Care of Goldfish Plant

Overview

Goldfish plant (Columnea gloriosa), native to Costa Rica and Panama, is an attention-getting houseplant that will add color to your indoor environment. The goldfish plant is usually planted in a large hanging container so that its sturdy stems can cascade over the sides. When conditions are right, the goldfish plant will dangle 3-inch blooms in shades of bright orange-red that look very similar to goldfish. Although the goldfish plant can be a bit on the fussy side, with a little bit of extra attention, the plant will continue to grow and bloom for many years.

Step 1

Plant a goldfish plant in a large hanging container filled with high-quality commercial potting soil. A potting soil formulated for African violets is a good choice for the goldfish plant. Always use a planting container with a hole in the bottom.

Step 2

Place the goldfish plant in bright, indirect sunlight or light filtered by a sheer curtain. Avoid hot, sunny windows. The goldfish plant needs bright light all day, for at least 12 hours. If necessary, supplement available light with a grow light.

Step 3

Keep the soil consistently moist when the goldfish plant is actively growing. When you notice growth beginning to slow in the autumn, water the goldfish plant only when the top of the soil feels dry to the touch. Water the goldfish plant with lukewarm water. If possible, allow the water to sit overnight before watering the goldfish plant so that chlorine has time to evaporate.

Step 4

Feed the goldfish plant every week while the plant is growing, using a water-soluble fertilize for blooming houseplants. Don't fertilize the goldfish plant during the winter months.

Step 5

Mist the goldfish plant several times a week. If possible, run a humidifier if you live in a dry climate, or place the goldfish plant in a room with a humid atmosphere, such as a kitchen or bathroom.

Step 6

Keep the goldfish plant in a warm room. The plant will do well in daytime temperatures between 70 and 85 degrees F, with nighttime temperatures about 10 degrees lower.

Things You'll Need

  • Large hanging container with bottom drainage
  • High-quality commercial potting soil or potting soil for African violets
  • Grow light (optional)
  • Water-soluble fertilize for blooming houseplants
  • Spray mister
  • Humidifier (optional)

References

  • North Dakota State University: Questions on Goldfish Plants
  • Plantcare.com: Goldfish Plant Latin Name: Columnea gloriosa
Keywords: goldfish plant, care of goldfish plant, plant a goldfish plant

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.