How To Grow & Care Bear Paw Succulent?

Bear paw succulent is one of the most popular members of the succulent family native to South Africa. It has peculiar, fuzzy, thick green leaves with velvety coating and red toothed edges resembling the paws of a bear. The little fellow does a pretty good job by adding its unique texture to any space where you place it. 

And in this guide, we will share some important tips on growing and taking care of a bear paw succulent. So, let’s dive right in, shall we!

What Is Bear Paw Succulent?

Bear’s paw or cotyledon tomentosa plant produces orange-colored bell-shaped flowers in the spring season. These plants might be pretty easy to take care of, but they have fragile leaves. So, you must know what to do when taking care of your plant. 


How Do You Care for A Bear Paw Succulent?

bear paw succulent

When caring for your bear’s paw succulent, you have to consider various factors. And in the following sections, we will discuss them in detail. 

Position

Bears paw succulent prefers shady conditions to grow. You can choose a nice and bright shaded spot for it where the little paws of this plant are not directly exposed to sunlight. It is a very fragile plant, and you need to keep it in a shade where it only gets a bit of the sun. 

Pot

It is best to use a pot that is just one size larger than the roots of this plant. It needs to have a hole in it to ensure proper water drainage. Bear’s paw looks pretty good as a stand-alone plant in their pot as they are pretty good head turners. Make sure to plant them in a pot that you can easily carry this indoor plant. 

Soil

This plant is a good draining soil mix as they are prone to root rot, just like all other succulents. You have the option of going for formulated soil and can even add coarse or perlite sand to your ordinary potting soil to boost their growth. In general, they prefer acidic soil with pH levels of around 6. 

Water

Again, just like other succulents, a bear’s paw prefers to have its roots soaked, but you have to allow them to dry out before you water them again. You need to deep water them during hot weather and when there is no rainfall. 

Just provide them with a quarter cup of water for smaller plants and one and a half cups for larger plants. And you must do it once every week to ensure a healthy growth pattern. You can water them again when their soil completely dries. 

Feeding

This planet doesn’t need much attention as far as fertilization is concerned. And this is especially the case when you have placed it in a colder climate. 

But during their active growth period, which is summer and springtime, you have to feed them twice a month, usually from April to August. You can go for an all-purpose, light-balanced succulent fertilizer, like Miracle-Gro, which is water-soluble in this period. 


How To Grow Bear Paw Succulents?

Here are some key points to consider when growing a bear paw succulent. 

  • For a successful propagation, pick some healthy bear’s paw leaves.
  • Cut them and allow the plant to callus for some days.
  • After that, you can place it in a warm spot with well-drained soil for the best results.
  • Use slightly sandy soil so that it can drain well and prohibit overwatering.
  • To get healthy results, use a water-soluble fertilizer. It needs to be slightly acidic with pH levels of up to 6.
  • Water the plant with a quarter cup of water once every week.
  • This plant needs around 6 hours of bright indirect sunlight daily. 


When To Repot Bear Paw Succulent?

The best time to repot a bear’s paw is during the spring season, right at the beginning of the growing season. This is the best time that it can handle repotting. You will have to wait about 4 to 6 months once you have repotted your plant and then start using light fertilization. You can also use a potting mix that has fertilizer in it. 


How To Propagate Bear Paw Succulent?

There are various ways to propagate your bear’s paw succulent. And the best way to do so is by cutting it. So, here are the steps you need to follow.

  • You will have to cut at least 15 centimeters long from the main plant.
  • Remove some of the leaves, let them grow over the next few days, and then place them in a warm spot with temperatures ranging from 22 C to 27 C.
  • Place it in good-drainage soil and water it whenever the soil dries out, and not before that. 


Common Problems for Bear Paw Succulent

Insects and pests

Like most other succulents, the leaves of a bear’s paw attract pests, particularly cochineal. Therefore, frequent inspection is mandatory, and you can miss these pests due to the silver hair on the leaves. 

Mealybugs, scale, and spider mites are other pests that you protect them from. Use a cotton swab shocked in rubbing alcohol directly on the pests. It can dissolve the protective coating of the insects and kill them. 

Overwatering

Just like the other succulents, if you overwater your plant, fungal diseases can occur to them. As a result, your plant will have droopy leaves that can easily collapse.

Cold hardiness

This plant is cold-hardy in 9b and 11b zones. So, you cannot leave it outside and treat it as your houseplant. But make sure that it gets enough sunlight to stay healthy. 


FAQs

a beautiful succulent terrarium

Is bear paw succulent rare?

A bear’s paw or cotyledon tomentosa is a rare succulent plant. But it is pretty easy to grow and care for, just like other succulents. It has a unique set of leaves that resemble a bear’s paw, hence the name. They look pretty nice and shoot out orange-colored bell-shaped flowers in the spring season. 


How much sun does a bear paw succulent need?

This plant needs a brightly shaded space to receive six hours of indirect sunlight daily to thrive. Any exposure to direct sunlight can scorch the leaves, and you need to prevent that from happening. Make sure to place it in a window that is south facing. 


How often should you water a bear paw succulent?

Bear’s paw only needs to be watered once a week. Smaller plants need a quarter cup of water, and larger plants need one and a half cup. And be sure only to wear them once their soil has completely dried out. 


The Bottom Line

Bear’s paw succulents are flowering plants that look extremely beautiful with paw-shaped leaves and orange-colored flowers. The good thing is that this rare plant is very easy to take care of. Make sure you place them in a bright spot without direct sunlight and water them only once the soil dries out completely.


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