If you’re a newbie to the plant world or have a busy life and forget about your plants sometimes, succulents are your best bet. Those plants don’t mind a bit of neglect, as they’re naturally pretty low maintenance. But, of course, succulents are a brilliant addition for experienced plant lovers, too – they make any home look good!
If you’re starting your succulent collection or want to add to it, I recommend getting yourself a dolphin plant. The indoor plant is a hybrid of a string of pearls and a candle plant. This succulent doesn’t look like your average cacti – it has long-hanging tendrils that make it a good choice for hanging baskets.
A fair warning – once you get your hands on one dolphin plant, it’s hard to limit yourself to just one. But the good news is that propagating the plant is simple!
How to propagate a Dolphin Plant?
It’s not uncommon for plants to get their names from their appearance. For example, the pickle plant is called the way it is because of its pickle-shaped leaves. A string of dolphins, or dolphin plant, is another plant with its name inspired by its looks. The adorable plant carries leaves that look like diving dolphins!
When it comes to propagating this plant, the process is very straightforward and doesn’t require much of your energy. There are two methods you could use for cloning your string of dolphins. Either propagate it from its leaves or stem cuttings.
Dolphin Plant propagation from stem cuttings
Using stem cuttings is the preferred propagation technique for many beginner and seasoned gardeners. If you’ve ever used this method for propagating any of your house plants, then you more or less know the drill of it. But if this is your first time doing it, here is a step-by-step guide to propagating a string of dolphins succulent from cuttings.
- Locate a healthy stem on the parent plant. With the help of a sharp, sterile knife, cut it. Pay attention to the nodes on the cutting – there should be at least a couple!
- For a higher chance of success, let your cutting callous over before starting the rooting process. Leave your cutting in a dry place and allow it to get indirect sunlight.
Propagating String of Dolphins cuttings in soil
Once your cutting has formed a callus over the cut end, it’s ready to be planted in the soil!
- Don’t forget to leave the bottom leaves from the cutting before planting it in your soil mix.
- Optional. Dip the bottom of the stem cutting into a rooting hormone. There is no need to worry if you don’t have any available – the plant can root without it. It might just take a bit longer.
- Fill a pot with potting mix. A cactus or succulent potting soil suits the string of dolphins greatly. If you opt for a different type of soil, ensure it’s well-draining. And always use pots with drainage holes to avoid a buildup of excess water that could lead to root rot.
- Plant your stem cutting.
- Give the cutting a light watering and move it in indirect sunlight. While mature dolphin plants can handle direct sunlight, cuttings are more vulnerable. Keep watering the plant when needed – let the soil dry in between the waterings.
- Repot the plant once it’s developed a proper root system.
Propagating String of Dolphins cuttings in water
Rooting your cuttings in the soil isn’t the only way to go about it. You can use water instead of soil. Water propagation is personally my favorite method for growing new house plants – especially when it comes to slow-growing plants such as dolphin plants. While the stem cuttings develop roots, I keep them in glass jars, and they serve as little decor elements.
- Remove the bottom leaves from the cutting. You want to avoid emerging any leaves in the water.
- Optional. Use a rooting hormone on your cutting before placing it in water.
- Fill a glass jar or a glass with water. Avoid using tap water if possible, and opt for distilled water. You can always boil your tap water and let it cool down.
- Allow the cutting to receive indirect sunlight and change out the water when you see it getting dirty.
- Plant the cutting once it has grown adequate roots. You now have a new indoor plant!
Dolphin Plant propagation from leaf cuttings
Not every plant can be propagated from leaf cuttings, but a string of dolphins can! The process is straightforward and difficult to mess up. Here are the steps to follow.
- Only take leaf cuttings from mature and healthy parent plants. Use a sterilized knife to cut a leaf from the stem – ensure that you make a clean cut and don’t leave any part of the leaf behind.
- Allow the leaf to callus over – leave it in a dry, cool place and avoid harsh sunlight.
- Fill a container with your potting mix – always opt for well-draining soil.
- Place your leaf cuttings on top of the soil – don’t bury them!
- Lightly water the leaves using a misting bottle.
- Avoid harsh sunlight and opt for indirect sunlight instead.
- Pot the plant once it has grown strong roots and leaves. Maintain general care of the plant.
It takes a few weeks up to a month for a string of dolphins to grow roots and for the first leaves to sprout. However, those young roots are delicate and vulnerable. Don’t try to pot the plant as soon as you notice the first roots appearing. Instead, allow time for the root system to strengthen – this could take a few months.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, dolphin plants are toxic to cats. The succulents are also poisonous to other pets and even humans. So, if you have a furry friend or young children at home, ensure that the plant is out of reach for them.
Why is my dolphin plant dying?
There are several reasons why your dolphin plant might be dying, such as insufficient sunlight, cold temperatures, or pests. However, the most common mistake people make is overwatering their dolphin plant.
How often to water a dolphin plant?
Dolphin plants don’t require much care. Watering them once per week during their growth period is good enough – the growing period for those plants is usually spring to early fall.
Can you start a new dolphin plant from a succulent?
You can start a new plant from the dolphin plant you already have! Use stem cuttings or leaf cuttings to propagate a new plant.
How to save a dying string of dolphins plant?
To save a dying dolphin plant, you first have to identify the issue that is causing your plant to die. Once you know the problem, you can help the plant to recover. A lot of the time overwatering is the issue that causes root rot—in this case, letting the soil dry out before the next watering is the best way.