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Goldfish Plant Care

Goldfish Plant Care

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Without a doubt, a fully mature goldfish plant in a hanging basket is a stunner- it’s a high bloomer and with these goldfish plant care tips, will add the most wonderful splash of color to any space.

But first, let’s get to know this plant a little better.

The goldfish plant, known under its botanical name Columnea gloriosa is a tropical plant from the genus Columnea.

It got its unusual common name from the masses of red, orange or yellow flowers that bloom in the spring and summer and are a bit similar to a leaping goldfish.

It’s native to the Central and South American tropical regions and the Caribbean.

If you choose this intriguing plant to beautify your home or office, place them to grow as a cascading plant or in baskets near bright sills.

It’s good news that they’re a relatively a long-lived plant which can survive almost for 10 years with regular repotting!

Interestingly, there are a plenty of hybrids to choose from, depending on how much vigour and which color combos you prefer.

Its stems will grow up to 2 to 3 inches and its branches up to 3 feet.

Goldfish plant care means providing lots of light, preferably indirect, as well as ongoing moisture, especially in the growing season.

Like the Zebra Plant, it’s a good choice for people with cats or dogs as it’s non-toxic to them according to the ASPCA.

Since you can meet its needs easily by knowing the right ‘tricks’, it’s a suitable plant for you even if you’re new to gardening.

Its trailing foliage and exotic flowers will bring a vibe like no other in almost any space.

How to Care for a Goldfish Plant


A goldfish plant wants a lot of brightness, but indirect.

12 or more hours of light per day are necessary for the plant to grow happy and healthy and of course, to bloom.

It’s a great idea if you can, to place it in a bright eastern area or a northern area if you live in warmer climate.

In winter, a southern area would be great.

Avoid placing the plant in an area directly exposed to the sunlight- it will burn its leaves!


In order for your goldfish plant to grow healthy, the temperature indoors should be in a range from 65 degrees F to 85 degrees F.

A temperature that goes constantly above 85 degrees F can burn its leaves.

Also, avoid placing the plant near draft or heaters.

Water & Humidity

To thrive, this plant needs regular moisture; however, it’s best to wait with watering and do it when the top soil is dry around 2 inches.

This will help reduce the chance of fungus.

A great way to check the soil is by using a chopstick or your finger. Push it into the soil and don’t water it until the top two inches of your finger or chopstick is dry.

In terms of humidity, for this plant, the higher it is the better.

However, it still adapts well to a basic humidity in most households.

Still, if you want to make sure it grows healthy; it’s good to boost up the humidity. You can do this through trays with pebbles and water or by daily misting and a humidifier.


This plant needs a well-draining mix that’s very light. Even better, opt for a DIY soil from perlite, peat moss, and vermiculite.

Don’t put too much vermiculite as it holds more water than this plant wants. Another good choice is an African violet peat-based soil with some perlite.


In the growing season, your goldfish plant wants regular feeding and it will give you amazing blooms.

However, it’s better if it takes it through the leaves rather than through the soil and roots.

Choose a water-soluble fertilizer with additional phosphate. Use a fourth the amount labelled and prepare it with filtered water or rainwater.

Mist the plant with the solution every 2 weeks. In the dormant period, pause the feeding.


This plant wants to be root-bound so the repotting is recommendable every two or three years. And, choose only a one size bigger pot.

When it’s time for the repotting, gently wash the roots with room temperature filtered water and cut them slightly.

This will help encourage new root growth.

Goldfish Plant Propagation

The best time to propagate this plant is in the spring or summer.

You can propagate your goldfish plant through 2 to 4 inch stem cuttings potted in potting mix of 1 part perlite and 1 part peat moss.

It’s also good to dab the cuttings with root hormone prior to the planting.

Put the pot in a plastic bag and place it in a bright area. From time to time, mist it. In a period of 30 days or so, you’ll notice roots.

Best Goldfish Plant Species

California Gold

This hybrid boasts stunning yellow blooms with red edges.

Aladdin’s Lamp

Another wonderful variety that has deep-red flowers and dark-green foliage.

Frosty Hills

This hybrid perennial has an unusual foliage color (a mixture of white-gray and green) which makes it look as if it has frost.

Other Tips

Plant it in a pot that has good drainage system so that the root doesn’t stand in water.

One of the best pots for this plant is a shallow azalea as it doesn’t leave empty space beneath the plant’s root ball.

If your plant isn’t blooming, check for these three things- low brightness, low humidity or excessive pruning.

Trouble Shooting- Common Issues

Problem: losing leaves

Cause: May be going into dormancy.

Solution: Lower the watering and resume it when you notice growth and more vigour.

Problem: fungus & mold

Cause: High humidity and more sensitive foliage.

Solution: Focus on prevention-keep a good air flow and water only after the 2 top inches of the soil are dry.

Problem: the plant’s growing straggly.

Cause: Growth.

Solution: It’s time to pinch or cut it back- cut away some of the woody stems and continue pruning it on a regular basis.


I hope you’ve enjoyed this article on goldfish plant care.

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Goldfish Plant

Christine Mattner

What started out as purely a desire to keep my indoor plants alive has turned into a full-blown passion for sharing what I have learned over the years about selecting, growing and caring for indoor plants with those who may be new to the wonderful world of houseplants.

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