Haworthia help - no response, dead already?

weiwardMay 13, 2014

I received some lovely windowed haworthia a month ago and put them together in a pot with orostachys boehmeri (Chinese dunce caps), but they're not doing well at all.

As you can see, one of them already had a flower stalk when it arrived, and this successively grew and flowered. The stalk would respond to light as I turned the pot.

However, when it was done flowering last week, it stopped responding to light or water. It had also turned dark and curled in upon itself, with a few of the outer leaves shriveling and dying. None of the other plants were looking too good either, half of the leaves on the dunce caps had died (although the offshoots were madly sprouting offshoots, no roots) and the other two haworthia also starting to feel less firm, so I unpotted them today to discover that none of them had any new root growth since I potted them last month.

Under the top layer of sand I used a well-draining pre-mixed succulent mix. I had introduced the pot to a south-facing windowsill about a week after potting, and the plants were further protected from the sun with a thin tissue filter. I only started watering about two weeks ago, once a week, when I noticed the flowering plant get tired, but he didn't seem to be responding.

I'm not sure what I can do for them so for now I've repotted them in fresh soil, the only kind I have on hand has more organic material than the previous one.

What was happening for the last month that went wrong? Why didn't any of them send out new roots? How can I encourage root growth and acclimatisation? What kind of soil should I be using, perhaps? How much water? I'm reading conflicting information about whether I'm giving too much or too little.

Thank you in advance for any input, I really want these little guys to thrive and show me their fat little windows!

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It's not often you get to read Hangul here!

Perhaps your pot is not deep enough? The tuberously-rooted Haworthias, like H. truncata, like room to grow, and don't like bonsai pots much, if at all. I'd say your plants are also suffering from a little transplant shock / different growing environment. If they don't improve over the next week or so, I'd depot them and check out their roots. Everything else you've done sounds OK.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 2:17PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Hey Jeff,

Doesn't that bottom most pix have rather peaty looking mix? Could that be the problem, compounded by use of sand (even on top as he said)?

Don't Orostachys want strong sunlight like Jades?

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 3:41PM
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Yes, that too, Karen. Thanks for mentioning, I missed that bit.

I've not grown Orostachys, but I don't think I'd grow it with Haws.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 4:10PM
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Thanks so much for your input! Yes the peaty soil was the only kind I had on hand, but I dug them out again today because the grittier soil had arrived in the mail. THERE WERE NEW ROOTS!

I feel better about them already, though the advice about deeper pots makes perfect sense. Now the two round ones (retusa and cooperi?) are sharing a deeper pot, and truncata has its own (also deeper), in a grittier soil mix. Hope they find their new homes comfortable...

    Bookmark   May 16, 2014 at 9:25AM
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New root growth on the top left, new soil/pot on the top right, and the bottom pic is how they look today, after the weekend =)

    Bookmark   May 19, 2014 at 1:17AM
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Starting to look better already!


    Bookmark   May 19, 2014 at 8:49AM
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