String of Dolphins Care

Have questions about caring for your string of dolphins? We’ve got answers in this article.

String of Dolphins (Senecio peregrinus) is a succulent plant that is a cross between String of Pearls (Senecio Rowleyanus) and Candle Plant (Senecio Articulatus). Its leaves are known for their dolphin-like shape and their long tendrils. They are excellent houseplants that look great in hanging baskets.

Succulents are so very popular these days, and it’s no wonder why this is the case.  There’s a tremendous variety of these cute little plants and they’re effortless to care for.  Many of them can be grown in small pots and take up very little room in your home. If you are new to growing succulents, the small amount of care they need may feel odd at first. After all, aren’t house plants supposed to be a lot of work?  Not succulents.

Care

For a succulents collector, Senecio Peregrinum is a must-have. It’s a bit rare and it might be hard to find, but it’s certainly worth the search. Dolphin Strings need a little more moisture and a little less direct sun than some other succulents, but this very unusual looking plant is still very easy to raise.

Like most succulents, String of Dolphins grows best with benign neglect. They truly need very little care. Requiring long stretches of time between waterings, a little bit of fertilizer now and then, and a sunny location, these are good plants for beginners or people who don’t have a lot of time to fuss over houseplants.

Select a Pot With Drainage Holes

First, be sure the pot you use has drainage holes. We like terracotta pots because the clay helps wick moisture away from the roots.  Use a smallish pot – a pot that is too large will not dry down quickly enough and the roots could rot.

Photo credit to @upleafting_time

Well-Draining Potting Mix

Organic cactus mix by Epsoma that can be found on Amazon

This succulent needs good drainage, so plant String of Dolphins in a well-draining potting mix for cactus and succulents.  Or make your own succulent soil blend by mixing 3 parts potting soil, 2 parts coarse sand, and 1 part perlite.

Indirect Sun

Place your plant in bright, indirect light, but not full sun.  The leaves will lose their dolphin shape if there’s not enough light.  A north or east-facing window is the best spot indoors.

Temperature

These plants prefer indoor temperatures between 65° and 72°F (18° and 22°C).

Photo credit to @the.planted.witch24

Deep But Infrequent Waterings

Allow the soil to dry completely between waterings. String of dolphins would benefit from bottom watering – soak it in the sink or a bucket.  Another way to water is to take the plant to your kitchen sink and let the water run through the pot and out the drainage hole.  Do this twice.   Water once per week during the summer, once a month during the winter (give or take).  Don’t let water sit in the pot saucer.

Balanced Fertilizer

Most succulents need little to no fertilizer, and Senecio peregrinus is no exception.  Once or twice a year during the growing season is all this succulent would need.  There are specialty succulent fertilizers.  You can also use your regular balanced houseplant fertilizer (like 8:8:8 or 10:10:10) at half the recommended rate. A slow-release fertilizer would also work – again, at half the recommended dilution.  Fertilize the soil, but take care not to get it on the plant. 

Don’t overfeed. If you do, the leaves may lose their dolphin shape.  And if you are repotting your succulent in the spring, repot first, then fertilize.

Propagation

It’s easy to make baby succulents, and these plants are no exception. During the growing season, take cuttings from stems are at least 6 inches long.  Allow the cuttings to callus over at the base. This might take a few days. 

Then, using your finger or a chopstick, open a small hole, stick the cutting in and firm the soil around it.  Water well, and that’s it.  New roots start growing quickly – rooting hormone is not needed.

Your new plant may need more frequent waterings until it’s rooted. Watch it carefully, and if the your plants start to shrivel, increase your watering frequency.

You can share the new plants with friends or give them as a gift.  Because who wouldn’t want Senecio peregrinus? Just be careful about buying fake blue plants.

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The Green Pinky

About the author: Carley Miller is a horticultural expert at TheGreenPinky. She previously owned a landscaping business for 25 years and worked at a local garden center for 10 years.

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