Succulents come in all shapes and sizes, but how many do you know that are shaped like bear paws? The Bear Paw Succulent is a unique succulent with thick, chubby leaves that resemble bear paws. Complete with lobes that resemble toes, the Bear Paw Succulent is the perfect addition to any garden.

Plant Characteristics 

The Bear Paw Succulent is a variety of cactus, though you may not assume so on first appearance.

Bear Paws are evergreen that:

  • Are thick, fleshy, and plump
  • Are shaped like bear paws with toes, hence the name
  • Have grey-green to yellow-green leaves with brown or red tips 
  • Will flower with orange to red flowers under the right conditions in the spring
  • Are low-spreading but grow tall vertically

There are some succulents that are hard to tell apart, but there are almost no succulents that resemble the Bear Paw Succulent. 

Light Requirements

Bear Paw Succulents grow well in bright light or part sun

You’ll see your Bear Paw Succulent thrive on a windowsill with bright light during the day, but if you live in a place where direct sun isn’t common, never fear! Your Bear Paw will still continue growing. 

Water Requirements

Like many other varieties of succulents, Bear Paws require little watering. Bear Paws are in fact drought resistant, so if you forget to water plants, your Bear Paw won’t die quickly. 

Keep in mind that Bear Paws will require well-draining soil, regardless of how often you water your succulent. 

One of the best ways to water a succulent is to submerge the entire plant – pot and all – into a bowl of water. Allow the extra water to run off your Bear Paw Succulent, soil, and the pot. Then you can leave your succulent alone until the next time you need to water it. 

Dunking your succulent in water may feel like you will kill it. As long as you don’t do this too often, it is perfectly safe for your succulents. In fact, this is what some gardeners refer to as “deep watering.”

Bear Paw succulent
Photo Credit: Pavaphon Supanantananont/Shutterstock

Tips For Caring For Bear Paw Succulents

Bear Paw Succulents are relatively easy to care for, but a few tips to help them grow their best are always helpful:

  • Make sure you have a pot that drains; you can put a smaller pot in a larger one to allow for drainage
  • Choose a terracotta pot for your succulent, rather than a glass or plastic one
  • Snip away any leaves that have rotted on your plant to prevent disease or pest infestation
  • Choose a soil that is sandy and gravelly to help with water and root rot 

Are Bear Paw Succulents Rare 

Bear Paw Succulents are highly sought after because of their unique shape, but Bear Paws are also highly rare. 

Bear Paws are native to South Africa, which means that is not the same supply as with other succulents. 

How Tall Do Bear Paws Grow

Bear Paw Succulents grow 6 to 8 inches tall.

Bear Paws do not provide ample ground cover, so it is not recommended that you purchase Bear Paws if you are looking for a succulent that spreads far and wide.

In the same respect, Bear Paws aren’t the lowest growing succulent either, so this succulent will be sure to add vertical visual interest to any garden or planter box. 

Why Are My Bear Paw Succulents Turning Red

Since Bear Paws are evergreen, you might be concerned when you see the tips of the leaves turning red or brown.

This does not mean that your Bear Paw Succulent is dying!

Red or brown tips on your Bear Paw means that your succulent is happy and thriving. You’re doing everything right with water, soil, and sunlight. 

As long as the brown or red tips do not start to dry up, then you should not worry about seeing this additional color on your Bear Paw Succulent. 

Can You Touch Bear Paw Succulents 

Bear Paw Succulents have a velvety texture that is soft to the touch. 

Touching your Bear Paw will not hurt the plant in any way if you want to see what the texture of the leaves are. Since succulents come in so many different shapes and sizes, it is tempting to touch whichever ones you come across – and the Bear Paw is no different!

Bear Paws are hardy plants, but you do want to take care when you touch it. Too much force could knock one or more leaves off the stems. 

Do Bear Paw Succulents Flower

Many succulents flower under proper conditions. While the succulent itself is generally perennial, the flowers on succulents usually come once a year for a short time.

Bear Paw succulents have small, orange flowers that will often appear in spring, depending on the conditions that you keep your Bear Paw in. 

The flowers, though small, are bell-shaped and brightly colored. 

How To Propagate Bear Paw Succulents

Bear Paw Succulents can be propagated through the same process as any other succulent. 

There are two ways that you could propagate a succulent.

The first method, which yields a higher success rate, is to cut a stem off your Bear Paw. For this method, you will:

  • Use a pair of clean, sharp scissors or a knife to cut away a portion of the stem
  • Allow the stem to sit for a few days to callous after being cut
  • Put the stem in water and watch for growth over the next few weeks

If you would rather test your luck, you can also try using a leaf from your Bear Paw to propagate. 

The process will be the same as cutting the stem, but you need to be more careful. You need to cut the entire leaf, not just a portion of a leaf. Cutting only a part of the leaf will cause it to dry out and die before it can be grown into a new Bear Paw. 

Regardless of the method you use to propagate your Bear Paw, you’ll always need to be patient!