Bear’s paw succulent plants are some of my favorite plants.
They’re so cute, fuzzy, and they look great in almost any room.
However, they’re also one of the more frustrating plants I have come across in my plant journey (and I think others can relate).
The first few I had I watered too much. Then, the next ones I had I watered to little. I think I’ve finally found a balance between the two and while mine aren’t huge (yet!), I have managed to keep them alive for a few years so I thought I’d share my secrets
We’ll be going over basic bear paw care: how to water them, how much sunlight they need, what kind of dirt they need, and more.
- Bear’s Paw Care
- How do you take care of a bear’s paw succulent plants?
- How to water your bear paws
- Do bear paw plants need sunlight?
- What kind of dirt do bear paws like?
- Do you need to fertilize your bear paw?
- Common issues and questions with bear paw plants
- Bear paw leaves droopy?
- Bear paw leaves falling off
- Are there different kind of bear paw plants?
- How tall can bear paw plants get?
- How to propagate cotyledon bear paw succulent?
- Do bear paws like the cold?
- Is the bear paw considered toxic?
- Do bear paw plants bloom?
- What size pot should I keep my bear paws in?
- Want more plant content?
Bear’s Paw Care
If you have a new bear paw, let’s go over some of the ways you can care for it and help it thrive in your home.
How do you take care of a bear’s paw succulent plants?
A bear paw plant is a succulent. Meaning, it needs less water than other types of plants and more direct sunlight.
Once you’ve taken it home, you’ll want to give it a thorough look-over. Check for any possible pests and you’ll want to check the dirt on it right away.
If you got it from a big-box store such as Home Depot, it’s most likely in the wrong kind of dirt.
Normally, I suggest people give plants a few days to adjust to a new home and temperature, but for succulents, you will most likely need to switch out the dirt ASAP before your bear paw stays in the wet dirt for too long.
How to water your bear paws
Bear paws do require a deep soak once in a while.
They prefer a bottom water I have found versus water from the top since the little paws don’t enjoy being wet for too long (as is the case with most succulents).
The “soak and dry method” seems to work the best so far. Meaning, you drench the roots completely and then let it dry out until it’s next watering.
While it’s nice to be on a watering routine, I often wait until the little paws feel “squishy” before I water. Some months they need more than others, so I let the plant tell me when it’s thirsty.
In the winter months, your bear paw might need less water since there is usually less heat and less sunshine. You can safely water every 2 to 3 weeks during that time. You can also fertilize less since the plant will often grow slower in the winter.
Do bear paw plants need sunlight?
Yes! Bear paw plants need a lot of sunlight to grow and thrive. You’ll need at least six hours of sunlight a day from a south-facing window.
If you don’t get a lot of direct light, you might want to consider buying a grow light.
What kind of dirt do bear paws like?
Bear paws love a good soil that drains. Most beginners will do just fine with a standard succulent mix at any store.
You might want to move it to some custom fast-draining soil with time.
Just know you don’t want to use regular potting mix with these plants because the water will stay in the dirt, causing root rot.
Do you need to fertilize your bear paw?
While the bear paw doesn’t need as much fertilization as other plants, it still needs to be fertilized once in a while. You can safely aim for once or twice a month in their peak season (April to August) and not fertilize at all during. thewinter.
While hunting around, I found this Reddit thread on someone who uses the water from their aquarium to give their bear paws some much-needed nutrients.
It’s amazing how nature works like that.
Common issues and questions with bear paw plants
Bear paw leaves droopy?
One common problem that arose when I was underwatering the plant was that the leaves were not plump and they were facing down.
I thought it was a sun issue at first (which it could be for you), but I would ask yourself when the last time you watered it was. If it was more than a few weeks ago, it probably needs a good soak.
If that doesn’t work, you might want to try fertilizing it.
Bear paw leaves falling off
The leaves or “paws” on these plants are very sensitive. Even the smallest touch can get one to fall right off. You’ll want to be gentle.
This is why if you’re buying one online to have shipped to you, you’ll want to pick a seller who knows what they’re doing because these plants are finicky.
If you notice more than usual amount of bear paws falling off, go through all the above lists and check your watering schedule, sunshine amount, dirt quality, and fertilizing schedule.
Try to make adjustments to only one of those areas at a time so you can figure out the root cause.
Are there different kind of bear paw plants?
Yes! They come in a few varieties, but the most well-known is the variegated type with white stripes in the paws.
How tall can bear paw plants get?
Bear paw plants can get pretty tall, up to 20″ or more.
Don’t feel bad if it’s taking a while for your bear paw to grow. A few of mine have taken years to even grow a few inches, so don’t think you’re a bad plant parent if it’s not huge.
How to propagate cotyledon bear paw succulent?
Let me warn you that these plants are hard to propagate compared to some other succulents out there.
The best way is to cut off a stem and place it directly into some succulent soil. Some people find success with just using the paws themselves but it’s one of the hardest ways.
Through my own testing, I have only gotten one paw to actually grow some roots.
Do bear paws like the cold?
No, they don’t like the cold so you’ll need to take them inside once the temperature drops below 32° F in your area.
If it’s cold in certain parts of your house, you might want to consider an indoor greenhouse as well.
Is the bear paw considered toxic?
Bear paw plants are generally not toxic, but in large quantities it can make pets and children sick. Just to be safe, best to keep this out of the reach of anyone who could ingest it.
Do bear paw plants bloom?
Yes! They grow the most beautiful flowers.
You’ll want to keep up with your fertilizing and make sure they’re getting everything they need to make this happen. If they’re going to bloom, it will be during the spring season. Don’t be discouraged if you can’t get yours to bloom, though!
What size pot should I keep my bear paws in?
You’ll want to keep your bear paws in a pot that is just slightly bigger than its roots. It’s okay to lean on side of a pot that’s too small than too big with succulents.
That is because if you have a bigger pot, more wet dirt can sit for longer, which succulents don’t like.
Generally, unless it’s growing really fast, you can safely check the roots once a year to see if they’ve grown a significant amount.
Want more plant content?
There’s a lot on this blog, but there’s even more on the YouTube channel!