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Haworthia semiviva


Scientific Name

Haworthia semiviva (Poelln.) M.B.Bayer


Haworthia arachnoidea var. semiviva, Haworthia bolusii var. semiviva

Scientific Classification

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


Native to South Africa (Western Cape and Northern Cape).


Haworthia semiviva is a small succulent that forms a solitary rosette of pale green, translucent leaves with prominent veins. The stemless rosette grows up to 2.4 inches (6 cm) in diameter. Leaves are incurved, up to 2.4 inches (6 cm) long and up to 0.6 inches (1.5 cm) wide. Flowers are white with green veins and appear on usually unbranched, up to 1 foot (30 cm) tall inflorescences.

In nature, the tips of the leaves dry and fold to protect the plant during the long dry summer. This growing habit is the source of the specific epithet "semiviva," which means "half alive."

Photo by Vanessa

How to Grow and Care

Light: Although some species can grow in full, bright sun, most Haworthias live in more sheltered spots, and they are adapted to thrive in partial shade. Place the potted plants in a bright area with some protection from the hottest rays of the day.

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

Hardiness: Haworthia semiviva can withstand temperatures as low as 30 to 50 °F (-1.1 to 10 °C), USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b.

Watering: These succulents are very tolerant of underwatering, but overwatering can quickly lead to rotting. From spring to fall, water thoroughly, then wait until the top of the soil dries out before watering again. During the winter rest period, water just enough to keep leaves from shriveling.

Fertilizing: Haworthias do not require much fertilizer. 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, Haworthias 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.

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

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Haworthia.


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