Cotyledon Tomentosa is a part of the succulent family. They are also known as the Bear’s paw for they appear to be just like a bear’s paw. With its velvety texture, the plant possesses thick, ovate fuzzy green leaves that may feel a little prickly when touched, secured with rough round toothed edges, with a tint of deep red marking its corners. Its leaves are extremely fragile and can easily fall off if not dealt with gently. So if you are dealing with them, then you must know exactly how to handle them with care. With its rare appearance, this plant can easily attract one’s attention and can add to the scenic beauty of your garden. It is hard to stop yourself from touching and admiring this unique plant.
Bear’s paw, a very fun to grow succulent, is known to be a short plant species that grows up to 30 cm long. It often ends up producing beautiful and elegant bell-shaped flowers varying from pale coral to white during the spring season. This cute and fluffy plant is very easy to grow and maintain because of its size.
Here we are going to provide you with everything you need to know to take care of Cotyledon tomentosa. But first, let us unfold all the facts we need to know about this chubby succulent.
Introduction and Facts about the Cotyledon Tomentosa
Belonging to the family of Crassulaceae, this plant strives in hot areas filled with bright sunlight. This is what makes it a perfect native of Africa. The Bear’s paw is most likely to grow on hilly areas and rocky cliffs, covered with porous and well-drained soil. Its unique appearance is what makes succulent lovers even greedier to have this plant gracing their gardens or homes.
Apart from being called the Bear’s paw, this succulent plant is also known by other names such as kitten paw plant and bear paw cactus. The plant is not known to be toxic generally, but it can be mildly when it comes to children and pets. So see they don’t linger around much. If you are looking for some plant that makes it hard for your guests to take their eyes off from, then Cotyledon Tomentosa, aka the Bear’s paw is just the one for you!
Moving on, here are the things you need to take care of while maintain this plant.
Having the right soil
The bear’s paw, like every other succulent, requires well-drained soil that is mixed well, otherwise, there are high chances of the plant rotting. It is always advisable to use thick gritty soil. The same formula used for cacti and succulents can be sued for the Cotyledon Tomentosa. You can even add perlite and thick sand particles to make the soil even richer for the plant.
Choosing the right containers
Like every other succulent, the Bear’s paw requires a nice drainage system. Hence it is advisable to choose a container that has holes in the bottom so it may allow all the excess water to flow and drain out.
Climate for Cotyledon Tomentosa
Being accustomed to the heat, this plant can take sunlight very well. It is better to always position them towards the south and place it in a spot where the sunlight is abundant and stays constant for at least 6 hours.
However, if your plant is still a baby, then make sure to provide it with little shade in its early stages where it does not get too much exposure to the bright beams of sunlight.
If you live in a cold and frosty zone, then it is possible that your plant can easily die in the outdoors as the bear’s paw is not capable of growing in the cold winter. So make sure not to leave them outdoors in the winter season. They can still manage to strive indoors if enough sunlight is provided to them.
This is the most crucial part of almost every plant. The right amount of water is always required for a succulent to grow well. Water the plant when its top layer of soil is completely dry. Make sure to not overwater it. It should be just enough to kill its thirst. Try not watering too often in the winter season as the weather is already very damp and the plant is dormant. Provide it with just enough water to make sure that it does not dry. A good technique to follow for watering this plant can be the “soak and dry” method.
It will be beneficial for the plant if you fertilize it lightly. It can be done after the first month of the growing season. Make sure to not carry out this step during winters.
If the bear’s paw is being grown indoors, then its size is most likely to be small but if it is planted in the outdoors, then the plant will be bigger and can grow very dense, up to 20 inches.
Protect it from insects and diseases
Succulent plants are easily prone to fungal diseases because of overwatering. So make sure not to overflow your plant with water because if it does not drains in time, then your plant can get moldy and rot easily.
Other dangers to Cotyledon Tomentosa are the mealybugs, which are very common for succulents, spider mites, and scale. So always make sure to keep your eyes open in search of these insects. And if you do find them trailing on your plant, they immediately act on removing them.
The Bear’s paw is a fast-growing plant and its leaves can grow up to 1.5 inches and are also capable of storing water as well as producing bell-shaped flowers that come in yellow, pink, orange, and white color. They happen to bloom in spring.
You can easily start this plant from seeds by sowing them in well-draining soil and follow the steps that are mentioned above. You can also propagate the succulent through stem cuttings. If you get a stem cutting of a fresh new plant and given that you water it correctly and provide it with enough sunlight, it will very soon bloom into a new plant.