Why Is My String Of Dolphins Losing Leaves?

The string of dolphins is a dense succulent plant. It is widely sought after for its low-maintenance needs and uniquely shaped leaves that resemble tiny diving dolphins.

Generally, the string of dolphins is an evergreen plant and doesn’t shed its leaves too much. So, if you see your plant shedding too many leaves, it essentially means that the plant is unhealthy. Such a situation is caused due to various factors. It requires immediate care as it may be damaged if left untreated for a long period.

Why is my string of dolphins losing leaves?

So, let us explore the factors which may cause the string of dolphins to lose its leaves –

  • Improper watering
  • Lack of sunlight
  • Temperature
  • Winter Dormancy

Improper Watering

One of the main causes for the loss of leaves of your string of dolphins is overwatering . It happens if the plant is watered too frequently or if there is stagnant water left behind. The leaves get oversaturated by excess water and start to fall off over time. While the loss of leaves is only a sign of an overwatered plant, if left untreated, the plant can suffer from serious problems like root rot.


The ideal way to water your string of dolphins is to provide water till it starts to drain out of the drainage holes. Repeat this at least once weekly but ensure that you only water the plant when there is no stagnant water left behind. It helps keep the soil moist and maintain adequate water levels in the plant.

Lack of Sunlight

The string of dolphins is a tropical plant and requires abundant sunlight to grow well. So, if your plant has started to dry and is losing leaves, it may mean that there is a lack of sunlight. It can cause more serious problems such as flat leaves or etiolation in the plant.


If your plant is growing in an area of shade, immediately shift it to a location where there is abundant, indirect sunlight. The plant should have access to at least six hours of sunlight to grow well. In case the plant is growing indoors, use artificial lighting or place the plant near a south-facing window to ensure that its need for light is fulfilled.


Extreme temperatures may also be a reason for the loss of leaves in your string of dolphins. Generally, the plant is accustomed to average household temperatures, so if it is subject to severe heat or cold, there may be tissue damage in the plant. It leads to a loss of leaves and the weakening of the plant.


Avoid leaving your plant outdoors in extreme temperatures as it may cause serious tissue damage. It is best to place it in a location where it is not subject to direct sunlight or frost. In cases of indoor plants, remove the plant from daft places like open windows and sources of heat or cold, such as refrigerators or heaters.

Thus, these are the steps to take if your string of dolphins is starting to lose leaves.

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