How To Save Haworthia From Root Rot?

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how to save haworthia  from root rot

Haworthia is one of the easiest succulents to grow and care for. This succulent is native to South Africa and is used to thriving in extreme climatic conditions. Many people ask me about saving the Haworthia from root rot. 

Let’s quickly get to know: How do you save Haworthia from root rot?  

To save haworthia from root rot, first un-pot the plant and chop off the brown, black roots with clean scissors. Then leave the plant for a few days to dry, then re-pot it in new soil. The main reason for root rot is overwatering or excess moisture in the soil.

When I was a beginner, Haworthia was my first succulent. I used to care for it properly. But the only mistake I made was watering the plant too often which caused the root rot in it. I identified the problem by noticing the pale and soggy leaves (mostly yellow) and took care of it.

In this article, I will share with you all the information in detail.    

How do you identify rotting?

First things first, it is important to know that there is something wrong with the plant. Therefore, to identify the root rot you need to look for the below-mentioned signs.

  1. Soggy leaves.
  2. Yellow soft leaves.
  3. The pale appearance of the plant.
  4. Wilting leaves.

These are the major signs that a succulent shows when they are rotting. If your plant is showing these signs then remove the plant from the soil and inspect the roots. 

If the roots are dark, black, or brown. Then the plant is infected and it must be treated. You must treat haworthia as soon as possible or else there are high chances of the plant dying.

3 Ways to save haworthia from root rot

how to save haworthia  from root rot

There are three ways to treat root rot. It is up to you to prefer any of the below-mentioned methods as per your choice. The one I would recommend to you is the trimming method (my favorite).

1. Dry roots

In this method, you need to remove the plant from the soil and leave the roots to dry. Leave them for a few days and then check whether the rotting is cured. 

To know if the rot is cured just notice that the dark, brown color of the roots is getting back to normal. Once you notice it, then consider repotting the plant in the new soil. 

Although this method only works when the rot is only on the root. If the stem and leaves are rotted then it is not possible to cure it with this method. Just to clear it, this method isn’t a guaranteed way to treat root rot. 

2. Trimming the rotted roots

Trimming is one of the best ways to cure the root rot in haworthia. I prefer this method over any other because there is a very high probability of curing the rot. Here are a few steps to follow.

  • Uproot the haworthia from the soil and gently remove the excess soil attached to the roots. 
  • Now inspect the roots and look for the black, brown, and dark spots on the roots. Those are the rotted ones.
  • Once you spot them, now take a clean cutting tool such as scissors or a knife to chop off the rotted roots. 
  • Just make sure that the tool is well sanitized before to avoid any infection on the plant.
  • Now carefully chop off the rotted roots and stems (if rotted). Make sure to cut the roots an inch above the rot to get rid of the infection completely.
  • Then leave the Haworthia roots for a day or two to callous and recover before repotting.
  • Consider repotting the Haworthia in new potting soil which drains faster. 

3. Sulfur treatment

The last way to treat the rotting is by Sulfur. It is generally used by experienced gardeners. In Sulfur treatment, the sulfur powder is dusted on the roots to kill the fungus. 

It acidifies the soil to prevent the formation of fungus. But the downside of this treatment is that if the rotting is caused by overwatering it is of no use. 

Therefore as I have mentioned earlier, trimming is the best way to treat root rot.   

Related Article:

7 Reasons For Haworthia turning purple

Reasons for Root Rot in Haworthia

Root rot is a deadly infection. It spreads all over the plant and eventually will kill the plant. It is quite tough to bring back the plant to life once the plant is completely infected. Here are a few causes of root rot.


The number one reason for the root rot is overwatering. When the haworthia is watered excessively the water stays in the soil and roots. This increases the moisture level of the soil and causes root rot.

Poor Soil

The second reason is having low-quality soil or poor soil. You must plant the succulents in the fast-draining soil. This type of soil does not retain any water in it and dries way faster. 

But if you have your haworthia planted in poor soil then that will hold the water in it and will cause the rotting. No succulent likes to sit in the water.

Bugs infestation

The third and last reason for root rot could be bug infestation. There can be a mealybug or fungal attack on the plant. The insects might be eating the roots and causing the rot. 

Related Article: 

How to get rid of mealybugs on succulents?

How to prevent rotting in haworthia?

Haworthia is one of the easiest succulents to grow. But when the plant starts to rot, it is quite hard to treat them. The only thing that can help is prevention. As they say “prevention is better than cure”. Here are a few things to consider to avoid rotting.

Watering Schedule

Haworthia just like any other succulents does not need a lot of water to survive. It can go weeks without water and still stay healthy. Therefore, it is important to water the plant less yet effectively.

For that, I would suggest you use the soak and dry method. You just need to water the succulents when the soil is completely dry. To check the dryness of the soil, dip the fingertip and check. 

This is the best way to understand the watering needs and avoid any overwatering. The other way is to water the succulents once a week. While watering the haworthia by using any method make sure to water thoroughly.   

Fast draining soil

Having good quality fast-draining soil is the most important factor in any succulent’s healthy growth. Having good soil for a haworthia is just like having a good home for us.

So consider keeping your haworthia in soil that drains faster. This type of soil flushes away all the excess water and will retain just moisture in the soil.

When there is just enough moisture in the soil, there will be no root rot in the plant. It is a perfect environment for the healthy growth of a succulent.  

Pots with a drainage hole

With the fast draining soil, you must plant the haworthia in a pot that has a drainage hole underneath. The hole at the bottom will drain away water and will help the soil to dry faster

Because the roots do not like to sit in water for a long duration. That will cause the overwatering and hence the root rot. So having this type of pot will save your succulent from overwatering.


Haworthia is a desert plant and they need light to grow healthy. You must keep the plant in direct sunlight for a few hours daily. 

If it is not possible for you to keep them under direct sun, place them near the window. I prefer giving them partial sunlight throughout the day. 

You can also keep the succulent under the shade cloth for partial light. Just make sure to give the haworthia light source to survive and grow healthy. 


Succulents need an extra dose of nutrients to grow healthy. Although soil has all the essential nutrients it lacks a few. So consider fertilizing the haworthia once a month. 

Many times the plant dies due to nutrient deficiency. They appear pale and have dry leaves due to this deficiency. So fertilize them often and use organic fertilizers. 

Final Thoughts

Finally, there are a few things to take care of, to prevent root rot in haworthia. You must catch the rotting earliest to avoid further spread and treat the plant immediately. The best way to treat root rot is to chop off the rotted roots. 

I hope you find this article helpful. Do share this information with others.

Happy Planting!!

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