Cotyledon is one of the most attractive genera of succulent varieties that belong to the Crassulaceae family.
These succulent plants can be found mainly across Southern Africa, but you can also find them in the arid and other drier regions, even in the northern Arabian Peninsula.
In South Africa, you may get only ten species, and unlike Tylecodon, Cotyledon grows well even in summer and winter climates.
The leaves of these plants are evergreen and decussate, and they come in different shapes. Most of the Cotyledon species have similar thick leaf patterns.
The leaves are arranged at a 90-degree angle to their former and following pairs. The flower colors often vary from orange to yellow.
The flowers of Cotyledon varieties are tubular and pendulous, appearing at the top of the stout stem.
Remember that all parts of most plants are poisonous and extremely dangerous.
Nevertheless, many people worldwide have been using some of the species as traditional medicine.
These particular species are used for removing corns on feet, or they’re collected as lucky charms.
Before we go on, if you like other succulents, take a look at our directory of succulents page.
Table of Contents
- 1 Popular Cotyledon Varieties
- 1.1 Cotyledon Campanulata
- 1.2 Cotyledon Ladismithiensis
- 1.3 Cotyledon Mint Truffles
- 1.4 Cotyledon Orbiculata
- 1.5 Cotyledon Orbiculata var. Flavida
- 1.6 Cotyledon Orbiculata var. Mucronata (Silver Ruffles)
- 1.7 Cotyledon Orbiculata var. Elk Horns
- 1.8 Cotyledon Orbiculata var. Cinderella
- 1.9 Cotyledon Orbiculata var. Dinteri
- 1.10 Cotyledon Pendens (Cliff Cotyledon)
- 1.11 Lewisia Cotyledon
- 1.12 Cotyledon Tomentosa (Bear’s Paw)
- 1.13 Cotyledon Undulata (Silver crown)
- 1.14 Cotyledon White Sprite
- 2 Cotyledon Plants Care Tips
- 3 FAQ
- 4 Conclusion
- 5 References
Popular Cotyledon Varieties
Cotyledons are a popular houseplant because of their low maintenance needs and attractive foliage.
There are many varieties of Cotyledon, but these are some of the most popular.
Cotyledon campanulata is a dwarf-sized succulent plant. It has finger-like leaves with red tips. Each leaf grows up to 12 inches wide and 8 inches tall.
During the late spring, these plants produce small flowers with yellow petals. Like most species of Cotyledon, this variety is native to Southern Africa.
Cotyledon campanulata needs full sun to grow indoors. Partial sun is a better option if you live in a cold region, but if these plants are grown under warm temperatures, you should provide them with a bit of shade.
Water them deeply but less frequently. Make a watering schedule depending on the temperature of your area.
Make sure that the pot has at least one drainage hole. A well-draining growing medium is necessary for growing Cotyledon campanulata.
Cotyledon ladismithiensis is another species belonging to the Crassulaceae family. The leaves have a unique elliptical shape and look like the paws of a bear.
Hence, it is alternatively known as the “Bear’s Paw” plant. During the winter months, this variety remains dormant.
Generally, it grows up to 40 inches, or more than 3 feet tall. It can be a catchy addition to your indoor garden.
This slow-growing succulent needs a lot of sunlight to grow. Let the top few inches of your potting soil dry before watering.
Never overwater as it will kill this succulent. Make sure that these plants are grown in well-draining soil.
Avoid using clay or heavy soils for preparing this mix. Use coarse and inorganic materials to improve the drainage condition.
Cotyledon Mint Truffles
Cotyledon mint truffle succulents come up with flat but fleshy leaves. This low-growing plant grows very slowly, and over time, the leaves form a dense pack.
The leaves of this variety are green and fleshy, but they have red edges that quickly help gardeners tell them apart.
The crimson blooms that appear during the spring season between the leaves increase the beauty of this plant.
This species of the Cotyledon genus prefers a lot of sunlight to grow. Water these plants carefully because overwatering them will cause root rot.
Deep watering can be a good option when the top few inches of the growing medium become dry.
These hardy plants enjoy warm temperatures and low humidity. Feed them with organic fertilizer once every month. Gardeners can propagate them using seeds.
Cotyledon orbiculata is also known as the “Round-leafed Navel-wort” or the “Pig’s Ear”. It is found mainly across South Africa.
This particular variety has different cultivars, and each of these cultivars has a unique appearance.
Some of the most common cultivars are Cotyledon orbiculata var. oblonga, Cotyledon orbiculata var. flanaganii, and Cotyledon orbiculata var. spuria.
This variety reaches up to 4.5 feet in height and has beautiful gray-green leaves.
Each leaf has a white powdery substance, which reflects the sunlight. In this way, these plants conserve water.
The shape is similar to a pig’s ear, and thus the plant has got its name. During the winter months, this plant produces orange-red, bell-shaped flowers.
Like other succulents, this variety prefers full sun. We suggest you provide this species with a minimum of 6 hours of sunlight.
However, partial shade is good if the heat becomes too intense.
Water the plants only when the top few inches of the potting mix seem dry.
For keeping your Cotyledons healthy, you should feed them with organic fertilizer once every month.
Studies found that the extract of this variety has antibacterial and antifungal properties .
Cotyledon Orbiculata var. Flavida
Cotyledon obriculata var. flavida is a cultivar of the mother variety Cotyledon orbiculata. Like the other Cotyledons, this attractive variable can be found in Southern Africa.
This low shrub plant has finger-like, gray-white chalky leaves.
The plant produces orange bell-shaped flowers at the end of 12 inches stem during the spring season.
These plants should be placed under the indirect dappled sun if you live in drier parts of the world.
Since it is a drought-tolerant variety, you don’t have to worry about frequent watering.
Make sure that these plants are grown in well-draining soil. They can be propagated either by stem cutting or by sowing seeds.
Cotyledon Orbiculata var. Mucronata (Silver Ruffles)
Cotyledon orbiculata var. mucronata, also known as Silver ruffles, is an attractive species.
This species has a long upright stem and wonderful dumpling-like leaves covered with white powdery things.
During the summer, you will notice 1-foot tall, beautiful inflorescences with beautiful orange-red color and bell-shaped flowers at the top.
These plants need plenty of sunlight like a typical succulent plant. However, exposure to intense heat during the summer months can burn the leaves.
An ideal place is a sunny location, which receives indirect sun.
Don’t overwater these plants, killing them by suffocating the roots. Feed them using organic fertilizer for healthy growth.
Cotyledon Orbiculata var. Elk Horns
Cotyledon orbiculata var. Elk horns are an exciting variety of Cotyledon orbiculata. It has silver-white leaves that have white powdery things on them.
The leaves are round and flat and have multiple lobes. Hence, they resemble the horns of elk.
Each plant grows up to 18 inches wide and 12 inches in height. These plants are toxic to pets, including dogs, cats, horses, cattle, and poultry.
These plants thrive well under the full sun. That’s why keeping them near a north-facing window will not be a great idea.
If you live in the drier parts of the world, you will have to water these plants quite often, although they are drought-tolerant.
Planting them during the spring season is considered a good idea.
Cotyledon Orbiculata var. Cinderella
Cotyledon orbiculata var. Cinderella comes up with round but flat leaves. Many people have opined that each leaf looks like a small silver dollar.
Like most other Cotyledon species, each leaf of Cinderella variety has red margins.
During the summer months, you will notice the orange, bell-shaped blooms. This cultivar reaches around 2 feet tall at the maturity stage.
This plant needs bright but indirect light to grow. If you live in the drier parts of the world, you may need to make your watering schedule based on the temperature and soil type.
However, never create a waterlogged condition because these varieties are sensitive to excess water.
Prepare a well-drained potting mix for growing these Cinderella succulents.
Cotyledon Orbiculata var. Dinteri
Cotyledon orbiculata var. dinteri has one of the most beautiful appearances. It has easily distinguishable white- or gray-green, fleshy, and thick leaves.
If the leaves become large and the plant is grown under direct light, you will notice the dark red edges.
During the flowering season, this plant produces orange color bell-shaped blooms.
This dinteri variety needs a sunny location, like near the south-facing window.
This succulent plant is sensitive to overwatering, which causes root rotting and kills the plant.
The best plan is to follow the soak and dry method. Ensure that the potting mix is well-drained and drainage holes beneath the pot.
Cotyledon Pendens (Cliff Cotyledon)
Cotyledon pendens is also known as Cliff Cotyledon, which is a trailing succulent type plant and belongs to the family Crassulaceae.
This rare species is native to the Eastern Cape of South Africa.
Each of these multi-branced plants may reach up to 23 inches in length.
You will also see the gray-green leaves with red margins, and during the spring to the summer period, these plants produce coral and bell-shaped flowers.
These beautiful species grow well in containers. Place them under the full sun if you live in the winter region.
On the other hand, you should provide them with dappled sunlight if you live in a warmer region. Cliff Cotyledon prefers warm temperatures.
Avoid watering them too frequently because it will cause inundation and root rot. One can propagate it easily by stem cutting.
Lewisia Cotyledon is also known as Siskiyou lewisia or Cliff maids. You will them widely distributed across northern California and southern Oregon.
This perennial plant produces rosettes of thick oval and spoon-shaped leaves, and each of them grows up to 4 inches long.
It has beautiful pale pink or orange-yellow colored blooms during spring and summer.
It thrives well under partial shady areas, with plenty of indirect sunlight. Warm temperature and low to moderate humidity levels are ideal for these varieties.
Water them only when the top few inches of the growing medium become drier. This species is sensitive to overwatering like other succulents.
Cotyledon Tomentosa (Bear’s Paw)
Cotyledon tomentosa or Bear’s paw is another flowering species of the Cotyledon genus belonging to the Crassulaceae family.
This variety has oval-shaped green leaves with a white and powdery coating.
During the spring season, you will see beautiful orange-yellow colored bell-shaped blooms.
This plant needs plenty of sunlight to grow. We suggest you keep them near the south-facing window. Prepare an ideal cacti potting mix for planting them.
For the propagation, you may either use seed or stem cuttings. Like most species, this one is also sensitive to excess water. Feed them with organic fertilizers if grown indoors.
Cotyledon Undulata (Silver crown)
Cotyledon undulata is also called the Silver crown. This is a small shrub-like succulent plant that grows up to 25 inches tall.
The grey-colored leaves give this plant a sculptural shape. The stems have a thick, powdery, and white coating.
During the summertime, this plant produces beautiful orange-yellow colored flowers. Remember that this is a variety of Pig’s ear plants.
Gardeners should ensure that these plants receive at least 6 hours of sunlight daily.
When the heat is too intense during the summer months, you should provide them with dappled light. Let the topsoil dry before watering.
If you want to propagate them by tip cuttings, you must allow the cuttings to be rooted for transplanting.
Average warm temperature and room humidity are OK for these Cotyledons.
Cotyledon White Sprite
Cotyledon white sprite is another variety of Cotyledon orbiculata. It comes up with thick deep green to gray colored leaves.
This clump-forming shrub produces beautiful salmon-orange colored bell-shaped flowers during the summer months.
Each plant may reach 24 inches wide and 24 inches in height.
Like the other Cotyledons, these plants need bright and indirect sunlight to thrive. Although they are hardy, you cannot just neglect them.
Intense heat for a prolonged period will destroy those beautiful fleshy leaves.
Keeping a drainage hole beneath the pot is an essential feature as it drains excess water from the potting mix.
Cotyledon Plants Care Tips
Cotyledon plants are considered succulents. Hence, their requirements nearly match the demands of other succulents.
In this section, we will help you learn about their basic needs so that you can grow them in your indoor garden.
Succulents belonging to the genus Cotyledon need a lot of sunlight to grow. We suggest you keep them near the south-facing window.
Indirect light is considered the best for growing them because the direct sun can burn those fleshy leaves during the summer months.
During the winter season, you don’t have to worry about the light intensity, but during the summer months, make sure that there is filtered sunlight, not direct sun.
Temperature and Humidity
Dozen species of Cotyledon are native to Southern Africa, which is a warm region with low humidity.
Therefore, you have to ensure that the growing environment should be warm.
Try to maintain the temperature between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit as this is the range for their optimum growth.
The humidity is not a problem for them. These plants are hardy and can withstand any humidity levels.
Water and Fertilizer
These succulents store water in their fleshy leaves, and this is why they are drought resistant and can withstand dry conditions.
These dry-tolerant plants don’t need too much water to grow.
You have to be careful about overwatering as it can kill them by causing inundation.
Waterlogged conditions for a prolonged period will create many problems, including fungal infection and root rot. Always check the top few inches before watering.
If grown indoors, you should feed these plants once every month with organic fertilizer.
Liquid fertilizer supplies nutrients quickly as it contains the available forms of nutrients.
You can also apply balanced cacti fertilizer, but organic fertilizer is the best option for fertilizing the plants.
Cotyledon plants need a well-draining soil mix. To prepare such soil mix, you need to use cacti potting mix in which there are coarse materials and other materials that retain water for a prolonged period.
Moreover, make sure that there are multiple drainage holes.
You can use coarse inorganic materials, peat moss, coco peat, and vermicompost if you don’t get a cactus mix. Avoid using clay soil for growing these plants.
Propagation and Repotting
You can propagate a Cotyledon plant by sowing seeds or stem cuttings. You can also propagate them by separating the offsets from the mother plant.
If a grower wants to propagate the Cotyledon by offset separation, they should do it during the spring. Most species grow roots and foliage quite faster.
Therefore, you may have to think about transferring the plant to a new pot.
Why do Cotyledon Succulent leaves fall off?
Cotyledon plant leaves fall off for various reasons, including overwatering, fungal infections, plant diseases, negligent handling of the plant, and lastly, the inefficient or lack of sunlight.
How often should I water my Cotyledon succulents?
Water Cotyledon succulents on a regular basis rather than infrequently, but avoid overwatering it. Cotyledons are similar to all other succulent plants in that it is highly drought-tolerant and requires little water to survive. Consequently, water only when the top few inches of potting mix seem dry to the touch; otherwise, don’t water it at all.
How fast do Cotyledon plants grow?
Cotyledon plant is a fast-growing succulent genus relative to other succulents. Depending on the exact species of Cotyledon, the leaves can grow up to one to two inches long a year. If you propagate Cotyledon plants, in around three weeks, roots will form on the leaf cuttings, and a new plant will emerge from the leaf’s base. As for propagating from seeds, spread the seeds in a growing medium about half an inch deep. Plant them together so that they form a mat. Germination is approximately three weeks
Where should I place my Cotyledon?
Cotyledon succulent plants should be placed near the south-facing window to get sufficient sunlight so that they get at four to six hours of indirect light per day. Cotyledons thrive in light conditions ranging from partial to full sun, depending on the species. When they are grown inside, bright, indirect light is ideal for their growth.
Cotyledon is a genus that contains mainly succulent plants. Each of these succulents produces beautiful blooms during the spring and summer.
Besides, growing them is pretty easy as they don’t have a high demand. These plants are poisonous.
Therefore, you should keep your pets, cattle, and poultry away from them.
Lindsey Hyland grew up in Arizona where she studied at the University of Arizona’s Controlled Environment Agriculture Center. She continued her gardening education by working on organic farms in both rural and urban settings. She started UrbanOrganicYield.com to share gardening tips and tactics. She’s happy to talk about succulents and houseplants or vegetables and herbs – or just about anything in a backyard garden or hydroponics garden.