Saturday, April 16, 2016

Haworthia limifolia in a little bit of trouble (7 pics)

A couple of days ago I got an inquiry from someone who was worried about their Haworthia limifolia's wellbeing but only today I realized that I actually have a plant matching the description at hand! Every once in a while my mother, who deeply dislikes succulents because they are not flashy-showy enough, brings me back some plants she had in her custody during my last years at the university. She tends to unwittingly mistreat the plants she doesn't like, never listening to my suggestions. Her flower garden looks amazing though. Well, some of the succulents she brought were ready for the plant heaven. Among the others was a Haworthia limifolia I set aside to inspect further later, as it didn't look bad to me. In fact, it is the same plant I wrote about in this post.

I followed my own advice and pulled it out of the pot. Actually I didn't even have to pull because the roots were all dead and it was not clinging to anything. I'd say this is how overwatering looks like. The roots just rot away. 

Just to remind you, this is how Haworthia limifolia's roots can look like when grown in pumice.
This plant is a cutting from the plant above, by the way.

*scroll... scroll... scroll... scroll...*

No roots left, it seems. But wait! What is that? ;)
If you pull away the dry bottom leaves you will see fresh new roots growing. I'll pot the plant and its cutting separately. There will be more roots than plant in no time.


  1. I should read your blog before giving you advice on twitter. It would save me some typing. :) Your handling of the H. limifolia was textbook perfect -- examine carefully, check roots and lower stem, proceed based on what you have found. If the stem has no soft rot, clean, repot, and reroot. If the tissue is wet, soft and mushy, so goodbye and move on. You are becoming quite the plant Doctor. ;) Nice photos. May I use for future program? (I haven't forgotten about the "save the lithops" story, it's coming.)

    1. Of course Bob, use any photos you like :) Btw, 2 of the 3 "save the lithops" plants are still alive but they are oh so ugly...

      Thank you! Absolutely agree with the procedure. I gather, first rule of plant-doctoring always should be "check the roots". No thinking and waiting and guessing - go straight for the roots :D Often small signs of distress we see on the upper part of the plant mean a much bigger problem with the roots: rotting due to overwatering, wrong substrate that has choked the roots (no oxigen), mealy bugs infestation.

  2. I repot my Haworthia every year. It is a lot of work, but it saves plants. I clear away all the dead material including scraping the dead material off the growing body. Removing dead roots and such can promote rot and the plant is dead before I know it when the leaves fall off! I learned the hard way.

    1. This is a good advice :) I also tend to remove all dead parts of any of my plants because of fear of rotting. Safety first.
      Another reason to repot Haworthia more often is because they will grow legs and run away eventually :)