How to Easily Propagate String of Dolphins?

Succulents make great gifts. They come in so many shapes and sizes and most of them are hardy plants with interesting traits, like the ability to survive hot weather or damage from freezing. In this guide will show you how to propagate a string of dolphins.
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest

With its signature kind of foliage, the String of dolphins is undeniably a lovely plant, making it a perfect plant in your garden. Propagating the String of dolphins is a cost-effective and straightforward way to grow your garden collection. Whether a beginner or an expert, multiplying the strings is a short and fantastic method. Though it is easy to propagate this succulent, it requires some skills to do it better. 

How do you propagate a String of dolphins? You take a stem or a leaf cutting from a healthy and well-established plant, set it aside for days until it forms callous, then plant it in a pot. Reading the article will help you decide which form of propagation will best suit you and how to go about each of them. Most importantly, I will take you through two standard propagation to reproduce a string of dolphins.

Why Should You Know How to Propagate the String of Dolphins?

Firstly, the String of dolphins is propagated to salvage the plant when it is failing or dying. When the mother plant has some parts damaged or it is drying up due to age, propagation is an easier method than buying a new plant and starting all over again. Secondly, most gardeners propagate the strings of dolphins because it is an enjoyable and straightforward practice. It is a delightful plant at home, and propagation can create more of them in a home. 

A string of dolphin hangging.
It is a delightful plant at home, and propagation can create more of them in a home. 

The plant is drought tolerant and can thrive well in little water. Proper propagation may only be done on healthy parts of the plant. If propagation is the only way to salvage a failing string of dolphins, act before it is late. Propagation to create a collection is best when it aligns with the growing seasons of the plant.

The two methods to propagate the String of dolphin succulent includes

  1. Taking a leaf cutting from the plant.
  2. Taking a stem cutting from the plant.

Taking a Leaf Cutting From the Plant

Firstly, the process involves using a sharp and sterilized knife to remove a healthy leaf from the bottom side of the plant. While cutting, ensure that you remove the entire leaf without damaging it or leaving some sapping stuck on the stem of the mother plant. Once the leave is out, place it in a clean place for two to three days to allow the wound to heal. Then, put it in a cool place where it does not receive direct sunlight. 

A string of dolphin stem.
A string of dolphins will do well in arid and well-draining soil.

After some time, the leaf will make a “callus,” indicating that it is ready for the next step. After callus formation, prepare a good and clean pot with a proper soil mix. Like other succulents, a string of dolphins will do well in arid and well-draining soil. Commercially available succulents are suitable, but you can also make your mix.

For a homemade mix, combine

  • 2 Parts potting soil
  • 1 part pumice or perlite
  • 1 part sand

When the soil is ready, place the prepared leaf on top without burying it. To moisten the ground, use a sprayer bottle to spray the leaves with water. Do not keep the pot under direct sunlight, but ensure it accesses enough light to provide the propagated String of dolphins is warm and moist. The leaves will begin to sprout after three to four weeks. Next, they will start developing small roots. 

The presence of roots does not signify time to transplant the succulent. It may take a couple of months before the plant is big enough for transplant. Therefore, waiting as the plant develops strong roots before transplant is essential. Hurrying the plant with weak roots kills it permanently. 

Propagating by Cutting the Stem of the Strings of Dolphins

These can be done in two different processes.

  • Stem cutting and propagating in water
  • Stem cutting and propagating in soil

Stem Cutting Propagation in Water

Propagating plants in water is an easy way to make new plants. All you need is a sterile cutting object, a big glass jar, and a healthy selection of your String of dolphin’s plant. The steps below will guide you on how to propagate the succulent.

A plant being propagated in water.
Plant propagation is an easy way to propagate your plant.
  • Take a suitable strand off your String of dolphins of around 4 inches of length. Cut the stem cleanly and carefully with your scissors or knife. If the mother plant has some low-bearing foliage near the bottom, remove them to prevent rotting.
  • Immediately, place the cut strand in a glass or jar filled with rain or distilled water. Tap water contains chemicals like chlorine and fluoride that affect the cutting progress.
  • Place the jar in a place it receives proper lighting but away from direct sunlight. A west-facing window can work better.
  • For proper growth and formation of the root system of the String of dolphins, replace the jar’s water in a week to replenish nutrients and oxygen.
  • After a few weeks, long tendrils-like roots should start developing. This means that it is time to transfer it to a well-draining soil and in a proper container.

Stem propagation in water is enjoyable as you will see the roots develop. In addition, this method reduces the chances of bacteria/fungal infection than the soil method.

A string of dolphin a pot with sunlight.
Stem propagation in water is enjoyable as you will see the roots develop.

Stem Cutting Propagation in Soil

The soil method can also propagate the stings of dolphins’ plants. However, this process is more successful when the succulent starts its active growth period. The period could either be before the dormant stage (end of the winter months) or the growing stage (during the spring period). The succulent has a high chance of surviving the propagation stage and maturing during these growth periods. 

 For this process to be successful, the following guidelines should be followed.

  • Make a correct cut using a sterilized knife of the spring of dolphins with enough branches. Choose a relatively short stem as this ensures it grows actively, increasing chances of success.
  • When cutting the stem, hold it at the brick of the bottom to have a clean cut. If the stem is damaged when cutting, replace it with another one immediately.
  • Place the cutting in a clean place to allow the cut to heal and develop a callus. These may take two days to form.
  • Place the cutting in a container with already prepared proper soil mix as explained above.
  • If possible, you can help the growth of the roots by dipping the end of the cutting in a rooting hormone to promote new and accelerated root growth.
  • Keep the container in a bright space with direct sunlight and only water if the soil is arid. When watering it at this delicate stage, remember that overwatering will cause the plant to rot, while underwatering reduces chances of survival.

Propagating by using soil can adequately secure the cutting and strengthening of the roots. This method also reduces the stress of transplanting the plant after it has already developed. However, when the plant is still young, always ensure to check on the condition of the plant as they are more susceptible to fungus and bacterial infections. Soil should contain sandy and perlite to promote good drainage and proper aeration of the roots.

The Commonly Associated Problem when Propagating

One of the significant troubles when propagating the strings of dolphins is the root rot. It may occur in any process of propagation. However, in soil propagation, overwatering is the primary cause of the root rot as water clumps in the root area, suffocating the roots.

Root rot can happen when transferring the plant into a new pot in water propagation. It is also essential to give the cutting enough time to heal before placing it in soil. Soiling a leaf cut with a fresh wound will expose the plant to disease and fungal infections.

Best Care when Propagating

The right amount of water

A grown string of dolphins can survive long without water. You need to water correctly to ensure that your propagating plant has the best chances of survival during propagation, especially during the early days. Overwatering the String of dolphins during propagation will submerge the leaves to water, and they will start rotting before they even fully develop. The best watering condition for the plant is to ensure it remains moist.

A string of pearls that has been watered.
You need to water correctly to ensure that your propagating plant has the best chances of survival.

The right temperature 

A string of dolphins makes an excellent indoor plant due to its ability to tolerate medium temperature and thrive well in it. The right temperature of around 23oC is appropriate during propagation to nurture the plant.

Indirect but bright light

The amount of light the plant will be exposed to effects the plant’s health. Though a well-developed plant can manage direct sunlight, the plant is vulnerable to dehydration and scorching during propagation. To manage proper lighting for the plant to succeed, a bright space with indirect light will work better. This lighting is essential as it provides the plant with a good growth pattern and strengthens its transportation system.

Bottom Line

With the above-detailed guidelines on how to propagate the String of dolphins, it’s time to try propagating the strings of dolphins and ensure you have quite a few in your garden. The guidelines could help you create more of these lovely succulents with only one plant and spread them to another part of your home or even bless a neighbor. Propagation will not just save you money, but it is an enjoyable practice worth your time, as the results are pretty fulfilling.

Share on email
Share on print
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest

read this next

The Christmas cactus is a popular holiday flowering plant, but it can be difficult to keep alive in household conditions. Many people don’t even know how often to water Christmas cactus, but the answer is surprisingly simple. Here’s how to keep your Christmas cactus healthy year-round.
Lithops plants are about as easy to grow as plants get. They do not require feeding, aggressive pruning or special coddling. Watering is the one and only way to kill these plants and here we’ll tell you all about Lithops and how to water them successfully! When you have just received your little Lithop the most common mistake people tend to make with their new little friend is to over water it.
The desert is not known for anything flowery, but the truth is, there are hundreds of flowering desert plants. Most of these would bloom at the slightest sign of rain, giving the otherwise flat and arid land some rare ambiance and color.
Aloe Vera plant
Aloe Vera plants are grown worldwide because of their usefulness. They are easy to grow outdoors but some varieties will need attention and protection from the colder months. The article looks at the 10 best Aloe Vera types to grow outside
Cactus plants are some of the most unusual plants under the Sun. They have a wide range of uses and applications all over the world. Take a look at some of the animals that depend on cactus plants for their survival.
Air plants are very easy to care for and can even thrive without soil — use them in any arrangement, in various aspects of decor or just place them in your office
Succulents and succulent gardens have become very popular in recent years. With their wide range of colors, textures, and shapes, they make a beautiful addition to any space. But when succulents are grown indoors near dogs, there is one very important thing to consider: Are succulents poisonous to dogs?
The snake plant is an excellent indoor plant, but can still die. Most snake plants will thrive in medium to bright indirect light. They do not like full sun and can sunburn if placed in it for too long. The number one cause of the most common species of snake plant death is overwatering. You can keep your snake plant alive by never over watering it!
Many people prefer keeping cacti as a houseplant because they are low-maintenance and easy to care for. As long as you provide it with sufficient light, air, water, drainage, and nutrients, your cactus will not only survive but also thrive
As a succulent owner, one of the most common questions asked is “How long can a succulent survive without water?” This is a question we hear often and the answer isn’t as straight forward as you may think. We all know that succulents are beautiful and unique, but they do require some special care to keep them looking beautiful.
Each cactus species is well adapted to growing in specific areas that experience a certain climate, Generally, most cacti species grow in hot and dry regions in North and South America but not only, we are here to explain
Cacti are incredibly strong plants but they are also sensitive and should be treated with care. They are best served being slightly neglected over being micro-managed with too much water or interference
When growing succulents, one of the most common questions we get from cat lovers is whether or not these plants are poisonous to cats. The answer isn’t quite straight-forward, but the information in this post will help you decide if you have a safe garden for your adorable kitty.
San Pedro is one of the most distinctive, mysterious, and psychedelic of all plants. It is also called the cactus of vision because it is said to spiritually enlighten a person who consumes it. This article will walk you through everything needed to grow
Ever wonder how a cactus gets water in the desert? If you’ve ever taken a hike through the desert, you know that it is amazingly harsh. Most animals are scarcer here than they are anywhere else in the world. That’s because the conditions are so difficult to survive in for most animals.
Air plants are beautiful living plants that grow without soil. Their unique leaves absorb the nutrients they need from the air, so they can literally be hung in your window or on your wall. However, if neglected the leaves will begin to turn color and shrivel, so here are some tips on how to save a rotting air plant.
Succulents are air-purifying and low-maintenance plants. They are also available in a variety of unlikely colors and textures, making them ideal for almost any decorating style. Take a look at some of the most unusual succulents to give your home an extra special touch.

Receive the latest news

Get Our Cacti Newsletter

Stay updated with the latest facts, tips, advice, and more!

Your privacy is important to us.