All You need to know about Variegated Cotyledon Orbiculata

Variegated Cotyledon Orbiculata, also known as the Pig’s Ear Plant, is a popular succulent plant known for its distinctive rounded leaves with variegated patterns of green, yellow, and cream. It is native to South Africa, but is now widely cultivated around the world.

Variegated Cotyledon Orbiculata is a hardy and easy-to-grow plant that prefers bright, indirect sunlight and well-draining soil. It is drought-tolerant and should be watered only when the soil is completely dry. The plant produces small, tubular flowers that range in color from pink to red and bloom in the summer.

How to grow and take care of Variegated Cotyledon Orbiculata?

Variegated Cotyledon Orbiculata, also known as Pig’s Ear or Paddle Plant, is a succulent native to South Africa that can be grown both indoors and outdoors. Here are some tips for growing and caring for this plant:

Light: This plant prefers bright, indirect light. It can tolerate some direct sun, but too much direct sun can cause the leaves to become sunburned. If grown indoors, place near a bright window or use a grow light.

Water: This succulent is drought-tolerant, so it’s important not to overwater it. Water only when the soil is completely dry to the touch. During the growing season (spring and summer), water thoroughly, then allow the soil to dry out before watering again. In the winter, reduce watering to once a month or less.

Soil: Use a well-draining potting mix, such as a cactus or succulent mix, to ensure proper drainage.

Fertilizer: Fertilize once a month during the growing season with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer. Do not fertilize in the winter, when the plant is dormant.

Pruning: Prune any dead or yellowing leaves as needed. This plant can be propagated from stem cuttings, which should be taken during the growing season and allowed to callus over before planting.

Overall, Variegated Cotyledon Orbiculata is a low-maintenance plant that’s easy to care for. Just be sure to provide bright, indirect light, well-draining soil, and infrequent watering, and it should thrive.

What is the lifespan of Variegated Cotyledon Orbiculata?

The lifespan of Variegated Cotyledon Orbiculata can vary greatly depending on growing conditions, but it is generally considered a long-lived succulent. With proper care, it can live for up to 12 years or even longer.

This plant is hardy and can tolerate a range of environmental conditions, but it can be susceptible to root rot if overwatered, so it’s important to be mindful of watering and soil conditions.

By providing bright light, well-draining soil, and minimal water, you can help ensure that your Variegated Cotyledon Orbiculata thrives and has a long lifespan. Regularly inspecting the plant for signs of disease or pests, and addressing any issues promptly, can also help extend its lifespan.

How to water it?

Variegated Cotyledon Orbiculata, like most succulents, does not need frequent watering. Here’s how to water it properly:

  1. Check the soil: Before watering, make sure that the top inch of soil is completely dry to the touch. If it’s still moist, wait another day or two before checking again.
  2. Water thoroughly: When you do water, do so thoroughly, until water starts to drain out of the bottom of the pot. This helps ensure that all parts of the root system get hydrated.
  3. Allow soil to dry: After watering, allow the soil to dry completely before watering again. This helps prevent root rot, which can be a common issue with succulents that are overwatered.
  4. Water less in winter: During the winter, when the plant is dormant, reduce watering to once a month or less.

It’s important to remember that Variegated Cotyledon Orbiculata is a drought-tolerant plant, so it’s better to underwater it than overwater it. Overwatering can lead to root rot, which can be fatal to the plant.

How to prune it?

Pruning Variegated Cotyledon Orbiculata is a simple process that can help keep the plant healthy and looking its best. Here’s how to prune it:

  1. Remove dead or yellow leaves: Remove any dead or yellowing leaves from the plant. This helps keep the plant looking neat and tidy, and also reduces the risk of disease or pests spreading.
  2. Prune leggy growth: If the plant is becoming leggy or spindly, you can prune it back to promote bushier growth. Simply cut back the stem to the desired length, taking care not to remove too much of the plant at once.
  3. Take stem cuttings: If you want to propagate your Variegated Cotyledon Orbiculata, you can take stem cuttings. Cut a stem section that includes a few leaves, allow the cut end to callus over for a few days, and then plant in well-draining soil.

It’s important to use clean, sharp pruning tools when pruning your Variegated Cotyledon Orbiculata. This helps prevent damage to the plant and reduces the risk of disease or pests spreading.

How big does the Variegated Cotyledon Orbiculata grow?

The size of a Variegated Cotyledon Orbiculata can vary depending on growing conditions and the size of the pot it’s in, but it generally grows to be a compact, rosette-forming succulent that can reach up to 10 inches (25 cm) in height and width. In ideal conditions, it can grow to be even larger.

It’s worth noting that this plant is a slow grower, so it may take several years to reach its maximum size. Regular pruning can help control its size and promote bushier growth.

By providing the plant with bright, indirect light, well-draining soil, and minimal water, you can help it grow to its full potential and maintain its compact size.

Which soil is the best for growing it?

Variegated Cotyledon Orbiculata thrives in well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. The best soil for growing this plant should have the following characteristics:

  1. Fast-draining: This plant is susceptible to root rot, so it’s important to use a soil that drains quickly. A commercial cactus or succulent mix, or a mix of regular potting soil and sand, is a good choice.
  2. Loose and airy: The soil should be loose and airy, allowing for adequate aeration and water drainage.
  3. Nutrient-rich: This plant benefits from a soil that is rich in organic matter, such as compost or aged manure. Adding a slow-release fertilizer to the soil at planting time can also help ensure that the plant has the nutrients it needs to thrive.

It’s also important to use a pot with a drainage hole, as this allows excess water to escape and helps prevent root rot.

By using the right soil and providing adequate light, water, and nutrition, you can help your Variegated Cotyledon Orbiculata grow strong and healthy.

Where can I buy it?

Variegated Cotyledon Orbiculata is a popular succulent that can be found at many garden centers, nurseries, and online retailers. Here are a few places you can buy it:

  1. Garden centers and nurseries: Check your local garden center or nursery for availability. This is a great option if you want to see the plant in person before buying it.
  2. Online retailers: There are many online retailers that specialize in succulents and cacti, including Amazon and Etsy. You can also search for local nurseries or plant specialty stores that offer online ordering and shipping.
  3. Plant specialty stores: Some specialty plant stores carry a wide variety of succulents and cacti, including Variegated Cotyledon Orbiculata. Check for stores in your area that specialize in rare or exotic plants.
  4. Online plant forums and groups: Online plant forums and groups are a great place to find rare or hard-to-find plants, including Variegated Cotyledon Orbiculata. You can also connect with other plant enthusiasts who may have cuttings or plants to share.

When buying Variegated Cotyledon Orbiculata, it’s important to look for a healthy plant with no signs of disease or pest damage, and to consider its current growing conditions to make sure it’s a good fit for your home.


In this post, we discussed the care and growth of the Variegated Cotyledon Orbiculata plant. We covered topics such as light requirements, watering, pruning, soil type, and where to buy the plant. This succulent is a slow grower and does best in bright, indirect light, well-draining soil, and minimal water. It can grow to be up to 10 inches tall and wide, and can be pruned to control its size and promote bushier growth. The best soil for this plant is fast-draining, loose and airy, and nutrient-rich. You can find Variegated Cotyledon Orbiculata at garden centers, nurseries, online retailers, and plant specialty stores, as well as online plant forums and groups.

Have a nice day!

Ari Iniesta

Ari Iniesta

Total posts created: 199
Hello fellow succulent enthusiast! My name is Ari Iniesta, and I'm a succulent enthusiast. I was born and raised in a small town in southern Spain, where the warm climate and dry conditions allowed me to develop a love for plants that are able to thrive in harsh environments. As I got older, my interest in succulents only grew stronger. I began to study horticulture and botany, and I even started my own collection of rare and exotic succulents from around the world.

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