I recently picked up this succulent at Lowe’s.

It was labeled generically as haworthia asstd./haworthia spp. I’ve since been told it may likely be haworthiopsis coarctata, and a stop over at Wikipedia certainly validates the opinion that it is a haworthiopsis of some kind.


The plant looked pretty crowded in its pot, and I wanted to separate some of the pups for propagation.

A surprise at the bottom of the pot

root bound and light deprived

When I removed the plant from the pot the poor thing was looking pretty root bound. I also discovered a creepy looking light deprived pup in the bottom of the pot—it kind of reminds me of an H. R. Geiger painting.

It’s good to gently tease apart and untangle roots.

It helps to separate them without too much tearing or damage. I like to use a bamboo skewer for the job.  This also helps to remove old dirt that may have lost all of its nutrients, and gives me a chance to really inspect the roots for damage and bugs.

teasing roots apart

I discovered that some leaves had started to rot below the soil. It was fortunate that I discovered this early—I think it’s best to try to completely remove any rot, because if left unattended it could potentially spread to the rest of the root system.

Rotting leaves hidden beneath the soil

After teasing the roots apart you can get a better idea of the best place to separate pups from the mama.

Use a sharp knife or scissor wiped with alcohol to sterilize, or you can tear them apart carefully—make sure each pup gets some roots of its own.

haworthiopsis and pups separated and cleaned.

I gently rinsed everything to remove old soil and and other debris.

It’s a good idea to let the plant sit out like this for a couple of days to let the roots heal and develop some callousing

—I was impatient and the roots all looked really healthy, so I potted it up. I used some pumice and sterilized soil  in about a 50/50 mix.

It’s also advisable not to water for a period of time while the roots adjust to the new environment. Wait a few days to a couple of weeks while the root system heals and starts new growth.

7 thoughts on “Separating Haworthiopsis for propagation

  1. Ashley M Clark says:

    Major succy fail! What a disappointment… Maybe keep the pet pup locked away from now on? So much potential ruined by a mutt. Smh

    • Actually yes, but it’s still quite small and crooked. It’s also gotten just a bit lanky from lack of light. I’ll add some pictures soon.

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