Dolphin Succulent Care
Wed, Oct 27, 2021

String of Dolphins Plant: Growing Conditions for an Unusual Plant

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String of Dolphins Plant: Growing Conditions for an Unusual Plant Article Preview
String of Dolphins Plant

Modern plant breeders would never cease to amaze with their ability to create real miracles. One of these miracles that shocked the market for lovers of succulents, rarities, and in general everything unusual is Senecio Peregrinus or better known as String of Dolphins.

According to modern classification, this cultivar belongs to the Asteraceae family.

Dolphins-succulents are miniature (about 4 inches in height), evergreen, perennial plants, with thin, creeping, erect or drooping, cylindrical, highly branched, green or dark green stems.

Large, fleshy, glossy, almost sessile leaves are arranged in regular order. In shape, they resemble the outlines of a dolphin during a jump (for which the plant itself got its name), which, for unknown reasons, tightly adhered to the green shoots of the succulent with its tail. The leaf plate has a curved, lunate shape, with a pointed apex, a sharp base, a solid edge, and a small, pointed spine on the convex part of the leaf. The color of the leaves is usually emerald green or dark green.

During the flowering period on Dolphin Plant, small, tubular flowers appear, collected in small inflorescences-baskets. They are located singly on top of young shoots and bloom for about 3-4 weeks. The color of the String of Dolphin flowers is usually white or yellow.

Let’s take a closer look at how to care for a string of dolphins.

Dolphin Succulent Care

Senecio Peregrinus can be safely attributed to plants that do not require thorough care. Their leaves can hold water, and due to this ability, the plant can be classified as drought tolerant. They also reproduce quite easily and do not need frequent fertilization. But there are still a couple of aspects that you must pay attention to if you want to grow a healthy and beautiful plant.

Dolphin Succulent Care

Lighting

A String of Dolphin succulent prefers bright light but you need to protect it from direct sunlight. For the plant to receive enough light, you can place it near a window facing west or east. Bright sunlight, such as from a south-facing window, can produce yellow, scorched leaves. In addition, growing the plant in the shade or with a lack of light can be fraught with sparse sluggish foliage.

Like all succulents, plenty of sunlight contributes to the rapid growth and healthy appearance of the green foliage of Dolphin succulents. Ideally, these plants require at least 6 hours of bright sunshine a day.

If you are growing the plant by the south window, be aware that direct sunlight can cause leaf burns. Make sure the plant is at a safe distance from the window. Plus, you can get the right lighting conditions by placing your dolphin-shaped succulent behind a sheer curtain.

Low light is not good for growing this cute plant. Thus, you should avoid growing them in dimly lit rooms or darkened corners. Due to the lack of light, the hanging vines of the Dolphin plant stretch out towards the light, which gives it an untidy appearance.

Temperature and Humidity

The Dolphin succulent feels great indoors at average room temperature. Although these plants are not hardy, they prefer cooler temperatures than most other succulents. They can withstand winter temperatures up to 40 °F (4 °C) with dignity.

When grown indoors, the plants do not require additional moisture. It prefers dry air that is typical of most succulents. Ideal conditions for Dolphins succulents are when indoor humidity is below 50%.

The Soil

Dolphin succulents should only be grown in loose, well-drained soil. To do this yourself, you can mix regular potting soil with perlite in a 1:2 ratio. Or you can buy a ready-to-use potting mix for cacti. The decisive factor is that the water must drain quickly through the soil.

A String of Dolphins Propagation

The worst thing that can happen to the dolphin succulents is if the plant ends up in waterlogged soil. The poor drainage or dense clay traps too much moisture. Such soil causes the rotting of the roots. Moreover, it can be the reason why the leaves turn brown and are soft.

Watering

In the warm season, the String of Dolphins plant is watered as the topsoil dries out. Succulent leaves would surely tell you if the plant lacks moisture. With poor watering, the leaves of the String of Dolphins begin to shrivel, and this is a sign that the flower should be watered as soon as possible.

The optimal watering regime in summer is 1 time in 7 days. In winter, when the plant hibernates, the soil in the pot can be moistened no more than once a month. In general, Dolphin succulents easily tolerate short dry periods and would not die if the owner is late with watering.

Fertilizers

To be honest, feeding is not a very important aspect in a String of Dolphins plant care. The Dolphin succulent plant does not require regular feeding, moreover, excessive fertilization can even harm it and lead to the fact that the leaves can lose their iconic shape. It is best to lightly feed in early spring using organic fertilizers such as liquid algae, compost, or fish emulsion. Such treatments can help stimulate flowering and improve succulent growth.

A String of Dolphins Propagation

Is the String of Dolphins Toxic

A String of Dolphins can be easily propagated by stem cuttings in water or soil. To do this, take cuttings that have at least 2 or 3 nodes along the stem, as this would provide the best chance of success. You can find nodes where the leaves emerge from the stems and where new roots can grow. At the same time, leafy cuttings may not work at all, because even if they put out roots, then new shoots simply would not appear.

If you want to propagate the String of Dolphin plants in water, then first remove the leaves from the 1-2 lower nodes from the cuttings. This is necessary so that they do not rot in the water. Within a couple of weeks, you can notice the emergence of roots, which means that the cutting can be transferred to the soil.

To propagate a String of Dolphins using soil only, it is enough just to put the cutting on top of the soil. When doing this, make sure that the soil remains moist until roots develop.

Is the String of Dolphins Toxic?

Unfortunately, this cute plant can be dangerous indeed. The String of Dolphins is toxic to cats and dogs and other pets, so make sure your furry friends can’t reach them. What’s more, the String of Dolphin succulents can also be mildly toxic to humans, so keep them out of the reach of children. If you suspect that someone in your family may have accidentally poisoned with this plant, check the following symptoms:

  • stomach ache;
  • skin irritation;
  • weakness;
  • profuse salivation;
  • vomit;
  • liver failure;
  • diarrhea.

If you have these symptoms, we strongly recommend that you visit your doctor.

Why Is My String of Dolphins Flat?

The String of Dolphins growing flat leaves is, perhaps, the most common problem that owners of this cute plant face. Small dolphin-shaped succulent leaves can begin flattening if the plant receives too much water. In the case of a String of Dolphins, underfilling is better than overfilling. The plant can hold out well for some time without water, but waterlogging can ruin the appearance of the succulent or even destroy it. If you notice such an unpleasant phenomenon on your succulents, then postpone watering until the soil is dry.

How to Make a String of Dolphins Fuller?

How to Make a String of Dolphins Fuller

The conditions in which this succulent is grown have a very large impact on the appearance of the plant. Bright and dense foliage is one of the main advantages of the dolphin plant. But why does the foliage sometimes look worn out, sparse and haggard? Most likely, containment conditions were violated somewhere. Make sure the plant is getting enough bright indirect light and not suffering from waterlogging. Also, remember to report the plant periodically as needed (about once every few years), always checking the plant’s roots for signs of disease or stress. And if you want to quickly return the plant to its previous appearance, you can dilute the liquid fertilizer with water in a 1:1 ratio and use it in the summer during the active growing season. The Dolphins succulents are exotic plants that are grown all over the world as unpretentious, decorative deciduous, indoor perennials. They look great both in a regular flower pot and in hanging baskets and planters. Taking care of the Dolphin plant is quite easy, since the plant is not demanding and, under suitable growing conditions, requires a minimum of your participation. Even a beginner in the world of gardening can handle such beautiful plants, so be sure to try growing it yourself! But be aware of its toxicity and keep it out of the reach of children and pets.

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