String of dolphins (senecio peregrinus) grow fairly quickly in ideal conditions. These succulent plants can grow up to 20 inches (50 cm) in length in their first 9 months of growth. Since string of dolphins stems tend to max out at 36 inches long (90 cm), this is an impressive growth spurt. It is for this reason that they are often prized in vertical gardens. This growth can be enhanced by stem cuttings which can propagate additional leaf growth.
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How Long Does it Take a String of Dolphins Plant to Grow?
A dolphin succulent can grow up to 20 inches (50 cm) in a single year of growth. Since these plants often reach a mature length of 36 inches (90 cm), this is considerable growth. Most dolphin succulents should hit this 20-inch length within 9 months of planting, provided ideal growing conditions. A succulent soil mix, full sun, and regular watering ensure optimum growth speed.
- String of dolphins reach 20 inches long (50 cm) within 9 months after planting.
- They’ll reach their mature height by their second year.
Most string of dolphins will reach their mature size by the end of their second year. They will stay at this length for the remainder of their lifespan. If your dolphin succulent is struggling to grow, check to make sure that you are providing for all of its basic needs. Sunlight, water, soil, and nutrition are the four most likely areas where an issue may be occurring.
How Do You Make a String of Dolphins Plant Grow Faster?
String of dolphins will only grow quickly if it is provided with ideal growing conditions. There’s no way to cheat your way to faster growth. However, once you provide all the basics that this adorable succulent needs, it will shoot up in no time. Here are the basic care needs of string of dolphin plants:
- Full sun (6 hours of direct sunlight each day).
- Optimum temperature range of 60–80℉ (15–27℃). Colder temperatures like in the winter months kill it. Extreme heat in the summer months triggers a dormant period.
- ½ cup of water (120 ml) every 2 weeks. Allow the soil to dry out between waterings.
- Arid, well-draining soil with plenty of nutrients.
- A pot with adequate drainage holes. Terracotta pots work best.
An important thing to note is that dolphin succulents don’t need fertilizer. Fertilizer can actually distort the dolphin strings and ruin the dolphin-shaped leaves. A healthy stem will produce more dolphin leaves when the old ones are pruned off.
How Do You Make String of Dolphins Fuller?
The easiest way to make string of dolphins look fuller is to simply rearrange the layout of the strings. Trim a healthy string at the base of the stem and then insert this trimmed stem back into the pot at your desired location. Stem cuttings are the main propagation method for growing more dolphin succulents. These cut stems should take root quickly and grow where you place them. This method also works for any string succulent species including: string of nickels, string of pearls, and string of bananas.
- Cut mature stems off your plant and replant the cut stems in a desired location.
- These cut succulent stems will take root where placed and result in fuller growth.
- Avoid overfertilizing your succulents.
One unexpected thing you can do to help is stop fertilizing your dolphin plant. String of dolphin leaves can lose their famous dolphin shape when given too much fertilizer. It’s actually better to avoid regular fertilizing of the plant at all if you want it to maintain its striking appearance.
Do String of Dolphins Need A Lot of Water?
A string of dolphin plant needs regular watering but not much of it. The rule of thumb is to provide ½ a cup of water (120 ml) every couple of weeks. Set your watering schedules accordingly. You should wait for the soil to dry out between waterings to reduce the risk of root rot.
- String of dolphins need frequent watering but in small amounts.
- Wait for the soil to dry between water applications. Too much moisture can choke off air pockets the plant needs to breathe and stay healthy.
String succulents prefer their soil moist but hate wet soil. Excess water can lead to waterlogged soil which results in rot and fungal issues. During the summer months, frequent watering may be required to make up for dry conditions. You may need to water as much as twice a week. However, you should still watch out for excess soil moisture and overwatering.
How Much Sun Does a String of Dolphins Plant Need?
Strings of dolphins are succulents with high light requirements. A string of dolphin plant needs full sun though it can tolerate partial shade. Your string of dolphins prefers at least 6 hours of direct sunlight each day for healthy growth.
- Full sun works best for dolphin succulents, so be sure to keep them in a sunny location.
- 6 hours of direct sunlight per day is ideal for string of dolphins plants.
- Indirect light can as well making dolphin succulents a great house plant
Indirect sunlight can also work, making the dolphin succulent a great indoor plant. Place your dolphin succulent near a south-facing window that lets in plenty of bright light. When using indirect light, make sure your string of dolphins gets at least 8 hours of sunlight to make up for the lack of direct sunlight.
Do String of Dolphins Grow Fast?
String of dolphins are a fast-growing plant that grow very quickly in their first year. You’ll want to provide special care and the most ideal conditions possible to maximize growth. This will mean providing full sun, well-draining soil, regular waterings, proper drainage, and so on. Here are the key things to remember about speeding up string of dolphins growth:
- Dolphin succulents can grow 20 inches (50 cm) in a 9-month span.
- These plants need their ideal conditions met to experience the best growth.
- You can trim grown strings and replant them to make your plant look fuller.
- Dolphin plants don’t need a lot of water but they do need it fairly frequently.
- String of dolphin plants will grow best in full sun but indirect sunlight will work well too.
If you provide your string of dolphins with plenty of sunlight, regular watering, and no fertilizer, it will thrive. By clipping strings off your plant and replanting them, you can propagate more string of dolphins for your garden.