String of Dolphins Drying Up: Solved!

“String of Dolphins” is a pretty plant that looks like the pectoral fins of dolphins. It can change your indoor garden game. However, sometimes it can dry up and frustrate you.

So why is string of dolphins drying up?  

The primary reason for drying up the String of Dolphins plant is overwatering and underwatering. You can solve it by watering the plant once a week during growing spring and once a month during winter. Another factor contributing to dry-up is improper lighting. To address this issue, make sure your plant receives 6 hours of indirect sunlight per day

There are more causes behind happening this. So hang tight with the article to know them. 

Why Is String of Dolphins Drying Up: Reasons And Remedies

String of Dolphins” or “Flying Dolphins” is characterized by its succulent dangling stems like cypress vine and cardinal climber.

A significant number of individuals have encountered issues with the String of Dolphins plant. The leaves tend to dry and wilt, whether they are new or mature. 

Now, we’ll shed light on the causes of and solutions to the dolphin string drying up. Without further ado let’s have a quick glance at them at first.  

Reason  Remedy 
Overwatering/Underwatering  Water once a week(spring to fall)

Water once a month (winter) 

Extreme light /Insufficient light   Provide 6 hours of indirect light
Excessive heat Provide 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit ( summer)

 and, 50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit( winter)

Root rot  Ensure proper soil drainage 

Taking a closer look at them will allow you to figure out how to solve the issue on your own.

Reason 1: Overwatering/Underwatering

Overwatering the String of Dolphins succulent can lead to the drying up of the plant. When foliage is overwatered, it loses its vibrancy, turns pale, and gradually turns yellowish and translucent. 

A String of Dolphins plant that is overwatered suffers from suffocation or drowning. A lack of oxygen at the roots prevents proper aeration, preventing the plant from producing energy. Eventually, the roots decay and dry up. Overwatering also happens to be a prime reason for your saga leaves curling.

On the other hand, underwatering can cause drying up the string of dolphins. Crispy and deflated leaves with brown areas indicate dehydration in String of Dolphins plants. 


If you suspect that your plant is being overwatered, it is recommended to refrain from watering until the soil has dried out. Again if you doubt that you’re plant is not getting enough water, you should water it. 

You should water your plants once a week during their active growing seasons(spring to early fall). However, during the dormant period in winter, watering should be reduced to once per month. 

So, String of Dolphins should be watered by drenching and drying. The soil is allowed to dry out between watering’s, preventing overwatering. Pour enough water at room temperature into the drainage hole of the pot when the top 2 inches (5 cm) of soil are completely dry. 

Reason 2: Extreme Light/Insufficient Light

The String of Dolphins plant can suffer adverse effects if exposed to excessive sunlight. An abundance of sunlight tends to dry out the soil faster than the plant can absorb moisture.

string of dolphins plant

So, the soil can become excessively dry, resulting in inadequate hydration for the plant. As a consequence, the leaves of the String of Dolphins dry up.

However,  succulents thrive in bright, indirect light. It’s important to note that living room lighting is typically five times less than what succulents need to thrive. 

Lack of light can cause a plant to conserve energy by reducing its growth, putting its survival at risk. Insufficient light is also culpable for no male flowers on cucumber plants.


If you plan to place them outdoors with your other plant collections, ensure they are positioned in a shaded area. The place should receive indirect or filtered sunlight throughout the day. It’s worth noting that they are typically cultivated in Zone 10 and are not tolerant of cold temperatures.

When growing and caring for String of Dolphins as a houseplant, it is advisable to position them in a south-facing window. The place should provide a minimum of 6 hours of morning sunlight per day. If necessary, during the winter months, you can supplement their light requirements. You can place them under a T-5 fluorescent or LED Grow Light.

Reason 3: Excessive Heat

String of Dolphins often dries up because of heat stress. That occurs when the plant is exposed to direct sunlight without proper acclimatization. 

Even with ample watering, small roots may not be able to distribute enough water to the entire plant. String of Dolphins can take several months to adjust to direct sunlight. 


String of Dolphins thrive in cool air and can tolerate temperatures as low as 40 degrees Fahrenheit during the winter. A temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit to 80 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal for them during the summer or during their active growing season.

It is advisable to relocate the plant or use a filter, such as a sheer curtain, to provide protection from intense sunlight. However, in the winter, the String of Dolphins enter a dormant state and receive cooler temperatures of 50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Moreover, the String of Dolphins is considered a “soft succulent,” which means it cannot withstand severe frosts. You must move your plant if the temperature drops below 30 degrees Fahrenheit.

Reason 4: Root Rot

The String of Dolphins dried up due to root rot, which occurs when roots are damaged and are unable to absorb water and nutrients. Root rot in the String of Dolphins is primarily caused by overwatering. 

Wet soil can cause root decay, resulting in the plant drying up and eventually dying. Symptoms of root rot include mushy, blackened roots and yellow or brown leaves. 


To prevent root rot, it is crucial to avoid overwatering and ensure that the soil has good drainage. You can protect your String of Dolphins plant from overwatering and root rot by using a well-draining soil mix and a container with proper drainage.

Here are some tips for ensuring proper soil drainage:

Use a soil mix designed specifically for cacti and succulents, which contains perlite to improve drainage. Commercially available succulent mixes are suitable options for the String of Dolphins.

Also, you can create your own soil mix by combining 2 parts potting soil, 1 part pumice or perlite, and 1 part sand. To drain excess water, use a container with drainage holes at the bottom. Moreover, you should adjust the watering schedule based on the specific needs of each plant, considering the conditions of your particular area.

However, if root rot is suspected, it is recommended to remove the plant from the soil, trim any damaged roots, and replant it in fresh soil with proper drainage.

How to Grow Care for a String of Dolphins 

Here is a care guide that will help you grow your string of dolphins without any issues.


  • Soil should be loose, rich in organic matter, and free-draining. These qualities will help avoid the soil from becoming soggy and allow for proper water drainage. 
  • The pH level of the soil should be 6.6-7.5
  • It is highly recommended that you use a soil mixture consisting of 40% Coco coir, 20% Perlite, and 15% Orchid bark for the String of Dolphins plant. 
  • It is also possible to mix 50% Perlite with 50% Soil Mix.


  • The pot should be bigger in size since the plant is crowded and need massive space to grow. 
  • Also, choose a pot with drainage holes.


  • In spring and when it begins to bloom, the plant only needs to be fed once or twice a year. Plants benefit from this limited fertilization approach. The String of Dolphins plant does not require excessive fertilization


  • Using a sharp knife or scissors, cut a healthy stem below a leaf. You should aim for a stem length of at least 5 inches.
  • Let the cut end dry for approximately 2 days until a callus forms on the cut end.
  • Make sure the cutting is planted in well-draining soil and well-watered. Avoid direct sunlight by placing the cutting in partial shade.
  • Gradually introduce the cutting to more sunlight over 1-2 weeks.
  • When the topsoil is moderately dry, water the cutting. Ensure the soil is thoroughly soaked after 2-3 weeks or once roots have formed.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Is String of Dolphins Toxic to Cats?

es, the String of Dolphins is toxic to cats. It is important to prevent cats, dogs, and humans from consuming the plant. Ingesting the Dolphin Plant can lead to toxicity, resulting in symptoms such as vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea. Therefore, it is crucial to keep the plant out of reach to ensure the safety of pets and humans.

Why Does String of Dolphins Turn Brown?

String of Dolphin leaves brown when they are overwatered or underwatered. To avoid exacerbating the issue, it is necessary to assess the soil moisture level and modify the watering technique accordingly. The appropriate balance of moisture can prevent further damage to the plant.

What Disease Can Affect a String of Dolphins?

Generally, String of Dolphins are disease-resistant houseplants. However, root rot is a common problem that inhibits its growth. Overwatering causes mushy roots and decay. Allow the soil to dry before watering again to prevent disease. 


Now you know why is your string of dolphins drying up. You must maintain the remedies provided in the article to prevent this issue. String of Dolphins trailing succulents is lovely whether planted. Dolphins bring a touch of ocean spirit to your home when provided with proper care.

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