Haworthia comptoniana: Care and Propagation Guide
The Haworthia comptoniana (Haworthia emelyae var. comptoniana) is native to South Africa. It grows under rocky regions and in the form of leaf rosettes.
These rosettes have flat but thick leaves that also have slightly translucent surfaces. These surfaces also have reddish-brown veins on them while the rest of the surface appears green and grey with a bit of pink or red.
The plant can grow up to 5 inches in diameter when it matures. The flowers bloom on a stalk and are white in color. The stalk roughly measures around up to 8 inches in height.
14 Types of Haworthia With Pictures
Haworthia comptoniana Care Guide
Haworthia comptoniana care is not difficult. You just have to be careful with the watering. Too much water is clearly harmful. The roots, which are often fleshy, rot quite quickly. Under no circumstances should you water too much. Usually, it is enough to give a sip of water once a week, even less in winter.
Opinions differ when it comes to fertilizer. Some hobby breeders recommend not to fertilize because it changes the growth, while others recommend fertilizing regularly, but with a weak cactus fertilizer. The best thing to do is to try it out for yourself, and then you will know exactly.
Besides that, there isn’t much to do. These plants overwinter without any problems. The cooler the winter is, the less water the plants need. Propagation is easy, the plants usually take care of it themselves. You just have to separate the pups and replant them. Overall, Haworthia comptoniana is a very versatile and easy-to-care plant.
The location is important for Haworthia comptoniana to feel comfortable. It shouldn’t be too sunny, whether outdoors or indoors. The plants cope much better with shade.
- Light, partially shaded place
- Likes to be outdoors in summer
- No direct sun – causes the leaves to shrink
- Morning and evening sun is usually tolerated without any problems
- Get the plant used to the sun slowly when moved outdoors
- A rain-protected place is favorable
- Normal room temperature in the room
Avoid heat build-up behind window panes.
- Better to put it in the east or west window
- Cooler in winter, but very bright
- Additional lighting is favorable
In the case of the plant substrate, it is beneficial if it is mineral. Otherwise, the soil has to be permeable to avoid waterlogging. Drainage holes in the planter are beneficial. This allows excess water to drain off easily. Avoid soils that are too heavy!
- Mixture of sharp sand and loose, coarse compost soil (1: 3)
- No clay, no peat
- Mineral substrate is favorable (pumice, lava gravel, expanded shale, coarse sand)
Planting and Repotting
There is not much to consider when planting or repotting. The substrate has to be right. It is recommended to repot Haworthia comptoniana regularly, about every other year.
- Put in shallow vessels
- Group planting is good
- Repot in early spring, at the beginning of the growing season
- Always remove all dead leaves
- Larger vessel only if the rosettes cover the entire surface of the soil
- In general, however, it is best to repot annually or every two years, because the remains of the old roots should be removed, simply to avoid rot.
Watering and Fertilizing
As with all succulents, moisture does much more damage to Haworthia comptoniana than dryness. Before such a plant dries up, it has to stand dry for a long time. On the other hand, if the soil is too moist, it kills it quickly. The roots will rot. The plant can no longer absorb water when its stores (leaves) are full. Haworthia comptoniana does not tolerate very long drought, although it is a succulent plant.
- Water evenly during the main growing season, from April to November
- Let the top layer of soil dry off slightly between watering
- Do not water in July and August, just spray the plants with water – resting time
- Water significantly less in winter
- Never water between the leaves, i.e. in the rosette – risk of rot
- Fertilize with diluted succulent and cactus fertilizer every month
Haworthia comptoniana does not need to be pruned. You just need to remove the dried-up leaves. Of course, you can take a cutting, for example, if you need a leaf or a pup for propagation. Otherwise, you shouldn’t snip around at the plants.
These plants usually overwinter without any problems. Again, it is important not to water too much, especially when the plants are cool or cold, as they don’t need a lot of water. Standing water or constantly damp soil lead to rot and Haworthia comptoniana cannot survive that. You have to be very careful there. Less is usually more.
- Winter frost-free at 5 to 15°C
- Some species are surprisingly insensitive to cold
- It is also possible to overwinter at 16 to 18°C.
- The warm living room is not ideal
- The warmer the plants are in winter, the more light they need
- It may be necessary to use plant grow lights
Propagating Haworthia comptoniana is easy. There are multiple possibilities. Whether by offsets, leaf cuttings or seeds, it is really easy in principle.
1. Propagating Haworthia comptoniana from offsets
Offsets (pups) can simply be cut off if they have well-established roots. You can then plant them directly in a new container.
If the separated shoots have not yet formed roots, the piece is left to dry for about three days and then the cut surface is pressed into a new plant substrate. They take root quite quickly.
2. Propagating Haworthia comptoniana from leaf cuttings
Propagating Haworthia comptoniana from leaf cuttings is a little more time-consuming and laborious. To do this, you separate a leaf from the plant. Let it sit for a few days so that the cut surface can dry out.
The leaf is then laid flat in a container filled with potting soil. Keep the substrate evenly moist but not too wet. Place the container in a bright, but not too warm location.
The leaf-cutting should have roots after a few weeks. It can then be cared for like an adult plant.
3. Propagating Haworthia comptoniana from seeds
- Growing from seeds is also possible and uncomplicated. As a rule, however, there are no single-variety plants. You never really get out of it.
- Very fine mineral pumice is suitable as a seed soil.
- It can be sown all year round, at temperatures between 15 and 20°C.
- Overheating is bad, and the germination process will stop.
- The germination capacity is limited. The seeds do not last longer than 1 year.
Pests and Diseases
Diseases are rare. If the plant dies, it is usually due to too much water.
Root insects, mealybugs and scale insects are pests. But these are often difficult to discover. They hide in the leaf rosettes or in the soil. It is therefore important to take a closer look at the plants from time to time. The pests can be countered with the usual means.