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How to Grow and Care for a String of Dolphins


For utter charm and whimsy, few plants can beat Senecio 'Hippogriff', also known as Senecio peregrinus. The common name is String of Dolphins and is a very apt description of this adorable succulent. These succulents develop leaves that quite literally look like tiny jumping dolphins. Growing a String of Dolphins as household selections adds a touch of oceanic ambiance, combined with ease of care and unique leaf forms.

The String of Dolphins is a hybrid that brings extra charm to a sea-themed planter. Its unusual leaf form has typical succulent plumpness with low maintenance and few growing issues. The main thing to remember is that the plant is a succulent and requires well-draining soil to thrive. One of the worst offenses is overly wet soil, but do not be fooled, String of Dolphins do like regular moisture.

Succulent plants are often hybridized to create new and amazing forms. This hybrid is not commonly sold, but many collectors have specimens available. The little dolphin leaves branch off of green stems that may reach up to 6 inches (15 cm).

For fans of dolphins, growing a String of Dolphins may be the closest thing they can come to having a pod of these aquatic mammals in their home. The plant is a hit in Japan, where growers marvel at its unusual form and sweet leaping cetaceans. While the plant may be difficult to find in your standard nursery, many specialty growers have it available online. It is a worthy challenge to find one and make it your lovely houseplant.

Grow and Care Dolphin Necklace (Senecio peregrinus)

Photo via

Growing Conditions and General Care

Like all succulents, this plant is tolerant of dryness periods but will need to be kept moist enough to prevent the dolphin leaves from puckering. Choose a well-draining potting medium and use a container that is just a bit larger than the plant. The plant thrives in slightly crowded conditions.

The String of Dolphins may be just another novelty plant, but it is also selective about some of its care. Provide it with bright but indirect light.

The optimum average temperatures are 72 °F (22 °C) during the growing season. The plant will go dormant in winter and requires slightly cooler temps, around 50 to 55 °F (10 to 13 °C).

Allow soil to dry out between watering. On average, the plant needs to be watered once per week in the growing season, but only once per month in the dormant period.

The String of Dolphins care is quite easy. It has few pest or disease issues. Spider mites may be a concern, as are mealybugs in certain climates. Diseases are generally confined to fungal problems, which can be prevented by correct watering, well-draining soil, and a container that releases excess moisture.



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