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The #1 Reason Behind Why Are My Strings Of Dolphins Flat?

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Are you a lover of growing plants that are easy to take care of? Do you always check on the internet before buying a plant to make sure you aren’t putting too much burden on yourself?

Well, if so, you might be one of the people who opted for the dolphin plant. Have you recently begun to notice, that the leaves of your plant have started to turn flat? Are you wondering why are my strings of dolphins flat?

The string of dolphins, or dolphin plants, are a kind of succulent that will make you fall in love with plants and the hobby of gardening. It gets its name from the tiny leaves on its vine-like stems that look like dolphins.

It is a beautiful plant, that is sure to catch anyone’s eyes. But seeing the state of your succulent, have you been wondering where you went wrong? Don’t worry! We are here to help anyone pondering why are my strings of dolphins flat?

Why Are My Strings Of Dolphins Flat 1
Anyone seen string of dolphins do this before? The leaves are flattening out! – via Reddit

The Issue of Lighting

Like all other succulents, strings of dolphins love the sun. It needs a lot of exposure to the sun to remain healthy. If it doesn’t obtain the required amount of sunlight, its leaves start to flatten up to increase surface area.

This is a survival mechanism performed by the plant so its leaves can absorb more sunlight. So, if you notice your string of dolphins with flat leaves, that is because of a lack of light exposure.

The plant also shows some early signs before its leaves start to flatten. These are highly convenient for all the growers out there because you can prevent any damage from occurring. These include branches that will stretch towards the nearest light source because the plant will try to absorb as much light as it can.

How Much Light Does the Plant Require?

If you see your plant’s leave flatten out and its branches stretching towards a window or a door, make sure to never put the plant outdoor. It does not help at all!

Instead, it makes the situation worse and the danger severe. Direct sunlight is very harmful to the plants as it threatens to burn the plant.

If you see wilted leaves, this is an indication that you might be doing something wrong. Remove the plant from its current location and place it somewhere that doesn’t expose the plant to excess and direct sunlight.

Usually, partial shade is the best for succulents. Partial shade means that the plant only receives indirect sunlight for two to three hours a day while being shaded from the intense sun rays during the afternoon.

You can do this by placing the plant near a window instead of directly putting it outside. You can also drape a sheer curtain over the window to prevent overexposure to sunlight.

How Can You Test the Intensity of Light?

If you are curious about the amount of light your string of dolphins is receiving in a particular spot, you can test it! This test can be conducted in different parts of your room to see which part is receiving optimum sunlight.

Ideally, you can place your plant in all the bright parts of your room, but make sure you do it before midday/afternoon.

The light intensity test can be conducted in two steps using a simple piece of paper. Put the paper between yourself and the bright spot. Ensure that you are at least a foot away from the location you’re testing for. If a sharp shadow is visible on the paper, the spot receives bright light. But if the shadow is softer, the part gets medium to low light.

Why Are My Strings Of Dolphins Flat 2
Why Are My Strings Of Dolphins Flat – via Reddit

How to Improve Lighting?


Move your plant to a brighter spot for better light exposure. A south-facing window is the best option, as it receives ample sunlight throughout the day. However, don’t place the plant on the windowsill. Instead, go for a table or a surface close to the window.

If a south-facing window is unavailable in your home, you can also opt for a west-facing window. Place the plant around a foot away from the window. If you have an east-facing window, you can place the plant right next to the window as this is the spot that will receive the least amount of light.


If you want to grow a plant in a particular corner of the room that is far from any of the windows, you can do this through mirrors. Yes, mirrors!

The mirror will reflect light to the plant. The placement of the mirror is important and hence, should be done tentatively. So putting more mirrors around your room is very helpful for your plant.

Artificial Lights

In the current time, science has progressed so much that there is an artificial path for almost everything. You can now use artificial lights made specifically for growing plants. They help in plant growth by providing plants with light in darker spots of your house, even during the autumn and winter months.

Light-Colored Walls

Dark surfaces absorb light, while light surfaces reflect light. So having walls in brighter shades will ensure that light gets received in all the nooks and crannies of your room.

What To Do To Prevent Or Fix The Flat Leaves?

The first step to prevent flat leaves will be to put them in a bright area. An area with not too much direct sunlight but enough light for the succulent to stay healthy.

Secondly, make sure that you’re also taking care of all the other requirements of your plant. Water them frequently, add fertilizer, check humidity, and prune them every growing season. This will ensure that the plant is healthy overall.


Summing it up, we can say that providing your strings of dolphins with the necessary light requirements is a game-changer. Here’s to worrying less and keeping our plants healthy, because if you follow these instructions, that is exactly what you’ll be getting by the end!