Large comercial nursery in Holland
How to propagate them?


Most of plants will create offsets – some species faster, others much slower. Most offsetting plants are e.g. H. cymbiformis, H. turgida or H. reticulata. All you need to do is just carefully cut the offset from mature plant, let it dry for a couple days and then simply pot it again. It is said that sooner or latterer every plant makes offset, but there are exceptions like e.g. H. bruynsii or H. sordida.


If you want to make seeds, you must have two genetically different plants. Otherwise you won´t be able to pollinate Haworthias or Gasterias. There are many methods how to do it. I prefer to use a very soft and thin brush. Another tool can be coco fiber. Then we transfer pollen from one flower to another one. If pollination is successful, after a couple days green fruits will develop on the flower stem. After a few weeks fruits will ripen. Seeds are best sown within one year.

Haworthia polinator, photo by Tamcat
How to saw seeds?

There are many ways to do it. I use plastic transparent boxes with covers (15x20x5 cm??) - the one you use for food etc. I fill in 1/2 of the softest perlite. I water it slightly (to keep perlite in the box). I saw seeds and cover the perlite and seeds with 1-2 mm layer of small pebbles (the smallest one you use for aquariums) to prevent perlite be taken away when you water the tray. I water the plants softly again to have everything wet and spray them against fungus. Than I close the box and keep it closed for 3-4-5 months. Place the seeds not in direct sun. They should start germinating after 2-3 weeks. After few months , when I open it, I have to keep them slightly wet all the time. Still keep more in shade. First repotting I do after one year +/-.

Sawing seeds
Sawing seeds
Fresh germinated seedlings
1-1/2 year old seedlings ready to be firstly repotted in pumice
2-3 years old seedlings ready to be potted in pots
In Gasterias it is one of the simplest method of propagation. In Haworthias it works too, but it is more difficult. You need to rip off a healthy leaf from a fully grown plant. This leaf you need to leave dry in a shady place. Lay it up on substrate and wait. Wait till it will produces small roots, now is the right time to pot it carefully and water slightly. In Gasterias you can easily propagate all species (except of G. rawlingsonii where it is much more difficult and slower). In Haworthias are quite easy “retuse” type of plants (e.g. H. retusa, H. pygmaea, H. bayeri or H. koelmaniorum), advanced growers are able to propagate from leaves such a soft leave forms plants like H. arachnoidea or H. semiviva.

Gasteria batesiana, Barberton 

Cutting off the top of the plant rosette

In my opinion it is a “brutal” method, but in some cases very functional. With a sharp knife (or dental floss) you need to carefully cut off the “head” of plant, but leave a few leaves on the stem with roots – plants will produce new rosettes more easily. Leave the top of the plant to dry for a week or two and then simply pot it again. The original part of plant will start producing new “heads” after a couple weeks, if you cut them off carefully after they grow large enough, you can virtually produce hundreds of new plants (but still only the same clone).

Root propagation
It is an interesting method to propagate species with succulent roots (e.g. H. truncata). You need to uncover the thick succulent root a little, cut it, leave the root as it is, do not take it out of the soil. Than just wait and be patient...

Flower stem

Cut the flower stem cca.15 cm from rosette and in some cases a new plant will grow on the cut flower stem. It is not guaranteed, but sometimes it is works... 
Wait till new offset is large enough to be removed (at least 2-3cm), cut it off as close as possible from the stem, leave it several days to dry and than pot it. 
It happends usually at Haworthiopsis genus (attenuata, coarctata...reinwardtii).


bleneham said...

This site's pretty helpful, Thanks guys. :D

aquamarine said...

awesome article :) thanks for share

Anonymous said...

awesome site,thanks for sharing your infos mate!

Amy said...

I recently received a Haworthia as a present without instructions on how to take care of it other than to mist the plant with water. I have been watering it whenever the soil gets dry. it has started blooming and is growing bigger everyday. How do I properly transplant it into another pot? How big do they grow?

Kuba said...

To Amy:
the easiest way to repot Haworthias is to carefuly take them out of the old pot, clean the soil from the roots and remove the dead roots as well. Let the plant dry for a couple days. then prepare the soil and pot the plant! Generally Haworthias need "deeper" pot, lets say around 7cm. use the size of the pot just little bit larger then size of the rosette...thats it.

Ved Varun said...

Very very useful, can u also post pics at different stage of growth, and how to identify sickness in plants.

Blake said...

Omg! Finally. I've been looking everywhere online to see what is happening to my Haworthia. A baby Haworthia started growing from the flowering stem and wasn't sure what to do. Thanks for the tips!

Christmas Snow said...

The flower stem plantlets also develop in orchids and are known as "keiki". There is a keiki paste that promotes such plants to develop using special hormones. Did you use it on Gasterias and Haworthias? What was the success rate compared to cases where the paste was not used?

Kuba said...

to Christmas Snow: I never heard of anybody use it on Haws or Gasterias. But in my collection it happends more randomly than by my attempt...

Christmas Snow said...

Despite what the article said, I was successful at propagating Gasteria Rowlingsonii from leaf cutting. However, the plantlets seem smaller than those produced from large-leafed species. They grow slowly. The time it takes for plantlets to appear, for all species, is my biggest challenge. The plantlets appear on the unerside and are heavily shaded, so I flip the leaf on its other side to expose the plantlets. Is it the same challenge with commercial growers? How do they manage to produce a great number of plants in an economicaly-viable way?

Kuba said...

To Christmas Snow: ok, true is I have seen this as well in the nature in new spot we found back in 2016. On the ground of one of the kloof, where they grow high up on the slopes, we saw several broken parts of rosettes and leaves with few plantlets comming... but definitelly it isn't as easy as with rest of the genus. Thanks for comment, I will update the article. I guess large nursery propagate them by tissue culture.

Тодор said...

What does cca. means? Can I cut the flower stem if it is 10 cm not 15? When to cut the flower steam? (when it reaches 15 cm, or more, should I wait for some signs?). Can I use this stem flower propagation method with Gasterias?

Kuba said...

Re Тодор: cca means circa/ca. You can try to cut it 10-15 cm after first few flowers open. But this method isn´t guaranteed. I never use it at my collection, in my case it happens by coincidence only.