Cactus and Tender Succulents forum: Help with my Horse Tooth

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Screwdriver
Apr 14, 2018 4:10 PM CST

New Member

This has been doing well/OK for a few years and then started to look crummy a month ago so I replanted it. But it is still going downhill.

Any suggestions?

Thanks!

Thumb of 2018-04-14/Screwdriver/53e469

Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Apr 15, 2018 6:06 PM CST
Hi Screwdriver, Welcome! to the Cactus and Succulent forum.

I saw your question yesterday and thought someone would be by to help you because I have no idea what kind of plant you have there. Obviously, neither does anyone else.

Can you give us more information/clues to identity? Another name? Flowers? The only succulent I have heard referred to as Horsetooth is Haworthia truncata and I hope that's not what you have.
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Hamwild
Apr 15, 2018 7:29 PM CST
Daisy, I think that's what screwdriver has. Crying
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Apr 15, 2018 8:55 PM CST
Oh....
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

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Name: Karen
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plantmanager
Apr 15, 2018 8:58 PM CST
I haven't had this plant, Screwdriver. From looking at it, it probably has not had enough light and may have been over watered. I'm hoping some members more familiar with it will chime in. Have you grown this @stush?
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[Last edited by plantmanager - Apr 16, 2018 7:30 AM (+)]
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Name: Baja
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Baja_Costero
Apr 16, 2018 11:55 AM CST

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Radio intercept: @Stush2019 , we have a question for you.

Haworthia truncata (which I have seen but not grown) may be somewhat variable, but typically the windows at the ends of the leaves are very close to ground level. Collectors like to pot it up so that the top dressing (little rocks on top of the soil) hides the base of the leaves near the soil and the windows are most of what you see from above. If the plant in the picture above is H. truncata then it has really long leaves and that is probably because of low light, maybe in combination with genetics.

If you've had the plant for a few years, what did it look like before? Did it have more leaves? Were they shorter? Did it change a lot since you first got it?
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Apr 16, 2018 11:55 AM (+)]
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Name: Ken
East S.F. Bay Area (Zone 9a)
Region: California
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CaliFlowers
Apr 16, 2018 4:30 PM CST
It's a Haworthia truncata which has been grown in a low-light situation for quite a while.

I've had this happen when encroaching shrubs hide a plant tucked into an out-of-way corner.

It can probably be saved, but at this point the plant is weakened, and has few reserves to draw upon, meaning that there is little room for error.

I'd place it in a location with bright light, and, if possible, where it will receive a couple of hours of direct morning and/or evening sun. Provide careful, but adequate watering, and light feeding with a water-soluble, low-phosphorus fertilizer. A NPK profile such as 9-3-6 is about right for most plants. Keep in mind that it will want to rest in the summer, so adjust feeding & watering to allow this. Growth will resume when the weather cools in the fall. I wouldn't change its planted depth, with good light, the new growth coming from the center will be compact and normal. Re-establishing a "typical" set of leaves could take up to three years.
Name: 'CareBear'

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Stush2019
Apr 17, 2018 10:12 AM CST
I'll show H. truncata. That is not what that plant is. From what I can see, it's a Sanseveria with it's leaves cut down.
Screw, need more info. If you had it for several years and it never did anything? Then this got me stumped.
Here's my H. turncata adn a hybrid with longer leaves.

Thumb of 2018-04-17/Stush2019/3e0190


Thumb of 2018-04-17/Stush2019/a5c630

Here's another type with 'windows'. Clearly not this as well.

Thumb of 2018-04-17/Stush2019/aebd1e

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purpleinopp
Apr 17, 2018 1:55 PM CST
Maybe we need a closer pic.
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The less I interfere, the more balance mother nature provides.
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Name: Ken
East S.F. Bay Area (Zone 9a)
Region: California
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CaliFlowers
Apr 17, 2018 11:54 PM CST
Respectfully, the OP's plant is most certainly a form of Haworthia truncata, and while it may not be a pure example of the species, it is one which is frequently seen in the trade.

Open the original poster's image to full size and pay careful attention to the concave leaf cross-section. Then notice the 'sugary' or bumpy texture to the sharply blunt, windowed leaf tips. These are definitely not Sansevieria leaves which have been amputated.

Haworthia truncata comes in a variety of forms, and the leaf tips pictured are consistent with many common truncata. In this case, I think what's confusing the issue is the extreme etoliation of the leavesโ€”to the point where the plant is practically unrecognizable.

Haworthia hybridizers are highly prolific, and the market is awash with their unremarkable also-rans, resulting in countless hybrid seedlings of truncata mislabeled as true H. truncata.

Below is an image of H. truncata obtained from Guy Wrinkle's Exotic Plants in the 90's. Being a selected form, it differs somewhat from the OP's plant, yet exhibits the same characteristics I mentioned at the outset. It has been grown outdoors year-round under bright high shade in a 'Haworthia-friendly' climate, sparingly fertilized, and does not exhibit any of the unnatural growth characteristics frequently seen in cultivated plants. I've collected Haworthia for over 30 years, and the OP's image depicts exactly what has happened to a couple of my own truncata when forgotten in low-light situations.

Thumb of 2018-04-18/CaliFlowers/f46d40

Below is an unnamed Haworthia truncata hybrid obtained from Renny's Haworthia (maughanii.com). As it matures, the window markings are becoming more prominent. It's considered to be a more desirable form than the plant posted above, yet retains the general leaf structure and fan-like growth habit of the species.

Thumb of 2018-04-18/CaliFlowers/bbffee

The database entry for Haworthia truncata here at garden.org is somewhat of a mess, but there are several proper examples of truncata on the Cactus Art website. I'd guess that the plant on lower-right of that page is closest to what @Screwdriver had, before stretching occurred.

Another reference is the 'haworthia-gasteria.blogspot' site which presents an exhaustive catalog of species with images taken in habitat, and which also illustrates their variability. There are forms of truncata with relatively straight leaf cross-sections, and also those with leaves which are almost oval in cross-section.

Name: 'CareBear'

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Stush2019
Apr 18, 2018 7:24 AM CST
After re-examine the photo (which is hard). I see the points that Ken makes. Knowing that Haworthia can and does hybrize with it's Aloe and Gasteria kin (all members of Aloaceae), that makes anything possible. Knowing that the leaves are grown like above is different than not knowing anything about a picture of a plant. Sans was my first guess but thinking it does show windows like Haworthia. Almost every hybrid I know shows signs of increased strength and vigor. Screw's plant is just existing. Extremely slow.
Back to the main point of this. What to do. Don't know. If he had it for a few years now. He must be doing some thing right.
Thank you Ken for helping me as well as Screw.
Name: 'CareBear'

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Stush2019
Apr 18, 2018 7:34 AM CST
Sorry Ken, you did give good advise to help his plant.

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