Haworthia attenuata (Zebra plant, Window plant)

Related to aloes and agaves, this tiny succulent produces peculiar white bands on the undersides of its leaves. These are commonly grown in windowsills due to their peculiar appearance, their tolerance of neglect, and their ability to tolerate part-shade, something very rare among succulents. Zebra plants grow slowly, and they can live up to 50 years old.

Haworthia attenuata (Zebra plant, Window plant)
Deciduous: no
Hardiness Zones: 9-11
Height: commonly grows up to 10 centimeters (4 inches) tall, rarely to 30 centimeters (12 inches)
Diameter: commonly grows up to 15 centimeters (6 inches) wide, rarely to 60 centimeters (24 inches)
Growth Rate: slow
Age: sometimes up to 50 years old
Root System: typically larger than the above ground portion of these plants
Family: Xanthorrhoeaceae (subfamily Asphodelaceae)
Subspecies: var. attenuata, var. deltoidea, var. linearis, var. attenuata

Tolerates: drought, neglect
Problems (major): Root rot will occur in poorly drained soils
Problems (minor): Full sun exposure will burn the leaves during most summers. . Occasionally, scale and mealy bugs can be harmful.
Poisonous: non-toxic to dogs and cats

Soil requirements: 6.1-6.5 pH (slightly acidic), well-drained soils (include sand and rocks alongside potting soil)
Air Requirements: Keep these in temperatures above 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Watering requirement: moderate to low, tolerates neglect
Sun requirement: part-shade (perform best in east-facing regions)

Primary photosynthetic organ: leaves
Leaf/stem color: dull to dark green with white strips below
Leaf shape: lanceolate/triangular to 7 centimeters (3 inches) long
Produces a rosette: yes
Asexual reproduction by: division (produces offshoots or “pups”)
Monoecious or dioecious: monoecious
Monocot or dicot: monocot
Monocarpic (flowers once and then dies): no
Flowering structure: Produces a flowering spike (known as a “keel”) that may grow up to 35 centimeters (14 inches) tall.
Flowering frequency: blooms in mid to late winter

Notable characteristics:
White bands appear on the leaves’ undersides, which look quite strange. The flowering spikes are white, although they are fairly rare (especially indoors).

Mostly grown as a window plant or in succulent gardens.

Sources used:


Growing under and amongst vegetation (uploaded 9 January 2009)


A mature var. Striata with a “pup” growing alongside the mother plant (photo originally from Stephen Boisvert, uploaded by Jacopo Werther on 21 July 2011)


Several Zebra plants emerging from short grasses (uploaded by Ryan Somma on 29 September 2007)


A decent sized specimen, showing both aboveground and subterranean organs (photo originally from Stephen Boisvert, uploaded by Jacopo Werther on 19 July 2011)


A light-green Haworthia plant in a windowsill (uploaded 6 August 2006 by Wikimedia user “Pirbo”)

I do not own the rights of these images; all credit goes to its original creator(s).



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