String of Dolphins Plant Care | Senecio peregrinus Care Indoors

How to Grow and Care for String of Dolphins Plant (Senecio peregrinus) Indoors


String of Dolphins Plant, Senecio peregrinus

Botanical name: Senecio peregrinus
Synonmy: Curio peregrinus
Family: Asteraceae
Common names: String of Dolphins Plant, Dolphin Necklace, Flying Dolphins Plant, Dolphin Plant

Description

Senecio peregrinus commonly called String of Dolphins Plant, Dolphin Necklace, Flying Dolphins Plant or Dolphin Plant bears pendant thread-like stems on which curvy leaves with two small points grow.

The leaves look like a pod of flying or jumping dolphins and hence the common name "String of Dolphins".

The odd shaped leaves is an adaptation to arid conditions and allows for the storage of water while exposing minimum surface area to the dry desert air which greatly reduces water loss.

String of Dolphins Plant fleshy leaves and stems store water, which allows the plant to go for a considerably long period without being watered.

Each leaf bears a translucent window that runs the length of the leaf which allows light to reach into interior of the leaf where photosynthesis takes place.

Dolphin Necklace pendant stems make it perfect for a hanging basket, a pedestal or a top a table or shelf where the stems can beautifully cascade downwards.

Origin

Senecio peregrinus also called Curio peregrinus is a creeping, perennial, succulent vine and is a hybrid between Senecio rowleyanus (String of Pearls Plant) and Senecio articulatus (Candle Plant). The parents are native to the drier parts of Southwest Africa.

Where to Buy

String of Dolphins Plants in various sizes are readily available online on Etsy. Buy String of Dolphins Plants (Senecio peregrinus) online from Etsy.

String of Dolphins Plant, Senecio peregrinus

Photo Credit: Altman Plants

Senecio peregrinus Care Indoors

String of Dolphins Plant (Senecio peregrinus) thrives in bright light with 4-6 hours direct sunlight, moderate warmth and moderately moist, fertile, well-drained soils coupled with monthly feeding during the growing season.

Curio peregrinus requires pruning to keep the plant neat, to reduce pest and disease infestations and rejuvenate growth. Repotting is only needed when the plant has become root-bound. Keep reading for more on these growing conditions and how to achieve them.

Light Requirements

String of Dolphins Plant grows best in bright light with at least 4-6 hours of morning or late afternoon sunlight. Bright light prevents the plant from becoming leggy.

Rotate the pot regularly to ensure that the plant receives light on all sides for even growth.

Senecio peregrinus can also grow under a grow light where natural light is not sufficient.

Watering

Water String of Dolphins Plant liberally during the growing season while allowing the top 2-3 in. of soil to dry out between waterings to maintain the soil moderately moist.

Decrease watering during the cold period to maintain the soil barely moist but do not allow the soil to dry out completely as it can lead to wilting and leaf drop.

Ensure that the pot has a drainage hole inorder to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead in rotting and eventual death of the plant.


Temperature

Average warmth between 20-270C during the growing season is ideal for String of Dolphins Plant. A room temperature that is comfortable for you is ideal for this plant.

Humidity

String of Dolphins Plant has no need for high humidity. Average room humidity is ideal for the plant. Ensure that there is good air circulation to prevent fungal diseases infestation.

Feeding (Fertilizer)

Feed String of Dolphins Plant monthly during the growing season with a Cactus and Succulents Fertilizer. This plant is not a heavy feeder so take care not to overfeed.

Withhold feeding during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time and feeding at this time can cause fertilizer burn and eventual death of the plant.

Repotting

String of Dolphins Plant has a small root system so frequent repotting is not necessary. Repot the plant at the beginning of the growing season only when it becomes crowded in its current pot.

Use a pot that is only 1 size larger and one that has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to rotting.

Use a shallow pot and be careful not to bury the stems to prevent rotting.

Soil

The best soil for String of Dolphins Plant should be rich in organic matter, loose and free-draining to avoid getting soggy soil. The soil should be loose enough to allow water to drain out fast enough.

Cactus and Succulents soil is ideal as it drains easily. Buy quality Cactus and Succulents Soil for the Flying Dolphins Plant online from Etsy.

Pruning

Pruning String of Dolphins Plant involves removal of any dead Dolphins or stems to keep the plant neat and also discourage pest and disease infestations. Trim the stems if they become too long or straggly to rejuvenate growth.

Propagation

String of Dolphins Plant (Senecio peregrinus) can be propagated at the beginning of the growing season from stem cuttings.

How to propagate String of Dolphins Plant from stem cuttings

Take 3-5 in. of stem cuttings from a healthy String of Dolphins Plant and allow the cuttings to dry (callus) for about 7 days.

Lay the stems on moist free-draining soil and lightly press the stems into the soil at the nodes.

Place the set up in a warm, well-lit place and maintain the soil moist until the stems are rooted.

Allow substancial growth before transplanting the new Dolphins Plant after which you can begin routine care.

String of Dolphins Plant, Senecio peregrinus

Senecio peregrinus Problems Indoors

String of Dolphins Plant (Senecio peregrinus) problems indoors include leaf drop, leggy growth, leaf spots, rotting, plant death, pests and diseases among others. Keep reading for more on these problems and how to fix them.

Sudden leaf drop

There are two possible causes on sudden leaf drop in String of Dolphins Plant. One possible cause of sudden leaf drop is watering with very cold water.

Being a tropical plant where temperatures are warm, watering with too cold water will shock the plant.

Use water that is at room temperature to water the plant to avoid shocking this tropical plant.

The second possible cause of sudden leaf drop in String of Dolphins Plant is underwatering.

Water the Dolphins Plant liberally during the growing season and allow the soil to dry out between waterings to keep it moderately moist.

Cut down on watering in the cold season to maintain the soil slightly moist but never allow the soil ball to dry out completely.

Rotting base, stem collapse

Rotting plant base and stems collapse in String of Dolphins Plant is an indication of basal stem rot disease which is brought about by overwet conditions.

Use the upper healthy stems to propagate new plants and discard the infected parts to reduce spread to the rest of the plant.

Thereafter, water the plant deeply during the growing season while allowing the top 2-3 in. of the soil to dry out between waterings.

Significantly reduce watering during the cold season to maintain the soil barely moist as growth is minimal at this time.

Brown dry spots

Brown dry spots in String of Dolphins Plant are due to underwatering resulting in too little moisture in the soil.

To avoid underwatering, water the Flying Dolphins Plant thoroughly during the growing season while allowing the top 2-3 in. of the soil to dry out between waterings.

Decrease watering significantly in the cold period to maintain the soil barely moist as growth is reduced at this time.

Leggy growth (elongated stems)

Leggy growth (elongated stems) in String of Dolphins plant during the cold season is due to too much water (overwatering) or soggy soil.

Maintain the soil barely moist in the cold period and ensure that the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy.

If leggy growth (elongated stems) in String of Dolphins Plant happens during the growing season, then the cause is too little light.

The Flying Dolphins Plant grows best in bright light with some direct sunlight of at least 4-6 hours.

Too little light will cause the plant to grow weak, elongated stems in an attempt to reach the light source.

Position the Dolphins Plant in a brighter spot and ensure it receives bright light with some direct sunlight of at least 4-6 hours or instal a grow light if the natural light is inadequate.

Also, rotate the pot regularly to ensure that the plant receives light on all sides for uniform growth.

Wilted and discolored leaves

Wilted and discolored leaves in String of Dolphins Plant are caused by overwatering during the cold period. Reduce watering during the cold season and maintain the soil barely moist.

Brown, soft leaf spots

Brown, soft leaf spots in String of Dolphins Plant are an indication of leaf spot disease. Avoid wetting the leaves and improve air circulation to prevent disease infestations. Read more on how to treat leaf spot disease in houseplants.

Diseases

Besides leaf spot disease, String of Dolphins Plant is also attacked by powdery Mildew. Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to other houseplants and treat it appropriately for the diseases.

Pests

The common pests in String of Dolphins Plant are Spider Mites, Mealy Bugs and Scale Insects. Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to other houseplants and treat it appropriately for the pests. Read on how to identify and get rid of pests in houseplants.

Is String of Dolphins Plant toxic?

String of Dolphins Plant (Senecio peregrinus) like other Senecio species is toxic to humans and pets as outlined by The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

If ingested, it can cause drooling, vomiting, diarrhea and lethargy.

Contact with the plant sap may cause skin irritation or skin rash in sensitive skin therefore, always wear gloves when handling the plant.

Keep the Dolphins Necklace Plant away from the reach of children and pets to avoid mishaps.

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