Haworthia Cymbiformis: Growing The Cathedral Window Haworthia


Haworthia cymbiformis [ha-WORTH-ee-a, cymbiformis] is native to South Africa and belongs to the Asphodelaceae family.

There are approximately seventy South African Haworthia species.

The genus name honors English botanist Adrian H Haworth who lived from 1768 to 1833.

Haworthia Cymbiformis known as the Cathedral Window HaworthiaHaworthia Cymbiformis known as the Cathedral Window Haworthia

The specific epithet, cymbiformis, means “boat-shaped.”

The cymbiformis Haworthia plant is also known as Cathedral Window Haworthia because of its translucent leaf tips.

Haworthia Cymbiformis Care

Size & Growth

The Haworthia cymbiformis grows to be about 3” inches tall.

The rate at which these plants grow is influenced strongly by environmental factors such as food and water availability and the quality of the substrate.

The leaves of the plant are bulbous and fleshy and sport dark stripes running from the center of the plant to the tip of the leaves.

The succulent leaves of Haworthia cymbiformis are pale green, and the tips are translucent to allow more light into the leaves.

Flowering & Fragrance

Blooms may be either pure white or very pale pink.

The tiny blossoms grow at the end of a tall stalk, about 8” inches high, during the growing season.

The small, white flowers are tubular shaped and appear from mid-spring to early summer.

Light & Temperature

In its natural setting, Cathedral Window Haworthia likes a half-and-half sun situation.

This to say; Haworthia cymbiformis likes the sun in the morning and half shade in the afternoon.

As houseplants, these succulents enjoy bright indirect sunlight with some partial shade.

Being somewhat shaded for about half the day is preferred.

Haworthia is exceptionally drought tolerant, but it cannot tolerate very low winter temperatures and frost.

Cymbiformis Haworthia is winter hardy in USDA hardiness zones 9 through 11.

They will grow as houseplants in any climate, year-round.

Watering & Feeding

Cathedral Window Haworthia is a drought tolerant evergreen succulent.

The plant prefers gritty, sandy soil kept dry to moderately moist.

It’s important to remember in nature, these plants grow during the months of summer rainfall.

Watering them excessively outside of these months will kill them.

You’ll know when it’s time to water your plant because the leaves will wither slightly.

Your goal is to water your plants the right amount to keep the leaves fleshy.

Your watering schedule will vary depending upon the time of year and the amount of humidity in the air.

Feed your Haworthia cymbiformis with a half-strength, all-purpose fertilizer once at the start of the growing season.

For houseplants, you may wish to use an especially formulated succulent fertilizer. In this case, follow packaging instructions.

Soil & Transplanting

The best soil for Haworthia and most succulents is a standard succulent potting soil containing pumice, sand or some other lightweight material to provide good drainage.

Haworthia plants appreciate soil with a pH balance ranging from 6.1 to 7.6.

Grooming & Maintenance

Grooming for this plant is simple. Clip off any faded flowers or stems as they occur.

If your plant sends out pups, you’ll want to separate them and repot them on their own.

How To Propagate Haworthias

In its natural setting, Haworthia flowers go to seed, and the seeds are sown by the wind.

To propagate Haworthia in a garden or home setting, divide the rhizomes, remove pups, or grow them from leaf cuttings.

If you have no access to a parent plant, order seed online to sow indoors during the winter months or directly into the soil after all danger of frost has passed.

Cathedral Window Haworthia Pest or Diseases

Succulent Mealybugs are a problem for Haworthia. To battle the problem try wiping the leaves with a paper towel soaked in rubbing alcohol. If the plant has root mealybugs in the soil, the plant may need repotting.

Is The Haworthia Toxic Or Poisonous?

This and all Haworthia species are safe for pets, kids, and adults.

Is The Haworthia Plant Invasive?

Cathedral window plant is not endangered in its native setting, and it cannot be considered invasive in any other setting.

Suggested Haworthia Cymbiformis Uses

Haworthia is easy to care for and maintain and makes a nice addition to your rock garden, or it can easily be kept as a windowsill plant.

Haworthia makes an attractive addition to potted collections of small succulents.

In its native South Africa, Haworthia naturally grows in very harsh and demanding circumstances.

It can often be found growing in cracks between rocks, and it can withstand very hot and scorching conditions; however, it’s important to note it naturally sprouts up in shady settings around rocks, not in full sun.

In its natural setting, the small Haworthia cymbiformis succulent often acts as a groundcover in very harsh and dry conditions.

In similar climates, the plant makes a good groundcover for areas with rocky, poor soil.

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