Senecio peregrinus [sen-ek-ee-o, per-uh-GREE-nus] is a flowering succulent belonging to the Asteraceae family.
While many people refer to it as Senecio peregrinus, the plant is identified as Senecio “Hippogriff.”
No matter the correct scientific name, people commonly called it:
- Dolphin necklace
- Flying dolphins
- Dolphin plant
It’s a hybrid between two other species in the Senecio genus – rowleyanus and articulatus.
These plants come from the drier regions of southwest Africa.
Care details on other popular Senecio varieties:
Senecio Peregrinus Care
Size and Growth
Senecio peregrinus is a succulent with thin stems and oddly shaped leaves.
It’s often grown as a hanging succulent due to its slender, creeping growth.
While Senecio rowleyanus, “string of pearls,” is known for its string of pea-shaped leaves, Senecio peregrinus produces a dolphin-shaped leaf.
The foliage resembles small dolphins jumping from the waves.
Young plants feature short stems with smaller leaves.
As the plant matures, the succulent stems begin to trail.
The stems may eventually reach 6″ inches, while the stems can grow over 20″ inches in a single year.
Flowering and Fragrance
Blooming between May and June, peregrinus produces small white flowers forming little puffballs with haloes of golden yellow or blood-red filaments.
Light and Temperature
- Grow dolphin necklace under bright, indirect sunlight.
- In moist conditions, it should receive partial shade.
- It may develop scorching when placed in full sunlight.
- This plant doesn’t tolerate frost.
- It’s recommended for USDA hardiness zones 9b to 11b.
- Senecio peregrinus grows best at an average temperature of about 72° degrees Fahrenheit (22° C) during the warmer months.
- During the winter, temperatures should not drop below 50° degrees Fahrenheit (10° C).
Watering and Feeding
- Allow the soil to dry thoroughly between watering.
- As a succulent, the dolphin necklace stores water in its stems and can tolerate drought longer.
- In the typical growing conditions, Senecio peregrinus needs watering about once per week during the summer and once per month in the winter.
- Do Not over-fertilize.
- It only requires a little extra nutrition twice per year.
- Add time-release fertilizer pellets to the soil at the start of spring and again when the flowers appear.
Soil and Transplanting
Use well-draining potting medium or succulent potting mix.
To make homemade succulent potting mix, combine the following:
- 1 part perlite
- 2 parts coarse sand
- 2 parts peat moss
If the potting media doesn’t drain well, the leaves may start to wilt.
The roots may also develop fungal growth.
Transplant the dolphin plant if it outgrows its current container.
Use pots that are just a little bit larger compared to the current pot as the root system thrives when slightly crowded.
The dolphin necklace only needs grooming to manage the height of the stems when growing as a potted plant.
It is fast-growing and the stems will not remain upright.
After exceeding 6″ inches, the stems begin to trail downward.
How To Propagate Dolphin Necklace Plant
Propagate Senecio peregrinus using cuttings.
Select cuttings measuring at least 5″ inches.
They should also contain several sets of leaves.
Instead of planting the cuttings in soil, lay them flat on the soil.
Use a succulent potting mix combined with additional standard soil to increase water retention.
Keep the containers at 60° degrees Fahrenheit (15° C) or warmer under bright filtered light.
Water the soil once before laying the cuttings on top and the mist every couple of days.
After two to three weeks, the cuttings should take root.
Begin watering sparingly when roots form.
Wait until the young plants are firmly rooted and starting to show new growth before transplanting to their permanent homes.
Dolphin Necklace Pest or Disease Problems
When grown indoors, the plant may suffer from spider mites or mealybugs.
Spider mites tend to spin webs on the undersides of the foliage while mealybugs appear as white cottony growth.
Try removing mealybugs by hand using cotton swabs dipped in rubbing alcohol.
If the plant has spider mites, take it outdoors and spray it with cold water.
If these methods don’t solve the problem, use a miticide for spider mites and insecticidal soap for the mealybugs.
Senecio peregrinus may also suffer from fungal growth when left in moist conditions.
If fungus appears, limit watering and improve the drainage of the soil.
Always use containers with drainage holes.
For severe fungal growth, taking cuttings from healthy parts of the plant may provide a way to avoid completely losing the dolphin necklace.
Parts of the plant may contain toxins and cause adverse reactions if ingested.
The most commonly reported symptoms include upset stomach and nausea.
However, it’s still a good idea to keep an eye on children and pets near the plant.
Suggested Senecio Peregrinus Uses
Grow the dolphin necklace as a succulent hanging, allowing the leaves to fall downward.
Within a single year, the stems can reach 20″ inches.
If growing as a potted plant, trim the stems to keep them at a manageable size.