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Pigs ear succulent

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pigs ear succulent

Pigs ear succulent/Pig’s ear succulent is a South African perennial succulent shrub belonging to the genus Cotyledon. 

Cotyledon orbiculata, which is the scientific name of Pig’s ear is also called Silver Pig’s ear or Round-leafed navel-wort. The species name orbiculata is a Latin word meaning circle.

The name Pig’s ears are derived from the oval shape of the grey-green leaves of some forms.

This succulent has thick leaves that may vary from green to grey, often with a red line around the margin.

Pig’s ear forms a low shrub and adds color to the winter garden. 

Cotyledon orbiculata, which is hardy to USDA zones 10-12, is an easy-to-grow and fast-growing succulent.


 

It is suitable for several places in the garden. It is an ideal plant for the rockery but also grows well in a container.

It will also add texture and form to the well-drained flower border. You need to provide good drainage if you grow it in Containers. The plants will reach approximately 4 feet in height.

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Cotyledon orbiculata flower

Cotyledon orbiculata flower blooms in June-July and sometimes extends till August. 

Flowers of Pig’s ear succulent are mostly orange-red. You can also find yellow color flowers.

The colorful, hanging, bell-shaped flowers form in clusters on the ends of elongated 2 feet flower stalks. 

orbiculata_var._flanaganii
Image Source: succulentsbox.com

How often to water Pig’s ear succulents

It needs very little water. During the spring and summer, the plants are watered well but are allowed to dry thoroughly between watering.

Fertilizer for Pigs ear succulent

Pigs ear succulents grow very fast. It needs no fertilizer.

You can apply balanced fertilizer only once during the growing season.

The best soil for Pigs’s ear succulent

It needs well-drained soil. You can use a soil mix consisting of 1 part peat moss to 1 part loam to 2 parts sand or perlite.

You can also add small gravel to increase the drainage.

Light and Temperature for Pigs ear succulent

Pigs ear succulents need full sun to light shade. In nature, it grows in full sun and can also grow well in semi-shade under trees.

The plant can tolerate moderate frosts. If planted in an unprotected spot during black-frost, its flowers will get damaged.

Pig’s ear succulent propagation

You can propagate Pig’s ear succulent through cutting and seeds.

Pig’s ear succulent propagation from seed

  • It may be grown from seed, but it is not the easiest propagation method.
  • Spring is the best time to sow the seed.
  • Do not overwater and keep it moist.
  • You can transplant it once the seedling reaches about 2-4 cms.

Pig’s ear succulent propagation from cuttings

  • You can propagate Pig’s ear through cutting in spring which is the easiest propagation method.
  • Make sure that you keep the soil dry to prevent rotting.
  • You can transplant it once the cutting has rooted.

Pests and diseases in Pig’s ear succulent

Pig’s ear succulent is not much bothered by Pests. Sometimes they are by snails in the garden.

Pig’s ear Poisonous

Pig’s ear plants are highly toxic to sheep and goats, but they rarely eat them. It causes Cotyledonosis(intoxication affecting nervous and muscular systems) in them.

It is also poisonous to dogs and cats. This plant contains toxic substance cardiac glycosides (cardenolides or bufadienolides).

Cotyledon orbiculata uses

Its leaves are used in traditional medicine to treat, soften, or remove hard corns, warts, and boils.

To treat bacterial infection and inflammation, toothache, earache, abscesses, skin rashes, epilepsy, and syphilis.

It attracts birds and bees.

COTYLEDON TOMENTOSA BEAR PAW
Image Source: succulentsbox.com

Cotyledon orbiculata varieties

  • Cotyledon adscendens
  • Cotyledon barbeyi
  • Cotyledon campanulata
  • Cotyledon cuneata
  • Cotyledon chrysantha
  • Cotyledon elisae
  • Cotyledon galpinii
  • Cotyledon orbiculata
  • Cotyledon orbiculata var. oblonga ( Macrantha)
  • Cotyledon papilaris
  • Cotyledon pendens
  • Cotyledon tormentosa
  • Cotyledon tormentosa subs ladismithiensis
  • Cotyledon undulata
  • Cotyledon Velutina
  • Cotyledon woodii