How to Grow and Care for Haworthia Cooperi Plant
There are thousands of versatile and low-maintenance succulents to choose from. If you're looking for an eye-catching talking point, it's worth searching for the unusual succulent Cooper's Haworthia (Haworthia cooperi).
This slow-growing, compact species features triangular or rounded tips on green leaves that grow in attractive rosette clumps. They also have bristly leaf margins. The unique highlight of this plant is the transparency in the fleshy tips. In some varieties, the tips are completely transparent, and in others, you see translucent streaks. If you're lucky, you might even see pinkish-white blooms appear on long stems during the spring or summer.
Read on for more information about this unusual plant.
Up to 10 in. tall
Well-drained, loamy, sandy
Year-round, but inconspicuous
Haworthia Cooperi Care
Don't crowd your Haworthia cooperi—these plants like room to breathe. The biggest challenge is getting it right with light. Bright but indirect light spaces are best. Like many succulents, they're pretty forgiving if you're forgetful when it comes to watering (although a well-draining medium is a must), and they aren't heavy feeders. While they aren't necessarily the best choice as a beginner houseplant, equally, Haworthia cooperi aren't the most high-maintenance of species.
Unlike many succulents, these pet-safe houseplants don't need or want a full sun position to thrive. These plants appreciate bright but indirect light positions and can cope in partial shade. Too much sun, however, causes the compact green leaves to fade and develop a yellow or reddish tinge. Your succulent will grow tall with unsightly legginess (etiolation) when they get too much shade and stretch to reach the sun. A lack of sun also reduces the chance of your plant flowering. A spot in or near an east-facing window is ideal.
If you stick your Haworthia cooperi in "normal" potting soil, your plant won't thrive. Your succulent needs a potting medium that is loose and fast draining. A ready-made cactus mix works well (blending this with some coarse sand helps maximize drainage), or you can make your own. Combine equal parts potting soil, perlite, and coarse sand or pumice for excellent aeration and drainage. In the wild, in sun-scorched environments, the plants are often buried in the sand with just their translucent tips sticking out.
You're more likely to over rather than underwater this drought-tolerant species. Steer clear of root rot by holding off watering your Haworthia cooperi until the soil is almost completely dry. Check moisture levels by putting your finger into the soil rather than judging by sight or on a strict schedule. Water deeply, but remove any excess, so the plant isn't left in standing water. And remember to reduce your watering frequency during the dormant winter months.
Using room temperature rather than cold water helps to avoid stressing your plant unnecessarily. And be careful not to let lots of water gather in the rosette clumps as this can promote fungal disease and foliage rot.
Temperature and Humidity
Succulents are associated with warm temperatures, and the Haworthia cooperi is no exception. These plants prefer temperatures above 50 degrees Fahrenheit. However, they are more cold-tolerant than some succulent species and might survive short spells in temperatures as low as 30 degrees Fahrenheit.
These plants don't love excessive moisture, making them a good fit for average home humidity levels. It's important to keep your Haworthia cooperi in a well-ventilated space. It's not a plant that enjoys crowding with other plants in your collection.
These slow-growing plants aren't heavy feeders, so don't go overboard with fertilizer. They can survive without feeding, but if you want to give them a boost, try using a half-strength, low-nitrogen succulent or cactus fertilizer. Feeding a couple of times, at the start and end of the growing season, should be enough.
Types of Haworthia Cooperi
This species has many varieties. Although all of them are rare, some will be more tricky to come by than others. Some of the slightly better-known varieties include:
Haworthia cooperi var. pilifera: Features compact green leaves with a blue tinge. The bristles on the margins aren't as pronounced as in some varieties.
Haworthia cooperi var. dielsiana: Also features blue-green, stumpy leaves with rounded edges and no bristles on the margins.
Haworthia cooperi var. venusta: The blue-green leaves turn a reddish hue when in brighter sun and have unique furry tips from a covering of fine white hairs.
Propagating Haworthia Cooperi
While it's possible to propagate Haworthia cooperi from seeds, finding some to use this method is challenging. Instead, if you or someone you know already has one of these plants, it's possible to use the same method as you would for propagating aloe vera plants; by separating any offsets (or pups) from the main plant. Stick to trying this method when your plant is in active growth. Follow these steps for a chance at success:
Use a sharp, sterile knife to carefully detach one or more offsets (new plants growing at the base of the mother plant) with at least a few sets of leaves.
Lay the offset in a dry, warm spot for one to two days to allow the cut area of the offset to callus over.
Ensure your offset has healthy roots attached, and plant in a pot with good drainage holes. Use a sandy, loose potting mix
Position the offsets in a warm spot where they will receive bright but indirect light. Keep the soil lightly moist.
You'll need to wait at least a fortnight for the offset to take root. At this point, you can follow the standard Haworthia cooperi care instructions.
Potting and Repotting Haworthia Cooperi
Haworthia cooperi are slow-growing succulents, so you won't have the hassle of repotting them often. However, even if your plant isn't becoming rootbound, repotting every few years freshens up the soil, keeps drainage at its best, and helps your plant to stay healthy.
With their shallow root systems, these plants do well in shallow pots, but if you want to opt for a bigger, statement-making container, filling the bottom half of the pot with pebbles works.
Common Pests & Plant Diseases
A big draw of these plants is that they aren't a species prone to lots of pests or diseases. Sap-sucking mealybugs can be a problem, especially if you go overboard with fertilization. However, if you nip them in the bud early on, getting rid of mealybugs isn't too challenging. Neem oil and insecticidal soaps are usually effective.
Common Problems with Haworthia Cooperi
The biggest issues with Haworthia cooperi come from getting it wrong with the watering or light levels. Fortunately, if you spot the early signs, you can make changes to revive your succulent before it bites the dust.
Etiolation is the stretching of plant leaves, which usually occurs when they don't receive enough light. Although this compact succulent isn't a fan of direct sun, you might need to offer more bright but indirect light if you spot this phenomenon occurring.
You don't want to see the plump leaves of your Haworthia cooperi starting to shrivel. If this happens, it likely relates to how much water you are giving them. Avoid soggy soil and water only when it's almost completely dry.
Wrinkly leaves are also common if you aren't getting it right with watering or light levels. When those smooth, ice-like tips start to pucker, it's time to evaluate how much light your succulent needs and your irrigation schedule.
Leaves Turning Brown
You might need to move your Haworthia cooperi to a warmer spot in your home or get it out of bright light if you notice the leaves turning brown. And brown leaves that also feel mushy to the touch could be a sign of root rot from overwatering.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long can Haworthia cooperi live?
With the right care and conditions, these slow-growing, long-lived succulents could be in your home for up to fifty years. They typically take 5 to ten years to fully mature.
Can Haworthia cooperi grow in bathrooms?
Whether this succulent will thrive in your bathroom depends on light and humidity levels. You'll need to opt for low-light bathroom plants if you have a dark room with small windows rather than Haworthia cooperi, which appreciates bright but indirect light. If your bathroom isn't well-ventilated and tends to stay steamy, this isn't the species for your space either. They like fresh air and lower humidity levels.
Are Haworthia cooperi rare?
Haworthia cooperi are rare succulents you're not likely to find in a run-of-the-mill garden center. You'll have to source a specialist supplier and might even have to go on a waiting list. The price and effort will be worth it if you love collecting show-stopping, unique plants.
Read Next:How to Choose and Grow Succulents