Cotyledon Tomentosa Leaves Falling Off | 5 Possible Reasons |

Cotyledon Tomentosa (Bear’s Paw) leaves falling off is a big problem for owners of this succulent. There are many reasons for this problem. In this article we are going to talk about reasons and possible treatment for Cotyledon Tomentosa Leaves Falling Off.

Cotyledon Tomentosa Leaves Falling Off

Why Cotyledon Tomentosa Leaves Falling Off?

When it comes to the problems when you are growing the bear’s paw succulents, leaves falling off would be the major issue. If you are fresher in succulents gardening, it would be quite challenging.

In fact, there are several reasons which could cause the bear paw succulents to drop their leaves.

Out of this, over watering, fungal infections and diseases, careless handling of the plant, rain and finally the lack of light would be the factors which would cause this condition.

Five Possible reasons for Bear’s paw succulent leaves falling off


Over watering is one reason why the bear’s paw succulents lose their leaves. When you provide excess water for these plants, it would lead to rotting.

Ultimately, they will end up dropping the leaves as well. In addition to that, over watering could contribute to fungal infections too.

Consequently, those fungal infections would lead to the health deterioration of the plants in the end.

Bear’s paw succulents require water. However, you need to make sure that you do not provide it with excess water, and it could have severe repercussions on the plant.

Unfortunately, they could be fatal on them too. When you spot your bear’s paw succulent is dropping its leaves, it is a sign that the plant sends out to indicate the plant is over watered.

On another note, you could categorize the bear paw succulents by the ingenious strategy of retaining water in the leaves, branches, and roots as well.

That makes them able to survive in hostile locations globally.  Though this plant is rich with sap, that does not mean you need to keep the soil moist.

Instead, you need to keep the bear paw succulents in dry soil which is poor in condition. As such, if you bear paw plant’s root gets waterlogged, you cannot avoid the leaf dropping despite what you do.


Rain could be another factor which could cause the bear to paw succulents for their leaf drop.

Consider that you have planted these succulents outdoors and they get exposed to rainfall consistently.

Then, that will make these plant to drop their leaves. As such best is to plant them indoors or in a pot.

Refrain in growing them outdoors as that will allow the rain to badly affect them and ultimately cause for leaf drop.

Having said that, if you still insist yourself of growing a bear paw succulent outdoors, you need to take steps for the rainwater to not to affect the plants.

Unless it would cause over watering, and they would tend to drop their leaves.

See also  Orchid Cactus Soil, Pot And Repotting | Everything You Need To Know |
Cotyledon Tomentosa Leaves Falling Off

Lack of light

This could be a frequently spotted factor when you grow the bear paw succulents particularly indoors.

It is essential to provide adequate levels of sunlight for the bear paw succulents to thrive to their best.

In terms of their sunlight requirement, it is important that you provide them with 12 hours or even more to fulfill their sunlight requirement.

These plants are endemic to South Africa, and you do not have to be surprised since the conditions you have in South Africa are such where they are exposed to a lot of sunlight.

As such what you should ideally do is to place these beautiful plants where they will get both partial shade and partial sunlight.

Unless you could spot how the bear paw succulent leaves fall on the ground. You could commonly spot this during the winter season.

Careless handling

If you do not handle the bear paw succulents properly, that would also affect them for leaf drop. As aforesaid, Bear paw succulents are very attractive plants.

However, their leaves are very fragile, and it would be challenging to handle this plant properly and chances are that you could harm the leaves and eventually they will drop their leaves if you handle the plant carelessly.

Bugs and Disease

Just like other succulent types, bear paw succulents have to encounter bugs, diseases, pests and with insects’ attacks.

Those factors would also cause the bear to paw succulents for their leaf drop. There will be bugs such as mealy bugs. Moreover, caterpillars and snails could also harm these succulents.

Mealy bugs could be the most annoying and irritating as they could attribute the plant leaf drop and make it unpleasant to look at the plant.

If you do not attend to them and remedy them, it could be lethal on these plants unfortunately.

You could see these little organisms crawling and jumping from one infected plant to a bear paw succulent. They mainly attack on the plant’s roots and would ultimately cause the plant to drop their leaves.

In addition to mealybugs, caterpillars and snails could invade these plants and cause them to drop their leaves.

Cotyledon Tomentosa Leaves Falling Off 2 1

How to stop Bear’s Paw Succulent Leaves Falling Off

Watering schedule

Bear paw succulent water requirement is very minimal. The main concept in terms of watering these plants is that you need to water these plants only when their potting mix is dry.

Literally, you need to commence watering them only when the soil is dry. and if it is damp or soggy, you need to wait for a couple of more days and then water..

To ascertain this, you could alternatively place a stick in the soil for about 2 inches in depth and check whether the soil is dry.

See also  10 Beautiful Mini Succulents And How To Take Of Them

Bear in mind that you should not spray water particularly on the leaves. Instead water the soil directly and refrain from over watering. Unless it would leave for leaf fall of bear paw succulents.

To reiterate, ensure you water the plant’s soil and not leaves or the stem. They usually do not prefer to have water on their leaves and on their stem as it could cause trouble for them. 

Apart from that, when you water them, always ensure that you soak the soil with water and let the additional water to move through.

Further, it is vital that you have grown these plants in a pot which has enough draining holes as well.

Moreover, the soil should also be fast draining too. They will avoid the plant from any potential rotting and protect the plant.

Moreover, you need to adjust the watering frequency based on the season as well. For example, you need to water these plants less frequently  in the winter season. 

Keep the plant inside in rainy seasons

Refrain in growing outdoors as that will allow the rain to badly affect them and ultimately cause for leaf drop.

Having said that, if you still insist yourself of growing a bear paw succulent outdoors, you need to take steps for the rainwater to not to affect the plants.

Unless it would cause over watering, and they would tend to drop their leaves. As such you need to make sure that you locate the plant somewhere where they do not get exposed to rainwater.

Best is to locate these plants in a plastic greenhouse or in a glass greenhouse. In case you go ahead with the glass greenhouse, make sure that you cover it with a cloth.

Unless chances are that the sunlight could land on the plant through the glasses, and you will end up having sun burn off the plant.

Generally, plastic green houses have a UV protection shade. However, you need to first check on its features before you are going to purchase it.

If you are someone who could provide a greenhouse to accommodate them, you may locate them in an open area. Do not forget to cover the roots with a plastic sheet though.

On the other hand, if you are living in a location where you do not get a lot, you could use shade cloths to protect them and shift it indoors during rainfall.

It is important to note that light level rain will not make the bear paw succulent to drop its leaves. However, rain fall on a regular basis along with high humidity levels could impact this condition.

Cotyledon Tomentosa Leaves Falling Off

Enough light

Once you realize that your succulents are dropping leaves due to lack of light, you need to relocate them in a place where they will be exposed to bright indirect sunlight.

See also  Moon Cactus Soil, Pot, And Repotting | 6 Exciting Facts |

Make sure you do it immediately. When the winter conditions are forecasted, you could consider supplementing them with a grow light.

If the weather conditions are much cooler, make sure that you provide lower lights.

Proper handling

You need to make sure that you report these succulents properly. However, when you do that ensure that you do it carefully. 

You need to ensure that these plant leaves do not get in contact with the potting soil when you do this. Unless there is a high potential for the plant’s leaves to drop.

As aforesaid, bear paws contain fragile leaves and when you are involved with the plant, make sure that you do it carefully and with proper care.

Pest control

As aforesaid, mealybugs are the most annoying bugs you would come across when dealing with these succulents.

You could see them jumping from other infested plants for these plants. To get rid of them, you need to arrange a cotton ball with alcohol and apply them on the inserts.

Instead of that, you may even use a spray with diluted alcohol on the mealybugs.

Make sure you leave the plant to dry and then plant it in a new pot whilst adding fresh soil. Avoid using the previously used soil for this and best is to dispose of them.  

Can I get a new Bear’s paw plant from fallen leaves?

You cannot get new plants from the fallen leaved of bear paw succulent. In other words, you cannot propagate the bear paw succulents from leaves.

If you wish to propagate , best is to use the stem cutting method. 

Cotyledon Tomentosa Leaves Falling Off 5

Related question

Is it normal for succulent leaves to fall off?

It is normal for succulent leaves to fall as most of them are adjusted to grow in hot, arid areas where they are exposed to heat for a longer time.

As such there are some succulents which tend to drop the leaves in response to that as indication of heat stress. This is quite normal for succulents.

However, it is always best to protect them from those heated conditions while providing them shade.

Do succulent leaves grow back after falling off?

They do not  regrow the succulents leaves which they drop.  When a leaf falls off from a tree, it is not possible for a new leaf to grow in the same place.

How do you save Bear Paw succulents?

You consider repotting them as that would help to save the plant. Moreover, make sure that you provide adequate sunlight and water them as appropriate without over watering them.

Once you adhere to these, your plant will flourish.

What to do with succulent leaves that fall off?

You could use the succulent leaves mainly for propagation. 

Credit to: wildfern
Read Next: How Long Can Succulents Survive in a Box? | 9 Care Tips |
About author

I’m Dr. Chamika, As a hobby love talking about plants and showing you that taking care of indoor plants. My website is knowledge I’ve learned over the years and continue to learn about growing succulents. If you’re a succulent lover, then you have come to the correct place.