It’s December and ooh baby isn’t it cold outside? Maybe even snow on the ground? That doesn’t mean you’re shut out from succulent planting until spring, though. We happen to be rather fond of a species that can not only live happily indoors year-round but also weather the dim tones of winter just fine: Haworthia fasciata, better known as zebra plant.
Succulents are noted light cravers, with some being happily #nofilter in almost all but the toastiest climates. Zebra plant, though, adores filtered light. We hear its favorite Instagram filters are Juno and Amaro. Anyhoo, it’s no secret why this frost-sensitive native of South Africa, one of the best succulent houseplants around, is named for those ornery horse family members. The raised white “pearls” on its tapered, incurved leaves connect to form bands that give the impression of zebra stripes.
In the video below, our zebra plant whisperer Tom explains that you can throw some shade on this haworthia and do it no wrong. For those in temperate zones, if you locate the plant in a sunnier spot outside, or even on a really bright, warm windowsill, your zebra may develop chocolate tones. Zebra plant looks especially great in planters with other haworthias, as well as aloes, gasterias, echeverias, gasteraloes, and round euphorbias.
Have no fear: These zebras don’t reach anywhere near the size of genuine equids. (Wouldn’t that be a sight?) The plant grows in a clumping fashion, sticking to about 4 inches high and up to a foot wide. During summertime the largest rosettes send up a single flower stalk that will soon be graced with tiny tubular white blooms.
Haworthias are winter growers and are dormant in the hottest summer months. Zebra plant wants very porous soil with excellent drainage, as many forms have thickened tap roots. Those species with red veining or chocolate faces will exhibit superior color in bright light. All forms that are green, especially included the variegated forms, will prefer filtered light. Water thoroughly when soil is dry to the touch.