Cotyledon tomentosa: How to Grow and Care for Bear’s Paw

Cotyledon tomentosa Bear's Paw

Scientific name: Cotyledon tomentosa

Common name: Bear’s Paw

The thick, fuzzy leaves have 3 to 10 teeth at the end, similar to the paws of a bear. When stressed, the leaf tips turn a deep red.

Quick Look at Cotyledon tomentosa

  • 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

General Care for Cotyledon tomentosa “Bear’s Paw”

There is an easy way to care for the adorable bear’s paw. It requires lots of light, so keep this in mind when planting. It’s a great plant for beginners.

There have been reports that Cotyledon tomentosa “Bear’s Paw” can be mildly toxic.


It has typical watering needs. The “soak and dry” method will allow the soil to dry out completely between waterings.

Where to Plant

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 both full and partial sun.

You can plant in an area of your garden that gets 6 hours of sunlight a day. If you’re in the Northern Hemisphere, place a room that gets a lot of sunlight near a southern-facing window.

How to Propagate Cotyledon tomentosa “Bear’s Paw”

The easiest way to grow a bear’s paw is through cuttings.


To grow cotyledon tomentosa, use a sterile knife or scissors. Allow the main plant’s stem to callous for several days before placing it on well-draining soil. Water whenever the soil has dried out.


It can be difficult to get a bear’s paw from leaves, so a high success rate should not be expected.

If you want to propagation a leaf, gently twist the leaf from the stem. The leaf should be a clean pull, where no part of the leaf is left on the stem. You will have a better chance of successful propagation.

Allow the leaf to dry out for a day or two before placing it on the soil.


If propagating from seeds, sow in the fall. If you live in a zone above 9a you can grow seeds outdoors. If you live in a cooler area, you can sow indoors under a grow light.


  1. Cotyledon tomentosa (Bear’s Paw) – Wikipedia

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