If you are looking for some color for your indoor hanging basket, consider the goldfish plant. The stems can reach 3 feet in length and it blooms in 3-inch, goldfish-colored flowers. Goldfish plants (Columnea rubra) are epihytic plants, native to Panama. They can be a challenge to grow successfully, and need to be pampered, says Ron Smith, horticulturist at the South Dakota State University Extension. Given the right amount of light and water, however, this cheery, orange, flowering plant will thrive.
Place your goldfish plant in an area where it will receive bright light, but not direct sunlight. It also requires temperatures above 60 degrees F, without drafts.
Water the goldfish plant to maintain slightly damp, not moist, soil. If the plant begins to lose leaves, cut back on watering. Some varieties prefer to dry out between waterings. When you do water the plant, give it a good drenching, allowing all the water to drain from the bottom of the pot. In the winter, water every 10 days.
Mist the plant three times a week with a water bottle. Like African violets, a relative, the goldfish plant has high-humidity needs.
Fertilize the goldfish plant with a high-phosphorous, water-soluble fertilizer, such as 8-14-9, once a month during spring and summer. Fertilize the plant immediately after watering.
Trim the plant back to 18 inches every three months using gardening shears. This will encourage the plant toward more growth and make it bushier.
Repot your goldfish plant every two years in the spring, with equal parts of sphagnum moss, perlite and vermiculite.