My Haworthia is Turning White – Top 7 Reasons Why!

Haworthias have become popular succulents for home gardening as they are attractive to look at and do not require much maintenance. However, neglecting your Haworthias for a long period of time can be harmful to their health. You might notice that your Haworthia is white and ask yourself, “Why is my Haworthia turning white?”

The most common reason for Haworthias to turn white is sunburn. Succulents cannot tolerate extreme heat. Over-watering is another reason they become pale and soft. Also, they may get white spots due to powdery mildew and insects. 

In this article, I will talk about the reasons your Haworthia is turning white and what you can do about it. With proper care, you can keep the plant healthy. All you have to do is learn how to take good care of them. So, let’s dive right into it!

Haworthia Fasciata.
Photo by Maja Dumat

7 Reasons Haworthia Turning White

Zebra plants are another name for Haworthias. They are Africans by origin. They naturally have white stripes on them. But when they are damaged or dying, they become white and soft. So, here are some of the reasons your Haworthia can turn white: 

1. Sunburn

If you see your Haworthia turning white, check the amount of sunlight it is getting. Do you keep it outdoors under the sun for too long? Sunlight is good for plants. But succulents like Haworthia cannot tolerate direct sun heat for too long. 

When the sunlight damages the tissues of Haworthia, it releases anthocyanin to ease sunburn. Too much secretion of anthocyanin causes the succulent to turn pale or white. Sunburned Haworthia cannot get back to their original color. 

Thus, Haworthia should stay under a shade away from direct sunlight. It can be by a window or on a balcony where light and air can enter. You can put the plant outside under the sun in the morning, but not for more than an hour. 

2. Powdery Mildew

Fungus can be dangerous for Haworthia. Powdery mildew is a kind of fungus that can turn your Haworthia white. When your Haworthia starts to show a whitish-yellow color, it is a sign that it is affected by powdery mildew. To be sure, check the stems of the succulent. They will turn brown because of the fungus. 

Powdery mildew can slowly kill your plant. Fortunately, it is possible to get rid of the fungus. If you want to cure the fungus, naturally apply neem oil to your Haworthia. 

3. Watering Problem

Sometimes, over caring for Haworthia can also be a problem. Over-watering Haworthia is a common reason it turns white. To check if your plant has an over-watering problem, check the leaves and stem. Are they getting soggy and the base getting white? 

If so, then check the soil. It can be wet. These problems show your Haworthia is over-watered. To avoid this problem, water your Haworthia only when the soil is dry. You can save your overwatered Haworthia by carefully removing it from the pot and letting the roots dry in the open air. After the soil and the roots get dry, plant it back.  

4. Pest Attack

Insects can attack any plant. They should be exterminated as soon as possible. Otherwise, they eat the plants. Mealybugs can be a severe problem for your Haworthia. They are white insects that feast on Haworthia. 

When your Haworthia is severely affected by Mealybugs, they look white. These insects are dangerous not just for your Haworthia but also for other plants in your garden and house. They spread quickly and eat plants mercilessly. 

Therefore, you must check the Haworthias from time to time for insects. You can use eco-friendly pesticides, alcohol, and neem to kill Mealybugs. 

5. Poor Soil Quality 

Your Haworthia may turn pale because of poor quality soil. They need soil full of essential nutrients. Without proper nutrition, the Haworthias will not grow, neither will they look good. Moreover, they will discolor. 

Besides, the quality of soil is responsible for excessive moisture sometimes. The soil may hold the water too long, which will rot the roots of the Haworthia. 

So, learn how to mix soil for your Haworthia. Experts advise mixing soil, perlite, and coco peat equally to create the soil for Haworthia. This mixture of soil has essential nutrients for Haworthia, and they let the water pass through to the pot’s drainage hole. 

6. Problem With The Pot

Over-watering problems can also be caused because of the pot of your Haworthia. People who know little about plant pots put their succulents in a regular pot without a hole in the bottom. As a result, the excess water cannot pass. It causes the plant’s roots to rot, and eventually, the plant becomes soggy and pale.

So, choose a pot that has holes underneath the pot. The extra water will go through the soil and get out through the drainage hole of the pot. Thus, Haworthia stays healthy. 

7. Seasonal Causes

Winter is coming, and suddenly, your Haworthia is looking whitish. But you do not have to worry because this color change is because of the season change.

Also, Haworthias change color and shade leaves during the growing season. Your Haworthia will eventually grow new leaves and look beautiful again soon. 

How To Take Care Of Haworthia?

Getting a Haworthia for the first time? Then you should know how to take care of them properly. Haworthia is low-maintenance, but that does not mean you can leave them unattended for a long time. 

To keep your Haworthia healthy, follow these rules: 

Light Control 

Haworthias are able to grow even in low and bright indirect light. So, you can keep them indoors. You can leave it outdoors for a while during the day.

But too much direct sunlight will turn the leaves yellow and damage them. When the sun gets really hot, take your Haworthia to a shaded area. Place them near a window where it does not get direct sunlight. The bright light near the window is enough for their healthy growth. 

Sufficient Watering

Haworthia needs moderate watering. Over-watering or under-watering will kill them. Both can damage the roots of Haworthias. Therefore, you should only water your Haworthia when the soil is completely dry.  

One way to check the dryness is to put your finger inside the soil and feel the moisture. If it feels dry, then water your succulents. Water the plant deeply but not frequently. 

Do not spray water on the leaves because they will not absorb the water. Instead, the water will accumulate in blink spots and cause them to rot. 

Choosing The Right Pot 

No matter how careful you are about watering your Haworthia, the wrong pot can still cause damage to the root. You should get a pot that has a drainage hole. 

When you water the Haworthia, the extra water should come out from the hole. 

Place the pot in a well-ventilated area so that the soil gets dry. Also, the pot should be deep and spacious to let the roots of Haworthia grow freely. 

Plant On Fertile Soil 

You have to choose a good quality soil for your Haworthia. It should be gritty and able to drain the water fast. If you cannot find such soil, make the ideal mixture of gritty soil, perlite and coco. 


Haworthia needs an ideal temperature to grow and stay alive. You should not keep your Haworthia outdoors if the temperature gets below freezing point. So, you must keep it indoors all the time during winter.

Haworthia actually grows in cool weather. It goes dormant during the summer when the temperature goes above 80 degrees F. 


Now that you have made it to the end of the article, you must have understood why you see your Haworthia white these days. There are multiple causes for this, as you can see. After reading this article, you should be able to identify the issue and take the necessary measures. Hopefully, you will be able to take better care of Haworthias from now on.

Plantician Guy (Mike)

Hi I'm Mike, a self-proclaimed plantician (an invented profession to describe a plant enthusiast). Based in Sydney Australia, I enjoy the great outdoors and the greenery things around the garden, in particular, indoor climbing plants.

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