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Star Cactus
Haworthia retusa

Family: Aloaceae
Genus: Haworthia (ha-WORTH-ee-a) (Info)
Species: retusa (re-TOO-suh) (Info)
Synonym:Haworthia mirabilis subsp. mundula


Alpines and Rock Gardens


Cactus and Succulents


under 6 in. (15 cm)


12-15 in. (30-38 cm)


USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade

Partial to Full Shade


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

White/Near White


Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer


Grown for foliage



Other details:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Suitable for growing in containers

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

From leaf cuttings

Allow cut surface to callous over before planting

From seed; direct sow after last frost

From seed; germinate in vitro in gelatin, agar or other medium

Seed Collecting:

Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:


Phoenix, Arizona

Brea, California

Los Angeles, California

Paradise, California

Pleasant Hill, California

Thousand Oaks, California

Millersview, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Apr 19, 2010, mgeno from Philadelphia, PA wrote:

I have enjoyed this plant knowing very little about it. It's content to grow with regular weekly and semi weekly waterings in a bright sunny window.

I like these bursting out of a pot, root-bound.
They're easy to propagate.


On Sep 25, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

One of the more common species in cultivation, and a pretty easy grower as long as you keep it out of hot sun and don't rot it by overwatering it. Does tend to get a bit frost damaged down in the mid 20s, but survives and have had them outdoors for years in zone 9b... not sure it that means it's a 9b plant.. probably would be happier warmer. This species is known for it's transluscent bent, fat, pointed lime green leaves and ability to form huge clumps. Excellent pot plant.


On Aug 23, 2003, Happenstance from Northern California, CA wrote:

Native of the Cape Province of South Africa.

Easy to grow, lots of off-sets that can be potted seperately, but I just leave it as a massive clump.