Home Gardening Guide Why is My String of Dolphins Shriveling? How to Fix It!

Why is My String of Dolphins Shriveling? How to Fix It!

by gardeningit
Why is My String of Dolphins Shriveling

String of Dolphins is a gorgeous succulent with jumping dolphin-shaped leaves. The leaves grow on long tendrils that hang down from the pot. The unique leaves and vining foliage give an appealing appearance to this plant. Therefore, String of Dolphins shriveling is a sorry sight.

String of Dolphins shriveling? It happens due to improper care. The main reason is heat stress or high temperature. Other than that, if your String of Dolphin is shriveling, it means it is getting too much direct sun, insufficient watering, or has root rot.

This ultimate guide will help you revive your shriveling String of Dolphin. But first, let’s learn about the main reasons behind Senecio Peregrinu’s shriveling in detail.

Reasons Behind the String of Dolphins Shriveling

Too Much Heat

Although it is succulent, String of Dolphin cannot tolerate high temperatures. This plant cannot tolerate temperatures above 85 Fahrenheit. Too much heat leads to heat stress which increases the evaporation rate. The more water leaves the plant’s body, the more shriveled it appears. This plant also drops some of its leaves to minimize water loss in severe heat stress.

How to Revive Your Plant After Heat Stress

If your plant is outdoors, the first thing you should do is bring it indoors. Then, it would help if you covered it with a shade cloth. Shade cloth will keep your plant cool even during the day. Another simple trick to prevent heat stress is to water your plant always in the morning.

Direct Sun

It’s not just the hot weather that can cause heat stress; the direct sun can also lead to a heat stress episode. String of Dolphins plant is not fond of direct sunlight. The direct sun scorches its fleshy leaves and shrivels them.

How to Revive Your Sunburnt Plant

If the direct sun is the reason behind your String of Dolphins shriveling, you should change its location ASAP. Move it to a shady spot where no direct sun rays reach its foliage. This plant needs 6 hours of indirect and medium sunlight for optimal growth. Therefore, a south-facing window is perfect for it.

Insufficient Watering

If this plant does not receive enough water, it tries to save water by wrinkling its leaves. This way, the surface area of the leaves decreases, lowering the evaporation rate. If you notice dry soil and shriveling String of Dolphins leaves, you must know under-watering is the reason behind it.

How to Revive Your Plant Dehydrated Plant

Reviving a plant from under-watering is easier than other causes. In such a case, water your plant thoroughly and let it sit under the medium sun. It will help if you make a proper schedule for watering your String of Dolphins so that you never forget to water it.

Root Rot

The culprit is over-watering if your plant has shriveled, yellow, and mushy leaves. As you know, String of Dolphins is succulent, which is why it hates sitting in water. If over-watered, it gets root rot quickly and starts shriveling.

How to Revive Your Overwatered Plant

If overwatering and root rot are the reasons for your String of Dolphins shriveling, you should stop watering immediately. Check all the drainage holes and make pores in the soil for air circulation. Moreover, you should always allow its soil to dry between waterings.

How to Save a Dying String of Dolphins

If your String of Dolphins is having other problems instead of shriveled leaves, we are here to help you with those as well. These are the two common signs that this plant demonstrates when dying.

Spotted and Yellow Leaves

Spotted and yellowed leaves are the biggest sign of a pest attack. The common pests of String of Dolphins are mealy bugs, spider mites, aphids, and scales. It will help if you spray your plant’s foliage with a pesticide to eliminate these pests. You can also make your pesticide at home by mixing neem oil in water.

If your plant has yellow leaves but no spots, it indicates your plant is being overwatering or underwatering. Yellowed leaves are also a sign of too much sunlight. You should look for these signs and immediately find out the leading cause behind them if you want to save your plant from dying.

Droopy Foliage

When your plant has just droopy foliage and no other peculiar symptoms, it means it is craving humidity. String of Dolphins plant prefers 50% or less humidity to thrive indoors. If the indoor humidity level falls below 40%, you should use humidifying tricks to increase the air moisture level.

If your plant has droopy foliage and flaccid leaves, it means it is just being dramatic and wants more water. Just water it thoroughly and place it in a shady spot.

Droopy foliage can also be due to insufficient light exposure. But how would you know the reason behind your droopy plant is low light and not lesser air humidity? You can know by noticing the color of its leaves. If the leaves are pale and the foliage is drooping, your plant needs more light exposure.

String of Dolphins: Care Guide

Here is a proper care guide that will help you not kill your String of Dolphins plant.

  • Watering: Once every week during the growing season and once every month in winters.
  • Soil: Well-draining soil, preferably a mixture of potting soil, perlite, and sand.
  • Sunlight: Six hours of bright, indirect sunlight.
  • Temperature: 70°F to 80°F.
  • Humidity: Under 50%.
  • Repotting: Once every 3 years.
  • Fertilizer: Once or twice a year with regular balanced houseplant fertilizer. Make sure to dilute it to half its strength.


String of Dolphins is a rare plant widely grown indoors for its lovely foliage. As the name suggests, this plant has dolphin-shaped leaves, growing on long, fleshy branches. String of Dolphins shriveling is a common thing that can be treated simply. Heat stress, direct sun, insufficient watering, and root rot lead to shriveling of this plant’s leaves. To revive your plant from this phase, you must first identify the cause.

After reading this article, now that you know how to save your plant, your String of Dolphins can get healthy and fleshy again.

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