🐬 How to Know When to Repot a String of Dolphins?

By Kiersten Rankel

Dec 19, 20236 min read

  1. 🌱 Roots peeking out? Time to repot your String of Dolphins.
  2. Repot in growth phase: Spring and summer are ideal.
  3. Choose terracotta or ceramic pots for healthy soil breathing.

Recognizing the Need for Repotting

🌱 Root Circumstances

Identifying a Root-Bound Plant

When your String of Dolphins starts to resemble a pot-bound escape artist, with roots peeking through the drainage holes, it's a telltale sign that your plant is yearning for a new home. A root-bound plant will often have roots circling the root ball, indicating it's time to upgrade to a larger pot.

Signs of Roots Emerging from Drainage Holes

If you spot roots making a break for it out of the pot's base, it's not just a quirky plant behavior—it's a distress signal. These adventurous roots are a clear indication that the plant's current living quarters are too cramped.

🌿 Plant Health Indicators

Slowed Growth or Visible Decline in Health

A String of Dolphins that's slowed down in growth or looks a bit under the weather could be suffering from a lack of space. When your plant's growth is more sluggish than a lazy Sunday afternoon, it's likely time to repot.

Soil and Water Drainage Issues

If your watering routine feels more like a guessing game and the soil seems to be in a perpetual state of soggy, it's a red flag. Proper drainage is crucial, and when it's compromised, your plant's roots may be sitting in excess water, making them prime candidates for root rot.

Choosing the Right Time to Repot

🌱 Seasonal Considerations

Spring and summer are the prime seasons for repotting your String of Dolphins. This is when the plant is in its growth phase, harnessing energy and nutrients to expand and flourish. Repotting during this period supports the plant's natural cycle, offering minimal disruption and optimal conditions for root development.

🌿 Plant Lifecycle Stages

Understanding your plant's lifecycle is crucial. Active growth typically occurs in warmer months, making it the best time to repot. During winter, the plant enters a dormant phase, conserving energy and pausing growth. It's best to avoid repotting during this time to prevent unnecessary stress on the plant.

Selecting the Appropriate Pot and Soil

🏺 Pot Material Considerations

When choosing a pot for your String of Dolphins, think of it as selecting a home that's both comfortable and functional. Terracotta pots are a fan favorite due to their porous nature, allowing soil to breathe and moisture to evaporate, which is ideal for succulents craving that dry-out period between waterings. Ceramic pots, with their glazed finish, offer a balance between moisture retention and style, while plastic pots are lightweight and retain moisture longer, which can be beneficial in certain environments.

However, not all materials are created equal for our dolphin friends. Metal pots can lead to overheating, and glass containers, while chic, often lack necessary drainage holes. Always remember, a pot without drainage is like a swimming pool without a ladder – not ideal for those who don't want to swim forever.

🌱 Soil Selection

Now, let's talk dirt. The importance of a well-draining soil mix for String of Dolphins cannot be overstated. This succulent's roots despise waterlogged conditions as much as cats despise water. Incorporate ingredients like perlite, pumice, or sand to ensure quick drainage and prevent the roots from becoming the botanical equivalent of waterlogged raisins.

A pro tip: mix in some orchid bark or coco coir to improve aeration and mimic the plant's natural habitat. This creates a cozy, yet breathable environment for roots to thrive. Remember, the right soil mix is like a good mattress – it provides support, comfort, and prevents a soggy situation.

The Repotting Process

🌱 Preparing for Repotting

Before diving into the repotting process, ensure you have all necessary materials at hand. You'll need a new pot—slightly larger than the current one—a watering can, fresh potting mix, a trowel, scissors, and possibly plastic netting or gauze. Clear your workspace and lay down newspaper to catch any spills.

🔄 Step-by-Step Repotting Guide

Step 1: Removing the Plant

Start by watering your String of Dolphins a few days prior to repotting. This will make the soil more pliable and easier to work with. Gently tip the pot sideways and tap the bottom to coax the plant out. If the plant resists, slide a chopstick through the drainage hole to help push the root ball out.

Step 2: Pruning the Roots

Inspect the root ball for any dead or rotting roots, which will appear black or mushy, and trim them off. To encourage new root growth, make a few light slashes along the sides of the root ball with a clean, sharp knife.

Step 3: Preparing the New Pot

Cover the drainage holes with plastic netting or gauze to prevent soil loss. Add a layer of fresh potting mix to the base of the new pot, ensuring it's enough to raise the plant to the proper height.

Step 4: Planting

Place the plant in the center of the new pot and fill around it with potting mix. Tamp the soil gently with your fingers to remove air pockets. The plant should be positioned so that the soil level is the same as it was in the previous pot.

Step 5: Final Touches

Water the plant thoroughly to settle the soil and give the roots much-needed moisture. If the soil settles significantly after watering, add more mix to maintain the correct level. Avoid compacting the soil too much, as String of Dolphins prefers well-draining conditions.

Remember, repotting is a refreshing change for your plant, akin to moving into a spacious new home. With these steps, your String of Dolphins will be poised to thrive in its new abode.

Post-Repotting Care

💦 Immediate Aftercare

After the delicate dance of repotting, your String of Dolphins plant will need some TLC to thrive in its new abode. Watering is the first step, but not a deluge—think gentle rain, not a monsoon. Aim for moist, not soggy soil, to encourage the roots to stretch out and settle in.

Placement is next on the agenda. Your plant is now a bit of a recluse, preferring indirect sunlight to avoid the harsh glare of reality. Think of it as a plant spa retreat, where the light is soothing and the ambiance is calm.

🌱 Long-Term Maintenance

As the weeks roll by, keep a watchful eye on your green friend. Growth is a telltale sign that your plant is content in its new pot. If it's not sprouting with joy, it might be signaling an SOS.

Watering should be a thoughtful affair. Before you reach for the watering can, check the soil's moisture like you're testing the waters of a bath—it should be just right. Overwatering is the equivalent of overindulging in water sports—it's all fun and games until someone gets waterlogged.

Lastly, remember that patience is a virtue, especially in the plant world. Give your String of Dolphins time to adjust, and soon enough, it'll be cascading with gratitude. Keep the long-term care consistent, and you'll be rewarded with a flourishing plant that's the envy of the neighborhood.

Ensure your String of Dolphins is happily settled 🐬 in its new home with Greg's tailored reminders for the perfect repotting time.