How To Care For Haworthia Attenuata (Keep Your Zebra Plant Thriving!)

The Zebra Haworthia (scientific name “Haworthiopsis Attenuata”) is a small and slow-growing and beginner-friendly succulent. It belongs to the species of Haworthiopsis. Haworthia Attenuata’s nickname is ‘Zebra Plant,’ thanks to the striped pattern on its pointy, fleshy leaves. 

This adorable succulent proves that bigger is not always better! Zebra Haworthia can grow up to 8 inches in height, making it a great plant for people with limited space or small windowsills. 

Like many other succulents, this Haworthia flourishes off neglect and is fit for forgetful gardeners (like myself!) If you give this plant minimal water and lots of sunlight, it will thrive in your care for years and years!

Zebra Plant Overview 

One glance at this plant, and you’ll understand why it’s called Zebra Plant. It has thick, pointy, fleshy green leaves covered in white, bumpy stripes resembling a zebra pattern. 

The Zebra Plant is a very, very slow grower. It grows so slowly that you will likely not notice when it’s grown over the year. So, if you’re not into repotting your plants often, this Haworthia is a great pick for you! 

Because of the Zebra Haworthia’s thick, spiky leaves, it’s often mistaken for the similar Aloe Vera. However, you can easily distinguish the two by examining the leaves. 

Aloe Vera plants have distinct spines along their leaf edges, whereas Haworthia does not. Even though the stripes on the Zebra Plant may seem like Aloe Vera spines, they do not have the same uses. The stripes on a Haworthia as tubercles rather than spines. 

Haworthia Origin

In the wild, the Zebra Plant grows in arid climates in South Africa. In the 1600s, European colonists brought this little succulent back to Europe, where it quickly gained popularity. 

Nowadays, you can find a Zebra Haworthia in about every garden center in Europe, the USA, or Asia. 

Attenuata vs. Fasciata

The Zebra Plant is typically sold under the scientific name “Haworthia Fasciata,” which often is incorrect. The Fasciata is rare, and you’ll have difficulty finding one in your garden centers! The Zebra Plant we find in plant shops is a different species, the Attenuata.

If you own a Zebra Plant, you can quickly tell which species it is!  The biggest difference between these two species is that the Attuenata Haworthia has stripes inside and outside the leaf and the Fasciata only grows its iconic stripes on the outside of its leaves!

How To Grow And Care For The Zebra Plant Haworthia


How often your Zebra Plant needs water depends on several factors, like soil, pot size, light, and temperature! Because these conditions fluctuate, we do not recommend watering the plant on a strict schedule (such as once a week). 

Instead, rely on the moisture of the soil. You’ll need to water Haworthia Attenuata when the soil has dried out completely! Never water when the soil feels wet; this can drown the roots and cause rot, which is the number one killer of succulents!

When watering your succulents, please soak the soil thoroughly. Sometimes, people will water their succulents in small amounts at a time, thinking it will reduce the risk of overwatering.

But overwatering happens from watering too often rather than too much at a time. It’s important to saturate the entire soil of the plant evenly so that the plant can absorb all the moisture it needs! So, allow the soil to dry out between watering, then soak it completely. 


The Zebra Plant thrives in bright, indirect light. They can tolerate a few hours of direct morning sunlight. Still, we recommend protecting them against the harsh afternoon sun since this may scorch the leaves.

If you give your Haworthia a little morning sun bath, you’ll notice a red or purple hue along the edges of the leaves. This process is called ‘sun stressing.’ But if you don’t like the look of sun-stressed succulents, you can move the plant out of the sun, and it will turn back to green within a few weeks.

Most importantly, you should never put your Haworthia in the shade. Low light conditions will slow its already slow growth rate, which means the plant will likely not grow! Low light can also increase the risk of overwatering.

Soil And Potting

Using a well-draining soil mixture for Haworthia Attenuata is incredibly important. Good drainage helps to prevent overwatering and root rot. We recommend using a potting mix specifically curated for cacti and succulents.

If you cannot find a special succulent mix, you can mix regular potting soil with perlite, bark, coarse sand, or gravel. This will help improve drainage, which is essential for a healthy root system! 

When choosing a pot for your Haworthia, always use one with drainage holes in the bottom. This allows excess water to drain from the pot and prevents the soil from remaining wet for too long! 

Temperature And Humidity

This plant enjoys a temperature range between 60 and 85F. It can withstand various temperatures, but avoid exposing it to cold below 40F because this is when the plant will start to decline. 

If you live in USDA zones 9 to 11, you can grow this plant as a garden plant! It is a great addition to a rock garden, or you can grow it in pots and place them in your outdoor seating area!

Like most succulents, this Haworthia does not need high humidity and can thrive in even the driest environments. 


Zebra Plants are not heavy feeders. We feed our Haworthias twice yearly; they’ve been thriving for many years! We recommend using a fertilizer made for succulents and using it according to the package instructions. 

Give your Haworthias some fertilizer in early spring, then again in summer. This will provide plenty of nutrients to keep your Zebra Plant happy throughout the year.

Common Pests And Diseases

Like any other plant, the Zebra Haworthia can fall prey to some pests and illnesses. The most common pests of Haworthia are mealybugs, gnats, scale, and spider mites

You can easily prevent pest outbreaks by applying a neem-oil solution every few weeks. 

Common diseases include fungal leaf spots and root rot. The best way to prevent disease is by avoiding overwatering and soggy soil at all costs! We also advise keeping your plant’s foliage dry and water directly in the soil.

How To Propagate Your Zebra Plant

This Haworthia makes propagating a piece of cake. It produces offshoots that you can cut from the mother plant and put in a separate pot to grow on their own! This process is not unique to Haworthia, as many other succulents reproduce similarly. 

You can remove the offshoots from the mother plant when they are about a third of its height. Cut the puppy as close to the soil as possible with sharp, sterile scissors or a knife. 

After cutting, allow the propagation to be callous overnight. This helps to prevent bacteria and fungi from entering the cut after planting it in the soil. 

Put the cutting in a small pot using a well-drained soil mix the next day. Keep the soil moist until roots form. You can gently tug the plant to check if the cutting has taken root. If you feel resistance, it’s rooted.

Is Zebra Plant Haworthia Toxic?

Haworthia attenuata is non-toxic, according to ASPCA. This means that you can grow this plant around your furry friends worry-free.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How Big Does Haworthia Attenuata Get?

The Zebra Plant is a compact and slow-growing succulent. It can reach up to 6 inches in height, but most plants will grow up to 4 inches in pots. Because of its slow growth rate, it can take many years for your Haworthia to reach this height.

Does Zebra Haworthia Need Sunlight?

Your Zebra Plant will enjoy a few hours of soft morning sun. We recommend keeping the plant in the indirect sun during hot afternoons to prevent scorching the foliage!

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