Cotyledon tomentosa Care Guide – (Bear’s Paw)

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.

Rare Bear Paw Succulent - Cotyledon tomentosa - Easy to Grow - 2.5' Pot
70 Reviews
Rare Bear Paw Succulent - Cotyledon tomentosa - Easy to Grow - 2.5" Pot
  • Easy to grow succulent
  • Small orange flowers
  • 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.

Hoffman 10404 Organic Cactus and Succulent Soil Mix, 4 Quarts, Brown/A
  • Organic cactus and succulent soil mix
  • Professionally formulated for use with both jungle and desert cacti
  • Provides the drainage cacti need to flourish; ready to use; pH balanced


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).

Succulents & Cactus Plant Food - Gentle Long Lasting Formula, Slow Release Fertilizer (Liquid Alternative) for All Potted Succulent, Cacti & Aloe Vera Plants (5 oz)
  • LIGHT APPLICATIONS - A balanced mix of essential nutrients with low NPK rates to gently feed your live cacti and succulents. It help enhance root development, color vibrancy, beautiful bloom, and stem growth in both plant types.
  • LASTS LONGER, FOR LESS - Easy, ready to use granular formula feeds your plants consistently for 9 months! Simply poke holes or sprinkle around your pot mix, water, and watch your succulent/cactus thrive! Perfect for pots with pumice, pebbles, gravel, perlite, and other organic potting soil mixes.
  • 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).

About Henry Morgan

We are the Morgans, Henry, and Julia, both agronomists from the University of Michigan, where we met. We are experts in putting our hands in the soil and developing organic foods and improving production processes for decades. Likewise, we have worked for companies such as Mondelez International, BASF, Monsanto, etc. currently in our role as science writers for as well as advisors in promoting large scale food growing in urbanized areas. In this website, we share what we are most passionate about, gardening and farming. Enjoy and see real photos on our website.