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Cotyledon tomentosa Care Sheet

Common Names:

  • Bear's Paw Succulent

Scientific Name:

  • Cotyledon tomentosa


Cotyledon tomentosa, commonly known as Bear's Paw, is a distinctive succulent with fuzzy, silvery-green leaves that have a velvety texture. It is named for its unique leaf shape, which resembles a bear's paw. This slow-growing succulent forms rosettes and can produce small tubular orange-red flowers on tall stalks during its blooming season.

Light Requirements:

  • Indoors: Prefers bright, indirect light. A south or east-facing window is ideal. Protect from intense afternoon sun to prevent leaf burn.
  • Outdoors: Thrives in partial sun to partial shade. Avoid prolonged exposure to intense sunlight, especially in hot climates.


  • Ideal Range: 65-75°F (18-24°C)
  • Tolerance: Can tolerate temperatures down to 50°F (10°C) but prefers warmer conditions. Protect from frost.
  • Indoors: Keep away from cold drafts and sudden temperature fluctuations.


  • Frequency: Water deeply but infrequently, allowing the soil to dry out partially between waterings.
  • Method: Water the soil directly and avoid wetting the fuzzy leaves excessively to prevent rot. Reduce watering in winter when the plant is dormant.


  • Prefers average to low humidity levels. Provide adequate ventilation to prevent fungal issues, especially in humid climates.


  • Type: Well-draining cactus or succulent mix.
  • DIY Mix: Combine regular potting soil with sand, perlite, or pumice in a 2:1 ratio to improve drainage and aeration.


  • Frequency: Fertilize sparingly during the growing season (spring and summer), about once every 4-6 weeks.
  • Type: Use a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer diluted to half strength. Avoid fertilizing in winter when growth slows.

Potting and Repotting:

  • Container: Use a pot with drainage holes to prevent waterlogged soil.
  • Repotting: Repot every 2-3 years or when the plant outgrows its container. Spring is the best time for repotting to encourage new growth.

Pruning and Maintenance:

  • Pruning: Minimal pruning is needed. Trim dead or damaged leaves as necessary to maintain plant health and appearance.
  • Propagation: Easily propagated from stem cuttings. Allow cut ends to callous for a few days before planting in well-draining soil.

Pests and Problems:

  • Common Pests: Watch for mealybugs and spider mites. Treat infestations promptly with insecticidal soap or neem oil.
  • Issues: Overwatering can lead to root rot and fungal diseases. Ensure proper watering practices and good air circulation to prevent problems.

Tips for Success:

  • Handle the plant carefully to avoid damaging the fuzzy leaves.
  • Rotate the plant occasionally to promote even growth and prevent legginess.
  • Protect from extreme temperatures and sudden changes in environmental conditions.


Cotyledon tomentosa, or Bear's Paw Succulent, is a charming addition to any succulent collection, prized for its unique appearance and relatively easy care requirements. By providing adequate light, proper watering, and well-draining soil, you can enjoy healthy growth and occasional blooms from this delightful succulent.


Following these care guidelines will help ensure your Cotyledon tomentosa thrives and continues to display its distinctive foliage in your home or garden.

Cotyledon tomentosa

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