One of the wonderful things about succulents is their sheer variance in shape, texture and color. Every now and then the succulent community online stumbles upon new rare succulent species that captures the imagination of succulent enthusiasts and hobbyists.
Some of these are truly quirky. Like the bunny succulent or Monilaria Moniliformis that stole our hearts a few years ago. It was popular because when sprouting, its leaves that stemmed from the base made it look a lot like a bunny with long ears.
Another example of a botanical like animal is the octopus agave, a succulent that has long leaves that twist around like octopus tentacles. Well now, succulent lovers rejoice! There’s a new succulent in town: The dolphin succulent.
What are Dolphin Succulents
Otherwise known as flying dolphins, the dolphin necklace, or by its scientific name Senecio Peregrinus, this succulent has been an instant hit in the succulent community, particularly in Japan, and it’s not very hard to see why.
The beautifully curved leaves that protrude from the stemmed vine look like they’re jumping dolphins kitted out, even, with what look like dorsal fins. This is definitely the closest to a botanical dolphin you’ll ever get.
This unique formation is thanks to the cross pollination of two succulent variants, the Senecio Roweleyanus (string of pearls) and Senecio Articulates (hot dog or candle plant).
The dolphin succulent can grow up to 6 inches (15 cm) tall and unlike the bunny succulent, maintains its shape as it grows. Also, the longer the vine gets, it will supply you with more leaves until you have an entire ocean of jumping dolphins!
You can even expect small star like white and pink flowers during flowering season (typically in warmer months).
Where to Buy Dolphin Succulents
Because the dolphin succulent is a cross variety, it’s not a very common plant and can be difficult to find. A quick internet search shows that there are however specialty growers and you can get lucky on Amazon or Etsy.
Often, you will find that it is the dolphin succulent seeds for sale and not the mature plant that you will be buying. However, a good thing to keep in mind is that collectors often have rare varieties so if you stumble upon someone with a dolphin succulent, make sure to ask for a cutting.
You can use our guide on how to propagate succulents for your new dolphin succulent too!
How to Grow Dolphin Succulents
If you’re growing succulents from seed, dolphin succulents are generally easy to cultivate, just don’t forget to first soak them in warm water and then cold water in order for them to germinate. After that you can plant the seeds into a container with soil. (Here’s great organic soil mix that you can use for your succulents).
Cover the container with plastic (with a few holes in it for aeration) or a similar wrapping, mist your seeds quite often in order to keep the soil slightly moist. Then wait for your seedlings to sprout. Once your seedlings are established you can move them out of the plastic covered container.
If you don’t have the patience to wait for your dolphin succulent to grow from seed and you’re lucky enough to get a cutting, you can either lie your cutting sideways on the soil so it can root along these points, or you can, after a day of two (once the cut has had time to heal and has become calloused), place it in soil.
The plant will shoot out roots wherever it touches the soil. Take note that you can only propagate dolphin succulents from cuttings and not from their leaves. The leaves are likely to root, but no new leaves or stems will grow. See the differences in propagation methods with our guide here.
The dolphin succulent requires relatively low maintenance and should be an easy plant for beginners to master. Light is one of the most important growth factors and the dolphin succulent, like most succulents, requires plenty of light, but unlike most succulents prefers indirect light. So that being said, these plants make for the perfect house plant, you can perch them on a windowsill or table that gets plenty of sunlight.
Here’s 7 other beginner succulents you can grow right at home too!
When it comes to the preferred soil characteristic, dolphin succulents prefer soil that is loose with a high mineral consistency and that allows for porous movement of water. This will allow them to have a healthy root system to absorb all the nutrients necessary in order to grow beautifully.
How to Water Dolphin Succulents
If you’re looking at planters make sure they follow these requirements with easy drainage and great ventilation that won’t result water logged soil or rotting roots. Take a look at the 12 minimal planters we sourced for you.
This also means that dolphin succulents shouldn’t be watered too often. When watering, bear in mind that like most succulents, dolphin succulents are tolerant of periods of drought. So, the recommended watering allocation should be once per week during the warmer growing seasons and once a month in the colder dormant seasons. Leave the soil to dry out between watering, but be aware that if not watered enough the dolphin succulent’s leaves will begin to pucker.
If you have trouble figuring out when you should water your succulents, we’ve got you covered. This is an in depth guide in when you should water your succulents so that they grow healthily and vibrant.
Surprisingly, the dolphin succulent prefers cooler temperatures. Optimum temperatures in winter, when the succulent experiences its dormant season, should be around 72 F (22C). In the summer, temperatures should be maintained between 50-55 F (10-13C).
If you prefer to have it displayed on its own, you’ll be rewarded with an elegant display of dolphins emerging from the waves. Or if you’d prefer to plant them alongside other plants, paired with octopus agaves, an anemone resembling Sempervivum Tectorum or a kelp like Senecio Madraliscae, you can create an entire ocean scape of colors and textures.
We are lucky to live in an era where cute succulents are a hit and cultivators are hard at work experimenting to bring out new succulent species. The dolphin succulent is a great testament to that. Not only are they easy look after, but they’ll liven up any succulent garden. They might be tricky to find, however, if you find one they’ll make a great new addition to your collection.
Ready to allow your Dolphin Succulents to swim now? Be sure to share this article with your close succulent friends and let them know that there’s succulents that are shaped like dolphins! Thanks for giving this a read!