Cotyledon: Care At Home, Photos Of Species, Transplanting

Such a small genus as Cotyledon (Cotyledon) is directly related to the Thistle family. According to various sources, this genus includes from 10 to 40 succulent plant species. In the nature they can be found on the Arabian Peninsula, in Ethiopia and South Africa.

The characteristic feature of representatives of this genus is a small size (rarely more than 150 centimeters in height), very fragile rather thick stems, which with time become woody, and juicy fleshy leaves. The opposite leaves are short-cell or cellless, with each successive pair of leaves arranged at 90 degrees to the preceding one.

This plant blooms in summer. At this time rather thick and long flower stalks appear from the top of the stems. They bear loose umbrella-shaped inflorescences. The florets are drooping, and they bear a strong resemblance to bells. There is a pentadal calyx and five-lobed corollas.

There are 10 stamens inside the corolla, but they do not protrude outwardly. Cotyledon blooms quite abundantly and for a long time. When they stop flowering, the bolls will ripen and contain many small brownish globular seeds.

Home care for cotyledon

Cotyledon: care at home, photos of species, transplanting

This plant is not very demanding to care for.


Cotyledon needs bright light with direct rays of sun, so you should prefer a south-facing window to place it.

Also such a flower grows quite normally on windows facing west and east, but in this case it may not bloom.

You can tell that there is not enough light by the elongated stems and crushed leaf plates.

Temperature regime

The plant feels best in summer at a temperature of 18 to 20 degrees. It is worth remembering that at this time it needs very frequent airing. It is best in the warm season to move it outside (in the garden, on the balcony).

In winter, such a succulent plant needs to be cool (from 10 to 15 degrees). If the room will be colder, the plant tends to get sick - its foliage becomes soft and sluggish. Warm wintering is not recommended to the cotyledon because in this case it may not start flowering.

How to water

Cotyledon: care at home, photos of species, transplanting

This plant is accustomed to arid climatic conditions. Because of this, watering is done rather cautiously.

In summer, water only when the substrate has dried out. If the winter is cool, you can not water at all. If it is warm in winter, water in the same way as in summer.

If liquid will systematically stand in the soil, it will contribute to root and leaf rot.

Water with soft water at room temperature and leave it to soak in water.


It will grow and develop well if the air humidity in the city apartment is low. It does not need to increase the humidity in any additional way.

Properties of pruning

It does not need formative pruning. However, systematic pruning of tall plants is recommended to restrain their growth.


Cotyledon: care at home, photos of species, transplanting

Suitable soil should be stony, loose and not rich in nutrients.

To prepare the soil mixture, combine leaf and clay sod soil, fine gravel and coarse sand, taking them in equal proportions. Also a small amount of charcoal and bone meal should be poured into the mixture.

For planting you can also buy ready-made soil for cacti and succulents, but it needs to be poured in broken claydite.


This plant hardly needs any nutrients. So, it only needs 3 or 4 feedings in the spring and fall.

We recommend a special cactus fertiliser. In winter, the feeding stops.

Precautions for transplanting

Since such a flower grows rather slowly and has not a very large root system, it is not necessary to subject it to transplanting often. About the fact that it is worth replanting the plant, will prompt its crown. So, if its diameter has become larger than the diameter of the container, it is worth to make a transplant to a pot of a larger size.

Thus, mature specimens are usually transplanted once every 3 years, and young ones somewhat more often.

Propagation methods

Cotyledon: care at home, photos of species, transplanting

Propagation can be done by cuttings and seeds. Seeds should be sown in spring and the instructions on the package should be followed exactly. The seeds germinate quite well, but it will take some effort to get an adult from the seedlings.

The propagation by cuttings is very easy.

They are planted in moistened river coarse sand. Rooting usually occurs in 4 weeks.

Pests and diseases

The plant may be infested with mealybug. This pest can be removed with absorbent cotton swabs moistened in alcohol. If the infestation is severe, treat with a suitable chemical.

If the cotyledon is in the garden in the summertime, snails may settle on it. So it is better to avoid contact with garden soil or other plants. But rotting can occur if you water too much.

Summer it can shed part of its leaves, which is quite natural.

Caution! Most species, including those that grow indoors, contain strong poisonous substances.

Because of this, you must handle the flower carefully and choose a place for it that is hard to reach for children and animals.

Main species

There are only 4 species of this plant that are particularly popular with florists.

Cotyledon rounded (Cotyledon orbiculata)

Cotyledon: care at home, photos of species, transplanting

This type is most popular with florists. Growing in the wild, this shrub can reach a height of 90-130 centimeters. The entire, smooth leaves are inversely broadly ovate in shape, which can rather be described as rounded-triangular.

Their length varies from 7 to 13 centimeters. On the surface of the leaf blades and shoots there is a dense whitish waxy patina, which causes the non-timbered parts of the bush to have a matte greenish-gray color tint. The edge of the leaf blade is maroon in color. The reddish-orange flowers are quite small, the corolla tube reaching 1-2 centimeters in length. They are placed on a long (up to 60 centimeters long), thick flower stalk colored burgundy.

There are varieties with yellow florets.

Cotyledon undulata (Cotyledon undulata)

Cotyledon: care at home, photos of species, transplanting

This shrub is quite compact, so, its height does not exceed half a meter. The broadly crowned leaves have strongly wavy edges, making them very similar to scallops. The young leaves and stems also have a whitish and rather thick waxy patina on their surface, which gives them a greenish gray color. There are whitish streaks on the surface of the burgundy flower stalk, which can be up to 25 centimeters high.

The flowers vary in color from orange to yellow, with the corolla tube reaching 16-18 millimeters in length.

Cotyledon tomentosa (Cotyledon tomentosa)

Cotyledon: care at home, photos of species, transplanting

This is the smallest of the species, as it can vary in height from 10 to 15 centimeters. This species stands out from most of the others in that it has a thick pubescence on its surface instead of a plaque of wax. The plump, juicy, egg-shaped leaves have claw-like teeth at the top. The leaf blade is 2.

5 centimeters long and 1.2 centimeters wide. The appearance of such a plant influenced the appearance of the second name - "bear's paw". The bell flowers are colored reddish orange.

Lady Smith (Cotyledon Ladismithiensis)

Cotyledon: care at home, photos of species, transplanting

A variety like Cotyledon Lady Smith (Cotyledon Ladismithiensis) is also quite common in culture.

Its distinctive feature is its thicker, silvery pubescence. There is also a very showy variety with mottled foliage.

Cotyledon cacalioides

Cotyledon: care at home, photos of species, transplantingThis shrub is quite short. Thus, its height usually does not exceed 20 centimeters. The linear, cylindrical, greenish-gray leaves are 5-6 centimeters long.

They are part of fairly dense leafy rosettes, which are located on thick, woody trunks. The flowering stem reaches about 30 centimeters in height and bears many orange, yellow or red flowers.


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