Curio x Peregrinus, popularly known as dolphin necklace, string of dolphins or simply dolphin succulent, is a species of succulent plant that has curled leaves on long vines.
Dolphin succulent plants are insanely popular due to their unique appearance and easy maintenance. Here’s how to care for dolphin succulents:
How to Care for Dolphin Succulent Plants
Dolphin succulents are definitely the cutest of the huge variety of succulents available today. The leaves growing off the elegant vines look exactly like a string of dolphins poised to take a dive into the ocean.
If you want to add a dolphin succulent to your home garden, you need to know how to properly care for it. If you have succulents around the house, you already know how easy they are to care for. Dolphin succulents are a tiny bit more finicky and may require more attention.
Light: How Much Sun Does a String of Dolphins Need?
Dolphin succulents have a love-hate relationship with the sun. They need a lot of light, but cannot handle the heat. Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can cause sunburn (yes, plants can get sunburn too!).
South-facing windows are the best spots for dolphin succulents. If you don’t have access to a south-facing window, any shady spot that gets filtered or indirect sunlight will do.
They are not cold-hardy, so you may need to move them outdoors for light in the winters. Dolphin succulents are a ‘soft succulent’—they cannot survive a frost.
Whether your dolphin succulent should stay indoors or outdoors ultimately comes down to the weather in your area.
Water: How Often Do You Water a Dolphin Succulent?
Unlike most succulents, watering a dolphin succulent is fairly simple. Flood the pot with water and let the soil completely dry out between waterings.
During the growing season in the spring, water as often as once a week. Dolphin succulents are dormant during the winters. They need very little water—even once a month is even to see them through until spring arrives.
A dolphin succulent’s watering needs will change depending on the climate. Always monitor your succulent’s behavior and water them according to the weather conditions prevailing in your area.
The leaves of the dolphin succulents are a good indicator of their water levels. If you see dull, droopy leaves, you are underwatering the plant. Signs of overwatering include mushy or yellowing leaves.
If the leaves are lusciously green and look like perky dolphins, congratulations! You are doing a perfect job watering your dolphin succulents.
Soil: What Soil Do They Need?
Choosing the correct soil is very important. If you want a healthy, beautiful dolphin succulent, you need to choose the right soil for it.
Refrain from using regular soil or dirt from your backyard. They may be packed with nutrients but are not the right match for your dolphin succulent.
Succulents need a well-draining cactus soil mix that helps avoid water retention. Dolphin succulents have shallow roots that cannot withstand a lot of moisture. Sitting in water for too long can trigger the rotting of the roots or stem.
Along with the right soil mix, dolphin succulents also need a good draining pot. Choose a pot with a drainage hole for fast drainage. Top the soil mix with pebbles or perlite. This will help solve the water retention problem and also help with the aeration of the soil.
Like most succulents, dolphin succulents also do not mind a crowded or tightly packed pot. Do not choose a very large pot for them as this may delay growth or lead to mold or root rot. Pick a pot only slightly larger than the plant.
How Do You Plant a Dolphin Succulent?
If you have just gotten a dolphin succulent from the nursery, you need to plant it in a pot at home.
Once you’re done choosing an appropriate pot with draining holes at the bottom, line the bottom with a drainage screen. This is to ensure that chunks of soil don’t flow out when the water drains out of the pot. You can also use mesh tape.
Fill the pot with a good succulent potting mix and leave a gap at the top for soil toppings. Take the dolphin succulent and clean out the roots with a brush as well as you can. Avoid washing the roots with water—this can cause root rot later.
Take a shovel and make a hole in the soil. Plant the dolphin succulent in the soil and spread out the roots as much as you can. Top off the soil with pebbles or perlite and pat everything down to make sure the succulent does not budge from its place.
Water the succulent 7-10 days after planting. If the roots get damaged or wounded during planting, this gives them time to heal and develop calluses before watering.
If you take care to use the right soil mix and pot, half the job of caring for the plant is already done. If planted perfectly, dolphin succulents are easy to care for and will grow rapidly.
How Big Does a Dolphin Succulent Get?
Succulents have a comparatively slow rate of growth. However, dolphin succulents are the exception to this rule. They grow very fast in the right conditions.
They maintain the upright dolphin leaves till they reach a length of 6 inches. As they continue growing, the vines start trailing downwards. They can grow as long as 3 feet in ideal conditions.
If you do not like the droopy vines, you can prune them back to maintain their perky appearance. If you like the trailing stems, you can plant them in a hanging pot to get a beautiful view of the vines swinging down from the pot.
You could also place the pot on a high bookshelf, on the edge of a staircase, or even on the edge of a high wall. Thriving dolphin succulents will surely add a touch of elegant beauty to your home and catch the eye of all your guests.