How to grow and care for Goldfish Plant (Columnea gloriosa) Indoors

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Goldfish Plant Care, Columnea gloriosa Care

Botanical name: Columnea gloriosa
Family: Gesneriaceae
Common name: Goldfish Plant

Goldfish Plant Description

Goldfish Plant makes an attractive houseplant which bear abundant yellow or orange-red tubular flowers year after year and is suitable for the hanging basket or in a pot where its trailing stems can be allowed to hang freely.

The tubular flowers in Goldfish Plant look like leaping fish and hence the common name "Goldfish".

Goldfish Plant requires a moist atmosphere around the foliage and it also requires regular feeding over the growing season and trimming back of the stems once flowering is over.

Though it may survive in poor conditions, the Goldfish Plant leaves will fall and flowers will fail to appear.

Goldfish Plant Size

The stems in Goldfish Plant can grow up to 3 ft and are densely covered by thick, waxy, dark-green leaves.

Goldfish Plant Origin

Columnea are native to tropical America and the Caribbean where they grow as epiphytes attached to the tree bark.

Goldfish Plant Varieties

There are numerous species of Columnea. Columnea gloriosa is an old favorite houseplant.

Other popular varieties are Columnea banksii with small, dark-green foliage and yellow marked flowers.

Columnea microphylla which has 4 ft long stems and Columnea gloriosa like flowers.

Columnea stavanger bears smooth leaves, yellow and red flowers and branching stems but the leaves and flowers are larger.

Columnea hirta is a smaller plant with creeping stems which produces flowers very freely.

Goldfish Plant Care, Columnea gloriosa Care

Photo Credit: Alchetron

Goldfish Plant (Columnea gloriosa) Care Indoors

Goldfish Plant Light Requirements

Goldfish Plant grows best in bright light but away from direct sunlight. Check out this guide on understanding light for houseplants.

How to Water Goldfish Plant

Keep the soil moist at all times for Goldfish Plant and allow the top 2-3 in. of soil to dry out between waterings.

Reduce watering for your Goldfish Plant during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time.

Ensure the pot for your Goldfish Plant has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to Root-rot Disease. Read more on how to water houseplants.


Temperature for Goldfish Plant

Average warmth with a minimum of 160C is ideal for Goldfish Plant. Protect your Goldfish Plant from cold and hot draughts to prevent sudden changes in temperature. Read more on understanding temperature for houseplants.

Humidity for Goldfish Plant

Goldfish Plant requires for high humidity inorder to thrive. Set the pot on a wet pebble tray to raise humidity for your Goldfish Plant. Check out these techniques on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

Fertilizer (Feeding) for Goldfish Plant

Feed Goldfish Plant with a balanced water-soluble fertilizer every 2-3 weeks during the growing season. Withhold feeding in the cold season as growth is minimal and it can lead to fertilizer burn.

Regularly flush out excess fertilizers from the soil for your Goldfish Plant by running a stream of water through the soil until it comes out through the drainage holes and allow it to run for at least 10 minutes. Read more on how to feed houseplants.

How to Repot Goldfish Plant

Repot Goldfish Plant during the growing season only when the plant is pot-bound as Goldfish Plant blooms best when slightly pot-bound.

Do not repot a Goldfish Plant that is in flower as the repotting shock can shorten the flowering period.

For repotting your Goldfish Plant, use a pot that is only one size larger than the previous one and ensure that the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to Root-rot Disease.

The best soil for your Goldfish Plant should be free-draining and rich in organic matter.

How to Prune Goldfish Plant

Pruning Goldfish Plant is easy. Remove dead leaves to maintain your plant neat and tidy.

Remove the spent flowers from your Goldfish Plant to encourage more blooms.

Pinch off the growing stems of your Goldfish Plant to encourage a compact and bushy growth.

Cut back the straggly stems from your Goldfish Plant at the beginning of the growing season to rejuvenate growth. Read more on how to prune houseplants.

Goldfish Plant (Columnea gloriosa) Propagation

Goldfish Plant can be propagated at the beginning of the growing season from stem-tip cuttings.

How to propagate Goldfish Plant from stem-tip cuttings

Take 4-6 in. stem-tip cuttings from a healthy Goldfish Plant and strip off the lower leaves.

Insert the Goldfish Plant cuttings in moist free-draining soil and place the set up in a warm well-lit spot.

Maintain the soil moist through out until the new Goldfish Plants are well established after which routine care can begin.

Goldfish Plant Care, Columnea gloriosa Care

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Goldfish Plant (Columnea gloriosa) Problems Indoors

Goldfish Plant brown leaves

Brown leaves in Goldfish Plant are caused by direct sunlight on the plant. The plant require bright light but away from direct sunlight. Protect your Goldfish Plant from direct sunlight.

Goldfish Plant not blooming (flowering)

Goldfish Plant will not bloom if the light is too little. Move your Goldfish Plant to a brighter spot as it requires bright light but away from direct sunlight.

Goldfish Plant dropping leaves

There are two possible reasons for leaf drop in Goldfish Plant.

One possible reason for leaf drop in your Goldfish Plant is cold draughts. Protect your Goldfish plant from cold draughts to prevent sudden drop in temperature and maintain an average room temperature.

The second possible reason for leaf drop in your Goldfish Plant is dry air. Set the pot on a wet pebble tray to raise humidity for your Goldfish Plant. Read more on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

Goldfish Plant Pests

The common plant pests in Goldfish Plant are Spider Mites, Mealy Bugs and Aphids.

Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to other houseplants and treat it appropriately for the pests.

Goldfish Plant Diseases

The common plant diseases in Goldfish Plant are Root-rot, Botrytis, Leaf Spot and Leaf Viral Diseases.

Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to other houseplants and treat it appropriately for the diseases.

Is Goldfish Plant (Columnea gloriosa) toxic?

Goldfish Plant (Columnea gloriosa) is non-toxic to humans and pets.

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