Cotyledon pendens care infographicCotyledon Pendens is an attractive species of succulents that are popular the world over as the ideal houseplant. Many people try propagating this at home but don’t know how they should go about it.

Continue ahead as we tell you the right way to grow and propagate this succulent.

What Is Cotyledon Pendens?

Cotyledon Pendens is a succulent plant native to South Africa and Namibia. They are also called cliff Cotyledons as they tend to live on rocks during summers and retreat into crevices of the same rocks in winters. It derives its name from its pendulum-like growth of leaves.

Its descriptive features can be found below:

  • Cotyledon Pendens has a thick, fleshy stem that can grow up to 18 inches tall. This stem then produces multiple branches.
  • The branches of Cotyledon Pendens are filled with numerous thick leaves. The leaves are fleshy because they are used for storing water.
  • Each leaf is about 1 inch in size and pistachio colored with pointed ends. The edges of each leaf are pinkish or reddish in color.
  • This plant, instead of growing upwards, first spreads across the pot and then hangs downwards. Hence the name “Pendens.”
  • The flowers of Cotyledon Pendens grow on the tips of branches that hang down the pot.
  • The flowering starts around midsummer. The color of its bell-shaped flowers ranges from orange to red and depends upon the amount of light it receives. The more the light, the darker the flowers.

Cotyledon Pendens Care

Caring for Cotyledon varieties can easily be done by beginners who have no prior experience of growing succulents.

Learn some tricks in the section below:

– Light Requirements

  • Cotyledon Pendens succulents are a fun-loving family of plants. You can freely grow them outdoors in a garden or nursery under full sun exposure.

Cotyledon Pendens succulents Light Management

  • Direct sunlight isn’t an absolute requirement, though. This plant needs at least six or more hours of sunlight each day.
  • Even if you choose to grow them indoors, put them near a window to get that much-needed bright light. East or west-facing window is just the right spot for these little beauties.
  • If placed indoors, you will also need to rotate the whole plant around every few days. This is to make sure that all sides of the plant receive an adequately uniform amount of light.
  • What about artificial lights? If you find yourself short of natural light, then you can totally grow Cotyledon Pendens under completely artificial lights such as CFLs. You will just have to increase the duration of light exposure to around twelve hours each day.
  • One common side effect of the cliff Cotyledon not receiving adequate light is that its leaves will start to fall off.

– Water Requirements

The water requirements of this succulent are pretty straightforward. Being succulent, it stores water in its leaves. So you don’t have to worry about watering them very frequently.

  • Cotyledon Pendens should be watered thoroughly each time and then the soil must be allowed to dry completely before it is watered the next time.
  • Always check that your soil is dry before giving water to your succulents. Put a pencil in it gently and then take it out. If it comes out even a bit moist, hold off on watering for a while.
  • Unless you live under extreme weather conditions, we have found that during summertime, it will need to be watered only once every eight to ten days.
  • In the cold winter months, you will need to water them even less: once every fifteen or twenty days should be enough for them.
  • Water thoroughly and make sure that the entire soil gets soaked with it. We always recommend growing succulents in a pot with drainage holes so that excess water can drain off.
  • Overwatering can and will cause root rot. You need to be vigilant about avoiding it.

– Soil Requirements

Every plant comes with its own preferred soil in which it likes to grow. Read on to find out some of the best ones for your Pendens succulents.

The Cliff Cotyledons succulent should be grown in soil that is porous and drains thoroughly. So that water accumulation and the ensuing rot can be avoided.

It should also have organic matter mixed with it which prevents the soil from drying rapidly. Never use weed killers or fertilizers as an organic mixture.

The following is a list of the best soils for Cotyledons varieties that we use frequently in our nurseries and gardens:

  • Cactus potting mix.
  • Succulent potting mix.
  • Perlite.
  • Pumice.
  • Lava rock.
  • Bark Mulch.

All of them are great for your Pendens and we have had equal success with all.

– Temperature Requirements

  • The cliff Cotyledon succulents need moderately warm temperatures for them to realize their ideal growth.

Temperature Adjustment for cliff Cotyledon

  • In summer, keep the temperatures between 30 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit, whereas in winters avoid exposing them to temperatures below zero.


There are several ways you can propagate these succulents at home. They can be propagated using roots offsets, leaves, or seeds.

– Propagation Using Root Offsets

Propagating your Cotyledon plant using root offsets is our favorite method out of them all. It needs a bit of patience but you can do it all by yourself at home using our simple steps given below.

  1. Take an offset from the roots of the parent plant. Cut it using a sterile knife or scissors. You can also use clean hands.
  2. The best time to carry out such an operation is between November and March.
  3. Remove old leaves from it.
  4. Soak it in water for at least 15 minutes.
  5. Take a well-draining and arable potting mixture and plant the offset two inches deep into it.
  6. If you are planting multiple offsets in a single pot, see that there is a distance of at least 1 inch between each one. You don’t want to plant them as close together that their growth is inhibited.
  7. Water weekly at first.
  8. Do not expose yourself to direct sunlight right away. Cotyledon Pendens need to be gradually exposed to higher levels of light.
  9. Next, all you have to do is wait and see till new roots and shoots emerge.

– Propagation Using Seeds

  • This method might seem straightforward enough but we don’t often recommend it due to its fluctuating success rates.
  • Take good quality seeds of cliff Cotyledons and plant them in a potting medium that drains adequately.
  • Provide them under normal bright light that is not too intense and water adequately.
  • New growth should emerge in a few weeks.
  • This method of propagation is best for plants grown outdoors.

– Propagation Using Stem Cuttings

  • Cut a piece of stem at least 3 inches long.
  • Allow this stem cutting to dry and callus.
  • Plant this in a pot with new soil.


No houseplants come without their fair share of problems.

cotyledons suffering from root rot

Continue reading below as we describe some common problems you can encounter while growing Cotyledons Pendens along with their solutions.

– Pests

  • Succulents such as Cotyledons Pendens are prone to infestations by a number of bugs the most common of which is mealybugs. These attack your plant and suck the sap out of them.
  • Once you notice such bugs, you should try to get rid of them by washing your plant with insecticide soap or neem oil. We have found this method to be more effective in most cases than often.
  • Heavy oils like cacti oils can also kill these bugs right away. The only catch is that you will need to apply them directly to the bugs and not to the plant.

– Diseases

  • The most common disease we face with the Cotyledon plant is the dreaded Cotyledon rot, which occurs as a result of overwatering.
  • If you find your cotyledons suffering from root rot, then an aggressive approach is recommended.
  • Cut away all the rotted and damaged plant tissue and remove the surrounding contaminated soil.
  • Next, thoroughly rinse the plant so that all remnants of the infection are washed away.
  • Apply cactus fertiliser. It is quite an effective remedy in such cases.
  • Adjust your waterings carefully from now on and give your plant time to heal. With care and love, it will come around and become healthy again.

– Toxicity

A word of caution for those of you that own pets. Cotyledon’s Pendens is not only toxic if their leaves are ingested by dogs, it is downright poisonous for rabbits and cats.

It produces neurotoxins that cause tremors, seizures and also travel to other organs to affect them. Keep away from pets at all costs.


Is Cotyledon Pendens cold hardy?

Yes, Cotyledon Pendens is cold hardy and can tolerate low temperatures.

What do you do after Cotyledon Pendens bloom?

After Cotyledon Pendens bloom, you can remove the spent flowers and continue to care for the plant as usual.

Should I prune Cotyledon Pendens?

Pruning Cotyledon Pendens is not necessary but can be done to maintain its shape or remove any damaged or overcrowded growth.


Now, that is quite a bit about growing these ornamental succulents at home.

The following is a list of the most important points to be kept in mind.

  • Cotyledon Pendens is a beautiful plant that blooms around midsummer.
  • This plant prefers to grow under full sun. Provide it with at least six hours of bright light each day.
  • Only water once a week or once every two weeks. Never irrigate your plant unless its soil has completely dried up.
  • We always advise succulent owners to use reverse osmosis or filtered water.
  • The best type of soil for Cotyledon varieties is the cactus or succulent mix. You can add pumice or perlite to it for additional drainage.
  • Your Pendens is not frost-hardy. Move them indoors in warmer conditions during winters.
  • You can propagate this plant using seeds, stem cuttings, leaves, or offsets.
  • Always use fresh soil for propagation.
  • Strictly avoid overwatering as this leads to fungal infections of the plant.
  • Cotyledon Pendens are toxic for dogs if ingested. For cats and rabbits, it can prove fatal.
  • Continuously trim and prune your plant to prevent pest infestations under old leaves.

Cotyledon Pendens is a cute succulent species that will look wonderful on your windowsill and gardens. Equipped with the right guide, you can now go ahead and try growing this plant yourself.

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