A dolphin plant is a unique succulent plant. The plant’s leaves resemble jumping dolphins, giving it a distinct character. It’s a cross between a String of Pearls and a Candle Plant. The plant necessitates specific attention because of its unique properties.
Because of the unusual shape of the leaves, the plant becomes part of the succulent category. The dolphin’s plant’s String is easily identifiable. The plant was popular in Japan during its early stages of development.
The dolphin plant is in high demand as a houseplant in Japan. The lovely dolphin-shaped leaves on the steaming vine are swiftly growing. It resembles the leaping or flying dolphins. However, this leads us to a question, are strings of dolphins plants toxic?
Are Strings of Dolphins Toxic?
The answer is yes. This dolphin plant is deadly. Eating a small amount can be mildly toxic and cause vomiting, skin irritation, nausea, liver failure, abdominal pain, and a loss of appetite. Large-scale consumption must be handled swiftly; seek medical aid for more information.
The dolphin plant is also harmful to dogs, cats, and other pets. You must keep your pet away from this succulent. Keep your Dolphin Plant out of the reach of little children, as it can be somewhat poisonous to people. (Read Pigs Ear Succulent Propagation Guide)
Strings of Dolphins: How To Take Care of It
1. In Terms of Light
The dolphin plant will thrive in a position with enough light that is bright and indirect throughout the day. Put your plant in a room with bright light where it will receive at least 6 hours of indirect sunlight per day. This succulent will thrive in a sunny, south-facing window.
However, keep it out off-peak direct sunlight, which can cause sunburn and unsightly black patches on its delicate leaves. Grow lights can be utilized to offer extra light for your plant if necessary.
The dolphins string does not require any specific watering methods, although it requires moisture starting from spring to early fall while it is actively developing than during the winter months. Water every 2 to 3 weeks from spring to early fall, and less frequently when your plant stays dormant in the winter.
The ‘soak and dry’ approach is the ideal way to water Dolphins Plant: water the soil until it is thoroughly soaked, then wait until it is completely dry before watering the succulent again.
Overwatering succulents can be disastrous: this trailing plant doesn’t require much water, and it doesn’t need it as frequently as you might imagine. This is due to its leaves and roots’ ability to store water to survive in inclement weather, giving them a more bloated or fresh appearance, a trait known as succulence.
When succulents receive too much water, their stems, leaves, and roots bloat and burst, leaving unsightly black blotches and eventually the plant’s demise.
3. Requirements for the Pot and the Soil
If you’re going to grow your strings of dolphins in a pot, consider one made of terracotta pots or clay that has adequate drainage holes to avoid overwatering and root rot. For most plants, clay pots give an environment that is healthy. Clay allows moisture and air to pass through the pot’s sides.
When it’s hot outdoors, clay pots leak moisture faster, so you’ll need to water the plants regularly to avoid dry soil.
Succulents dislike having their roots wet for lengthy periods. Thus their excess soil moisture should be drained. Mineral grit, such as pumice, coarse sand, or perlite, can be added to a well-draining soil cactus mix in the proportions of 50% to 70%.
If you want to add nutrients to the soil, apply a half-strength organic fertilizer throughout the summer and spring months in your soil mix. This is when plants actively grow.
4. Strings of Dolphins Repotting
The string of Dolphins is known to be slow-growing plants that only require repotting every few years to allow the roots to take a breathe and replenish the soil’s nutrients. When choosing a new pot, choose one that’s only 1-2 inches (2.5-5 cm) bigger: a too big pot will store a lot of water, which can be harmful to your succulent’s roots. That is why a pot consisting of drainage holes is always a good idea.
When transplanting, remove the dirt from the roots and inspect them for pests or deterioration. Pruning roots is also beneficial and fosters new development. Avoid overwatering the plant in water for an extended period during the repotting procedure.
You should also refrain from watering your plant immediately after placing it in a new pot. If your lovely String of Dolphins is overwatered during the repotting procedure, it will develop root rot.
5. Diseases And Pests That Can Be Found In Strings of Dolphins
Although the String of Dolphins is generally pest and disease resistant, typical houseplant insects can still be attacked, including aphids, mealybugs, and red spider mites. On the other hand, the infestation can be readily controlled if caught early and treated properly. Unfortunately, if you notice your string of dolphins has stopped growing, it is because of a pest infestation.
Mealybugs are difficult to eradicate because they have a protective covering that makes them resistant to ordinary pesticides. To maintain the plant healthy and minimize contamination of other plants, treat the infestation abruptly, even if only a few insects are visible.
It’s vital to spray the plants with 70 percent rubbing alcohol many times if there’s a massive infestation. It’s vital to destroy and wash each small pests to eliminate them.
Aphids have a high rate of reproduction. That means you’ll have to act quickly to prevent these small bugs from devouring your succulents.
It’s helpful to know that pyrethrum-based insecticides may quickly get rid of aphids. They’re easy to detect because of their color: they’re usually green, brown, black, or orange.
It’s simple to kill a little colony with a toothpick and wash the plant if you’re dealing with a small colony. To prevent your entire garden from becoming sick, keep the infected plants segregated from the others.
On the other hand, pesticides are required when you are dealing with a large number of infected plants. Remember, though, that pesticides can also kill many helpful insects and pollinators, so they should be used as a last option. As a result, it’s preferable to apply the insecticide at night when the beneficial insects aren’t active.
Mites of the Red Spider
Red spider mites can severely harm string Of Dolphins. These arachnids are extremely small, measuring approximately 1/8th of an inch in length, so you need a magnifying glass to see them. They work by creating a spider web in your plant and sucking the stem. Unfortunately, they reproduce rapidly, so you must act immediately to prevent your plant from dying.
If your String of Dolphins has been infected, you will see a significant difference in its appearance: it will begin to dry up quickly and develop yellow or brown stains. You can try using Neem Oil to cure your diseased cactus because it has a strong odor that repels most bugs. Neem oil is known to be non-toxic to humans, birds, and other animals, making it a safe product to use.
6. Humidity and Temperature
When cultivated indoors, a string of dolphins grows well in ordinary house temperatures. Surprisingly, while not frost-tolerant, these plants prefer more excellent conditions than the usual succulent. They can withstand temperatures as low as 40 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter temperatures.
If you live in a chilly climate, you won’t have to be as cautious about placing your plant near cold windows. (Learn How To Propagate Cotyledon Pendens)
The string of dolphins does not require fertilization regularly. Overfertilizing this plant can cause the leaves to drop their distinctive dolphin form. They can, however, benefit from a modest feeding during early spring to encourage growth and blooming.
Experts also recommend using an organic fertilizer such as liquid kelp, worm compost, or fish emulsion.
Problems Associated with a String of Dolphins
1. Lack of Leaves
Excess moisture collecting on the foliage could cause a lack of leaves. Although it is preferable to start watering from the top, the bottom-up method is recommended if you’re a sloppy waterer. Improve growing conditions for specimens with a naked head by utilizing this strategy and improving light levels and air movement.
Take vine cuttings for a bushier appearance in the soil line; for additional information, scroll down under ‘Propagation.’ Finally, always remove rotten waste from the soil since it can harbor bacterial and fungal infections that exacerbate the plant’s decline.
2. Root Rot
It is a typical problem in specimens that have spent too much time in too dark conditions with too much moisture in the soil. All symptoms are rapidly wilting leaves, stunted growth, moldy dirt, and a decaying brown base.
Remove the plant from your pot and examine the health of the roots beneath the compost line. If the sources have a golden tint, you’re okay to go, but if they’re brown and mushy, they need to be handled right away. This link has more information on how to deal with root rot.
3. Failed Vine Cuts
According to gardeners, damage or overly small vines are the most common causes of failed vine cuts. Even though breeding String of Dolphins is relatively simple, many individuals struggle to master it. For more details, scroll down to ‘Propagation.’
4. Overexposure to Sunlight
This causes reddened leaves, which are particularly frequent in the summer. To offset the severe impacts of UV rays, a pigment called ‘Carotenoids’ will modify the appearance of the leaf. Although the specimen will still operate well, it will grow much better and faster in a somewhat shadier place with only a small amount of direct sunlight. Providing an hour of bright light will still help mitigate the effects of environmental shock and mortality.
5. A Gloomy Environment
This may encourage the vines to produce little leaves, creating the appearance of ‘leggy’ or bare growth. The distance between nodes will likewise increase substantially, yielding a lesser amount of energy that can be turned into sortable sugars. To help the specimen with its stored energy, slightly increase the amount of indirect light and give it a gentle supplement.
Propagation of Strings of Dolphins (Vine Cuttings)
Select the healthiest stems from the vine’s terminals; they should be free of damage and completely plump. To reduce transpiration, cut off five inches and take off the older part of the leaves (moisture loss). Coil the vine circular and pin it down with a paper clip in a draining potting mix. Cover the older half with half an inch of soil to promote faster root formation.
Avoid covering the real leaves with dirt since this will reduce its light-capturing efficiency and increase the likelihood of rotting. Place the potted cuttings in a clear bag and shower the soil once a week to maintain high humidity. Place it somewhere light and indirect, with temperatures over 18°C (64°F).
To present a better atmosphere, punch a few holes in the bag and actively remove decaying trash. Remove the bag once there are any signs of new development, as the roots will develop first.
Strings of dolphins are toxic to humans, dogs, cats, and other animals. You may encounter abdominal pain, vomiting, or worse symptoms. If ever you have eaten this succulent, go to the hospital immediately to receive proper medication. If you have children at home, place the succulents in high areas where children cannot reach them.
Growing strings of dolphins come with a responsibility, and you must be knowledgeable about the plant to avoid harming yourself and others. Fortunately, we provided enough information about the strings of dolphins.