Bear Paw Succulent or bear paw cactus is a fleshy plant. Adapted to face arid climates. Initially, this plant found in the Cape province of South Africa. Now, this is a popular plant among indoor plant keepers. They love this plant due to its’ unique leave shape.
Do you want to see a fresh light green colour in your room? Or want to grow a plant as a puppy? Then, this is an ideal choice for you. Also, It will help to keep you healthy. Let’s see more details and benefits of this cutie.
Fleshy plants are a little bit easier to look after than the foliage or bonsai plants. Naturally, It has a tolerance to face hard conditions. You only have to choose the right place to keep after the propagation. And also careful watering. The hardest part is propagation. But now there are lots of plant sellers to buy these types of plants.
Let’s see some features to differentiate from other fleshy plants.
Characteristics of Cotyledon tomentosa.
Cotyledon tomentosa is the scientific name. tomentosa means “covered with fine mattered hairs.” You can see fine hairs on the leaves.
As I said in the beginning, This cactus has attractive leaves. They are fleshy and look like bear’s paw. The prominent teeth at the leave tips increase this impression. If the plant has the right conditions, these tips get red-coloured. But in most indoor plants, we can see pale yellow or green colour tips.
In the outdoor, Grows up to 50 cm tall as a shrub. Also, it has dense stems. The thick flat leaves can grow as 3.5 cm long. Some plants have whitish hairs on the leaves while others have yellowish hairs.
In the spring, you can have bell-shaped flowers. These large flowers get colours depending on the conditions. The Colour range varies to light yellow to red-orange.
You can find two types of tomentosa. One type grows in winter and shed leaves during summer. Another one is evergreen. It is also grown in summer and shed leaves annually. The evergreen variety is not common. You can identify evergreen variety from thicker and bigger stems.
Benefits of Bear Paw Succulent
All plants of this earth have an even one benefit. Then, you may wonder why people tend to choose succulent pants. Yes, these plants have specific benefits that useful for your home.
Works as a Natural Air cooler for your home.
If you are living in a tropical region, you may suffer from high temperatures. Also, in summer, we are struggling to cool our rooms. These plants help to resolve these problems.
A research paper published in the International Journal of Science, Environment, and Technology shows the evidence. It shows how the succulents can cool your room than typical foliages. According to the paper, four succulents able to drop our room temperature by a maximum of 6.51°C degrees.
Then why are you wasting money on an air conditioner? Have some of these plants in your room and save some money.
Improve Indoor air quality.
As well as the reduction of room temperature, this plant can absorb air pollutants. NASA scientists have shown how plants absorb volatile organic compounds and clean air. According to their study, most volatile organic compounds removed after implementing plants in their experiment centre called “Biohome”.
The succulents convert these organics into foods and utilize for their survival.
Air pollutants cause several respiratory illnesses. You can get rid of asthma-like long term illnesses by cleaning the air from these plants.
Increase fresh oxygen in the room.
As you know, some plants release carbon dioxide at night. But, these plants don’t. They continuously release oxygen even in night with stored energy. In the presence of sunlight, they actively release oxygen more than other plants. Because this cactus’s stem is also capable of photosynthesis.
More oxygen means help to reduce your laziness and increase your productivity.
Increase humidity in the environment.
Do you have dry cough in often? Or have dry and itchy skin? It may be due to the low humidity in your home. This fleshy plant may help to cure. It can store water in their fleshy parts and release water droplets into the air slowly. So, the plant act as a humidity controller in your home.
Reduce your stress with green.
Are you live in an apartment without nearby green colour trees? Then, Your eyes may have tired of visual pollution. The fresh green colour of this home plant helps you to calm down. And your stress will reduce.
Looks like a useful plant. So, how to get started to have all the above benefits? Let’s start with the propagation.
How to propagate Bear Paw Succulent?
If you are lucky to find a well-grown plant nearby, You can propagate yourself without spending a penny.
First, the minimum tolerates temperature for this plant is 30° F (-1° C). If your outdoor temperature drops below 30°F, you have to propagate plant indoor.
Then, you should have well-draining soil (sandy) in a pot. For ensure the drainage, a hole should be in the bottom of the pot.
Using a sterile knife, remove a piece of stem from the well-grown plant. Then, callous it for two days. After that, Place the stem on the soil pot prepared before. Add water after the soil dried out. Do not add excess water. It required dry soil with little water for propagate.
Do not expose to direct sunlight. But, keep in a shaded, bright place.
Propagation from leaves is quite tricky. Therefore, it is better to try with stem parts.
If you can’t find a stem, find for commercially available seeds. Similar to the stems, you have to sow the seed in prepared well-draining soil. It is recommended to start in fall with seeds.
Caring for Bear Paw Succulent?
This plant is adapted for dry environments. So, you have to protect it from wet and cold.
After the propagation. Keep the pot near a window. This plant wants direct sunlight. If it can have 6-hour sunlight exposure for a day, the result is healthier plants.
How often to water Bear Paw Succulent? You should wait until completely dry out upper 2 inches of soil. Then add water and ensure the proper drainage. It is better to soak the pot and allow drain water through the drainage hole. Be careful during winter. Excess water and wet conditions harm its root system. The deep watering only requires in the dormant period.
If you are growing this plant in your garden, water for about 2.5 cm in dry periods.
This home plant actively grows in fall and spring. Dormant in the summer period. Slow growth can observe during the winter. So, you can add water-soluble fertilizers inactive periods. It requires light fertilizers.
Common problems with bear paw cactus.
Got a problem with your cutie plant. Don’t worry; science has the solutions.
Like the other plants, this is good food for some pests. Often, we can see cochineal, spider mites and mealybugs on the leaves. So, regularly look for those tiny pets on both sides of the leaves. If you find some, you can kill them with an alcohol swab. Sometime you will miss them due to white colour hairs. Be careful in observation.
Most of the plant owners report about white colour leaves. This clour is due to low sunlight exposure. So, keep the plant outside for several hours and treat with ample sunlight. Within several days you can have green-coloured leaves. Keep in mind about the environmental conditions in its’ native home Africa. A dry environment with high sunlight exposure.
If you are observing white strips on the leaves, do not worry. It is a variegated bear paw succulent. This variety has white colour stripes on leaves.
Choosing proper soil is the key to have a perfect fleshy plant. These plants prefer acidic soils. Check the acidity of soil if you can it grow nice in pH 6. Sandy soil with some gravels ensures the proper drainage. Therefore, to get rid of water problems, initiate with a perfect medium.
As the home plant, we must care about the toxicity. Generally, tomentosa plants are nontoxic plants. However, still, there is no scientific study about the toxicity. But some people have shown allergic reactions. So, working with it considering as a mildly toxic one.
Have Benefited from mother nature
In addition to Bear Paw Succulent, there are so many Succulents and cactuses for select like panda plant. They have different colours and shapes to decorate your room with your interests. I suggested this species due to its unique shape as an example. Start to think green with a small plant in your living room and have benefited from mother nature.