Cotyledon Tomentosa (The Bear’s Paw Succulent)

cotyledon tomentosa featured image

Why do people like growing plants? It wasn’t the most straightforward task to do, and many things should be considered. First, what type of plant do you want? Various plants are available in the market, such as aerial plants, orchids, or succulents. Second, can I take good care of it? Do you have the expertise to do so? Lastly, what type of environment a plant needs? Can I take good care of it?

For whatever reason you have decided to take on the planting journey, a sense of responsibility is always required. If you are serious about broadening your gardening skills or considering adding a plant to your collection, you need to read this article carefully. This article will learn about a succulent called Cotyledon Tomentosa, also known as “Bear Paws.” Read this article to get more tips on taking good care of this plant and learn and understand everything about Cotyledon Tomentosa.

There’s a subspecies of Cotyledon Tomentosa called Cotyledon Ladismithiensis. The two are very similar, but don’t get confused!

  • Other Names: Bear’s Paw.
  • Sunlight: at least 6 hours of straight sunlight outdoors.
  • Watering: ensures that the plant will not be shriveled.
  • Temperature: prefer warm temperatures.
  • Soil: keep it draining.
  • Propagation: Easily propagated from cuttings
  • Fertilizer: regularly during the growing season and hold off in winter.

Origin and Features

Cotyledon Tomentosa belongs to the succulent family of Crassulaceae. This plant originated from South Africa and is also commonly known as “bear paws” due to its big elongated and hairy leaves. It can grow up to 20 inches tall and has reddish teeth on the outer part of its leaves. Cotyledon Tomentosa’s usual color is bright green to yellowish, with red teeth and hairy. During spring, Cotyledon Tomentosa can bloom light yellow to orange bell-shaped flowers. It is a succulent that is easy to grow and simple to maintain as an indoor plan. Generally, it is a non-toxic plant. However, it can be mildly toxic to pets. Cotyledon tomentosa is a rare succulent. That is why it is an exciting addition to anyone’s collection.

flowers of cotyledon tomentosa
Photo by @jardinsdalu via Instagram

Variegated Bear Paw Succulent – Physical Description


This variety of the Bear Paw Succulent is characterized by densely branched stems. Thus it can be pretty bushy and crowded. This characteristic makes it necessary for you to prune from time to time to keep it aired. The shrubet is small, it never exceeds twelve inches in height, and it is quite rare.


The main difference between it and the regular Bear Paw Succulent is the variegated leaves, bright green with yellow and cream stripes and blotches. Each leaf is about two inches long, and it is fleshy like the leaf of any typical succulent. They are hairy, and each has a velvety feel to the touch.

Other attributes of the leaves include that they are hairy and flat. Besides the color, these leaves are neatly arranged. Other colors on these leaves include the fact that they have reddish ‘teeth.’ Each leaf can have anything from three to ten teeth that only accentuate their already attractive appearance. It produces bell-shaped flowers, usually light yellow, orange or pink.

variegated bear paw succulent
Variegated Bear Paw succulent
Photo by @feelthepeat via Instagram

Cotyledon Tomentosa Care Tips

Ideal Sunlight

Ideally, Cotyledon Tomentosa needs at least 6 hours of sunlight outdoors, and a partial sun shade can also be tolerated. When placed indoors, ensure it is in a bright area with enough sunlight.

Humidity and Temperature

Cotyledon Tomentosa is not a cold hardy. If you are growing it at a place that gets colder than 30 degrees Fahrenheit, it is better to plant it in a container that can be brought indoors. Most likely, Cotyledon Tomentosa will survive in areas that do not experience a freeze. Briefly cover the plant with light or straw to help them survive a frost.

Watering Requirements

To know if you can water your plant already, the surface soil of 1-2 inches is already dry. During the winter, it is advisable to only water your Cotyledon Tomentosa a few times as it is a dormant plant. The amount of watering needed ensures that the plant will not be shriveled. You may want to try the “soak and drain” watering method for your Cotyledon Tomentosa. To do this method, you’ll bring your plant to the sink and give it a good soak; you’ll have to allow the water to drain. Regular deep watering is also advisable at least once a week during the growing season.

Soil Requirements

For the soil needs of Cotyledon Tomentosa, just like every other succulent, a draining soil mix is needed to avoid root rot. You may use specially formulated soil or add perlite and coarse sand to ordinary potting soil. Unlike other plants, succulents like Cotyledon Tomentosa a slightly acidic soil at about pH 6.


Like watering, you can fertilize Cotyledon Tomentosa during its regular growing season and hold off during winter. Avoid feeding your plant during the winter season. You may opt to use an all-purpose, water-soluble fertilizer.


To prune your Cotyledon Tomentosa, remove any dead, dying, or damaged leaves and stems. Pruning is necessary for your plant to maintain its shape. As your plant takes more space, ensure it stays organized and neat by pruning it from time to time.

Pests and Diseases

It is essential to be mindful of plant diseases and insects such as fungal disease due to overwatering, mealybugs, and spider mites that might affect the growth of Cotyledon Tomentosa. Mealybugs are sap-sucking insects and can immediately damage your plant. To check if Spider mites attack your Cotyledon Tomentosa, check if any parts of the plant are turning yellow or brown and wilted. Also, ensure that you avoid overwatering, ensure ample airflow, and give enough sunlight to your Cotyledon Tomentosa as it is prone to pests and diseases.

cotyledon tomentosa exposed to sun
Cotyledon Tomentosa enjoys full sunlight.
Photo by @haideysucculents via Instagram

Bear Paw Succulent Propagation

Cotyledon Tomentosa can be propagated through cuttings, leaves, and seeds. Through cuttings propagation, you have to use a sterile, sharp knife or pair of scissors to remove the stem from the main plant. You’ll have to allow the stem of Cotyledon Tomentosa to be callous for some days before planting it on well-draining soil. Water it whenever the soil dries out.

Propagating through leaves is a little tricky compared to cuttings. You’ll have to gently remove the leaves from the stem, and you’ll have to make sure that it is a clean pull – wherein no part of the leaf is left on the stem. This will give you a better chance to propagate through leaves successfully. Same with the cuttings method, let the leaves be callous for days prior to planting on well-draining soil.

Lastly, propagation through seedings. Sow well-draining soil during the fall season. Growing seeds outdoors is also allowed for places above 9a. If you are planting in a cooler area, you’ll have to plant Cotyledon Tomentosa in a pot you can bring indoors.

In Conclusion

Growing plants is never easy, but it helps our mental health and well-being. Aside from its aesthetic benefits, this is aside from having a plant that adds colors to our gardens or succulent collections. Taking good care of plants gives us a sense of responsibility and can help us to take on more prominent roles in life.

Cotyledon Tomentosa is an easy indoor plant to maintain, as long as you note the importance of well-draining soil to avoid root rot. All succulents generally need to drain well to avoid any root problems. Various plants are available in the market, but it is undeniable that having a plant is not easy for busy individuals or new plant owners. However, having a succulent might be a little easier if it gets enough sunlight and well-drained soil; it will surely flourish and bloom its flower.

By reading this article, we hope you’ll get to know Cotyledon tomentosa better and might consider this succulent as a new addition to your lovely plants at home. Start planting and always take extra care to ensure that our plants grow in a healthy environment.

Succulent City chief editor


Succulent City

Hey everyone! Welcome to Succulent City! We are all about succulents, cacti, and a bit about air plants. Ten years back, in 2013, we began the journey with succulents. It started as a simple hobby, crafting and selling charming succulent-themed pins and decorations. But as time passed, our fascination with these remarkable plants grew, and we gained extensive knowledge about them. Therefore, Succulent City is the blog as you see it is now. Enjoy your visit and happly planting!

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Posted in Succulents