Cotyledon Orbiculata (The Pig’s Ear Succulent)

Cotyledon orbiculata featured image

Planting is an integral way of life, and in one way or another, we wish to take good care better of the plants in our home or around us. Succulent is a type of plant that survives almost any type of environment. It is found in terrarium setups, indoor home plants, or gardens, even for those who don’t have much space for bigger plants. If you are starting to venture into planting or gardening, you might be looking for a relatively easy plant to take good care of, and no doubt that succulents might be your best option. Succulents are drought-resistant plants and have diverse forms and colors. For this article, we will talk about Cotyledon Orbiculata, a type of succulent that is easy to grow and has interesting colors and features.

Image from Mountain Crest Garden
  • Other Names: Pig’s Ear, Round-leafed navel-wort.
  • Sunlight: love bright light.
  • Watering: properly water use.
  • Temperature: prefer warm temperatures.
  • Propagation: you can propagate through leaves, cuttings, and seeding methods.
  • Humidity: 50% – 70%.
  • Fertilizer: not essential (one or two times per year).
  • Flowering Season: Mostly in wintertime.

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Origin And Features Of Cotyledon Orbiculata

Cotyledon Orbiculata comes from the succulent Crassulaceae. It is a family of succulents known as the stonecrop family. Crassulaceae comes from the Latin word “Crassus” which means thick. Cotyledon Orbiculata also known as “Pig’s Ear” or “Round-leafed navel-wort” originated from the southwestern zone of South Africa (Karoo region). It is usually survived rocky outcrops in grassland.

Cotyledon Orbiculata blooms in an environment that can tolerate moderate frost. It can grow up to 24 inches tall from last summer to early autumn. It has thick green-to-gray leaves with red teeth on its outer part. Cotyledon Orbiculata has five variety that differs in leaves and flower shapes. The shapes vary depending on their environment.

Cotyledon Orbiculata’s flowering season is mostly in winter from June to August, but in winter rainfall areas such as Western Cape, it usually flowers during midsummer. The flower is usually orange to red, but some also have a yellowish one. Cotyledon Orbiculata’s flower hangs almost bell-shaped and is carried in clusters on the end of an elongated stalk. Cotyledon Orbiculata is an easy plant to grow. It’s usually found in terrarium setups, home gardens, or for some. They also use this as a groundcover plant.

cotyledon obriculata flowers
Cotyledon Obriculata Flowers
Photo by Hans via Pixabay

Care Tips

  • Cotyledon Orbiculata is considered a sun-loving succulent. It can stay up to 6 hours of direct sunlight but also survive a partially shaded window placement.
  • It needs to be water when its soil becomes dry. The best way to water them is direct in its soil as the actual plant is sensitive to water droplets.
  • Cotyledon Orbiculata prefers a well-drain soil mix to avoid root rot. A good mixture is 50% cactus potting soil and 50% sand mixed in. Sands or big elongated clay particles might also be helpful.
  • This type of plant thrives in warm temperatures with at least 70 degrees Fahrenheit during daytime and a lower temperature of 60 – 65 degrees Fahrenheit during nighttime.
  • For cooler seasons or places, you may use an artificial lamp to warm the plant indoors.
  • Cotyledon Orbiculata requires 50% – 70% range of humidity, any more than that range may cause damage through rotting.
  • It is not heavy on fertilizers and may survive even with feeding once or twice a year. “Slow-release” or water-soluble fertilizers are advisable.
  • To ensure good drainage, once the Cotyledon Orbiculata grows, you may also consider repotting it in a proper pot with extra protection and adequate holes at the bottom.
  • Cotyledon Orbiculata is a healthy plant, but pests might also be problematic. To avoid this, use neem oil or insecticidal soap. Common pests to watch out for are mealybugs, spider mites, scale insects, and aphids.
  • Root rot and fungal infection from overwatering must also be prevented.

How To Propagate?

You may propagate Cotyledon Orbiculata through the leaves, cuttings, and seeding methods. Using the leaves method, you must remove the leaves from a mature plant and stick them in moist, well-draining soil. To propagate through the cuttings method, you may divide an established Cotyledon Orbiculata. If you plan to propagate through seedings, sowing the seeds in moist, well-draining soil is best.  Darkness is also essential in seeding propagation. You have to cover the seeds with dirt or sand and place them in indirect sunlight until they begin to sprout.

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Other Facts About Cotyledon Orbiculata

  • It may have medicinal benefits, especially in the South Africa region. The flesh of Cotyledon Orbiculata, which we usually use to heal warts and poultices for inflammations. Some studies also show that it is eaten as a vermifuge, and the juice can treat epilepsy
  • Generally, Cotyledon Orbiculata is non-toxic to humans. It might be mildly toxic to animals such as cattle and dogs and might trigger a condition called cotyledonous

Before conclusion, …

Image from Mountain Crest Garden

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After reading this article, we hoped that you’d be able to know Cotyledon Orbiculata. For those looking for an easy plant to grow, this might be the perfect choice for you. Since succulents can survive in almost any environment and keeping water is one of its most unique features that better than other types of plants.

Still, there are certain things to keep in mind to ensure that your Cotyledon Orbicata will flourish. Root rot is one of the most common problems for succulents. It is also the first threat of putting your plants in lousy health. Overwatering and poor drainage cause this condition, so it is better to make sure that you use well-drained soil and a proper pot with several holes where the water flows. Cotyledon Orbiculata was also said to have some medicinal benefits, especially in its origin in South Africa.

After learning about all these facts about Cotyledon Orbiculata, we hope that you’ll be able to consider this plant next time you decide to add some new item to your garden or terrarium setup. With proper care, patience, and some sunshine growing a Cotyledeon Orbiculata is an easy task for everyone, even those who are just new to taking good care of plants.


Richard Miller

Salute everyone. It's Richard, the author of this Succulent & Xeriscaping blog. I am a traveler and a nature lover looking for a connection with the wild green. In my journey, I found a love for succulents and xeriscaping. What attracts me is the long-lasting & unique beauty of every plant I have the chance to see with my own eyes. Welcome to my little blog and let's enjoy a good time together!

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Posted in Succulents