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Home > General > How To Grow & Care for Goldfish Plants: 6 Helpful Tips

How To Grow & Care for Goldfish Plants: 6 Helpful Tips

goldfish plant

Nothing says “goldfish lover” quite like owning anything and everything related to goldfish. One fun item that many people aren’t even aware of existing is the goldfish plant! This fabulous plant, Columnea gloriosa, features golden orange, red, or yellow blooms that are the shape of a goldfish, giving it the appearance of having goldfish leaping out of it. The goldfish plant is a very cute and unique plant that is very easy to grow and care for, making it suitable for even brown thumbs. To top it off, this plant is non-toxic to cats and dogs, making it safe for pet homes.


Things To Know About Goldfish Plants

These plants are tropical perennials, so they will grow for many years with proper care. They are trailing plants that can be grown in hanging planters or over the edge of a table or shelf. Without trims, each brand of the goldfish plant can reach up to 3 feet in length. They like indirect bright light, moderate to high humidity, and being root-bound in loose soil.

They produce blooms in the spring and summer months, and they are available in multiple hybrids. While the normal goldfish plant has dark, waxy, green leaves, hybrids may have a different color or texture leaves, as well as different bloom colors and growth habits.

The 6 Tips for Growing Goldfish Plants

1. Choose the right location.

These plants need bright indirect light and moderate to high humidity. This makes them suitable bathroom plants, as long as adequate lighting is available. They prefer room temperatures between 65–80°F and will begin to drop leaves if exposed to cold air and cold drafts. Ideally, they should not be kept by doors or windows that are frequently opened, especially during the colder months. During the winter, they will tolerate temperatures as low as 60°F but will begin to significantly drop leaves in cooler temperatures.

2. Use the right soil.

Goldfish plants do not like tightly packed soil, but they do require soil that will retain some moisture. African violet potting mix is a great option for the goldfish plant, as are most other peat moss-based potting mixes. When potting your goldfish plant, make sure that you are not compressing the soil down into the pot.

goldfish plant_Olga_Anourina, Shutterstock
Image Credit: Olga_Anourina, Shutterstock

3. Choose the right pot.

These plants are big fans of being root-bound. While they don’t like tight soil, they do like a tight-fitting pot. Aim for a pot that is just large enough to hold the roots of the plant with a small amount of room for growth. You can repot into a larger pot at the beginning of the active growing season in the spring if needed, although you should aim to repot your goldfish plant no more than every 1–2 years.

4. Water appropriately.

During the winter, your goldfish plant will not require much water. You want to allow the soil to dry out most of the way between watering, but not completely. These plants do not like to be dry at any point, even during their winter dormancy. During the active growing season from spring to fall, you should water whenever the soil is dry through the top 2 inches but not further. Overwatering can lead to root rot, but underwatering can lead to leaf drop, stunted growth, and plant death. Always water with tepid water to prevent shock from cold or hot water.

5. Pinch off tips and plant them.

Many people prefer to keep the goldfish plant a little on the bushier side. To prevent legginess, you should pinch off the tops of branches when they are around 12 inches long. These plants are extremely easy to propagate from cuttings. All you need to do is stick your pinched-off tips into damp soil, and the plant will develop roots within a few days. Many people simply pinch off the tips and stick them in the soil with the rest of the plant. Rooting hormone powder applied to the ends of the pinched branches can encourage faster and more successful rooting.

By planting trimmed pieces in the same pot as the mother plant, it increases root tightness and enhances the fullness of the plant. It also encourages branching, creating an even more full appearance on each stem of the plant.

Goldfish Plant
Image By: Tommie Bear, Shutterstock

6. Fertilize regularly during growing months.

These plants grow best when fertilized every 2 weeks during the active growing season in spring and summer. Fertilization can be cut back in the fall when the plant begins exiting its active growth period. A high phosphorus fertilizer, like 10-30-10 or 15-30-15, that has been diluted to half-strength is recommended for the goldfish plant.



The goldfish plant is a beautiful and eye-catching plant that is the perfect gift for any goldfish enthusiast. It is an easy-care plant that requires minimal maintenance throughout most of the year. It prefers to be somewhat neglected in a humid space with indirect bright light, save for ensuring it has been watered and fertilized during active growth periods. It’s a beginner-friendly plant that produces showy blooms that will please people from one to 100.

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Featured Image Credit: Olga_Anourina, Shutterstock

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