The wonderful genus Haworthia (ha-WORTH-ee-a) has become a welcome alternative for many who love aloe plants but also have pets. These lovely plants look just like small aloe plants, yet they hold some wonderful secrets.
One of the most important ones is that this genus is non-toxic to cats and dogs. However, there’s another little secret surprisingly few people have even thought to ask about. That is the succulent Haworthia flower.
Does Succulent Haworthia Flower?
Believe it or not, Haworthias do flower, although this remarkable event isn’t as showy as with many other succulents.
But what makes this something of a secret is that it’s not easy to get that flower, so you know your plant’s happy when one appears.
What Do The Flowers Look Like?
Most Hawothia flowers are small and white, borne on a tall, slender stalk in the middle of the leaf rosette. This can vary from one species to another, but this variation tends to be fairly small.
For example, plants in the Hexangulares section have white flowers with green striations. Some other species feature brown streaking amidst the white.
Interestingly, botanists have only recently begun to take more serious note of the flower variations between the genus’s three subdivisions.
These variations, along with other quirks in the genus, have led to the botanical world questioning how Haworthias are related – a problem inherent in much of the Asphodeloideae subfamily.
When Do Haworthia Plants Bloom?
Even though there’s a lot of confusion about where Haworthias fit in the grand scheme of botany, when and why Haworthias flower is far less mysterious.
Your Haworthia must be at least 3 years old to reach sexual maturity.
This can get a little confusing if you’re propagating through division or similar methods, so don’t be afraid to give your plant a little extra time.
Depending on the species, this plant should bloom between spring and autumn.
The stalk can reach as much as 10 times the height of the plant and will last 6 to 8 weeks.
However, the blooms themselves will only remain for a few days.
Will My Haworthia Die After Flowering?
This is a common problem with many flowering succulents, and plant owners will sometimes try to destroy bracts and buds before they can go into full bloom.
Thankfully, this isn’t the case for Haworthia plants.
In fact, seeing your plant bloom is a sign that it’s happy and in peak health.
Even better, Hawthorias will bloom annually as long as their needs are being met.
How To Make A Haworthia Flower?
Unlike common garden plants such as marigolds or zinnias, succulents require a lot of energy to bloom but are sensitive to direct sunlight.
This dilemma is why many people never witness these wonderful plants bloom.
Try putting your Haworthia in a spot where it can get direct morning or evening sun but shade at midday.
You can also place it in a south-facing window with a sheer curtain to filter the light.
But this is only the beginning of what you can do to encourage these plants to bloom.
Try to keep the plant in a location between 75° and 90° degrees Fahrenheit and never let the temperature drop below 40° degrees Fahrenheit.
You will also want to water using the soak-and-dry or bottom-up method so the plant is never overwatered or underwatered.
The proper time for watering is when the soil dries to 1″ to 2″ inches down, and you should never get the leaves themselves wet.
For soil, aim for a quality cactus mix and blend in 30% percent perlite, or vermiculite, to ensure good drainage.
You can use a fertilizer with slightly higher phosphorus levels during spring and summer to boost the Haworthia plant, but don’t overdo it.
Pollinating Haworthia Flowers
Here’s another little secret you probably didn’t know: You can pollinate Haworthias and propagate them through seeds right in your home!
In nature, gnats and other small insects are the chief pollinators, which is why the flowers are so small.
However, you don’t exactly want bugs in your home, so how do you get them to bear seeds?
Believe it or not, it’s actually easy to hand-pollinate these tiny flowers.
To pollinate, here’s what you must do:
- Catch the flower on its first blooming day.
- Get a pair of tweezers and look for blooms where the petals are curling back (you’ll have to remove the petals otherwise).
- You’ll want to expose the male and female parts of the flowers fully.
- Also, it’s best to pick a newly opened male and cross it with a female that opened a day or two prior.
- Use your tweezers to remove some male anthers, then rub them on the female parts (called stigma) to transfer the pollen.
- Repeat this process daily for 2 to 3 days to maximize the chances of success.
Successful pollination will make the ovary swollen and green in about a week.
Soon after, you’ll have tiny black seeds you can harvest and use.
If this process seems confusing, don’t worry.
It can take a little practice, and there are tutorials online that illustrate the process with pictures or videos if you get stuck.
Hand pollinating isn’t for everyone, but it can be quite rewarding once you get the hang of it.
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