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Haworthia retusa (Star Cactus)


Scientific Name

Haworthia retusa (L.) Duval

Common Names

Star Cactus, Window Succulent


Aloe retusa, Apicra retusa, Catevala retusa, Haworthia fouchei, Haworthia geraldii, Haworthia multilineata, Haworthia retusa var. retusa, Haworthia solitaria, Kumaria spicata

Scientific Classification

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


Haworthia retusa is a small, rosette-forming, succulent perennial up to 4 inches (10 cm) tall. The leaves are very thick, triangular, translucent, green, up to 3.2 inches (8 cm) long and up to 0.8 inches (2 cm) wide. The flowers are small, tubular, white and appear in late spring to summer in racemes up to 20 inches (50 cm) long.


USDA hardiness zones 9b to 11b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

These succulents are not considered difficult houseplants to grow. If you can keep a pot of Aloe alive on a windowsill, chances are you can do the same with a dish of Haworthia. As with all succulents, the most dangerous situation is too much water. They should never be allowed to sit in water under any circumstances. At the same time, these decorative, little plants can be grown in interesting containers such as teacups and even miniature baby shoes. If you're given a Haworthia in such a container, make sure the container had adequate drainage.

Haworthias are small, usually remaining between 3  and 5 inches (7.5 cm and 12.5 cm)  in height, and relatively slow-growing. They are often grown in small clusters in wide, shallow dishes. Over time, clusters will naturally enlarge as the mother plant sends off small plantlets. When the cluster has outgrown its dish, repot in the spring or early summer into a new wide and shallow dish with fresh potting soil. This is also the time to take offsets for propagation.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Haworthia.


Haworthia retusa is native to South Africa.

Cultivars and Hybrids


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