If you want to add some beach vibes to your home, the plants that you have should do the trick — particularly if you add the succulent called ‘string of dolphins.’
A hybrid of the candle plant (Senecio articulates) and the string of pearls (Senecio rowleyanus), the string of dolphins (Senecio peregrinus) is an adorable succulent that is easy to grow but requires a bit more attention and care, considering how difficult it is to find this dolphin plant.
If you are considering adding this succulent to your mix of greenery at home, here’s everything you need to know about the string of dolphins plant.
Meet the String of Dolphins Succulent
String of dolphins is one of the most adorable succulents in existence. This rare succulent is characterized by its long hanging tendrils and iconic dolphin-shaped leaves. While they can bloom, the delicate flowers aren’t the stars of the show; the foliage is. Dolphin plants can grow up to 3 ft. long and six inches tall. They look great in vertical gardens and hanging baskets, or they can be trained to grow upwards on moss poles or trellises, depending on the look that you want.
Strings of dolphins are houseplants since they are often grown indoors. However, you can still grow them outside. Keep in mind that these succulents are not frost-tolerant; they need warm weather to survive outdoors.
How to Care for String of Dolphins
In general, this dolphin succulent is a low-maintenance succulent. Its plump leaves can retain water, which makes them tolerant to droughts. Plus, they don’t need additional maintenance or special care to keep them happy. You can easily propagate them so you can share them with your friends.
Despite its low-maintenance nature, care is still essential in helping your succulent thrive. Here are some notes to keep in mind.
Like most succulents, the string of dolphins needs well-draining and arid soil. You can use commercial succulent/cactus mixes, but you can also make your own mix. All you have to do is combine two parts of potting soil with one part sand and a part of pumice.
As mentioned above, string of dolphin succulents can retain water for a long period. This means they don’t require regular watering.
If you are to water your plant, let the soil dry thoroughly between watering to prevent root rot. Reduce the watering during the winter and fall season.
When grown outdoors, the dolphin plant has a high risk of getting sunburned, especially if you put it in direct sunlight. However, when you grow it as an indoor houseplant, it needs at least six hours of sunlight a day.
If you want to grow the plant indoors, place it near a south-facing window. If it needs more light, use grow lights. If you want to grow the plant outdoors, keep it away from direct sunlight to avoid sunburn.
Humidity and Temperature
The string of dolphins plant can grow well in average household humidity and temperatures, especially when grown indoors. But while these plants cannot tolerate frost, they thrive in cooler temperatures. They can survive winter temperatures as low as four degrees Celsius (40 degrees Fahrenheit).
Potting and Repotting
String of dolphins can tolerate being root-bound, which means you don’t have to regularly repot it. In fact, if you want this succulent to bloom, just keep it slightly root-bound.
However, repotting every few years can refresh the dolphin plant’s medium. When repotting this succulent, increase the pot size and make sure the pot has enough drainage holes to prevent waterlogged soil and root rot. String of dolphins can thrive in terracotta and plastic posts; although, some gardeners prefer the terracotta pots since it absorbs excess moisture from the soil.
How to Propagate String of Dolphins
Leaf propagation is a common propagation method for most succulents, but it isn’t an option for string of dolphins. However, you can propagate your dolphin plant from stem cuttings. All you have to do is:
- Pick a healthy and sturdy stem with plump leaves.
- Use a pair of scissors or a sharp knife to carefully cut below the leaf. The stem should measure around 5” or more.
- Remove the bottom leaves to expose the stem.
- Let the stem dry out for about two days.
- Once the cut stem has calloused, plant it on a good draining soil and water it.
- Place the cutting in a partial shade. Introduce more sunlight in the next one to two weeks.
- Water the stem cutting again once the top soil is dry. Continue watering the cutting in two to three weeks or once it has formed roots.
Common Pests and Diseases
Common houseplant pests like spider mites, scale, mealybugs and aphids are issues for the dolphin plant. These are sap-sucker pests; if left unattended, they can negatively impact your succulent’s health. With early detection and proper treatment, you can easily control these pests.
As for diseases, the string of dolphins plant isn’t prone to any particular disease apart from root rot.
String of Dolphins Plant FAQs
Why are the Leaves of My String of Dolphins Flat?
The dolphin-shaped leaves can lose their shape or flatten out if you are overwatering them. To plump them up, do not water the plant until the soil becomes dry. Once it does, water it again. Eventually, the leaves should regain their iconic dolphin shape.
Why Do String of Dolphins Turn Brown?
If your succulent is browning, you might be underwatering it or overwatering it. When this happens, check the soil and adjust your watering techniques and schedules to prevent further damage.
Why is My String of Dolphins Plant Dying?
Too little or too much watering is one of the common culprits behind a dolphin plant’s death. So, if your plants are overwatered, hold off the watering until the soil dries. However, if your potting is dry and the leaves look shriveled, water up your plant to resurrect it.
String of dolphins is an adorable and beautiful draping succulent. When mixed with the other plants, it can make your yard colorful and interesting. So, if you want some beach vibes at home, get this dolphin plant and care for it properly.