It’s interesting how many plants have common names that remind you of creatures that live in the water. Heliconias are known as “lobster claws” because their flowers have that shape. Then there’s the String of Dolphins we profiled a few weeks ago. Today’s fish-as-a-plant is the Goldfish Plant.
Columnea gloriosa features dark green leaves and flowers of red, orange and gold that do look a lot like goldfish.
They are an easy plant to grow and care for and are also great for propagating. Plus, they make quite a splash (sorry, we couldn’t help ourselves) with their colorful flowers.
Caring for Your Goldfish Plant
Goldfish plants want a lot of light, but direct sun will burn them so make sure it’s indirect. They also grow well under artificial light in the winter.
These plants love humidity, so make sure that their soil never fully dries out and if you have them in a hanger, mist them on a pretty regular basis. (And mist them with room temperature water, not cold, which can damage the leaves). If you want a really happy Goldfish plant, you might want to consider the bathroom, where they’ll thrive on the steam from the shower!
You’ll want to fertilize on a regular basis during the growing season (spring and summer). Controlled release pellets are a good choice.
- This is a long-living plant, and will thrive if you repot it every couple of years.
- You can easily propagate this plant. Pick a stem a few inches long without a flower bud and they will take root very easily.
- Also look out for aphids, spider mites, and mealybugs as these are common pests on this tropical plant.
You can check out all of our Houseplants of the Week in our gallery here.