How to Grow Cotyledon

Cotyledon tomentosa
Cotyledon tomentosa

Cotyledon are perennial succulents grown for their foliage and flowers. The stalked, fleshy leaves are usually puffy and rounded and sometimes wavy-edged. The flowers are tubular to bell-shaped, usually pendant, red, yellow, or orange.

Cotyledon species grow from 12 to 36 inches (30 to 91 cm) tall. A mature plant can produce a cluster of 10 to 20 long-lasting flowers on a tall stalk in summer.

Cotyledon should be grown in full, bright light with shade from the hot sun.

Cotyledon is a genus of about 45 species; many are native to South Africa.

 Get to Know Cotyledon

  • Plant type: Succulent in Crassula Family
  • Hardiness temperature: 50℉ (10℃)
  • Optimal growing temperature: day, 68° to 72°F (20° to 22°C); cooler at night. 
  • Shape and size: Thick leaves and grow in clusters; the lower part is usually firm and tree-shaped
  • Flowers: Bell-shaped flowers on long stem are usually orange to red
  • Bloom time: Summer
  • Common name: Cotyledon, bear’s toes, silver crown 
  • Genus name: Cotyledon
  • Family name: Crassulaceae
  • Origin: South Africa
Flowers of Cotyledon orbiculata
Flowers of Cotyledon orbiculata

Planting Cotyledon

  • Grow Cotyledon in a sunny location, but protected from the full sun.
  • Indoors grow Cotyledon in bright, filtered light from southern, southeastern, or eastern exposure. Fresh air circulation is important. 
  • Grow Cotyledon in a warm location where temperatures are never below 50℉ (10℃).
  • Planty Cotyledon in sandy, loarmy soil.

How to Water and Feed Cotyledon

  • Give Cotyledon moderate soil moisture. t soil dry moderately between thorough waterings. Keep Cotyledon as dry as possible duirng the winter rest period.
  • Avoid wetting Cotyledon leaves. Do not mist Cotyledon.
  • Cotyledon prefers humidity of 30% to 35%. 
  • Feed Cotyledon once a year, in spring, with low-nitrogen, high-potassium fertilizer. 

Cotyledon Care

  • Repot overcrowded Cotyledon in spring. Remove dried foliage and flowers. 
  • Check for mealybugs, spider mites. Moisture on leaves causes rot. 
  • Cotyledon should rest from fall to early spring. Place Cotyledon in a cool, bright location. Give the plant just enough water to keep the soil from drying out. 
  • Cotyledon species covered in hair are vulnerable to summer heat.
  • Propagate by seed or root stem cuttings in spring or summer.

Cotyledon Species to Grow

  • Cotyledon ladysmithiensi. Puffy, round leaves; surface covered in white powder; margin can be red; two-foot stalks bear tunulat-shaped, reddish yellow blooms.
  • C. orbiculata Gray-green, spoon-shaped leaves covered with a white powder and edged faintly in red. 
  • C. undulata (silver crown). Wavy, fluted silvery-white leaves in fanlike arrangement with ruffle top edges; penden yellow orange flowers.


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