How to Grow and Care For Cathedral Window Haworthia

Looking for a low maintenance succulent to add to your indoor or outdoor garden? Cathedral window haworthia might be the perfect plant for you! In this article, gardening expert Paige Foley examines all aspects of Cathedral window haworthia plants and their care.

cathedral window haworthia


Haworthia is a small perennial succulent that is native to South Africa. These plants are commonly grown indoors but can be grown successfully outdoors in the right hardiness zones. There are many haworthia species, but one worth mentioning is the cathedral window plant.

No matter the variety you choose to grow, they all have similar care but will vary in appearance. These delightful succulents make excellent houseplants. They are easy to grow and have similar growing conditions to aloe or echeveria plants.

Like other succulents, they are slow-growing and take a little time to mature. This makes them an excellent choice for both beginner and expert gardeners. Here is everything you need to know about how to grow and care for cathedral window haworthia properly.

Haworthia Cymbiformis overview
Plant Type Perennial
Family Asphodelaceae
Genus Haworthia
Species Cymbiformis
Plant Spacing 3 inches +
Native Area Africa
Sunlight exposure Medium
Plant height 3 to 5 inches
Water requirements Medium
Plant Depth 3 to 5 inches
Hardiness Zone 9-11
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Sandy, well-draining
Pest Mealy bugs, aphids
Diseases Fungal Diseases

About Cathedral Window Haworthia

Close-up of a Cathedral WIndow Haworthia plant against a blurred background of ornamental pebbles. The plant forms a compact rosette with thick fleshy leaves with pointed tips. The leaves are bright green in color, becoming translucent towards the tips. The edges of the leaves have fine short hairs.
This is a drought-tolerant succulent with thick, green leaves that become semi-translucent towards the tips.

Cathedral window haworthia (Haworthia cymbiformis) is a drought-tolerant evergreen succulent originating from Africa. It is a member of the Asphodelaceae family, which has over 70 different species in this genus.

This particular species receives its name from the translucent leaf tips. The scientific name translates to “boat shape.” Cymbi means ‘boat,’ and formis means ‘ to take the shape of.’ But it’s more commonly referred to as the cathedral window haworthia.

The succulent produces a rosette shape with thick, green leaves. Towards the tips of the leaves, the plant becomes semi-translucent. Streaks of green can be seen through the pale leaves, giving them a stained-glass appearance. The plant will produce a very tiny flower that is typically white or pale pink.


You can easily multiply your succulent plants with these methods.


Close-up of two divided Haworthia plants on a white marble table. Plants have small rosettes of thick, fleshy, succulent leaves that are elongate-lanceolate in shape with pointed tips. The leaves are green, with dark green stripes and patterns. The roots are white, thin, long, with the remains of the soil mixture.
To propagate haworthia, take offsets connected to the main plant, plant them in new pots, and provide light and water.

Propagation is a cost-effective way of producing more plants. To propagate haworthia plants, you need to take their offsets. These are the tiny plants that grow from the larger haworthia plant. The offsets are connected through underground lateral roots.

Propagating the offsets will help prevent overcrowding which can lead to more problems. Begin by collecting the materials needed to perform the propagation. You will need:

  • Sharp knife, scissors, or gardening shears
  • Pots with succulent soil
  • Water

Begin by removing the whole plant from its original container. Carefully remove the soil from around the offsets to expose the lateral roots. With your cutting tool, cut the offset from the larger haworthia.

Place the cut offset into the new pot and water lightly. Then, place the original haworthia back in the original container. Next, place the newly potted haworthia in bright, indirect sunlight and water it when the soil is dry.


Top view, close-up of planted cuttings of the Cathedral WIndow Haworthia plant in a large rounded white pot. The cuttings are fleshy, juicy, thick green leaves of an elongated-lanceolate form of bright green color. The leaves become translucent towards the tips and have dark green patterns and stripes.
Propagate haworthia using leaf cuttings in pots and monitor growth.

You can also grow new succulents with leaf cuttings. Begin by gathering your pots and filling them with potting soil. Next, find a healthy rosette.

Choose a leaf towards the bottom of the plant as it will be easier to cut and prevent the least damage. Cut off a few leaves, being careful to avoid nicking neighboring plants or leaves. Place them directly into the soil. Water lightly and place in indirect sunlight for at least 4 hours a day.

Check your cuttings often for problems such as soggy soil, too much sunlight, or drying out. Poor growing conditions will lead to diseases and loss of cuttings. Roots should establish within a couple of weeks. Remember, the plant is very slow growing and may stay a single leaf for some time.


Close-up of a young germinated seedling of Cathedral Window Haworthia in a white pot. The seedling has a small rosette of oblong lanceolate leaves with pointed tips. The leaves are thick, juicy, fleshy, bright green. The leaves are translucent with dark green stripes and patterns.
Plant seeds in pots with sandy soil, provide indirect sunlight and monitor for diseases.

Growing a haworthia from seed isn’t for the faint of heart. They produce small seeds from pods that form after the flower has finished blooming. The plant isn’t self-pollinating, so you must hand-pollinate the flowers. Pollinating will require you to have two haworthia of the same species that are flowering simultaneously.

To pollinate, remove the anther from one plant and transfer it to the stigma of the other plant. Wait for pods to mature. The seeds will be very tiny and difficult to collect. You can wrap clear tape around the base of the pods while they are still green to catch the seed. Once the seed pods have dried, rub the pods together to release the seed or remove the tape. Remove the seeds from the tape or rub the pods over a cup, envelope, or other container.

Once you’re ready to plant, gather your pots, soil, seeds, and water. Fill your pots with cactus or succulent potting soil. Be sure to add additional sand, gravel, or other gritty material. Sprinkle the seed over the soil and add a layer of sand over the top. Once planted, place it into a plastic bag or plastic dome to create a greenhouse effect.

Place in indirect sunlight and closely monitor plants to catch problems. Disease can develop quickly and will kill your seedlings.  You can expect to see seeds germinate within 1 to 2 weeks.

How to Grow

These succulents thrive in similar conditions to aloe plants.


Close-up of Cathedral WIndow Haworthia in a square earthenware pot with decorative pebbles. This succulent plant forms a rosette of thick fleshy dark green leaves. The shape of the leaves is elongated-lanceolate, tapering towards the tip. They have a smooth waxy texture. Closer to the tips of the leaves, they become almost translucent, letting in light.
It thrives with morning sun and afternoon shade or with bright indirect sunlight throughout the day.

This haworthia enjoys full sun to partially shady areas. If growing outdoors, the ideal sunlight exposure is direct morning sunlight turning to afternoon shade. When planted indoors, provide bright indirect sunlight with some partial shade throughout the day.

At least 4 hours of partial shade per day will produce a happy, healthy succulent. These plants are found in the shade of rocks and other objects in their natural environment. Afternoon shade will decrease the chance of burning the foliage. The plant will quickly communicate if it receives too little or too much sun.

Sunlight exposure affects the appearance of the leaves. A healthy plant has thick, bright green leaves. If you are noticing long, pale green leaves, this is an indication of insufficient lighting. If the leaves are long and appear brown or purple, this indicates too much light exposure.


Top view, close-up of Cathedral WIndow Haworthia succulent plant in a blue round pot, outdoors. The plant has fleshy thick leaves of bright green color collected in dense rosettes. Leaves oblong-lanceolate, with pointed tips. They are translucent and have subtle patterns and dark green stripes.
Plant in well-draining soil, selecting either a succulent/cactus mix or a homemade blend.

Plant in sandy, well-draining soil. You can use potting soil designed for succulents or cacti or make your own. A great mix includes half potting soil and the other half with sand, gravel, pumice, or any other gritty material.

Check your soil often to ensure that it drains properly. Succulents do not like soggy soils. Poor drainage can lead to fungal diseases and pest infestations. You can improve drainage by adding perlite, pumice, sand, or grit.


Close-up of a Cathedral WIndow Haworthia plant in a brown clay pot against a blurred background in a sunny garden. This succulent plant has a dense rosette of lanceolate fleshy leaves with pointed tips. The leaves are bright green, translucent, with dark green stripes. The plant is covered with drops of water.
These plants are naturally drought-tolerant and only need water once the top inch of soil dries out.

These succulents are naturally drought-tolerant and can go months without being watered. It’s best to water once the top inch or so of soil dries out. Like many succulents, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings is best.

If your haworthia is growing outdoors, follow a set watering schedule to avoid overwatering. At the very least, you should be watering once every 2 weeks.

If planted indoors, water every 3 weeks. Temperature and humidity determine the amount and frequency. Check the plant regularly for withering leaves or dried-out soil.

This succulent holds much of its water supply in its leaves, which helps it withstand long periods of dry conditions. You can reduce water in the fall and winter. Water the plant just enough to keep the leaves full and plump. Always water at the soil surface and avoid getting water on the rosette. Water on the rosette can lead to rot.


Close-up of a Haworthia cymbiformis plant against a blurred green background. The plant forms a rosette of thick fleshy green leaves. The leaves are oblong, lanceolate, with pointed tips. The tips of the leaves are pinkish due to sun exposure. Some leaves are wrinkled, twisted, dry.
This species requires minimal pruning, mainly removing dead or decaying leaves.

This plant doesn’t require much pruning. Occasionally, you will need to remove yellowing or brown leaves. They usually come off the plant easily, but be careful not to rip them off. You will also need to prune off the flower stalks once they have decayed.


Close-up of a Haworthia cymbiformis plant among ornamental pebbles in a garden. The plant forms a beautiful round rosette of fleshy succulent leaves of bright green color. The leaves are oval, oblong, with pointed tips. They are translucent, with dark green patterns and stripes.
It doesn’t need regular fertilizing but can benefit from light feeding in spring and summer.

Generally, haworthia plants aren’t heavy feeders and do not need regular fertilizing. But if you choose to fertilize, do so in the spring and summer. Avoid fertilizing in the winter and fall when the plant slows its growth. Choose a fertilizer designed for succulents or cacti, and follow all label directions.


Top view, closeup of a potted Haworthia cymbiformis plant in a white ceramic pot on a light wooden table. The plant forms a rosette of fleshy oval leaves with pointed tips. The leaves are bright green, with translucent tips with dark green patterns. The soil is covered with decorative pebbles.
Haworthia prefers warm temperatures but can tolerate lower temperatures to a certain extent.

Haworthia likes temperatures to be on the warmer side. They prefer temperatures between 70 to 95 °F but can withstand temperatures as low as 50 °F. The plant can become damaged if temperatures fall below 40 °F. This is why they are a great houseplant, as your home doesn’t have fluctuating temperatures.

Living in USDA zones 9 to 11, you can plant haworthia outdoors year-round. In these zones, the temperatures stay well above freezing, and the plant doesn’t have to be moved indoors during winter. If you live in zones 8 or colder, bring your succulent indoors before temperatures get too low.

Height and Spread

Top view, close-up of a potted Haworthia cymbiformis plant in a clay pot on a blurred background of green grass. The plant has dense rosettes of thick, fleshy, succulent, oval-shaped leaves with pointed tips. The leaves are bright green in color with translucent tips and dark green patterns and stripes.
This small, slow-growing succulent only reaches about 3 inches in height.

Cathedral window haworthia is very small and slow growing. The plant typically only gets about 3 inches tall, and width varies based on container size and plant health.

This succulent produces offsets that are very slow to emerge. If in proper growing conditions, you can expect to see a full colony within a couple of years. That colony will be no bigger than 6 inches and may need repotting after 1-2 years.

This plant can typically stay in a small pot for many years without issues due to its size. This makes them great for window sills, bathroom shelves, or bookcases.


Close-up of a Cathedral WIndow Haworthia plant with many small offsets for further propagation, in a black pot. the plant has a rosette of thick fleshy juicy leaves of bright green color with white variegated stripes. The leaves are light green, translucent. The gardener holds a pot with a plant in his hands, against the backdrop of a garden.
Plants stay small and rarely need repotting.

These small plants only grow to 3 to 5 inches tall. They are slow-growing, so once you pot your haworthia, you shouldn’t have to repot for quite a while. They are commonly grown in small indoor containers, dishes, or planters. Over time, offsets will grow from the original plant.

Eventually, containers can become overcrowded. Typically, the cluster of haworthia will outgrow its container in 3 to 5 years. If you notice it’s time to repot, do so in the spring or early summer.

You can either transplant into a bigger container or remove offsets and place it back into its original container. No matter what method you choose, it’s best to have fresh soil to work with. Sometimes this is all the haworthia needs to be healthy and thrive again.


Close-up of Cathedral WIndow Haworthia plants growing in a sunny garden. The plant consists of a rosette of juicy, thick, bright green leaves arranged in a circle. Closer to the pointed tips of the leaves, they become translucent and have dark green patterns. From the center of the rosette grows a tall, upright stalk with small, tubular, pale pink flowers.
They produce small white to pale pink flowers on tall stalks.

The haworthia will produce a stalk of white to pale pink flowers. The flowers are very small and will sit about 8 inches or more above the succulent. Once the stalk has finished flowering, it will wither and die. At this time, you should remove the stalk from the plant.

These succulents bloom yearly, typically in the summer to early fall. The plant will only produce blooms if ideal conditions are present. A blooming haworthia is a good indication that it is happy and healthy.

Common Problems

This hardy succulent is mostly problem-free. But issues can arise when they’re planted in improper conditions or if there are drastic changes to their environment. Below are a few common problems you may see.

Yellowing Leaves

Top view, closeup of Cathedral WIndow Haworthia succulent plant in clay pot, outdoors. The succulent plant has fleshy, thick leaves of an elongated lanceolate shape, with pointed tips, collected in a rounded rosette. The leaves are bright green in color, with translucent tips and dark green stripes. Some leaves are yellowish in color due to overexposure to the sun.
Relocate to a shadier spot and observe for improvement or persistent symptoms.

If you notice the leaves of your haworthia are beginning to turn yellow, this is a sign of too much sun. If you notice red or white leaves, this too can be a sign of too much sunlight. Consider moving your plant to a shadier location. Monitor your plant once you move for signs of improvement or if symptoms continue.

Drooping Leaves

Top view, close-up of a Cathedral WIndow Haworthia succulent plant in a black pot, with drooping leaves. The plant has juicy fleshy leaves of an elongated shape with pointed tips. The leaves are bright green with variegated cream stripes. Some leaves are shriveled.
Drooping or shriveled leaves indicate underwatering or overwatering, potentially leading to root rot.

If leaves are beginning to droop or appear shriveled like a raisin, this is a sign of underwatering. But it could also be a sign of overwatering, and the roots are dying from the fungal disease, root rot.

If you notice soils are damp and water is struggling to drain, this can be the perfect environment for root rot. Be sure to water your succulent when the soils are dry, or add a gritty material to the soil to increase drainage.


Close-up of Mealy Bugs on a dark green succulent plant. Mealybugs are small, soft-bodied insects. Mealybugs are small in size, they have a soft oval-shaped body, covered with a powdery cottony white wax coating.
If you spot mealybugs on your haworthia, isolate it from other plants and treat to remove them.

Mealybugs infest a wide variety of houseplants, and if you notice them on your haworthia, you need to take action. First, separate it from other houseplants. Mealybugs are small, oval sap-sucking insects that produce a cottony white coating, which makes them easy to identify. There are several control methods.

For only a few mealybugs, a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol can be used to knock them off the plant. Insecticidal soap can be used to control more severe infestations.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Cathedral Window Haworthia Poisonous?

No, all haworthia are safe to have around pets, children and adults. But like all plants, it’s best to watch small children and pets around plants to avoid any problems.

Is Cathedral Window Haworthia Easy To Grow?

All haworthia succulents are rather easy to grow both indoors and outdoors. They are more commonly grown as a houseplant and are a great choice for beginner succulent growers. Their overall care is rather simple and doesn’t require a lot of your time.

Will My Cathedral Window Haworthia Die After Flowering?

Plants that die after flowering are called monocarpic. Cathedral window haworthia is not monocarpic, so once the flowers have finished, the plant will continue to live. Once it completes its blooming cycle, the stalk will die and you can remove the stalk from the plant.

Final Thoughts

Cathedral window haworthia is a unique little succulent ideal for beginners and expert gardeners. Plant them indoors in colder regions or outdoors in warmer regions and watch them thrive.

They don’t require much care once established and will be very happy in well-lit areas. Place these cuties in south-facing windows, shelves, or really anywhere with proper lighting. Then you can enjoy them without stressing about their care. Happy growing!

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