How to Propagate Dolphin Plant: A General Guide

- Editorial Staff

Sunday, 30 July 2023 - 01:36

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Welcome, plant enthusiasts! If you’re looking to add some unique and captivating greenery to your indoor garden, look no further than the fascinating dolphin plant. With its stunning foliage that resembles leaping dolphins, this plant is sure to be a conversation starter. But did you know that you can easily propagate dolphin plants to expand your collection or share them with friends? In this article, we will guide you through the simple steps of propagating dolphin plants, so you can enjoy the beauty of these magical plants in your own home. Let’s dive right in!


The Dolphin Plant, also known as Senecio Peregrinus, is a unique and captivating succulent that has recently gained popularity among houseplant enthusiasts. Its distinctive leaves resemble tiny jumping dolphins, which explains its common name. This plant is native to South Africa and belongs to the Asteraceae family.

What is the Dolphin Plant?

The Dolphin Plant is a hybrid succulent that resulted from the crossbreeding of two different Senecio species – Senecio articulatus and Senecio rowleyanus. The combination of these two plants gave birth to a beautiful and unusual species with dolphin-shaped leaves. The leaves are greenish-blue in color, rounded, and have tiny transparent windows that resemble dolphin skin patterns. This plant also produces small white flowers that add to its overall appeal.

Importance of Propagation

Propagation is a vital process for plant enthusiasts as it allows them to expand their collection and share the joy of cultivating unique plants with others. The Dolphin Plant, with its intriguing appearance, is no exception. Propagating this plant not only ensures its continued existence but also offers numerous benefits to both the grower and the plant itself.

The Different Methods of Propagation

There are several techniques that you can utilize to propagate the Dolphin Plant. Each method has its own advantages and requirements, so it’s essential to choose the one that suits your preferences and available resources.

1. Propagation through Stem Cuttings

One of the most common and effective methods of propagating the Dolphin Plant is through stem cuttings. To begin, choose a healthy and mature dolphin plant that you wish to propagate. Using a sterilized sharp knife or shears, cut a stem segment, ensuring that it is around 3-4 inches in length. Remove any leaves from the lower part of the cutting, leaving only a few at the top.

Allow the cuttings to dry for a few days, which helps prevent rotting during the propagation process. Once the cut end has calloused, you can proceed to plant the stem cutting in a well-draining soil mix. Make sure to bury the cut end at least an inch deep into the soil.

Maintain a suitable environment for rooting by providing bright, indirect sunlight and ensuring the soil is slightly damp. Within a few weeks, you should see roots forming, indicating successful propagation. After roots have developed, you can gradually acclimate the new plants to more sunlight and water them accordingly.

2. Propagation through Leaf Cuttings

An alternative method to propagate the Dolphin Plant is through leaf cuttings. While not as reliable as stem cuttings, it is worth exploring this technique if stem cutting propagation does not yield the desired results.

To propagate via leaf cuttings, gently remove a leaf from a healthy Dolphin Plant. Ensure that the leaf is intact and undamaged. Allow the leaf to dry for a day or two to prevent rotting. Next, lay the leaf flat on a well-draining soil mix but avoid burying it deep. Simply pressing the base of the leaf into the soil surface is enough.

Maintain a slightly moist environment and provide bright, indirect sunlight. After some time, new plantlets will start growing from the base of the leaf. Once these plantlets have developed their own roots and leaves, you can transfer them to individual pots.

3. Propagation through Offsets

The Dolphin Plant occasionally produces offsets or pups that can be separated and propagated into new plants. These offsets are smaller plants that form at the base of the parent plant.

To propagate through offsets, carefully detach the offshoots from the main plant using a clean knife or your hands. Ensure that each offset has its own set of roots. Plant the offsets in small pots containing well-draining soil and provide them with the same care as mature plants.

It is important to note that not all Dolphin Plants produce offsets regularly. Patience may be required, and it may take time for offsets to emerge. Nevertheless, this method offers a great opportunity to expand your Dolphin Plant collection.


The Dolphin Plant is a fascinating succulent with dolphin-shaped leaves that captivates plant enthusiasts around the world. Propagating this plant through various methods such as stem cuttings, leaf cuttings, or offsets allows growers to enjoy the process of cultivating unique plants and share the beauty of the Dolphin Plant with others. By following the proper techniques and providing the necessary care, you can successfully propagate and expand your collection of these delightful plants.

Methods of Propagation

There are several methods to propagate the Dolphin Plant, including water propagation, soil propagation, and leaf cutting propagation. Each method has its own set of advantages and can be successful with the right techniques. Below, we will provide step-by-step instructions on how to propagate the Dolphin Plant using these different methods.

Water Propagation

Water propagation is a popular method for propagating the Dolphin Plant due to its simplicity and efficiency. Here’s a guide on how to propagate the Dolphin Plant using water:

  1. Select a healthy stem from the parent plant. Make sure it has a few leaves and nodes.
  2. Fill a clean glass or vase with filtered or distilled water. Avoid using tap water as it may contain chemicals that can harm the plant.
  3. Cut the selected stem just below a node using a sterilized pair of scissors or pruners. Remove any leaves near the bottom of the stem.
  4. Place the stem in the water, making sure that the nodes are submerged. The nodes are where the roots will develop.
  5. Put the glass or vase in a location with bright, indirect sunlight. Avoid placing it in direct sunlight as it may scorch the leaves.
  6. Change the water every few days to prevent stagnation and the growth of bacteria.
  7. After a few weeks, you should start seeing roots growing from the nodes. Once the roots are at least an inch long, you can transfer the plant to a pot with well-draining soil.
  8. Care for the propagated plant as you would care for a mature Dolphin Plant, providing it with the appropriate light, water, and temperature conditions.

Soil Propagation

Soil propagation is another effective method for propagating the Dolphin Plant. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Choose a healthy stem from the parent plant and prepare a small pot with well-draining soil.
  2. Cut the selected stem just below a node using sterilized scissors or pruners.
  3. Remove any leaves near the bottom of the stem.
  4. Make a small hole in the soil using your finger or a clean pencil.
  5. Insert the stem into the hole, making sure the node is covered with soil.
  6. Press the soil gently around the stem to secure it in place.
  7. Place the pot in a location with bright, indirect sunlight.
  8. Water the soil lightly, keeping it slightly moist but not waterlogged.
  9. Continue to water the plant regularly, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings.
  10. After a few weeks, you should notice new growth and roots developing from the stem. Once the roots are well-established, you can transplant the plant to a larger pot or garden bed.

Leaf Cutting Propagation

Leaf cutting propagation is a unique method that involves using a single leaf to propagate the Dolphin Plant. Follow these steps to successfully propagate the Dolphin Plant using leaf cuttings:

  1. Select a healthy and mature leaf from the parent plant.
  2. Cut the leaf at its base, ensuring that you have a clean, straight cut.
  3. Allow the leaf cutting to dry for a few days, allowing the cut end to callus over. This will reduce the risk of rotting.
  4. Prepare a small pot with well-draining soil.
  5. Moisten the soil slightly to make it easier for the leaf cutting to root.
  6. Insert the cut end of the leaf into the soil, burying it about half an inch deep.
  7. Place the pot in a warm and bright location, but avoid direct sunlight.
  8. Keep the soil lightly moist, misting it with water whenever it feels dry.
  9. After a few weeks, the leaf cutting should start producing roots and new growth from its base.
  10. Once the new plantlet has developed a few leaves and a strong root system, you can transplant it to a larger pot or garden bed.

Propagation is an exciting way to expand your Dolphin Plant collection or share this stunning plant with others. Whichever method you choose, remember to be patient and provide the newly propagated plants with appropriate care and conditions to ensure their successful growth.

Tips for Successful Propagation

Propagating the Dolphin Plant can be a rewarding experience, allowing you to expand your collection and share the beauty of these unique plants with others. To ensure successful propagation, it is important to follow some key tips and guidelines. In this section, we will explore three essential aspects of propagating the Dolphin Plant: choosing the right stem, providing optimal conditions, and the importance of patience and care.

Choosing the Right Stem

When it comes to propagating the Dolphin Plant, selecting the right stem is crucial. Look for a healthy stem that is free from any signs of disease or damage. The stem should also have several nodes, as these are the points from which roots will emerge. Additionally, make sure the stem is long enough to allow for easy planting and handling.

It is recommended to choose a stem that is semi-mature rather than completely mature or too young. A semi-mature stem will have a higher chance of successful rooting. To identify a semi-mature stem, look for one that is firm but not too rigid, with leaves that are not fully developed but not too small either.

Providing Optimal Conditions

In order to successfully propagate the Dolphin Plant, creating the right environment is essential. Here are some important tips to consider:

  1. Temperature and Humidity: Dolphin Plants thrive in warm and humid conditions. Aim for a temperature range of 70-80°F (21-27°C) and a humidity level of 60-70%. You can achieve the required humidity by misting the plant regularly or placing a humidity tray nearby.
  2. Light: Bright but indirect light is ideal for Dolphin Plant propagation. Avoid exposing the plant to direct sunlight, as it can lead to sunburn and damage the delicate leaves.
  3. Soil and Watering: Use well-draining soil that retains some moisture while allowing excess water to drain away. Keep the soil consistently moist but not soggy, as overwatering can hinder root development.
  4. Container: Choose a container with drainage holes to prevent waterlogging. A small pot or tray is sufficient for propagating a single stem.

By providing these optimal conditions, you will create a favorable environment for the Dolphin Plant to develop roots and grow.

Patience and Care

Propagation is a process that requires patience and regular care. Here are some essential points to keep in mind:

Timing: It is important to choose the right time for propagation. Spring is generally the best time, as the plant is actively growing and will establish roots more easily.

Regular Monitoring: Keep a close eye on the propagated stem, monitoring its progress and checking for any signs of distress or disease. Remove any leaves that start to yellow or wither, as they may hinder the growth of new roots.

Mist and Water: Mist the leaves regularly to maintain humidity and prevent them from drying out. Water the propagated stem when the top inch of the soil feels dry to the touch, ensuring not to overwater.

Be Patient: Root development can take several weeks, so it is crucial to be patient and give the plant time to establish strong roots. Avoid rushing the process or disturbing the stem unnecessarily.

With time, care, and a little bit of patience, the propagated Dolphin Plant will develop a strong root system and grow into a beautiful, thriving plant.

In conclusion, successful propagation of the Dolphin Plant requires careful consideration of the stem, providing optimal environmental conditions, and practicing patience and regular care. By following these tips, you can confidently propagate your Dolphin Plants and enjoy the satisfaction of watching them flourish.

Common Mistakes to Avoid


Overwatering can be detrimental to the health of your dolphin plants. When the roots are constantly saturated, they can become deprived of oxygen, leading to root rot. This can severely affect the plant’s ability to absorb nutrients and water, ultimately causing its demise. To avoid overwatering, it is important to understand the plant’s watering needs. Dolphin plants prefer well-draining soil, so make sure the water can easily flow through the pot. Additionally, only water the plant when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. This way, you can ensure that you are providing adequate water without drowning the plant.

Using Poor Quality Soil

Using low-quality soil can have negative effects on the growth and development of your dolphin plant. Poor soil can lack essential nutrients and have inadequate drainage, which can lead to root issues. To avoid these problems, it is recommended to use a well-balanced potting mix specifically formulated for indoor plants. These mixes usually contain a blend of peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite, which provide good aeration and drainage for the roots. Avoid using garden soil or heavy clay soil, as they tend to compact and hinder the root system’s growth. It is worth investing in quality soil to give your dolphin plant the best chance of thriving.

Skipping the Preparation Stage

The preparation stage plays a crucial role in the successful propagation of dolphin plants. Skipping this step may result in failure or stunted growth of the new plant. Before starting the propagation process, it is important to prepare both the parent plant and the soil or growing medium. Start by selecting a healthy and mature dolphin plant with no signs of disease or pests. Inspect the plant thoroughly and remove any dead or decaying leaves. This will ensure that the parent plant is at its best state to produce healthy cuttings.

As for the soil or growing medium, make sure it is clean and free from any contaminants that could harm the new plants. Sterilize the soil by baking it in the oven at a low temperature or using a microwave. This will kill any pathogens or pests present in the soil, reducing the risk of disease transmission to the new plants.

Once both the parent plant and the soil are prepared, you can proceed with the propagation process, increasing the chances of success and healthy growth for your dolphin plant cuttings. Taking the time to properly prepare the plant and the soil will significantly improve the overall outcome of your propagation efforts.


Enjoy the Beauty of Your Propagated Dolphin Plants

After successfully propagating your Dolphin Plants, it’s time to sit back and revel in the beauty of your new plant babies. Seeing them flourish and grow is incredibly rewarding, and now is the perfect opportunity to provide some final tips for their long-term care.

1. Keep them in a bright location: Dolphin Plants thrive in bright, indirect light. Find a spot near a window where they can receive ample sunlight, but avoid placing them in direct sunlight as it can scorch their delicate leaves.

2. Optimal temperature and humidity: These plants prefer a warm and humid environment. Maintain a temperature range between 60-85°F (15-29°C) and mist the leaves occasionally to increase humidity.

3. Watering routine: Achieving the right balance of moisture is crucial. Water your Dolphin Plants when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. Avoid over-watering as it can lead to root rot and other issues.

4. Fertilize regularly: Feed your Dolphin Plants with a balanced houseplant fertilizer every two to four weeks during the growing season (spring and summer). Follow the instructions on the fertilizer package for the correct dilution ratio.

5. Pruning and propagation: As your Dolphin Plants mature, you might notice leggy or overgrown stems. Prune them back to encourage bushier growth. The pruned cuttings can be used for propagation and shared with friends or used to grow more Dolphin Plants for yourself.

With these tips, you can continue to nurture and experience the joy of your propagated Dolphin Plants for years to come. Don’t hesitate to experiment with different techniques or seek further guidance from fellow plant enthusiasts or local nurseries. Remember, each plant is unique, and your care may require slight adjustments based on environmental factors unique to your home. Enjoy the journey of growth and the beauty nature brings into your life with these remarkable plants.

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