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How to care for an adorable bear paw succulent

Care tips for the cute and cuddly bear paw succulent

Succulents are popular plants, and it’s easy to see why! They’re simple to take care of, many of them are small (making them easy to own if you’re tight on space, and they come in tons of fun shapes and patterns.

Quite possibly the cutest succulent, though, is the bear paw succulent. This fuzzy plant has round leaves that end in small points, making them look like little bear paws. If you want to bring this cuddly looking plant into your home (and why wouldn’t you?), then you’ll need to know how to care for it. Here’s what you need to do.

Difficulty

Easy

Duration

45 minutes

What You Need

  • Well-draining soil

  • Coarse sand

  • Perlite

  • Pot or container with drainage holes

  • Fertilizer

A person potting succulents
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Planting a bear paw succulent

Planting your bear paw succulent correctly can save you a lot of time and trouble down the road. Here’s how to set your succulent up for success.

Step 1: Plant it in sandy, well-draining soil.

You can use cactus-specific soil or add coarse sand and perlite to regular potting soil. These plants are sensitive to overwatering, so drainage is important.

Step 2: Use a pot or container with drainage holes.

Step 3: Plant your succulent in bright, indirect light.

The soft leaves of the bear paw succulent are delicate and easy to burn, so keep them out of direct light.

Step 4: Avoid planting outside in cold weather.

Bear paws are sensitive to the cold and can quickly become damaged by frost.

Watering succulents
Inna Reznik / Shutterstock

Caring for a bear paw cactus

Once you plant your bear paw, here’s how to care for it:

Step 1: Water when the soil is completely dry, or once every week to every two weeks for outdoor bear paws.

Don’t water these plants during cold weather or if the soil is still wet.

Step 2: Avoid getting the leaves wet.

Step 3: Only fertilize during the spring or summer, not fall or winter.

Step 4: Repot your bear paw every two to three years, using fresh soil, in the spring.

Variety of succulents in pots on a white background
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Common problems with bear paws

Bear paws are prone to a few problems caused by improper care. Luckily, these problems are easy to identify if you pay attention to their leaves.

Overwatering:

  • Yellow leaves
  • Leaves falling off
  • Squishy texture

Not enough light:

  • Leaves falling
  • May be pale but not yellow
  • Limp but not squishy

Underwatering:

  • Dry, brittle, withered, or brown leaves
  • Leaves falling

These problems are generally easy to fix once identified. Here's how:

Step 1: Repot an overwatered succulent.

In minor cases, you can simply wait for the soil to dry out. However, repotting the succulent in dry soil is the easiest way to avoid fungal infections.

Step 2: Increase the amount of light your succulent is receiving.

Although their leaves can burn if they have too much direct light, getting too little light can cause problems as well.

Step 3: Water an underwatered plant.

Most succulents will bounce back quickly from a dry spell after being given a thorough soaking.

A small pot with a tiny house plant and succulents
panattar / Shutterstock

Companion plants for your bear paw succulent

You can easily grow bear paw succulents with other succulents and cacti. For maximum cuteness, consider planting with panda paw succulents! Panda paw succulents have a similar leaf shape and texture, but they're a grayish-teal color with brown “claws.”

If your bear paw succulents are in a container garden, it’s easiest to pair them with other succulents or small cacti. This is due to size constraints, as many popular companion plants for succulents can grow fairly large. With proper pruning and a large enough container, you could add a few non-succulent companion plants.

Here are a few to consider:

  • Kangaroo paws
  • Lavender
  • Rosemary
  • Valerian
  • Sage
  • Spirea

Bear paw succulents make a pleasant addition to any garden or home. Even if you’ve never grown a succulent before, you can successfully care for a bear paw just by following these simple tips. Whether you integrate them into your garden or keep them indoors, these fuzzy plants are sure to bring you joy!

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Cayla Leonard
Cayla Leonard is a writer from North Carolina who is passionate about plants.  She enjoys reading and writing fiction and…
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