How to Care for a Gold Fish Plant


Goldfish plant (Nematanthus gregarius) is an interesting plant with shiny green leaves and orange blooms that resemble brightly-colored goldfish. Also known as "guppy plant," goldfish plant can be a bit fussy and challenging to grow, but the beauty of the foliage and the year-round blooms are worth the extra effort. Plant a goldfish plant in a sturdy pot, or plant it in a hanging container and let the goldfish blooms dangle.

Step 1

Place the goldfish plant in bright light, but protect it from direct sunlight. Put the plant a few feet away from a bright window, or place it next to a window covered with a sheer curtain. Curled leaves are an indication that the plant needs a bit more light.

Step 2

Water the goldfish plant regularly, and don't allow the soil to dry out. Water to the point that the soil is moist, but never allow the soil to become soggy. Pour water out of the drainage saucer immediately, and do not allow the bottom of the container to sit in water.

Step 3

Increase humidity around the goldfish plant by placing the plant on a plate of wet pebbles or gravel. Keep the pebbles or gravel wet at all times, but don't add enough water to touch the bottom of the container. Placing the plant in a kitchen or bathroom can also increase the humidity level.

Step 4

Cut back on watering for about a month if the goldfish plant's leaves begin to curl. Curling leaves are normal when the plant is entering a resting period during the winter months. Keep the soil slightly moist, and don't allow it to become bone dry. Resume normal watering after a month.

Step 5

Keep the goldfish plant in a warm room and don't allow temperatures to drop below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Don't place the plant near heating vents or air conditioners, and protect the plant from cold drafts.

Things You'll Need

  • Plate
  • Pebbles or gravel


  • Montana State University: List 2: Houseplants 1-29-03
  • Michigan State University: Nematanthus - Guppy Plant
  • University of Kentucky: Flowering Plants for Homes and Offices
Keywords: goldfish plant, gold fish plant, houseplant

About this Author

M.H. Dyer is a long-time writer, editor and proofreader. She has been a contributor to the East-Oregonian Newspaper and See Jane Run magazine, and is author of a memoir, “The Tumbleweed Chronicles, a Sideways Look at Life." She holds an Master of Fine Arts from National University, San Diego.