How to Care for Goldfish Plants

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How to Care for a Goldfish Plant

The goldfish plant (Columnea x banksii) is an indoor plant with dark green leaves and red flowers that resemble a goldfish when viewed from on top. It's a fairly particular (albeit reasonably hardy) indoor plant that blooms almost all year round. It's a good plant for show and the more attention you give it, the better it will be. Here is how to care for it.


  1. If you don't already have the plant, either purchase one from your local nursery or it can be grown from cuttings.If using cuttings, place about three to four in a standard size indoor pot and expect them to root within about four weeks.
  2. Position the plant in a bright spot.However, do not ever place it in direct sunlight. It should not get too hot but needs moderate warmth.
  3. Provide adequate humidity.This plant thrives on plenty of humidity. To ensure this, stand it on a pebble tray and spray it at least daily.
  4. Keep watering levels low.This plant does not tolerate wet roots well so keep it on the pebble tray and water sparingly.
  5. Feed it.Use a high-phosphate liquid fertiliser watered down to a quarter of its recommended strength.
  6. Keep it in good shape.Trim the bottom third of the roots using a knife, every second year. Repot and give it new soil and compost at the same time.

Community Q&A

  • Question
    What causes the plant to drop its leaves?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Either too much or too little watering may cause leaf drop. You may be tempted to water the plant when you see a leaf or two drop, and then end up over-watering, don't do this.
  • Question
    After blooming, white marble-sized balls appear. What are these and what are the results?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    It is the "fruit" of the plant, and stores energy and glucose for the plant's usage. Keep in mind this is NOT edible.
  • Question
    Is it possible to grow a goldfish plant outside?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Yes, as long as it's warm enough.
  • Question
    How do I treat new buds on my goldfish plant when it's not in bloom?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    You should treat it as if it were a bloomed flower. Give it enough sunlight, water it regularly, and keep it in a spacious place too.
  • Question
    Can I transplant a goldfish plant into a bigger container successfully, or is it better to take small cuttings and propagate some new plants?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    It's much better to keep the goldfish plant in the container it's in, because water molecules can escape the bigger container faster than in a small container. So, you could grow new plants in the bigger container and keep the original goldfish plant in the smaller container.
Unanswered Questions
  • Do I trim ends after it flowers to help it become fuller?
  • What does flagging a plant mean?
  • I have like spider webs on my plant often. What are they?and can be done?
  • What can I do for a plant that has never had a blossom?
  • What is best soil for a goldfish plant?
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  • This plant has resting periods. Should you see it dropping its leaves, reduce the water you're giving it so that it is a little drier, for about a month. After that, resume normal watering and misting and the plant should be right again.
  • This plant can also be grown outdoors if your local environment is warm enough.


  • Don't place this plant near vents or drafts.
  • Aphids like this plant.

Things You'll Need

  • Goldfish plant or cuttings
  • Suitable container
  • Pebble tray
  • Mister or sprayer
  • Fertiliser high in phosphate

Related wikiHows

Sources and Citations

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Views: 105,367

K. Miller

Jul 31, 2019

"As a UC Master Gardener, I was looking for a first houseplant for my 10-year-old granddaughter. Your simpleinstructions should help her make a success of a 4" goldfish plant I saw at the nursery today. Thank you."

Louise Corrans

Nov 25, 2019

"I received my goldfish plant as a gift. Decided to check on the correct care for it, as it gives me so muchpleasure. Thank you for the good advice and suggestions."

julie yunker

Jun 9, 2019

"I was given two stems of the goldfish plant. My dirt was very dry, so I watered, and now dead. This tells me how totake care of the plant so I don't over water."
Rated this article:

Cheryl Blakenship

Jan 31, 2019

"Saw a video about the goldfish plant and wanted to see it. Now I have to have one. Never heard of it before now.Cool-looking plant."

Marilyn Blide

Aug 9, 2019

"Your article is terrific! Have had my first goldfish plant, and have no idea how to take care of it! This iswonderful. Thanks."

Kathy Coley-Kope

Jan 31

"I recently had gotten some Goldfish cuttings & now have a beautiful container of them rooted & in bloom."

W. R.

Jun 21, 2019

"Great! Simple and direct. Nothing needs to be figured out.

Video: Care And Maintenance Gold Fish Houseplant (Columnea x banksii)

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Date: 08.12.2018, 17:03 / Views: 43132