Goldfish Plant Care

Table of Contents

Do you want to have a houseplant that reminds you of a sea creature? The blossoms of the Goldfish Plant resemble those of a real goldfish: colorful and attractive to the eye!

However, they do not have a scent. But that’s nothing to worry about, at least they’re beautiful. They have long stems with thick, waxy, dark-green leaves that can reach up to 3 feet (90 cm) in length. Goldfish houseplants are perennial. 

They’re only planted once and then go dormant over the winter. In the spring, the plant emerges from its hibernation, producing new blossoms. They’re also epiphytes, meaning they grow on other plants, most commonly trees. However, they are not parasitic. They don’t feed on the host plant. Instead, they use it as a platform to anchor on.

Goldfish Plant Care Basics

goldfish plant

Before we explain each of those plant care basics, take a look at the overview of Goldfish plants below:

Botanical name: Columnea gloriosa

Another species in this genus: Columnea nematanthus

Plant Type: Perennial, Epiphytes

Exposure to sunlight: Bright indirect light

Soil type: Well draining soil such as African violet potting mix

Flower Colors: Red, orange, yellow

Water: Moderate

Favorable temperature: 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit (18.3 – 23.8 degrees Celsius)

Preferable fertilizer: High phosphorus fertilizer

Propagation: Stem tip cuttings

Toxicity warning: Non-toxic

Height: 3 ft (36 inches)

Origin: Brazil

Don’t stop reading yet and learn more about the tips and what do Goldfish plants like. Enjoy!

Soil Requirement

potting soil mix

The goldfish plant columnea requires a well-draining soil mix. They’re accustomed to growing on trees and branches rather than soil. As a result, they won’t be able to utilize ordinary potting soil. An African Violet soil is ideal for a Goldfish Plant. The roots of this plant also require light gritty soil.

If you don’t have African Violet on hand, you can always make one. Materials needed are perlite, fir bark, peat moss, and coco coir. Mix them all together in equal proportions and test if the potting mix drains well. After achieving the desired mix, you can now pot your goldfish plant.

Water Requirement

Maintain slight dampness in the potting medium at all times. Either use rainwater or purified water. Because cold water shocks indoor plants, always use room temperature water to water them. Goldfish plants require regular watering, but they despise being submerged for a lengthy period. Before watering your plant Goldfish, allow the top 25 percent to 30 percent of the soil to dry out. When a Goldfish Plant gets too wet or too dry, its green leaf drops off.

Pro tip: In the winter, water less frequently, but don’t entirely dry it out.

Lighting Requirement

The Columnea gloriosa plant prefers bright light but not direct sunlight. During the winter, place the plant near a south-facing window, and during the growing season, place it near a west-facing window. Aim for at least 12 hours of light per day for them. Allowing the plant to sit too close to the window glass could result in freezing in the winter or scorching the dark green leaves in the summer. Goldfish plants can be cultivated effectively indoors under lights, especially in the winter.

Temperature Requirement

plant temperature requirement

The Goldfish houseplants prefer warm room temperatures because they are native to tropical regions. That being said, a constant temperature of 65° to 75° Fahrenheit (18.3 – 23.8 degrees Celsius) throughout the year is ideal for them. Goldfish Plants should also be kept out of drafts and away from heaters.

Humidity Requirement

The Goldfish plants flourish in high-humidity environments of up to 50% or higher. Misting the plant is required to keep the leaves moist and meaty. The water must be at room temperature to protect the foliage. Brown stains on the leaves will result from sprinkling with cold water. Use a humidifier or gently spritz your plant with water every few days if your home is dry, especially during the winter months.

Pro tip: Because they are sensitive to humidity, it will be required to utilize a monitor rather than guessing. A humidity tray will assist in keeping the air moisture as well.

Fertilizer Requirement

plant liquid fertilizer

These Goldfish plants do not demand fertile soil because they grow on tree trunks and other plants. They will, however, benefit from mild applications of a high-phosphorus fertilizer. During the spring and summer, nourish every two weeks with a half-diluted high-phosphorus liquid or water-soluble fertilizer. Bear in mind that the amount of fertilizer required will vary depending on the growing season and flowering frequency. When you grow a Goldfish plant, and it matures, too much fertilizing is also bad. Nonetheless, the long growing season between spring and summer necessitates much fertilizer, which increases flowering intensity. To minimize overfertilization in the winter, apply liquid fertilizer once a month.


Cuttings of the stem tips will quickly propagate your Goldfish plants. Choose stem tips that are two to three inches long and do not have flower buds. Your chances of success will improve if you use a rooting hormone. Keep newly planted cuttings in a warm, bright place that is humidified until new growth appears. Your plant will need at least four weeks to establish its roots, so provide the cutting with the same environmental conditions as the mature Goldfish plants throughout this time. After being propagated, new plants will not flower until the summer. So be patient enough to see those beautiful blooms.

Growth Zone

USDA hardiness zones 10b to 11b are ideal for these plants. It can also be grown as an outdoor plant if you reside in warm regions.


goldfish plant

Place this fascinating trailing plant in a hanging basket or on a pedestal table to display its beautiful leaves and blossoms. Ensure that the container has enough drainage holes to keep the plant from sitting in water. Because the Goldfish plant prefers to be a bit root bound, it does not require frequent repotting. Placing it in another pot for two or three years is usually sufficient.

However, other circumstances, such as waterlogged soil or chemical fertilizer, may demand repotting. To improve the soil quality, use the next container size and a new soil mix to grow Goldfish plants again. Early in the spring, repot the plant to ensure that it recovers in time for flowering.

Goldfish Varieties and Similar Plants

It’s fantastic to have a Goldfish plant in your garden. But what if you add other sea creatures like plants? It’s a beautiful idea, right? Here are some of the beautiful varieties and similar plants of Columnea gloriosa.

  • Columnea ‘Light Prince’

It has variegated green and white leaves and produces long apple-red tubular horned blooms that seem like flying fish in the winter.

  • Columnea blood-red

This flower differs from its relatives in that it has larger leaves (up to 30 cm). It has flowers formed in groups and has a bright red pubescence and branches that are lignified and lengthy (up to 1.3 meters).

  • Columnea Krakatoa

The blossoms of Columnea Krakatau range in color from yellow to red, with dark orange being the most striking. They contrast beautifully with the fresh green leaves. The plant is quite popular since it is simple to care for.

Goldfish Diseases & Pests

Just like other houseplants, a Goldfish plant needs proper care from its pests and diseases.

The excessive humidity that these plants prefer raises the risk of fungus and mold. Botrytis mold, fungal leaf spots, and mosaic viruses are all common problems for these plants. Cottony cushion scale, aphids, and spider mites are all frequent. As a result, you should monitor your goldfish plants for these pests and illnesses frequently.

Goldfish plant care is simplified by maintaining sufficient air circulation and allowing the top two inches of the soil to dry before re-watering. Insect infestations can be avoided by giving them a weekly shower, but only after their medium has dried.

Frequently Asked Questions

Variegated Goldfish plant?

Yes, there is a variegated goldfish plant – Nematanthus gregarius variegata. A lovely trailing plant with glossy green foliage with creamy-white variegation and bright yellow-orange flowers in the spring and summer.

Should I mist my Goldfish plant?

These tropical epiphytes require mild to moderate humidity and should be softly misted with room temperature water regularly.

How long do Goldfish plant flowers last?

These plants bloom in the wild during the summer months when there is more daylight. Similarly, many Goldfish plants bloom indoors every year during the warmest months of the year.

Where to buy the Nematanthus Goldfish plant?

Don’t worry about where you’ll buy a Goldfish plant! Your search is over because you can now purchase this here at Plantly! We offer a swift flow of transactions online and without any inconvenience. Message us now!

Whether you want to buy, sell or simply reach out to other plant enthusiasts, Plantly is the right place to be!

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