7 Reasons For Haworthia Turning Red?

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haworthia turning red

Haworthia’s also popularly known as the Zebra plant, is one of the easiest plants to grow and is beginner-friendly. These plants have thick and fleshy leaves that can retain water inside them just like every other succulent. These are native to Africa and can thrive in adverse conditions.

My first succulent was Haworthia and as a beginner, I had very little knowledge about growing succulents and caring for them. After a few days of getting Haworthia, it started to turn red. I did not know the reasons for it, so I did some research and spoke to a few gardening experts about it. 

In this article, I will share everything about it, before that let’s quickly get to know: Why is my Haworthia turning red?

Haworthia turns red, white, or pale in appearance when they stress. That can be sun stress, sudden temperature change, or watering problems. Haworthia loves bright light but sometimes when they are exposed to the direct sun they might turn red.

These are the most common reasons why they turn red but there are a lot of other reasons for this. For my Haworthia I took care of it and avoided any kind of stress to the plant and within few weeks my plant was again healthy green. Let’s get to know the other factor that can cause Haworthia to change its color.  

7 Reasons for Haworthia turning red

haworthia turning red

There are a few things that you need to look for when you notice the change in color of the Haworthia. Mainly, stress is the most common reason for this but here are a few other reasons you should know.

1. Direct sun exposure

When you place the Haworthia under direct sunlight that can cause sunburns to the plant. This damages the plant tissues and cells. To protect themselves, the plant releases a chemical called anthocyanin and which causes them to turn red, white, or pale in appearance. 

As soon as you notice the plant turning red make sure to keep them in indirect sunlight. You must understand that Haworthia loves bright light but not direct sunlight. Keep them near the window where they can get partial sun throughout the day. 

2. Sudden Temperature change

Haworthia does not like any sudden change in their surrounding temperature. When you move the plant suddenly in freezing cold or in hot climates, plants do not like this and that damages the plant. Therefore, they give a signal by turning red or changing their color. 

You must catch those signs to give them attention and care for them. You should avoid keeping your plant in front of coolers or Air conditioners during summer, also avoid placing them in front of heaters or radiators during winter. This causes sudden temperature changes in succulent’s surroundings and they change their color.

3. Incorrect Watering

Just like any other succulents, Haworthia also does not like to be overwatered or underwatered. They need to be watered correctly and just in the required amount. When you do not water them in a correct way that can cause them to stress a bit and they can change their color or look a bit pale. 

Therefore, to water them you must use the soak and dry method. I find this method very useful as this allows you to water the plant only when they need it and avoids watering issues. Just check the soil by dipping a finger before every watering. 

4. Lack of nutrition

Haworthia can also change their appearance when they lack essential nutrients. This mainly happens when you do not fertilize the succulents frequently. They need those extra nutrients that they lack, to grow healthy and vibrant. And this can cause stress in the plant and they start to change their appearance.

So you must fertilize the plant once a month at least. While using fertilizers make sure to use organic fertilizers as the chemical ones damage the plant. If you want to know more about fertilizing the succulents make sure to visit:

How often should you fertilize succulents?

5. Poor soil

Having good soil is just like having a good home for succulents. You must keep them in good quality fast-draining soil. This type of soil flushes away all the excess water from the pot and retains just enough water for the roots.

When you keep Haworthia in poor soil, they might start to lack the soil nutrients, and also this soil will cause a watering problem by staying damp for a long period. Therefore you must get good potting soil, you can buy it from Amazon.

My recommendations:


This is an affiliate link if you wish to use it. 

6. Rotting of the plant

Rotting can be occurred due to overwatering the plant by keeping them in a pot that does not have a drainage hole. Haworthia can also rot when they are exposed to direct sun in extreme heat or when kept in humid conditions such as bathrooms. 

These all are the signs of rot and the early symptom is a change in the color of the Haworthia. Make sure to take care of the plant as soon as you notice any of these signs to save the plant from dying.

 7. Fungal infection 

The last reason for the Haworthia to turn red is that the plant has caught a fungal infection. Fungal infection is one of the worst nightmares for any plant. Early detection is the key to save the plant from dying. 

I usually inspect my plants every 15 days. Make sure that you do not miss any of the blindspots such as under the stem. Mostly mealybugs are the ones that can infect the Haworthia, consider spraying the fungicides on the plant till the bugs are completely disappeared. 

Related Article:

How to use Fungicide for succulents?

How to care for Haworthia?

Haworthias are super easy to grow and are very low-maintenance plants. They do not need much of your time and attention, also they do great with less water and in partial sun. Here are a few basic things to look for while growing them.

Give them good light

As mentioned earlier they love bright light. Keep Haworthia in bright light, avoid direct sun. You must give them partial sun throughout the day so that they can grow healthy. I keep my succulents near windows so that they can get light as well as fresh air.

Keep them in fast-draining soil

With fast-draining soil keep them in pots that have a drainage hole underneath. This type of arrangement will avoid any kind of water issues and will keep the plant healthy.

Have a great watering schedule

Make sure to water the plant when they need it, for that use the soak and dry method. This just works well with any type of succulents. Also do not water on the leaves of the plant as that can increase the humidity of the plant.

These are a few basic things to look for while growing the Haworthia to help them grow beautiful and healthy.

Final Thoughts 

Haworthia turns red, white, or pale in appearance when they are under any kind of stress. Therefore, you must avoid such situations where they can get stressed. Also, avoid sudden temperature changes in the plant surrounding and sun stress to avoid the color change of the Haworthia. 

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

Happy Planting!! 

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