in ,

How to Grow Teddy Bear Plant — Cyanotis

Sharing is caring!

Cyanotis–commonly called teddy bear plant or pussy ears–is a low-growing, compact creeping evergreen plant native to tropical forests in Africa and Asia. It is grown as a houseplant in temperate regions.

Cyanotis grows to about 5 inches (12cm) tall and 12 to 16 inches (30-40cm) wide. The leaves may be oval or triangular; they are dark green above and red beneath. The leaves are covered with short, felted brown hairs.

Cyanotis bears short-lived, shallowly cup-shaped 3-petaled flowers that can be purple, violet, or blue. Flowers appear in summer.

Cyanotis is a genus of about 30 species of low-growing, evergreen perennials. Cyanotis is related to the genus Tradescantia; it is more succulent and has a tolerance for dry conditions.

Get to know Cyanotis 

  • Plant type:  Evergreen perennial
  • Growing zones and range: Zones 13-15
  • Hardiness: Tender
  • Optimal growint temperature:  day, 65° to 70°F (18° to 21°C). Cooler at night.
  • Height and width:  5 to 6 inches (12-15cm) tall, 12 to 16 inches (30-40cm) wide. 
  • Foliage: Lance-shaped to broadly ovate or oblong leaves, dark green above, red beneath, densely covered with short, felted, ginger brown hairs.
  • Flowers:  Shallowly cup-shaped, 3-petaled purple, violet, or blue flowers
  • Bloom time:  Summer
  • Uses:  Houseplant, hanging baskets, in tropical regions plant in an herbaceous bed or border
  • Common name: Pussy ears, teddy bear plant 
  • Botanical name:  Cyanotis
  • Family name:  Commelinaceae
  • Origin:  Rocky areas in Africa and Asia
Cyanotis, commonly called teddy bear plant
Cyanotis, commonly called teddy bear plant

Where to plant Cyanotis 

  • Light outdoors: Full sun with some midday shade.
  • Light indoors: Full sun from eastern or western exposure. Teddy bear plant requires direct light, 
  • Soil outdoors:  Moderatly fertile, well-drained soil.
  • Soil indoors: Use an all-purpose soil mix. 
  • Cyanotis can tolerate dry conditions.

When to plant Cyanotis 

  • Set Cyanotis outdoors  any time of the year in tropical regions.

Planting and spacing Cyanotis 

  • Space  Cyanotis 12 to 16 inches (30-40cm) apart.

How to water and feed Cyanotis 

  • Water: Keep the soil evenly moist; allow the soil to dry moderately between waterings. . Humidity at about 35% is best.
  • Feeding: Fertilizer should be applied once or twice in spring or summer; use a mild liquid fertilizer. 

Cyanotis care  

  •  Established plants rarely need repotting. 
  • Excessive feeding can cause untypical growth.

Growing Cyanotis as a houseplant

  • Cyanotis requires direct light, average temperature, and very high humidity.
  • Do not mist Cyanotis; direct application of moisture can damage the hairy leaves.
  • The soil should be allowed to dry moderately between waterings.
  • Fertilizer should be applied once or twice in spring and summer.

Cyanotis pests and diseases  

  • Cyanotis bear plant can be damaged by aphids and mealybugs. 

Cyanotis propagation  

  • Cyanotis can be propagated by stem cuttings that include at least three pairs of leaves. The cuttings should be planted in an all-purposed soil mix.

Cyanotis varieties to grow  

  • Cyanotis kewensis, teddy bear plant. Trailing plant with gray-green leaves with purple underside; leaf hairs are reddish brown.  
  • C. somaliensis, pussy ears. Shiny green foliage covered with long white hairs.  

Written by Stephen Albert

Stephen Albert is a horticulturist, master gardener, and certified nurseryman who has taught at the University of California for more than 25 years. He holds graduate degrees from the University of California and the University of Iowa. His books include Vegetable Garden Grower’s Guide, Vegetable Garden Almanac & Planner, Tomato Grower’s Answer Book, and Kitchen Garden Grower’s Guide. His Vegetable Garden Grower’s Masterclass is available online. has more than 10 million visitors each year.

How To Grow Tips

How To Grow Tomatoes

How To Grow Peppers

How To Grow Broccoli

How To Grow Carrots

How To Grow Beans

How To Grow Corn

How To Grow Peas

How To Grow Lettuce

How To Grow Cucumbers

How To Grow Zucchini and Summer Squash

How To Grow Onions

How To Grow Potatoes

How to Grow Areca Palm — Chrysalidocarpus

How to Grow ZZ Plant — Zamioculcas