Do you remember that plant tweet that went viral a few years back, garnering almost 10,000 retweets? That Twitter post was about a dolphin plant, which took the internet by storm because the leaves look like dolphins. So how do you take care of this peculiar-looking plant? Here is everything you need to know!
What is a Dolphin Plant?
The leaves of the plant look like dolphins, which makes it unique to other plants.
The String of Dolphins (Senecio peregrinus) is a houseplant unlike any other. It’s a hybrid cross between String of Pearls (Senecio rowleyanus) and candle plant (Senecio articulatus),
Other Popular Names
- Flying Dolphins
- Jumping Dolphins
- Hot Dog Cactus
- Dolphin Leaves
- String of Dolphins
- Dolphin Succulent
What Soil Works Best for a Dolphin Plant?
As with many other succulents and cactus family members, the Dolphin Plant thrives best in well-draining soil. You can also use a sand mix, a potting mix, or just regular succulent soil will work. Or, you could make your mix at home, combining two parts potting soil, one part pumice or perlite, and one part sand.
Keep in mind that Dolphin Plants thrive best in soil with a pH balance between 6.5 and 7.5. Feel free to use fertilizer if you want extra assurance, but be careful how much you use.
How Much Fertilizer to Use for a Dolphin Plant?
It doesn’t hurt to fertilize your String of Dolphins once to twice a year. Liquid fertilizer is the best choice owing to its ease of use and application. You can dilute the liquid fertilizer to half-strength and apply it evenly to the topsoil. If you want to use organic fertilizer, consider liquid kelp, worm compost, or fish emulsion.
How Much Sun Does a Dolphin Plant Need?
A string of Dolphins will require about six hours of direct sunlight each day. Of course, you may choose to plant String of Dolphins in the shade of your garden or under indirect light, and that is okay.
However, pay attention to whether the Dolphin Plant gets enough sunlight, especially getting too much light. This plant is susceptible to getting sunburned, so you may even want to consider using a grow light. It helps avoid any problems with the full sun, and partial shade isn’t an option.
What Temperature Works Best for a Dolphin Plant?
The ideal outdoor temperature range for String of Dolphins is 50-70 degrees Fahrenheit. These plants need to move to a different area when the temperature hits below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. The climate should reflect the environment of USDA zones 10-11; sunny, arid, and without humidity.
Do Dolphin Plants Enjoy Humidity?
A dolphin plant does best with average levels of humidity in a home. You don’t need to bring in a humidifier or anything like that to create a more humid environment for this plant.
How Often Should You Water a Dolphin Plant?
Dolphin Plants can be tricky with their water intake, especially during the cooler seasons. With these plants, you should water it once the topsoil has dried out as a general rule of thumb. To better ensure you are properly watering your plant, one way is to follow the soak and dry method.
What Size Do Dolphin Plants Grow to Typically?
If properly taken care of, your dolphin plant can reach up to six inches tall.
What are the Most Common Bugs?
The easiest mistake to make when taking care of Dolphin Plants is to overwater them. Overwatering will lead to root rot and attract the attention of bugs, insects, and fungus. Pests include all the usual suspects: aphids, spider mites, mealybugs, and gnats.
What are the Most Common Diseases?
For root rot, it occurs due to the roots becoming mushy from too much water. Overwatering leads to root decay, followed by the death of your beloved plant. To avoid this, err on the side of caution and always underwater. The string of Dolphins could even have better growth when underwatered!
Can You Repot a Dolphin Plant?
Repotting a dolphin plant is a good idea when the plant becomes too big for the pot. To start, you want to remove the plant from the current pot, remove any excess dirt hanging off the roots, and then transfer the plant into a new pot that is 2 inches bigger in diameter with fresh soil. Once you move the plant into the new home, you can give it water.
Can You Propagate a Dolphin Plant?
The most effective method of propagation is through stem cuttings for a dolphin plant. Here are the steps to take for propagation
- Cut a healthy stem of at least 5″
- Remove the bottom leaves to fully expose the base before setting it out to dry for 48 hours.
- After the drying period, you can plant the cutting in a pot of well-draining soil and give it a good soaking.
- In about three weeks, you should notice roots forming! At this stage, you can repot the String of Dolphins and watch as it grows.
Conclusion – How to Take Care of a Dolphin Plant
In summary, having a dolphin plant in your home can help brighten up any room. Due to its unique look, this plant will stand out from the rest of your plants. Not only does the plant look attractive, but it is also relatively easy to care for in any indoor setting. If you follow the rules above, you shouldn’t have any issues!