Bear's Paw, Bear's Claw, Kitten Paw Plant

Cotyledon Tomentosa

Cotyledon Tomentosa plant has about 3 to 10 reddish teeth on the end of its leaves, like the paws of a bear. That's why it is called a "Bear's Paw" plant. It is a shrubby succulent with thick fleshy leaves. Its leaves are flat and hairy, which grows up to 1.5 inches (3.5 cm) long.

The Cotyledon Tomentosa "Bear's Paw" can be light green with yellowish hairs OR grey with whitish hairs. In the Spring season, it produces bell-shaped flowers, that are light yellow, orange, or pinkish.

The Cotyledon Tomentosa succulent is also known as "bear’s claw plant", "bear’s paw succulent", "bear paw cactus", and "kitten paw plant".

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Details about Cotyledon Tomentosa "Bear's Paw, Bear's Claw, Kitten Paw Plant"

How to Care for Cotyledon Tomentosa Bear's Paw

"Bear's Paw" is a light-loving plant. So place it where it gets enough sunlight. It is easy to care for. So it is better for both beginner growers and pros alike.

It actively grows in Spring and Fall. So do care a little extra in these seasons. You should also fertilize if possible. It is dormant in Summer Months. So only water enough to keep it alive. It also grows slowly in the Winter months.

Soil Need for Bear's Paw Plant

The plant naturally grows in Africa in rocky fields and on cliffs where the porous soil gives them well drainage. So you'll also need the same type of well drainage soil for it to grow well.

I've written an in-depth guide on preparing your perfect DIY succulent soil for containers. OR, you can also choose from the best pre-mixed succulents and cacti soil in the market.

Watering Bear's Paw Plant

"Bear's Paw" requires typical succulent watering needs. It is best to water once the soil is totally dry. Otherwise, its roots may rot in wet soil.

It is a summer dormant plant and does require much water in this season, except in excessively dry conditions.

Fertilizing Bear's Paw

In the active growing seasons, i.e. in the Spring and Fall, fertilize it mildly with a succulent fertilizer in a month. As it grows slowly in the Winter months, and dormant in the Summer months, so hold off on fertilizing in those months.

Known Diseases

If you overwater your succulents, it may suffer from fungal disease, and Bear's Paw is not different. So try to never overwater.

In overwatering situations, the leaves will fall easily than a normal plant. Also, keep in mind the bear's paw leaves have a tendency to fall even if it is healthy, so be careful while handling it.

Known Bugs

The Bear's Paw may suffer from Mealybugs, spider mites, and scale. Mealybugs show up as tiny white insects that have a cotton-like look to them.

Scale insects are found on the stems of succulents and are quite hard. But they can be scraped off with a fingernail, knife, or any other sharp thing.

Is it Poisonous?

The Cotyledon Tomentosa "Bear's Paw" is considered non-poisonous. But some reports show that it is toxic to humans and pets. So better be careful.

Where to Plant

If you live in a colder environment, where temperature can go below 25 °F (-3.9 °C), You should plant it in a container. Because it is not cold hardy and you'll be able to bring it inside in winter.

It grows well in a brighter area where it gets about 4 to 6 hours of sunlight. But avoid exposure to direct sunlight for a longer time if you live in a hot environment.

How to Propagate Cotyledon Tomentosa "Bear's Paw"

"Bear's Paw" can be propagated by seeds, leaf, and stem cuttings. Propagation by leaf cuttings should be avoided by beginners because it is difficult. While propagation by stem cuttings and seeds is easier.

Propagate by Seeds

To grow by seeds, place the seeds in well-draining succulent and cactus soil. Water them when the soil dries out. If you are not living in a cooler area, you can place the seeds outdoor. Otherwise, do it indoors with grow lights.

Seeds sowing should be in its active growth seasons, better in the spring season.

Propagate by stem cuttings

To propagate by stem cuttings, cut a stem from the main plant. Allow the removed stem to callous over for some days. Then place the stem in well-draining soil.

Remember to give water when the soil is completely dry. I have mentioned that at the last in how often to water succulents and cacti guide.

Where to Buy?

The plant might be available in your local nurseries, and you can easily get it from:

Pairs Well With

  • Aloe juvenna "Tiger Tooth Aloe"
  • Graptoveria "Opalina"

Video of Cotyledon Tomentosa (Bear's Paw) Plant

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Image Credit: Flickr

Facts & Features

  • 12 inches Tall

    This plant grows up to 12" (30.5 cm) tall

  • 24 inches Wide

    This plant grows up to 24" (61 cm) wide

  • Grows in Spring and Fall

    Need more care during these times.

  • Indoors Lit Area

    Better to keep it near a window where it gets enough sunlight. OR, keep it outdoors.

  • Normal Watering

    Use regular succulent watering methods. Learn how to water succulents easily.

  • Not Cold Hardy

    Protect from very low temperatures.

  • Partially Shady Sunlight

    You can keep it in full sun but protect it during the afternoon.

  • Propagation by cutting and seeds

  • Slightly Toxic

    Slightly toxic to humans and animals.

  • Zone 9b

    In this zone, the temperature can drop up to 25° F ( -3.9° C )

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