How to Care for the Goldfish Plant
The Goldfish Plant is native to Central and South America and is a relative of another popular plant, the African Violet. It isn’t exactly the most beginner-friendly houseplant, but with enough attention given to its needs, it can last you quite a long time. This playful plant gets its name from its fish-shaped reddish orange flowers. When well-cared for, the Goldfish Plant is a profuse bloomer that looks fantastic showcased in a hanging basket due to its thick, waxy dark green leaves and long stems. They live for almost a decade, so growing them is highly rewarding despite their finicky nature.
They can grow as long as up to three feet, and flower heavily in the springtime. The basic species has been significantly experimented with, allowing growers to produce different varieties of the plant, with each one sporting different colored flowers and even leaves. The most common one is Columnea Gloriosa, characterized by its hairy purplish leaves and red and yellow flowers. The Columnea Hirta or Light Prince has white streaks on its variegated leaves. The Black Goldfish Plant, on the other hand, gets its name from its glossy dark green red-tinged leaves
When growing them indoors, it is best to mimic the warm temperature and lighting conditions of their native environment. To propagate, simply take four-inch stem tip cuttings without flowers, dip in rooting hormone powder, and insert in moist potting mix.
Goldfish Plants are non-toxic to both humans and pets.
To encourage blooming, place your Goldfish Plant in a spot where it can receive plenty of bright, indirect light—the brighter the light, the more profusely it flowers. Avoid direct sunlight to prevent leaf burn, but note that it can get leggy and lose flowers in lower light conditions. Keep humidity high and temperatures between 65 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
Hydrate your plant using room temperature water when the soil volume is 50% dry as cold water can actually damage it. Pinch off growing tips for compact and bushy growth. Keep the stems at 12 to 18 inches long to prevent legginess. Goldfish Plants like being slightly root-bound, so don’t repot unless it has fully outgrown its current container, which usually happens every two to three years. Go only one pot size up when doing so.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)
on Goldfish Plant
Why are there spots on my Goldfish Plant?
This may be due to overwatering or dry air. It may also be an indicator of leaf spot disease if the spots are brown and ringed with yellow. If so, remove the damaged areas with scissors, making sure to sanitize the blades after each snip. Do not wet the leaves until the spots have cleared up.
Why is my plant dropping leaves?
Your plant may not be getting enough light. This allows it to drop leaves, flowers, and become leggy. Try to move it to a spot with bright, indirect light and see if conditions improve. Also, if your plant is in the active growing stage, it is normal for it to drop some of its older leaves to make room for new growth.