" / 20.3cm - 30.5cm

  • Bloom Time

    Spring, Late Spring, Early Summer

  • Native To

    Southern Africa, South Africa

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Slow

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant

  • Habit

    Rosette/Stemless

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Flower Color

    White, Sandy Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    White, Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Spring) Modifier

    Spotted/Mottled

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    White, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer) Modifier

    Spotted/Mottled

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    White, Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall) Modifier

    Spotted/Mottled

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    White, Red, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter) Modifier

    SpottedMottled

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Coarse

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Houseplant, Rock Garden / Wall, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No