ASK THE BOTANIST
As a trained environmental educator, with a specialty in marine biology, I find BOTANY - or the study of plants - to be an exciting yet at times unfamiliar endeavor for me. So when I have plant related questions (which is often) I have one friend I turn to most, the knowledgeable ZOEY MANSON!
Zoey and I often collaborate on botanical styling, art and plant care, and now I am thrilled to share her wisdom with you all! Every month we will feature a Plant of the Month that we will discuss in more depth. Scroll Down to see the this month's featured Plant of the Month!
We hope you find this page a helpful place to ask your plant related questions, request how-to tutorials, as well as, your favorite plants to feature. Zoey and I are excited to be offering this service to you all, sharing our love for plants and plant wisdoms!
ask us anything!
I began working with plants at Briggs Trees Company, in San Marcos, CA, where I was fully immersed in plant identification authenticating their entire inventory database. From there, I threw myself into planted art, landscape design and customer service working at the beautiful Barrels and Branches nursery in Encinitas, Ca. I am now studying and working full time as an ethnobotanist (someone who studies how people from different cultures use plants) at Mira Costa College in Oceanside, Ca.
PLANT(s) OF THE MONTH:
all about the haworthia genus of succulents
It’s been a particularly cool and gray last few weeks in So Cal (we like to call it May Gray and June Gloom). So, I felt it appropriate to share some of my favorite low light loving succulents with you all this month. Introducing June’s Plants of the Month - the Haworthia!
This large genus of small succulents first evolved in Southern Africa and are now a popular and hearty succulent used often in containers and gardens. They are an especially popular succulent for indoor and low light areas, since almost all of the approximately 150 species of haworthia evolved in semi-shaded to shaded conditions. Some possess rough leaves often dotted and striped with attractive veins of white and black or even red! (Common examples include Haworthia attenuate and Haworthia fasciata) Others are thick and plump, with lighter green and smooth leaves that possess translucent “windows” which is an adaptation that allows more sunlight to flood into the photosynthetic tissues inside. (Common examples like Haworthia Cooperi and Haworthia magnifica). When they bloom, they shoot out a really long stem (up to 16 inches!) with small white flowers developing at the end.
caring for your haworthia:
Most Haworthia species prefer shaded light conditions and do well indoors near a sunlight source. Some species can be acclimated to brighter light conditions, yet indirect sunlight is always best! Some haworthia will take on a reddish or purplish color when stressed due to bright light and dry conditions.
Like with most succulents well-draining soil is best for all Haworthia. Most prefer a more frequent watering during the hotter spring and summer months and reduced watering schedule during winter months. Yet they are highly adaptable to varying watering conditions. Do not allow the roots to sit in soggy soil for too long, as they can lead to root rot.
The easiest and most effective way of propagating your Haworthia Succulents is through their natural way of producing little pups around the mother plant. I have read that you can also propagate these through an undamaged leaf, yet I have not had luck with that method. I did see one of my Haworthia attenuate produce the most adorable pup off what looked like a flower stalk but was probably an aerial root.
thanks for reading!