Senecio peregrinus, the scientific name for the Dolphin Succulent, is a unique and endearing succulent that is distinguished by its trailing vines that bear leaves that resemble dolphins leaping. Because of its whimsical appearance, this delightful plant has become popular and is now a favorite among succulent enthusiasts. The leaves have a fascinating form that makes them look like tiny dolphins in mid-leap, which gives them a charming and whimsical appearance. Because of its ease of maintenance, the Dolphin Succulent is a great option for both novice and seasoned gardeners. This succulent can flourish and add a whimsical touch to any indoor succulent collection if the right care is given to its light, water, and soil requirements.
Scientific Name: Senecio peregrinus
Common Name: String of Dolphins
Other Names: Dolphin plant, flying dolphins, the dolphin necklace
Why is it called so?
– Senecio peregrinus, also known as the String of Dolphins, gets its name from its unusual leaves, which have a dolphin-like leaping motion. The leaves are elongated and curved, giving them a whimsical and playful appearance. Their unique shape resembles a pod of dolphins mid-leap. Because of this distinctive quality, this succulent is also known as “String of Dolphins,” since its trailing vines frequently give the impression that a string of dolphins is leaping and cascading down the pot or hanging basket.
The Dolphin succulent is a cultivated hybrid succulent, and as such, it doesn’t have a specific natural origin place in the wild. This succulent is a product of human cultivation and hybridization, likely created by enthusiasts or growers through selective breeding.
Preferred for Foliage or Flowers?
– The String of Dolphins (Senecio peregrinus) is primarily preferred for its foliage. The charm of this succulent lies in the unique shape of its leaves, which resemble leaping dolphins. While it may produce small, inconspicuous flowers under the right conditions, the main ornamental appeal comes from the playful arrangement of its dolphin-like leaves along trailing vines. As such, it is primarily cultivated and appreciated for its distinctive foliage rather than its flowers.
Is it Rare?
-The Dolphin Succulent was not considered rare in cultivation. However, plant availability can vary based on geographic location, demand, and local nurseries. Since trends in plant popularity and availability can change, it’s advisable to check with local nurseries, plant shops, or online sellers for the most up-to-date information on the availability and rarity of the String of Dolphins in your specific area.
General Distribution Area
-The String of Dolphins, is a hybrid succulent that is grown and lacks a specific natural distribution area. The String of Dolphins, which is frequently grown in gardens, homes, and nurseries across the world, is a result of human cultivation and hybridization, in contrast to many other plants that can be found growing in the wild.
Where to Grow – Indoor or Outdoors?
– Senecio peregrinus, is a hardy species that can survive both indoors and outdoors. It is typically grown indoors as a succulent, where it can be situated in areas with indirect sunlight and good lighting. It’s a great option for hanging baskets or decorative containers because of its trailing vines. It can also be grown outdoors in milder climates, but it needs to be shielded from strong sunlight and extremely cold temperatures. The secret to its successful cultivation, whether indoors or out, is to provide well-draining soil and to closely monitor watering practices.
Growing Places in Home
– The String of Dolphins thrives in various locations within a house, provided it receives the right conditions. It does well in areas with bright, indirect sunlight. Popular growing places include hanging baskets near windows, shelves receiving filtered sunlight, or placed as a trailing feature in decorative containers. Indoors, it’s crucial to avoid placing it in direct, intense sunlight, as this can lead to leaf burn. The plant’s trailing nature makes it suitable for locations where it can cascade gracefully, adding a unique aesthetic to spaces such as living rooms, kitchens, or well-lit bedrooms.
– The Dolphin succulent has a moderate growth rate. Under favorable conditions, with proper care and suitable environments, it can produce trailing vines adorned with distinctive dolphin-shaped leaves. The growth rate can be influenced by factors such as light, temperature, watering, and soil conditions.
Height: The succulent typically has a trailing or cascading growth habit, and its height is determined by the length of its trailing vines. In optimal conditions, the vines can extend several feet, creating an attractive hanging or trailing display.
Width: This plant doesn’t spread out extensively in terms of width. Instead, its growth habit is more trailing and cascading. The width of the plant is determined by the spread of its trailing vines, and it can be several inches wide.
– The succulent doesn’t require a large amount of space, making it suitable for smaller containers or hanging baskets. Its trailing vines can gracefully cascade without demanding significant horizontal space. When choosing a pot or container, consider providing enough room for the trailing vines to extend, allowing for an aesthetically pleasing display.
Other Names of Senecio peregrinus
1. The String of Dolphins
2. Dolphin Necklace
3. Dolphin Plant
4. Flying dolphins
5. Dolphin Succulent
Is it Suitable for First-time Plant Owners?
– Yes, the String of Dolphins (Senecio peregrinus) is suitable for first-time plant owners. With its charming dolphin-shaped leaves and low-maintenance care requirements typical of succulents, it’s an excellent choice for beginners. Provide bright, indirect sunlight, allow the soil to dry between waterings, and use well-draining soil. Its adaptable nature and unique appearance make it a delightful addition to any collection, even for those new to plant care.
String of Dolphin Plant Characteristics
1. Roots: The String of Dolphins has a typical succulent root system, characterized by shallow, fibrous roots that store water.
2. Stem: The stems of this succulent are slender and trailing, producing vines that can cascade down containers or hanging baskets.
3. Leaves: The most distinctive feature of this plant is its leaves, which are shaped like leaping dolphins. The leaves are fleshy, curved, and arranged along the trailing stems.
4. Flowers: The String of Dolphins can produce small, inconspicuous flowers under the right conditions. The flowers are typically white or cream and appear at the tips of the stems.
5. Fruits: The plant may develop small, seed-like fruits after flowering. However, the primary ornamental appeal of this succulent comes from its unique foliage rather than its flowers or fruits.
Species: Senecio peregrinus
Dolphin Succulent USDA Growing Zone
The specific USDA Hardiness Zone for the String of Dolphins can depend on the specific growing conditions in your region. However, succulents like the String of Dolphins generally thrive in USDA Hardiness Zones 9-11. In these zones, the temperatures are typically mild and do not drop significantly below freezing.
The General Overview of The String of Dolphins is tabulated below:-
|String of Dolphins
|Dolphin Necklace, Dolphin Plant
|Cultivated hybrid, exact origin unclear
|Is it rare?
|Generally not considered rare
|Cultivated worldwide, no specific natural distribution
|Suitable for both indoors and mild outdoor environments
|Hanging baskets, containers, well-lit indoor areas
|Varies, determined by trailing vines
|Several inches, determined by the spread of trailing vines
|Suitable for smaller containers and hanging baskets
|Suitable for Beginners
|Yes, suitable for first-time plant owners
String of Dolphins vs Bananas
Here’s a comparison between the String of Dolphins (Senecio peregrinus) and the String of Bananas (Senecio radicans) in tabulated form:
|String of Dolphins
|String of Bananas
|Dolphin-shaped leaves with trailing vines
|Banana-shaped leaves with trailing vines
|Smaller leaves, distinct dolphin shape
|Larger leaves, elongated banana shape
|Green leaves with unique markings
|Green leaves with a smoother texture
|Indoor succulent, also suitable outdoors
|Indoor succulent, suitable for hanging
|USDA Zones 9-11
|USDA Zones 9-11
|Low water requirements, avoid overwatering
|Low to moderate water requirements
|Bright, indirect sunlight
|Bright, indirect sunlight
|Suitability for Hanging
|Suitable for hanging baskets
|Well-suited for hanging containers
|Resembles leaping dolphins
|Resembles cascading strings of bananas
|Suitability for Beginners
|Suitable for beginners, low-maintenance
|Suitable for beginners, easy to care for
Is Dolphin Succulent Toxic?
Yes, String of dolphins is poisonous to both humans and pets like Cats and Dogs. So, Proper caution should be taken.
-Humans: Ingesting the plant may cause symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and digestive discomfort.
-Pets: Dogs, cats, and other animals may experience similar symptoms if they consume the plant.
Cause of Toxicity
-The toxicity is attributed to the presence of pyrrolizidine alkaloids, which can have adverse effects on the liver and other organs.
Symptoms of Toxicity
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of appetite
- Drooling (in pets)
Humans: Seek medical attention if the plant is ingested, and contact a poison control center.
Pets: Contact a veterinarian immediately if you suspect your pet has ingested the plant. Provide information on the plant and follow their guidance.
Dolphin Succulent Care
|Bright, indirect sunlight. Avoid prolonged exposure to intense sunlight.
|Average to warm temperatures. Protect from frost.
|Well-draining succulent or cactus mix.
|Allow soil to dry between waterings. Water sparingly, especially in winter. Avoid overwatering.
|Tolerant of normal indoor humidity levels.
|Feed with a balanced, diluted succulent fertilizer during the growing season (spring and summer).
|Potting and Repotting
|Repot if the plant outgrows its container or the soil becomes compacted. Use fresh succulent mix.
|Training and Pruning
|Prune to maintain shape and control size. Trim leggy or damaged stems. Propagate from cuttings if desired.
1. Light Requirement:
The String of Dolphins thrives in bright, indirect sunlight. Place it near a window with filtered sunlight.
Avoid: Prolonged exposure to intense, direct sunlight can lead to leaf burn.
Optimum Range: Keep the plant in average to warm temperatures, ideally between 65°F to 75°F (18°C to 24°C).
Protection: Protect the plant from frost, as it is sensitive to cold temperatures.
PH: The soil should be slightly acidic to neutral (pH 6.0 to 7.0).
Quality: Use a well-draining succulent or cactus mix to prevent waterlogging.
Frequency: Allow the soil to dry out between waterings. Water sparingly, especially in winter.
Methods of Watering:
Misting: Light misting is suitable, especially in dry indoor environments.
Pebble Tray Method: Place the pot on a tray filled with water and pebbles to increase local humidity.
Humidifier: Using a humidifier in the vicinity can provide a consistent humidity level.
The dolphin succulent is tolerant of normal indoor humidity levels. Additional humidity may be beneficial in dry conditions.
Dose: Apply a balanced, diluted succulent fertilizer during the growing season (spring and summer).
Frequency: Feed every 2-4 weeks, following the package instructions.
Avoidance: Refrain from fertilizing in the dormant winter months.
7. Potting and Repotting:
Frequency: Repot when the plant outgrows its current container or if the soil becomes compacted.
Mix: Use a fresh succulent or cactus mix during repotting.
8. Training and Pruning:
Pruning: Trim leggy or damaged stems to maintain the desired shape.
Propagation: Utilize cuttings for propagation, allowing for new plant growth.
String of Dolphin Propagation
A. Stem Cuttings:
1. Select Healthy Cuttings:
Choose a healthy, established stem with at least a couple of inches in length. Ensure it has a few leaves.
2. Prepare the Cutting:
Using clean, sharp scissors or pruning shears, make a clean cut just below a leaf node. This is where roots will emerge.
3. Allow the Cutting to Callus:
Place the cutting in a dry, shaded area for a day or two to allow the cut end to form a callus. This helps prevent rot when planted.
4. Plant the Cutting:
Insert the callused end of the cutting into well-draining succulent or cactus soil. Plant it deep enough to provide stability.
Water the soil lightly after planting to settle it around the cutting. Be cautious not to overwater at this stage.
Place the newly planted cutting in a location with bright, indirect light. Avoid direct sunlight initially.
7. Root Development:
Over the next few weeks, the cutting should develop roots. You can gently tug on the cutting to check for resistance, indicating root development.
Once the cutting has established roots and shows new growth, it can be transplanted into its permanent container or garden.
B. Leaf Cuttings:
Similar to stem cuttings, but using individual leaves. Plant the cut end of a healthy leaf in the soil, and new plants will emerge from the base.
The dolphin succulent can produce offsets or “pups” around the base of the plant. These can be carefully separated and planted as individual plants.
Best Time for Propagation
-Spring and early summer are typically the best times for propagation. During this period, the plant is entering a period of active growth.
Note: String of Dolphins is not commonly propagated from seeds, and grafting is also not a typical method for this succulent.
Dolphin Succulent Price
In the USA, a small to medium-sized String of Dolphins plant may range from $5 to $20 or more, depending on factors like size, health, and the seller’s pricing strategy.
Places to Buy
1. Local Nurseries:
Visit local plant nurseries or garden centers. They often carry a variety of succulents, including String of Dolphins.
2. Online Plant Shops:
Explore online plant shops and marketplaces. Many sellers offer a wide range of succulents and provide shipping options.
3. E-commerce Platforms:
Check popular e-commerce platforms like Amazon, Etsy, or specialized plant-selling websites. Ensure the seller has positive reviews and a reputation for quality plants.
4. Plant Shows or Farmers’ Markets:
Attend local plant shows, farmers’ markets, or plant swap events. These can be excellent places to find unique succulents.
Common problems, disorders, pests, and diseases that may affect String of Dolphins include:
·Symptoms: Root rot, yellowing leaves.
·Prevention: Allow the soil to dry between waterings.
·Symptoms: Wrinkled or shriveled leaves.
·Prevention: Water the plant when the topsoil is dry.
·Symptoms: White, cotton-like masses on stems.
·Treatment: Remove with a cotton swab dipped in alcohol.
4. Spider Mites:
·Symptoms: Fine webbing, and stippling on leaves.
·Treatment: Use insecticidal soap or neem oil.
5. Scale Insects:
·Symptoms: Brown, waxy bumps on stems.
·Treatment: Remove manually or use insecticidal soap.
6. Fungus Gnats:
·Symptoms: Presence of small, flying insects.
·Prevention: Allow the soil to dry between waterings; use yellow sticky traps.
7. Leaf Drop:
·Causes: Overwatering, underwatering, environmental stress.
·Prevention: Maintain proper watering and care practices.
·Symptoms: Brown or white patches on leaves.
·Prevention: Gradually acclimate the plant to direct sunlight.
·Symptoms: Rot, wilting, discoloration.
·Prevention: Ensure well-draining soil and avoid overwatering.
10. Poor Soil Drainage:
·Symptoms: Root rot, yellowing leaves.
·Prevention: Use well-draining succulent or cactus soil.
String of Dolphins Plant Dying
If your String of Dolphins plant is dying, check the soil moisture—overwatering may cause root rot. Ensure it receives bright, indirect light, as too much direct sunlight can lead to stress. Inspect for pests like mealybugs or spider mites. If the soil is consistently wet, allow it to dry between waterings. Prune any damaged or rotting parts and repot in well-draining soil. Consider adjusting its placement to maintain optimal temperature conditions. If the plant continues to decline, propagating healthy parts may be a solution. Always tailor care to the plant’s specific needs and conditions.
Pros and Cons
|Unique and Attractive Foliage
|Susceptible to Overwatering
|Prone to Sunburn in Direct Sunlight
|Suitable for Hanging Baskets
|Vulnerable to Pests like Mealybugs
|Requires Well-Draining Soil
|Easy to Propagate
|Sensitive to Cold Temperatures
|Adds Charm to Indoor Spaces
|Potential for Leggy Growth
|Ideal for Succulent Collections
|May Drop Leaves Under Stressful Conditions
The Dolphin succulent is a captivating succulent with unique trailing vines resembling leaping dolphins. While its charming appearance adds flair to indoor spaces, maintaining its well-draining soil and providing proper light is essential. Watch for signs of overwatering and protect from harsh sunlight. With its easy propagation and low-maintenance nature, the String of Dolphins can be a delightful addition to your succulent collection, bringing joy with its whimsical form and cascading foliage. Adapt care to its preferences for a thriving, marine-inspired succulent experience.
1. How do you care for a dolphin succulent?
To care for a String of Dolphins succulent, provide bright, indirect light, avoiding harsh sun exposure. Plant it in well-draining soil and water sparingly, allowing the soil to dry between watering sessions. Protect from frost and cold temperatures. Regularly inspect for pests, and prune leggy or damaged stems. Propagate easily through cuttings. Maintain a warm, humid environment for optimal growth. Adjust care based on specific conditions and watch for signs of overwatering. With proper attention to these factors, your String of Dolphins will thrive and display its charming cascading vines reminiscent of leaping dolphins.
2. What is the real name of the dolphin succulent?
The real name of the dolphin succulent is Senecio peregrinus. Also known as the String of Dolphins, this unique succulent earned its name due to the distinctive shape of its trailing stems, resembling leaping dolphins. Senecio peregrinus is a member of the Asteraceae family and shares characteristics with other trailing succulents like Senecio rowleyanus (String of Pearls). Known for its charming and whimsical appearance, the String of Dolphins is a popular choice among succulent enthusiasts, adding a touch of marine-inspired elegance to indoor or outdoor gardens.
3. Are dolphin succulents real?
Yes, dolphin succulents, scientifically known as Senecio peregrinus or String of Dolphins, are indeed real. These unique succulents are characterized by trailing stems that resemble leaping dolphins, hence their common name. Native to South Africa, they belong to the Asteraceae family. The captivating and whimsical appearance of the dolphin succulent has made it a popular choice among plant enthusiasts. With proper care, these real and charming succulents thrive, adding a touch of playful elegance to indoor and outdoor gardens alike.
4. Do dolphin succulents flower?
Yes, dolphin succulents can produce small, white, tubular flowers. The flowering period typically occurs during the spring and summer months. While the primary attraction of the dolphin succulent is its unique trailing stems that resemble leaping dolphins, the delicate blooms add an additional touch of beauty to the plant. However, not all dolphin succulents may flower indoors, as blooming can be influenced by various factors such as age, environmental conditions, and care practices.
5. Where should I put my string of dolphins?
Place your String of Dolphins in a location with bright, indirect light. Avoid direct sunlight, especially during hot periods. Indoors, near a window with filtered sunlight is ideal. Ensure well-draining soil, and let the soil dry between waterings. Protect from frost and maintain a warm, humid environment for optimal growth. Adjust its placement based on its specific light preferences, and watch for signs of overwatering.
6. Do string of dolphins need a lot of water?
No, the String of Dolphins does not need a lot of water. It prefers to be watered sparingly, allowing the soil to dry out between watering sessions. Overwatering can lead to root rot, so it’s crucial to maintain well-draining soil and adopt a cautious watering approach. Adjust the watering frequency based on the specific conditions of your plant and environment, and always prioritize a dry soil regimen to promote the health and vitality of your String of Dolphins succulent.