How to grow and care for Pig's Ear Plant (Cotyledon orbiculata) Indoors

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Pig's Ear Plant, Cotyledon orbiculata

Botanical name: Cotyledon orbiculata
Family: Crassulaceae
Common names: Pig's Ear Plant, Round-leafed Navel-wort, Silver Pig's Ears, Round-leafed Cotyledon

Pig's Ear Plant Description

Pig's Ear Plant also called Round-leafed Navel-wort, Silver Pig's Ears or Round-leafed Cotyledon is a common and easy to grow succulent houseplant.

The shape of the leaf in Pig's Ear Plant has a resemblance to a pig's ear and hence the common name, 'Pig's Ear'.

The leaves are grey-green and are covered with a white powdery substance which helps them to reflect light and allows them to conserve water.

Pig's Ear Plant Size

The Pig's Ear Plant grows to a height of about 4 ft and the leaves are about 5 in. by 3 in.

Pig's Ear Plant Flower

Pig's Ear Plant bears small bell-shaped flowers usually 1.2 in. long which droop from the top of a 24 in. tall stalk. The flowers are usually orange-red but yellow varieties also exist.

Pig's Ear Plant Origin

Pig's Ear Plant (Cotyledon orbiculata) is native to South Africa where it is found growing in rocky outcrops in grassy shrubland and the Karoo region.

Pig's Ear Plant Invasiveness

Pig's Ear Plant (Cotyledon orbiculata) is considered an invasive plant in New Zealand.

Pig's Ear Plant Varieties

A large number of varieties and cultivated forms are available, some of which may resemble Kalanchoe thyrsiflora (Paddle Plant).

Pig's Ear Plant Related Species

Pig's Ear Plant is closely related to Cotyledon undulata (Silver Crown Plant), another Cotyledon plant that is a popular houseplant.

Buy beautiful and healthy Pig's Ear Plant (Cotyledon orbiculata) from Etsy.

Pig's Ear Plant, Cotyledon orbiculata

Pig's Ear Plant (Cotyledon orbiculata) Care Indoors

Pig's Ear Plant (Cotyledon orbiculata) grows best in bright light to full sunlight and moderately moist soil. It requires average warmth and has no need for high humidity.

The best soil for growing Pig's Ear Plant should be loose, free-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. Continue reading for a detailed outline on the best growing conditions for Pig's Ear Plant.

Pig's Ear Plant Light Requirements

Pig's Ear Plant grows best in bright light to full sunlight. It can also grow under a grow light.

Should you choose to take your Pig's Ear Plant outdoors, gradually acclimatize the plant and place it in a shaded place to avoid scorching the leaves. Check out this guide on understanding light for houseplants.

How to Water Pig's Ear Plant

Water Pig's Ear Plant thoroughly during the hot season and allow the top 1-2 in. of soil to dry out between waterings. Water very infrequently in the cold months.

Ensure the pot has a drainage hole and the soil is free-draining to avoid getting soggy soil as it can lead to root-rot and eventual death of your Pig's Ear Plant.

Avoid wetting the leavesof your Pig's Ear Plant as it can lead to rotting. Water from the bottom instead.

Use room temperature water to avoid shocking your Pig's Ear Plant. Read more on how to water houseplants.


Temperature for Pig's Ear Plant

Average warmth temperatures between 16-260C are ideal for Pig's Ear Plant.

The sudden change in temperature between day and night is excellent for your Pig's Ear succulent plant. Check out this guide on understanding temperature for houseplants.

Humidity for Pig's Ear Plant

Average room humidity is adequate for Pig's Ear Plant. Pig's Ear Plant has no need for high humidity.

Fertilizer (Feeding) for Pig's Ear Plant

Feed Pig's Ear Plant monthly during the growing period with a balanced, liquid fertilizer. Withhold feeding in the cold season as Pig's Ear Plant's growth is minimal.

Regularly flush out accumulated salts in the soil by running a stream of water through the soil until the water comes out through the drainage hole. Allow it to run for a few minutes and repeat the process several times. Read more on how to feed houseplants.

How to Repot Pig's Ear Plant

Repot Pig's Ear Plant only when it becomes pot-bound. Use a shallow rather than a deep pot; they have shallow roots. The pot should be only 1 size larger than the current one.

Ensure the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to root-rot and eventual death of your Pig's Ear Plant.

A clay pot is preferable for your Pig's Ear Plant because it is porous and therefore allows the soil to dry out faster.

Soil for Pig's Ear Plant

The best soil for Pig's Ear Plant should be rich in organic matter, loose and free-draining to avoid getting soggy soil. The soil should be loose enough to allow water to drain out fast enough.

Cactus and Succulents soil is ideal for Pig's Ear Plant. Buy quality Cactus and Succulents Soil for your Pig's Ear Plant from Etsy.

How to Prune Pig's Ear Plant

Pruning Pig's Ear Plant requires the removal of dead and diseased leaves to maintain your plant neat and tidy. Remove dead flowers to keep the plant neat and tidy.

Pig's Ear Plant (Cotyledon orbiculata) Propagation

Pig's Ear Plant (Cotyledon orbiculata) can be propagated at the beginning of the growing season from stem cuttings. Below is an outline on Pig's Ear Plant from stem cuttings. Read on.

How to propagate Pig's Ear Plant from stem cuttings

Take a cutting of about 2-4 in. long from your Pig's Ear Plant. Ensure it has at 2 or 3 leaf nodes. Strip off the lower leaves.

Allow the cuttings to dry (callus) for 1-3 days before planting to prevent rotting.

Once callussed, insert the Pig's Ear Plant cutting into moist, cactus and succulents soil.

Ensure the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy soil as it can lead to rotting.

Place the set up in a warm, well lit place and water sparingly, only when the soil is dry.

The Pig's Ear cuttings should root in 3-4 weeks. Allow the new plant to be well established after which you can begin routine care.

Pig's Ear Plant, Cotyledon orbiculata

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Pig's Ear Plant (Cotyledon orbiculata) Problems Indoors

Pig's Ear Plant (Cotyledon orbiculata) problems indoors are caused by cultural faults. Some of these problems include; leaf drop, leaf spots, leggy growth, diseases and pests among others. Continue reading for more on these problems, their remedies and solutions.

Pig's Ear Plant dropping (shedding) leaves

Overwatering or underwatering are the causes of leaf drop in Pig's Ear Plant. Water your Pig's Ear Plant thoroughly during the growing season and allow the top soil to dry out between waterings.

Avoid overwatering your Pig's Ear Plant by ensuring that the pot has a drainage hole and the soil is free-draining.

Significantly reduce watering your Pig's Ear Plant during the cold season. Never allow the soil ball to dry out completely.

Pig's Ear Plant growing tall and weak (leggy)

Leggy Pig's Ear Plant is an indication of inadequate lighting ; your plant is reaching for light therefore it stretches.

You can resolve this issue by moving your Pig's Ear Plant to a sunnier spot or instal a grow light.

Pig's Ear Plant brown soft leaf spots

The cause of brown soft spots in Pig's Ear Plant is leaf spot disease which is enhanced by poor air circulation. Ensure there is free air circulation at all times to reduce disease infestation.

Pig's Ear Plant rotting at the base followed by yellowing and shriveled leaves

Rotting plant base followed by yellowing and shrivelled leaves in Pig's Ear Plant is an indication of basal stem-rot disease which is brought about by overwet conditions.

Avoid overwatering and ensure that the pot has a drainage hole and the soil is free-draining to prevent the soil from getting soggy.

Also, avoid wetting the foliage during watering and ensure that there is free air circulation to reduce disease infestations.

Pig's Ear Plant pests

Pig's Ear Plant pests; mealy bugs and scale insects. Isolate the affected plant to reduce spread to other houseplants.

Is Pig's Ear Plant (Cotyledon orbiculata) toxic

The leaves of Pig's Ear Plant (Cotyledon orbiculata) contain cotyledontoxin which is toxic to sheep, goats, horses, cattle, poultry and dogs.

If Pig's Ear Plant is ingested it causes a condition called cotyledonosis. Keep your Pig's Ear Plant out of the reach of animals.

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