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Cotyledon tomentosa Care Guide – (Bear’s Paw)

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If you already know the succulent Cotyledon tomentosa, you will know perfectly well the reason for its common name, if you still don’t know it, in this article you will and you will confirm that indeed it looks like a paw or bear’s paw, it is a beautiful succulent. Learn all about Cotyledon tomentosa care in this guide.

It is easy to care for plants as long as from the beginning we provide them with the right conditions for them to be healthy. So let’s find out all about our beloved bear paws.

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  • Rare Bear Paw Succulent - Cotyledon tomentosa - Easy to Grow - 2.5" Pot
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  • Prefers the sun, Water when dry

Characteristics of Cotyledon tomentosa

Cotyledon tomentosa is a succulent shrub native to South Africa, belongs to the Crassulaceae family, is very slow-growing, so if you acquire a specimen and do not see great progress do not despair, as this is normal.

Its leaves are plump, rounded, and at the end toothed, these are born in the opposite form, that is to say, when leaving a leaf you will see that in front there is another as if they were to give a clap, it has a hairy texture or hairy (tomentum) and is bright green, can grow to a maximum of 20″ (50 cm). high, although most specimens in pots are around 8″ (20 cm).

characteristics bear paw succulent

Cotyledon tomentosa Care:


Cotyledon tomentosa is a succulent that tolerates very well the sun exposure in the mornings, in small specimens, it is necessary to adapt little by little because it can suffer from burns if we expose it to the sun and it is not acclimatized.

You can also have it indoors, just place it in an area where it receives a lot of light, the coloration of the tips of its leaves will be green if it is not very exposed to the sun, but if we get used to tolerating it the “nails” of its leaves will take a dark color giving them a better appearance of paws.

Cotyledon tomentosa Care – Watering:

The watering that we will give it is the standard one, you have to water it when the substrate is dry and that it is a deep watering, that is to say until we see that the water comes out of the drainage holes of its pot.

Once the autumn season arrives, we must reduce the watering little by little and in winter we must avoid watering it since in that period it is more vulnerable to rot or fungal attacks.


Being a native plant of South Africa, its ideal climate is warm with a temperature between 68 °F to 86 °F (20°C to 30°C), it does not tolerate frost or temperatures below 50 °F (10°C).

Cotyledon tomentosa – Substrate:

Cotyledon tomentosa is not so complicated on the subject of the substrate, just make sure it drains very well and does not retain moisture at all, in this way you will be ensuring the health of your specimens.

We must always take into account the temperature to properly care for Cotyledon tomentosa.

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To perform effective fertilization in our Bear’s Paw you have to consider doing it in the period from spring to summer, once a month will be more than enough, remember, excess fertilization can cause problems to our Bear’s Paw.

For the correct care of Cotyledon tomentosa we recommend this fertilizer that you can use on other succulents and cacti in your home (Order it here).

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  • LIQUID ALTERNATIVE - Excellent alternative to liquid fertilizer in a spray bottle. Great for houseplants that need consistent nutrition year round but less watering.

How to Propagate Cotyledon tomentosa (Bear’s Paw)

The propagation of the Cotyledon tomentosa can be through cuttings or by leaf, this succulent, in particular, has the fame that to reproduce it by leaf is almost impossible, what happens is that it is a little more delicate the process and it takes more than two months, then we recommend you to make it by cuttings.

Bear’s Paw Propagation by Cuttings:

If your Bear’s Paw is very small, we advise you to allow it to grow a little more to be able to make the cuttings, in the case that it already has good size, you can cut a twig from it, let it heal, and then plant it in its new pot and wait for it to have roots, you will not have a major problem in reproducing it by this method.

Cotyledon tomentosa Flower:

Cotyledon tomentosa blooms from spring to summer, its flowers can be orange-red or yellow and are bell-shaped, arising on a flower stalk and protruding above the leaves.

If your Bear’s Paw is small, it may take some time to bloom, as they need to grow and mature to do so.

Frequent Problems in Cotyledon tomentosa:

The pest that most frequently attacks the Bear’s Paw is the mealybug, which is why we recommend that you regularly check its stems and under its leaves to be able to detect it in time and eliminate it.

It is also prone to root rot or to be affected by fungi due to excess humidity, this can be avoided by watering it properly and taking the measures we have already mentioned in the winter.

We hope you found this article on how to care for Cotyledon tomentosa useful. We recommend our article about Cephalocereus senilis Care Guide (Old Man Cactus).

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About Henry Morgan

Henry Morgan is an agronomist horticulture founder of The Garden Style Company and The Garden Style Website. He previously worked for Mondelēz International as an Agronomist Engineer specializing in agricultural products management in highly populated areas. In 2000, Henry started working with farmer-producers in agricultural businesses selling wholesale fresh produce and retail plants in Van Buren, Arkansas. Nowadays, Henry lives in California, where he offers expert consulting services for organic vegetable gardening. As a science writer working with his wife, Julia, Henry shares his passion for gardening and farming, trying to reach and teach as many folks as possible.

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