You’ve probably never heard of these succulents. That’s because they’re rare and not commonly available in nurseries and stores.
But, if you look hard enough, your efforts will pay off.
That’s because the dolphin plant is a lovely looking trailing succulent with interesting looking foliage. Thus, making them an amazing addition to any succulent grower’s collection.
In case you’re wondering, here’s all you need to know about this plant.
About the Dolphin Plant
source: Flying Garden
Dolphin plants are a rare variety of succulents. But, if you can find them, you’ll definitely enjoy adding these interesting plants to your collection.
While you won’t find these in your local garden centers, you may want to check out specialty growers or succulent stores online which carry them.
Dolphin plants get their name from their beautifully shaped leaves that resemble the fun-loving creatures of the sea. And, during the fall when they produce their white blossoms, the flowers will fill the air with the aroma of cinnamon.
Dolphin plants are actually a cross between the hot dog cactus and the string of pearls. And, by looking at it, you can surmise that it inherited its trailing nature from the latter and its uniquely-shaped leaves from the former.
They grow up to 3 feet long spreading outward as they mature. And, they’re relatively fast growers with some stems growing anywhere from 12 to 18 inches in a year. This makes them ideal for hanging baskets, tall containers, or just sprawling on the ground.
Dolphin Plant Care
Dolphin plants do best with bright, indirect sunlight. But, their leaf windows allow them to tolerate conditions that have slightly less light. As such, they don’t have a problem as long as they receive full sun to part shade. This gives you more leeway with them compared to other succulents.
But, it’s important to keep in mind to keep them away from direct sunlight. Doing so, in combination with full sun can cause their leaves to scorch.
This means that indoors, the best place to put them is near a window. If you don’t have a spot that gets enough bright light, you can likewise supplement with grow lights.
Outdoors, they’re better off getting partial shade.
Temperature & Humidity
As with other succulents, the dolphin plant is accustomed to warm weather. And, it has evolved such that it isn’t hardy to cold weather. As such, it thrives in zones 7 to 11.
Ideally, it does best when the temperature is between 70 and 75 degrees. But, it generally does well as long as you keep the temp between 50 and 80 degrees.
In the winter, it will only be able to survive if temperatures stay between 30 and 50 degrees. Any colder than that, you’ll need to bring them indoors to avoid damaging the plant.
Similarly, these plants are used to dry conditions. And, they’re drought tolerant as well.
But, unlike most succulents, they need more frequent watering. Getting enough moisture allows them to maintain the suppleness of their leaves. It then uses its stems to store water to withstand dry periods.
This makes it more important for you to find the balance between too little and too much water. Although, between the two, erring on the side of dryness is safer. That’s because the worst thing you can do is overwater your dolphin plant.
The best way to water these succulents is to use the soak and dry method. That is, water them thoroughly until you see the water start coming out of the drainage holes at the bottom. Then, wait for the soil to dry before watering again.
In most indoor home conditions, this comes out to around once a week.
In addition to not overwatering, using well-draining soil is key to healthy dolphin plants. Also, use pots that have drainage holes at the bottom to allow excess moisture to escape. Altogether, this will help prevent situations where it will sit in water.
A good succulent potting mix works really well. Or, you can also amend the soil you already have with perlite and coarse sand to speed up the draining. Because dolphin plants do need more water than your regular succulent, adding peat moss helps retain more moisture for them as well.
One interesting thing to note is that dolphin plants like crowded spaces. As such, choose a container that’s just slightly bigger than the plant. And, keep it together with other plants.
source: Flying Garden
Just like watering, it is important not to overfertilize your dolphin plant. This can be very tempting to do since most people think that more fertilizer is good.
But, this lovely succulent only needs very little supplementation. So, you only need to feed it twice a year, once during the start of springtime. And, when it starts blooming.
You can use time-release pellets for this purpose.
As with feeding, you don’t need to do a lot of pruning with this succulent. The only time you will need to do so it to keep them looking lovely.
Dolphin plants are generally fast-growing. And, because of the weight of the dolphin-shaped leaves, their stems will start trailing downwards once they get longer. Thus, after they reach 6 inches they won’t be able to stay upright.
And, if you want them to maintain that look, you’ll need to trim them back to do so.
Dolphin plants are best propagated by stem cuttings.
Here’s how to do it.
- Before doing any cutting, prepare the container by adding a succulent mix to it.
- Then, water the soil.
- Now, it’s time to choose the stems to cut. You want those that are about 4-6 inches long. And, pick those that have a few leaves on them.
- Once you have the cuttings, lay them on the soil. Use a succulent potting mix.
- Place them under bright, indirect, or filtered light. And, in a warm place where the temperature is at least 60 degrees.
- Mist every other day.
- Between 2-4 weeks, they should start taking root.
When it comes to moving the plant from its current container, the only time you’ll need to do so is when it outgrows the pot.
But, because it likes to stay in crowded conditions, it’s a good idea to move it to a container that’s just larger than the plant. And, not something much bigger.