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Haworthia truncata description and care

By Themolarbear (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Haworthia truncata

The Haworthia truncata, is one of the most unusual species, of a genus that is characterized by rosettes. Here, however, its leaves are presented, cut or truncated.

Also called, Teeth of horse, the Haworthia truncata is a succulent, perennial and native plant of South Africa. It is located at an altitude of 500 to 1500 meters.


Haworthia-truncataOf the family of the Xanthorrhoeaceae, there are more than 100 species.

Description of the Haworthia truncata.

The Haworthia truncata is a small plant, up to 20 cm high and up to about 10 cm wide. Easily recognizable, as its leaves have an almost rectangular cross section and are arranged in two opposite rows.

The leaves are a dark gray or greenish gray color. The leaves, on their upper surface, give the impression of having been cut or truncated and arranged like a fan, not like a rosette.

Then the leaves appear, with white or gray lines with warts or tubers.

They tend to grow in the shade of shrubs and sometimes in open areas. They tend to grow underground and only the final apex of the leaves, looks over the ground, which makes them difficult to find.


Haworthia-truncata growing in gravelThe leaves are as translucent or as glass, allowing light to enter the interior of the plant, rich in layers of chlorophyll-carrying cells.

In this way, the area facing the sun is much larger and itself, avoiding the loss of water.


It has retractable roots, which will drag the plant to the ground in times of drought, leaving the upper parts of the leaves exposed.

The Flowers of the Haworthia truncata

The flowers are not very showy, as in all Haworthias and arise in white tubular clusters, on a stem.


Haworthia truncata with flowerThey measure up to about 20 cm. They bloom in summer and at the beginning of autumn.

Right lighting and temperature

The Haworthia truncata, will develop correctly, in an environment with exposure to full sun or direct and also with semi-shade.

It can withstand the cold, just at the level of frost, with the substrate dry. Ideally, do not expose it to low temperatures, below 5ºC.

How to water and fertilize the Haworthia truncata

The truncata, should be watered regularly in the growing season. The substrate should never be dried completely during the rest period.

Like all succulents, the most dangerous situation occurs when there is an excess of irrigation water.

During winter only irrigate if temperatures exceed 15ºC.


They prefer to grow in cool to warm climates with mild winters. The optimum range for this plant is between 18 º C – 26 ºC for a better result. It can tolerate temperatures below 0 º C if the substrate is completely dry , but there is a high risk of decay.

Where to plant:

Always use a pot deeper than wide because its root system exceeds almost three times the size of the plant itself.


They should never be allowed to flooded, even if it is in the outdoor dish, collecting irrigation water by drainage.

Use fertilizer once or twice during the growing season.

It must be a commercial fertilizer for cactus and succulents (it will be poor in nitrogen), including all micronutrients and trace elements.

Water diluted by half, the concentration recommended on the label.

They do not need pruning.


How to make substrate and transplant your Haworthia truncata

It is very important that the substrate has a good drainage, so we will have, in equal parts, a mixture of silica sand, leaf litter and blond peat or failing that, a commercial substrate for cactus.

It grows best in sandy and sandy soil and requires good drainage, as it is prone to root rot.

Methods of reproduction and multiplication

The propagation of the Haworthia truncata can be done by separating a fleshy leaf and putting it to take root in a sandy substrate, a little humid.

Haworthia truncata var. variegata
Haworthia truncata var. variegata

Also by seed cultivation in spring.

It is not difficult to grow, although it is slow growing and it takes several years to form good plants.


Facts about Haworthia truncata roots

The facts of this plant are, retractable roots.

Retractable roots continuously push the plants deeper into the soil as the stem lengthens. 

In this way, they will be almost underground.

Haworthia truncata root

The retractable roots are generally broad, fleshy, very vertical, sharp, wrinkled and are capable of incredible effort, producing a pulling force, but also push the substrate and create a soil channel, in which the movement of the plant it would be easier.

For example, in the Haworthia, the fleshy and contractile roots swell with moisture in the wet season, creating a space in the substrate.

After drying the substrate during the dry season, a considerable part of these roots dies, leaving empty spaces in the substrate, which allow the movement of the plant, with minimal or no resistance, at the same time as the other roots become dehydrated and they contract vertically, dragging the plant towards the ground.

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