THE goldfish plant, Columnea gloriosa, is spectacular in a hanging basket or on a pedestal, flowering freely from late autumn to early spring.
The flowers only appear on new growth, so prune the stems to at least half their original length or more severely once the display is over.
To keep the trailing effect, leave some stems alone, then cut them back once new growth is well established.
The goldfish plant needs good light but avoids direct sunlight. A constant temperature is crucial to thriving, ideally 16-21C (60- 70F), with a winter minimum of 13C (55F).
It also needs a moist atmosphere, which can be difficult to maintain in a hanging basket. Mist the plant with tepid water to prevent brown spots from forming.
Being epiphytic, it has a limited root system, so don’t let the compost get too wet and allow the surface to dry before watering again.
While resting, give just enough moisture to stop the compost from drying out. It also appreciates a high-potash feed in spring and summer.
How to Grow a Goldfish Houseplant
The proper medium for growing epiphytes and goldfish houseplants is essential to avoid many of their problems. The medium must be both light and coarse, and it should not hold water for long periods of time, despite the plant’s need.
You can use either sphagnum or perlite in equal amounts. How to grow goldfish houseplants is dependent on the temperature. Although many people believe tropicals require high heat, the reality is that most tropical plants thrive in cooler climates.
Your goldfish houseplants will be at their best when the room temperature is between 65-75 F (18-24 C).
Your goldfish hanging plants require 13 hours of bright sunlight per day, as so much of their energy comes from light. Avoid direct sunlight, as it can dry out the plants and cause scorching. Good grow-light is a great addition to the growing of goldfish plants.
Humidity is an important factor in growing goldfish houseplants. These epiphytes are tropical and require mild to moderate humidity. They should be lightly misted daily with room temperature water.
The foliage will be damaged by cold water. In areas with dry air, a room humidifier or humidity tray can be very helpful. Spring and summer are good times to bloom.
It should be given a half-dose of high phosphorus (10-30-10) liquid fertilizer every two weeks. Spring through fall, water your plant well. However, let the top 2 inches (5cm.) dry completely before you water again.
Allow the plant to dry completely before watering again. Reduce watering in winter by reducing the volume of watering.
Problems with Goldfish Plants and Additional Care
The majority of problems that goldfish plants have, including leggy growth, leaf fall, and lack of flowering, can be directly attributed to daily goldfish plant care.
Overwatering is the main problem for plants that require a moist environment. Columnea is not fond of being left alone and will also struggle to grow in a cramped environment. Low light can cause legginess. However, normal plant growth may also cause it.
To encourage branching and bushier growth, pinch your goldfish plants after they have bloomed. There are many other problems that goldfish plants can face, including disease and pests.
These plants are susceptible to botrytis, fungal leaves spots, and mosaic viruses. Common pests include spider mites and cottony cushion scaling. You should inspect your goldfish plants regularly for any signs and symptoms.
Goldfish houseplants are a great choice for those who don’t mind their fussiness. They offer high returns on their care. When fully bloomed, these unique plants can be a show-stopper.
Now that you have an idea of what it takes to grow a houseplant from goldfish, why not give it a shot?