String Of Dolphins (Senecio peregrinus) - How to Care And Propagate a Super Cute Succulent!

String Of Dolphins (Senecio peregrinus) – How To Care And Propagate A Super Cute Succulent!

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Description

String of Dolphins (Senecio peregrinus) is a species of trailing succulents in the Asteraceae family. It’s a charming hybrid of ‘String of pearls’ (Senecio rowleyanus) and ‘Candle plant’ (Senecio articulates). Thanks to its lovely appearance, String of Dolphins quickly became a very trendy houseplant over the past few years. This succulent blooms in late spring with cinnamon-scented little white-pinkish flowers hanging in clusters.

String of Dolphins is an incredible succulent with unique-looking curvy blue-green leaves shaped like jumping dolphins… Its distinctive appearance will give you beach vibes all year long!

String of Dolphins plant looks gorgeous in hanging baskets and vertical gardens that allow its leaves to beautifully cascade. This rare succulent can be hard to find, but worth the effort and will make it a great addition to your collection!

If you want to learn more about how to grow and care for String of Dolphins succulents, keep reading this informative article.

Featured Image Credit @my.planty.addiction

How To Care For String Of Dolphins

String of Dolphins is most commonly grown indoors as a houseplant, although it can also be grown outdoors. However, it is not cold hardy succulent and requires warm weather year-round in order to grow well. This plant tolerates winter temperatures as low as 40° Fahrenheit (or 4° Celsius). If you live in a zone that gets colder than 30° F (-1.1° C), it’s best to plant it in a container that can be brought indoors.

String Of Dolphins Light And Water Requirement
Image Credit @juls.plants

Light And Water Requirements

String of Dolphins will thrive in a location where it can be exposed to plenty of bright and indirect light all day long. Make sure to keep your plant in a bright room, where it can benefit from at least 6 hours a day of indirect sunlight. A sunny south-facing window is a perfect location for this succulent. But avoid direct sunlight that can easily result in sunburn, causing unattractive black spots on its sensitive leaves. If needed, grow lights can be used to provide additional light for your String of dolphins.

As far as watering requirements, String of Dolphins doesn’t require any special watering method but it needs more moisture from spring to the early fall when it’s actively growing than in the winter months. Water every 2-3 weeks during spring to early fall and less frequently during the winter months when your plant goes dormant.

How To Care For String Of Dolphins
Image Credit @pitaplanters

The best way to water Dolphins Plant is by the ‘soak and dry’ method: you want to water the soil until it is completely soaked and wait until it’s totally dried out before watering again (this may depend on your location and container).

Overwatering your succulents can be very damaging: this trailing plant doesn’t need much water and not as often as you might think. This is because its leaves and roots have the ability to store water for surviving in extreme weather conditions, giving them a more swollen or fleshy appearance than other plants, a characteristic known as succulence. When succulents get too much water their leaves, stems, and roots start to swell up and burst, causing unattractive black spots, which ultimately lead to the death of the plant.

Pot And Soil Requirements

If you plan to grow your succulent in a pot, it’s better to choose a terracotta or clay one with drainage holes to reduce the risk of overwatering and consequent root rot. Terracotta or clay pots provide a healthy environment for most plants. The porosity of clay allows air and moisture to penetrate the sides of the pot.

That being said, terracotta pots release moisture faster when it’s hot outside, which means you’ll need to water plants more frequently to prevent soil from drying out.

Succulent plants do not like their roots to remain wet for prolonged periods, so their soil mix should be well-drained.  You can add to a well-draining cactus mix  50% to 70%  of mineral grit such as coarse sand, pumice, or perlite.

If you do need to add some nutrients to the soil, it is best to apply an organic fertilizer at half-strength during the spring and summer months when the plant is usually actively growing.

How To Care For String Of Dolphins
Image Credit @eonasplants

Repotting String Of Dolphins

String of Dolphins are slow-growing plants and only need to be repotted every couple of years, to allow the roots to breathe and to replenish the nutrients in the soil. When choosing a new pot, it’s better to pick one just 1-2 inches (2.5-5 cm) larger: if the pot is too large it will hold too much water, which could be very damaging for the roots of your succulent. This is why I always recommend using a pot with drainage holes.

When transplanting rinse the soil off of the roots and look for any signs of pests or decay. Don’t be afraid to prune roots too (always use clean utensils or shears to reduce the chance of bacterial and fungal diseases) – it’s helpful and encourages new growth. Avoid overwatering: during the repotting process, be careful not to soak the plant in water for too long. You should also avoid watering your plant right after you put it in a new pot. Your beautiful String of Dolphins will get root rot if it’s exposed to too much water during the repotting process.

Pests And Diseases

String of Dolphins tends to be quite a pest and disease-resistant plant, but it can still be harmed occasionally by common houseplant insects, such as mealybugs, aphids, and red spider mites. With early detection and proper treatment, however, the infestation can easily be brought under control. If you notice that your succulent has stopped growing, it is most likely due, unfortunately, to a pest invasion.

Mealybugs

mealybugs cause black spots on succulents

Getting rid of mealybugs can be quite challenging since these pests have a wooly protective cover making them resistant to common pesticides. Treat the infestation as early as possible, when only a few insects are observed to keep the plant healthy and avoid contamination of other plants. With a large infestation, it’s necessary to spray the plants with a 70% rubbing alcohol or isopropyl solution with multiple applications. To completely get rid of these tiny pests it’s necessary to kill and wash off every single one.

Aphids

Aphids cause black spots on succulents

Aphids reproduce very quickly. That means you have to act fast to save your succulent from being devoured by these tiny pests.

It’s good to know that you can easily get rid of aphids by using pyrethrum based sprays. You can spot them by looking at their color: they are usually green, black, brown, and sometimes orange.

If you are dealing with a small colony, it’s easy to kill them with a toothpick and wash off the plant. It’s a good practice to keep the infected plants separate from the others, to prevent your whole garden to get infected.

On the other hand, when dealing with a larger infestation, it’s essential to use pesticides. However, keep in mind that pesticides can kill lots of beneficial insects and pollinators too, so it’s better to use them as a last resort. That’s why it’s best to use the pesticide at night when the good insects aren’t flying.

Red Spider Mites

How To Get Rid Of Red Spider Mites

Red spider mites can be very damaging to your String Of Dolphins. These particular arachnids are tiny, about 1/8th of an inch, and you might need a magnifying glass to actually spot them. They act by forming a web around your plant and sucking the juice from the stem. Unfortunately, they reproduce very quickly and you need to act fast to save your plant from dying.

If your String of Dolphins has been attacked, you will notice a dramatic change in its appearance: it will rapidly start drying out and present yellow or brown discoloration. To treat your infected cactus you can use Neem Oil: it has a strong smell that repels most of the pests. Neem oil is also safe to use as it does not have any effect on humans, birds, or other animals.

How To Propagate String Of Dolphins

String of Dolphins can be easily propagated from stem cuttings in water or in soil.

Stem Cuttings Propagation In Water

How To Propagate String Of Dolphins
Image Credit @indoorplantfamily
  • Using a clean, sharp knife cut a 5 inches (13 cm) healthy and sturdy stem from the mother’s plant. Remove all the bottom leaves from the stem to ensure that the leaves don’t rot.
  •  Place the stem in a jar of water. Within a couple of weeks, you should notice new little roots developing on the stem, at which point it’s time to transfer the cutting into the well-draining soil.

Stem Cuttings Propagation In Soil

How To propagate String Of Dolphins In Soil
Image Credit @berrykinn

Following a few easy steps, you can successfully propagate your plant directly into well-draining soil.

  • Using a clean, sharp knife cut a 5 inches (13 cm) healthy and sturdy stem from the mother’s plant. Remove all the bottom leaves from the stem to ensure that the leaves don’t rot.
  • Place the cutting onto a piece of paper towel and allow it to dry out for a few days until the ‘callus’ ( a soft tissue that forms the cut leading to healing) is formed over the cut surface.
  • When the cutting is nice and dry, dip the end into the rooting hormone (optional) and stick it cut-side down into well-draining moist soil.
  • Keep the container in a bright spot but away from direct sunlight then slowly transfer it to a sunnier spot.
  • To avoid any risk of root rot or other infections, do not water your cuttings right away. Wait for a few days and then water sparingly, only when the soil feels dry to the touch.

Is String Of Dolphins Toxic To Cats And Dogs?

Areb String Of Doplhins toxic to Cats And dogs?
Image Credit @pamstrplants

Unfortunately, the answer is YES. String of Dolphins is toxic to cats, dogs, and other pets so you need to keep your furry friend away from this succulent. Also, ensure to keep your Dolphin Plant out of reach of curious little children as it can also be mildly toxic to humans.

Symptoms of poisoning: Abdominal pain, drooling, skin irritation, weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, liver failure.

Read more about Toxic Succulents Harmful To Dogs, Cats, And Other Pets in this interesting article.

Final Thoughts

Hope you enjoyed reading this article on String Of Dolphins and found it comprehensive and enlightening! If you like, feel free to leave a comment or share your knowledge on this topic in the section below.

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