String of dolphin plants generally need to be watered once per week during the growing season. However, during their dormant period, they’ll only need to be watered once per month. String of dolphins are succulents that can handle occasional dry periods. The soil needs to be kept moist enough to prevent leaf pucker but otherwise has few needs. Be sure to let soil dry out slightly between periods of watering.
When Should You Water String of Dolphins?
Water string of dolphins roughly once per week for best results. However, string of dolphins needs far less water during its dormant period (as low as one watering per month). This adorable succulent doesn’t need frequent waterings to stay healthy but these waterings help maintain the leaf shape. String of dolphin leaves pucker and warp when the plant isn’t getting enough water.
- Water your string of dolphins once per-week while it’s actively growing.
- Reduce watering to once per-month when your string of dolphins enters dormancy.
- String of dolphins needs to be watered once the top 2 inches (5 cm) of soil feel dry to the touch
The best way to know when it’s time to water string of dolphins is to test the dryness of the soil. When the top 1–2 inches (2.5–5 cm) of the soil is dry, it is time to water. The easiest way to test this is to stick your finger into the soil to see if it feels dry. If you want to keep your hands clean, you can also use a moisture meter. Use this moisture meter to track when your dry soil needs to be watered.
How Much Water Does a String of Dolphins Plant Need?
String of dolphin plants don’t need much water to stay healthy. However, the dolphin-shaped leaves that give the plant its name can pucker and look unattractive without regular watering. Give your dolphin strings 1–2 inches (2.5–5 cm) of water every 1–2 weeks to ensure they maintain their dolphin shape. Be sure your plant is exposed to plenty of direct sunlight to make sure the soil dries out properly between waterings. Below, we’ll discuss how to recognize signs of both over and underwatering.
How to Know if String of Dolphins is Overwatered
An overwatered string of dolphins will begin to turn yellow and droop. Succulent leaves do not deal well with overwatering. Excess water also results in waterlogged soil which can cause root rot and other health issues for your string of dolphin plants.
- Overwatered string of dolphins will begin to wilt and catch diseases more easily.
- Yellowed leaves are the top sign of an overwatered string of dolphins.
- Be sure your plant has adequate drainage and well-draining soil to prevent overwatering.
Adequate drainage holes are important to preventing overwatering your string of dolphins. You can always create more drainage holes or expand existing holes with a power drill. Also, be sure to use succulent soil that is well-draining to avoid water pooling issues. Use this organic soil mix to give your dolphin succulent the best soil for it to grow well.
How to Know if String of Dolphins is Underwatered
Leaf puckering is always the first sign that your string of dolphins is underwatered. The famous dolphin leaves will lose their dolphin shape very quickly. In fact, they’ll lose shape long before your plant experiences serious health issues from lack of water.
- A dolphin succulent will lose the curved shape of its leaves if it’s underwatered.
- If not corrected, underwatering will lead to fungal diseases within 2–3 weeks.
It’s a good thing if you catch the leaves puckering on your string of dolphins early. It means you have plenty of time to correct the issue before it hurts your plant. Water your string of dolphin once the leaves start losing shape, then give it a few days to recover.
Should You Bottom Water String of Dolphins?
String of dolphins grow fairly well when exposed to the bottom watering technique. Bottom watering is a technique where you hydrate the plant from below. This is opposed to the more common technique of pouring water from above and letting it soak down through the soil.
- String of dolphin succulents do well with bottom watering.
- The one downside of bottom watering is that the top soil dryness test doesn’t work with bottom watering.
String of dolphin succulents do best when they are soaked and then allowed to dry out. Bottom watering allows this soaking and drying out to take place very quickly. The one downside is that then you can’t use the top soil dryness test to tell when it’s time to water again.
Should You Mist String of Dolphins?
Misting as a watering technique is not helpful to most fully grown succulent plants. String of dolphins in particular really hate misting. They prefer to have their soil fully drenched on a regular basis. Then, allow the soil to dry out between waterings.
- Mistings are bad for string of dolphins because they result in excess moisture.
- Watering via misting can lead to string of dolphins rotting or developing bacterial infections
Mistings keep the soil moist, preventing it from ever drying out. This is not proper watering for string of dolphins and leads to health issues. Excess moisture can lead to your string of dolphins rotting from the roots up. Do not mist your string of dolphin plants because this puts it at risk of contracting a fungal or bacterial infection.
How Do You Water String of Dolphins?
String of dolphins plants need to be well soaked once a week. Their soil needs to be given plenty of time to dry out in between waterings. Direct sunlight is an important part of ensuring the soil dries properly. Let’s recap the material we’ve covered in this article:
- Water string of dolphin plants once a week during its growing season.
- During the dormant period, you can reduce waterings to once a month.
- String of dolphins doesn’t need watering every week but it will help maintain the dolphin leaf shape.
- Overwatered dolphin succulents will begin to wilt and risk catching diseases.
- Underwatered plants will lose their leaf shape quickly and eventually begin to die.
- Consider bottom watering your string of dolphins for enhanced growth.
- Never mist your string of dolphins.
With the right watering frequency, this dolphin succulent will reward you with beautiful leaves and healthy stem growth. Just make sure to monitor the leaves for signs of puckering or yellowing that indicate you should change your watering habits.