Haworthia Cymbiformis

Haworthia Cymbiformis – The Best Care Guide to Make Cathedral Window Haworthia Thrive

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Haworthia Cymbiformis may just as well be one of the easiest plants to care for and is rather frequently chosen as a gift we can give to those that are only beginning to grow plants on their own. You’d really have to mess up good to kill Haworthia Cymbiformis. Honestly, I don’t think you could do that even if you were trying.

It is also known under the names such as Cathedral Window Haworthia, Window Boats, Window Haworthia, Windowed Boats and Window-Formed Haworthia. All of these are closely related to its overall shape or the shape of its leaves. The rosette formed from its leaves resembles the rosette typically found in cathedral windows and the boat comes from the shape of its foliage.

Care guide highlights: Haworthia Cymbiformis enjoys well-draining soil that doesn’t retain too much water. Don’t expose it to direct sunlight and avoid watering it too frequently. Cathedral Window Haworthia doesn’t require high levels of humidity. Repot it when it outgrows the current container, and also be careful not to overfertilize it.

These are the topics which will cover all the proper care tips on Haworthia Cymbiformis:

  1. Soil Requirements
  2. Light Requirements
  3. Watering Requirements
  4. Temperature and Humidity Requirements
  5. Fertilizing
  6. Pruning and Repotting
  7. Propagating
  8. Common Problems
  9. FAQ

Roll up the sleeves, cause, here we go!

Haworthia Cymbiformis leaves

Soil Requirements

Ok, I mentioned how Haworthia Cymbiformis is a succulent, right? Consequently, it prefers well-draining soil that doesn’t retain too much water.

If you aren’t sure why, just remember cacti (cause, they are succulents too). They can survive for quite some time without water. Accordingly, something similar goes for Haworthia Cymbiformis.

Our little Haworthia here doesn’t like its roots to sit in water so you need to pay attention to this feature when choosing the potting mix. In general, you can go for the commercial potting mixes with good porosity and drainage properties.

On the other hand, if you are skillfull with DIY projects, you can always make your own mix. For example, you can take some garden soil and mix it with perlite, sand, or peat moss.

All of these ingredients will contribute to water retaining or water draining properties in such measure as is optimum for your plant.

Haworthia Cymbiformis needs well-draining soil

What I mean here is that if you add a bit more peat moss, then you can relax when it comes to watering.

Peat moss is known to preserve moisture a bit longer than sand, let’s say, so you can skip watering for a while.

Also, try not to exaggerate with perlite or sand, cause they can dry out the soil too fast if you put too much of these.

In this case, water your Haworthia Cymbiformis more frequently.

Practically, all of this means, whichever soil that you choose, you can’t mess up Haworthia Cymbiformis, a plant with leaves shaped like a boat arranged in a magnificent rosette.

If Haworthia plants have caught your attention, here are a couple of more to admire to:

Haworthia Cymbiformis Light Requirements

The first thing I’ll tell you here is that Haworthia Cymbiformis is originally found in South Africa. Rocky slopes of Eastern Cape Province’ streams and rivers, to be more precise.

I know you’ve read about Haworthia species that thrive in full sun – like, exposure all day long; but, this is not the case with H. Cymbiformis. Just like Haworthia Cooperi, for example, Haworthia Cymbiformis likes to be kept away from direct sunlight.

Still, this does not mean you can keep it in dark spots, no.

Haworthia Cymbiformis Light Requirements

A bright area with plenty of sun is your goal, as long as there is no direct exposure.

The closest match to its original habitat is a location NEAR an east-facing window.

This is exactly what Windowed Boats needs.

During the hottest days of the year, you will need to protect HC additionally, just in case.

When found in its original habitat, H. Cymbiformis is typically sheltered by plants higher than itself (mark that HC grows some 3 in. (8 cm) tall) so is always shielded from direct sunlight.

This is the effect you should try to mimic in your home. It is, basically, the optimum growing light requirement for Haworthia Cymbiformis.

Watering Requirements

Haworthia Cymbiformis is rather forgiving when it comes to the watering schedule.

You lose track of days and forget to water it for a week – no biggie!

You go away for your holidays – not a problem either.

I mean, it’s not that Haworthia Cymbiformis doesn’t like water, no.

It’s just that this Haworthia doesn’t like (i.e. need) much water.

You may come across some contradicting ideas, but the only truth is this.

To begin with, the watering schedule is definitely not that tight.

You can skip watering for even a week or more.

Still, during summer, the frequency should be higher than in the wintertime, which is quite normal.

You’ll know it’s time to water your Haworthia Cymbiformis just when you notice the leaves have shrivelled a bit.

At such a time, water thoroughly, let the water drain out and pour out the excess water from the tray.

Haworthia Cymbiformis doesn't need too much water

Remember – it’s a drought-tolerant plant that does not like the roots to sit in water (root rot alarm!).

After this, check the top layer of soil from time to time to see if it is time to water again.

During the winter, you can lay low.

Leave the plant without water and don’t worry that it will dry out.

Just water occasionally (I daresay, once in two to three weeks) and it will do more than fine.

Related: Best Self-Watering Globes

Temperature and Humidity Requirements for Haworhia Cymbiformis

Temperature Requirements

Let me say that Haworthia Cymbiformis is an adaptive plant.

To elaborate.

In summer, it likes hot air and in winter it likes cool air.

Be careful, though, cause, in the wintertime, this Haworthia will not appreciate huge temperature drops.

Whatever that you do, try to maintain the temperature conditions within the optimum range.

I know, I know, now is the time when you ask “and what might be that optimum range you are talking about?”

It’s anywhere between 68 – 72°F (20 – 22°C).

This is the normal room temperature that will work best for your H. Cymbiformis.

If we’re talking extremes, Haworthia Cymbiformis can survive temps as low as 30°F (-1°C), but try not to expose it to that.

This will just stress the plant unnecessarily and the recovery will be rather long having in mind it’s the plant’s dormant season.

If I were you, I wouldn’t keep it at a temperature lower than 50°F (10°C) either.

As for high temperatures, Cathedral Window Haworthia is more tolerant to these, having in mind it comes from (South) Africa. But, again, too high a temperature for too long is unnecessary stress, so steer clear of this one too.

Make sure that the temperature is constant and stable. In return, H. Cymbiformis will reward you by thriving every which way.

And, now…

Temperature and Humidity Requirements for Haworhia Cymbiformis

Humidity Requirements

Just imitate its South African origins, and that would be all.

Or, to simplify, high humidity is not that desired a condition for the proper care of H. Cymbiformis.

Remember, it’s a drought-tolerant plant we’re discussing here, so the space where you keep it should have low humidity levels.

More humidity makes the boat-shaped leaves look boiled and shrivelled so drier air is a more favourable condition.

Now that I may have scared you a little bit, let me also say this.

As long as the humidity levels in the pot are ok, you don’t have to worry about the humidity conditions.

If the root is OK in its habitat, then the rest of the plant will be too.

Imitate natural conditions to adjust good humidity levels for Haworthia Cymbiformis


I like to let my plants grow naturally.

This is why Hawortha Cymbiformis is an ideal plant for me.

It does not grow very high or wide, that is 3 inches (8 cm) tall and 4 in. (10 cm) wide, so I don’t see the point to fertilize it.

All the more so, having in mind it is a rather slow grower.


Still, should you notice your Haworthia Cymbiformis is growing slower than it should (will get to that), you can take some fertilizer into consideration.

The ideal choice, in this case, is any of the fertilizers specifically made for succulents.

You can’t just choose just any fertilizer since succulents require different nutrition from your other plants.

Finally, when you opt for the fertilizer, make sure to dilute it as per the instructions given on the package.

I have to point this out since adding too much fertilizer is not beneficial is you might think.

This can cause severe burns and finally lead to the death of your precious succulent.

Pruning and Repotting Haworthia Cymbiformis

Pruning and Repotting Haworthia Cymbiformis


Pruning is nice, pruning is goood.

You should to it to your plants.

It’s just like when you’re having your hair cut.

You take away the bad (split) ends and your hair looks healthy overall.

The same goes for pruning your plants.

As for Haworthia Cymbiformis, pruning is not that crucial, let’s say, but this doesn’t mean you don’t have to do it.

For example, if you notice a leaf in the rosette is not growing in the proper direction, you can try pinching it out.

Another instance where pruning is highly beneficial is when you notice something suspicious is happening to your plant.

Pinching such a leaf out will prevent the potential infection of any kind from spreading to the neighbouring leaves putting at risk the overall plant.

Moreover, in early spring, just before Haworthia C. wakes up after the dormant season, you can relieve it of the burden in the form of old leaves.

In this way, they will make space for new and healthy growth that will make your plant look gorgeous.

Prune Haworthia Cymbiformis to keep it healthy


The life cycle of almost any plant includes its outgrowing the current pot.

It’s a normal procedure and with any plant there comes a time when you’ll have to give a thought to repotting.

At such a time, you’ll think about the pot color primarily.

Frankly speaking, it’s a rookie mistake.

I know the visual appearance of your living space is important, but a dying plant impairs the sight more than a mismatched pot color.

So, your primary points of concern should be pot size and material.

As for size, an inch to two larger a pot is ideal.

Add fresh soil to it and transfer your lush Haworthia Cymbiformia to its new home.

Note that a wider pot is more preferable to a deeper one. Window Haworthia rosettes grow wider than taller which is why a wider pot is better (it works as a support of sorts).

The perfect season to repot is spring as the plant is waking up so this will be the best option to boost its growth naturally.

What you should bear in mind is that you don’t have to repot every year.

Once you notice the rosettes are touching the edges of the pot, then you can transplant Haworthia Cymbiformis to a brand new pot with fresh well-draining soil.

How lovely will your HC look now!

Repot Haworthia Cymbiformis when it outgrows the current container

Propagating Haworthia Cymbiformis

Once you place your Cathedral Window Haworthia near an east-facing window, you will soon want to place another one next to it.

Just for a minute there, you might think about buying a new one, but then!

Yes, you can propagate the plant you already have.

As with other succulents, there are different ways to propagate Window Boats (Haworthia).

Accordingly, let’s check the what and how!

Propagating Haworthia Cymbiformis

1. Propagating from Offset

Let me be perfectly clear – this is the easiest and safest way to help the procreation of your Haworthia Cymbiformis.

The offshoots are clearly visible on your HC so why not use them to make more of this lovely plant?

Ideally, in springtime (or autumn, as an alternative) when it’s time to repot, you can use the opportunity to separate the offset from the mother plant.

For this purpose, you can use scissors, or even better, a sharp knife to make a cut. The closer to the original plant the better.

The offset you cut should include plenty of roots so it can start prospering soon after being potted.

Now that you cut properly, plant the offset in the cactus potting mix and water not so frequently.

Congrats, you have a brand new Boat-Formed Haworthia in your home!

But, this is not all!

2. Propagation from Leaves

This is another quite legitimate way to propagate Windowed Boats.

This includes pinching out a healthy leaf, or leaves, from the parent plant and using them for further propagation.

Be aware, though, that there are two paths from here.

You can either insert the offset in water or in moist soil and wait for it to sprout roots.

As I’ve said, it’s a legitimate method, but quite a slow one.

Still, if you like it this way, knock yourself out.

3. Propagation from Seeds

Yes, flower seeds.

Your Hawortia Cymbiformis flowers, although chances are slim that you will see that.

Although, if you do have that green thumb, and you get your Windowed Boat to flower, you can use the seeds from the flowers to propagate HC further.

Be warned, though – this is definitely the slowest way to propagate Cathedral Window Haworthia.

The procedure, more or less, goes like this.

You should harvest the seeds from HC flowers once the flower is fully mature.

Soak them a bit in lukewarm water and place a few seeds over multiple pots (it is understood that the pots are covered with soil).

Cover up the seeds with sand and sprinkle with water.

Then, cover up the pots with plastic bags and wait!

When you notice that the new growth has sprouted, rejoice!

But, don’t touch it.

The root system develops rather slowly so every disturbance could be detrimental.

Only report when the new plants outgrow these tiny pots you used for propagation.

And, congrats on your new HC babies!

Common Problems of Haworthia Cymbiformis Care

It simply seems that it can’t go without these.

Plant care is such a process that occasionally we have to come across certain problems.

Haworthia cymbiformis is nothing different in this regard and whoever tells you they never had any issues with it, well, let’s just say they are not saying the whole truth.

Now, let us see what are the most typical problems you can encounter.

Haworthia Cymbiformis

Maintenance Issues

I will not go into much detail here.

Any deviation from the optimum care and growth conditions can be disturbing and even fatal to your plant.

Low light, too strong light, too much water, too low a temperature – all of these can cause harm, so take the previous instructions seriously.



These are among the most common pests you can find endangering your Window Boat Haworthia.

To best option to tackle this issue is to gently rub/wipe the leaves of your HC with rubbing alcohol. And, this is just if mealybugs attacked the leaves.

If the infection formed around the root, then you can just as well completely repot the plant even though it’s not the “official” time to do it.

Aphids and Mites

These typically go for the plants’ leaves.

And they are unsightly to look at.

To get rid of these, the best option is a pesticide prepared and diluted as instructed on the package.

This should be the end of your problems with Haworthia Cymbiformia.

Frequently Asked Questions

Curiosity is in our nature, we are aware of that.

This is why we always have an additional question or two to ask.

So, here are some of the most common questions (and, of course, the answers) regarding Cathedral Window Haworthia Care.

1. How do you propagate Haworthia Cymbiformis?

Haworthia Cymbiformis propagation is a rather simple process. This lovely succulent creates offsets that you can harvest from the mother plant and transfer to a new pot. Moreover, you can use leaf cuttings and plant them into soil or water and wait for the root system to fully form before you move it to a larger pot. Finally, if you are that lucky to grow a flowering Haworthia Cymbiformis, you can use the seeds from its flowers for further propagation.

2. How do you care for Haworthia Cymbiformis?

Give it well-draining soil, water sparingly, lots of indirect bright light and you’re good to go. You can fertilise if you want, but there is no need. And, this would be the right care routine for Haworthia Cymbiformis in a nutshell!


Believe it or not, the care routine for Haworthia Cymbiformis is as simple as this!

Follow these simple steps and you’ll never have to worry whether you are doing the right thing with your HC.

If you have one already, make sure to share some photos with us and let us know in which ways this beauty makes your home a better place!

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