How to care for and propagate Cotyledon tomentosa ladismithenisCotyledon tomentosa ladismithenis care and propagation informationPin

Cotyledon tomentosa

Bear's Paw

It’s easy to see where this shrubby succulent gets its name! The thick, fuzzy leaves have 3 to 10 “teeth” at the end, similar to the paws of a bear. When “happily stressed,” the leaf tips turn a deep red.

Quick Look:

  • Full sun to partial shade

  • Typical water needs for a succulent

  • Plant grows up to 12″ (30.5 cm) tall
    Plant grows up to 24″ (61 cm) wide

  • Zone 10a (Minimum 30° F | -1° C)

  • Not cold hardy

  • Propagation by cuttings, leaves (difficult), and seeds

  • Can be mildly toxic to pets and humans

  • Summer Dormant

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Care and Propagation Information

General Care for Cotyledon tomentosa “Bear's Paw”

“Bear's Paw” is an adorable succulent that is easy to care for. It does require lots of light, so keep this in mind when planting. It's a great succulent for beginner growers.

*While Cotyledon tomentosa “Bear's Paw” is generally considered non-toxic, there have been reports that it can be mildly toxic.


Cotyledon tomentosa has typical watering needs. It's best to use the “soak and dry” method, and allow the soil to dry out completely between waterings.

Where to Plant

Since Cotyledon tomentosa is not cold hardy, if you live in a zone that gets colder than 30° F (-1° C), it's best to plant this succulent in a container that can be brought indoors. It does well in full to partial sun.

Plant in an area of your garden that gets 6 hours of sunlight a day. If planting indoors, place in a room that gets a lot of sunlight, such as near a southern-facing window (if you're in the Northern Hemisphere).

How to Propagate Cotyledon tomentosa “Bear's Paw”

“Bear's Paw” is able to propagate several different ways, however, the easiest way is through cuttings.


To grow Cotyledon tomentosa from cuttings, use a sterile, sharp knife or pair of scissors. Remove a stem from the main plant, and allow it to callous for several days before placing it on well-draining soil. Water whenever the soil has dried out completely.


It can be quite difficult to propagate “Bear's Paw” from leaves, so a high success rate should not be expected.

When taking a leaf for propagation, gently twist the leaf from the stem. Be sure that the leaf you get is a “clean pull,” where no part of the leaf is left on the stem. This will give you a better chance of successful propagation.

Allow the leaf to callous over for a day or two before placing it on well-draining soil.


If propagating from seed, sow in well-draining soil in the fall. You can grow seeds outdoors if you live in a zone above 9a. If you live in a cooler area, you can begin sowing indoors under a grow light.