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Haworthia decipiens var. xiphiophylla


Scientific Name

Haworthia decipiens var. xiphiophylla (Baker) M.B.Bayer


Haworthia arachnoidea var. xiphiophylla, Haworthia flavida, Haworthia jansenvillensis var. flavida, Haworthia longiaristata, Haworthia setata var. xiphiophylla, Haworthia stiemiei, Haworthia xiphiophylla

Scientific Classification

Family: Asphodelaceae
Subfamily: Asphodeloideae
Tribe: Aloeae
Genus: Haworthia


This variety is native to South Africa (around Uitenhage and Coega, Western Cape).


Haworthia decipiens var. xiphiophylla, formerly known as Haworthia arachnoidea var. xiphiophylla or Haworthia xiphiophylla, is a small succulent that forms rosettes of yellowish-green leaves with prominent bristles on the margins and without translucent areas. The rosettes grow up to 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter, solitary, or producing offsets to form small clusters. Flowers are white with greenish-brown venation and appear in summer on slender stems.

The varietal epithet "xiphiophylla" derives from the Ancient Greek words "xíphos," meaning "sword" and "phúllon," meaning "leaf," and refers to the shape of the leaves.

Photo by Planet Desert

How to Grow and Care for Haworthia decipiens var. xiphiophylla

Light: Although some species can grow in full sun, most Haworthias are adapted to thrive in partial shade. Place the potted H. decipiens var. xiphiophylla in a bright area with some protection from the hottest rays of the day.

Soil: All Haworthias do not like their roots to remain wet for prolonged periods, so their potting soil should be well-drained. Use a commercial succulent potting mix or make your own.

Hardiness: Haworthias like warmer temperatures in the summer but cool in the winter. However, they do not like being too cold. H. decipiens var. xiphiophylla can withstand temperatures as low as 30 to 50 °F (-1.1 to 10 °C), USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b.

Watering: During the hottest summer months, when Haworthias are mostly dormant, water just enough to keep the leaves from shriveling. From fall to spring, when growth is most active, water H. decipiens var. xiphiophylla thoroughly, then wait until the top of the soil dries out before watering again. Water the plants less during the winter when their growth slows down significantly.

Fertilizing: Haworthias do not require much fertilizer but for optimum growth, fertilization is a good idea. Feed only with a dilute fertilizer and only during the active growing season.

Repotting: These succulents are generally slow-growing and can stay in the same pot for years. For best health, H. decipiens var. xiphiophylla should be repotted into fresh soil every two to three years.

Propagation: Vegetative propagation, especially by offsets, is the quickest and most common method of propagating Haworthias. They can also be propagated by leaves and seeds. Remove the offsets when they have started developing their own roots. Sow seeds in spring or fall in a well-draining soil mix.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Haworthia.

Toxicity of Haworthia decipiens var. xiphiophylla

Haworthia species are generally non-toxic to humans and animals.


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