Houseplant Care Tips

Various Houseplant Care Tips Including Watering and Lighting Requirements.


Houseplant Care Tips

Friday, June 22, 2007

Goldfish Plant Care

Common Name: Goldfish Plant
Scientific Name: Nematanthus wettsteinii
Lighting: Bright to Moderate Light
Watering: Moderate to Heavy


The Goldfish plant is characterized by bright orange flowers radiating from glossy green foliage. The flowers looking like orange goldfish thus the name. This houseplant prefers a little more work than others due to the high humidity it requires.


The Goldfish plant prefers bright light. A nicely lit area out of direct sunlight will work perfectly. If the leaves begin to curl up, your plant is most likely not receiving enough light. Try moving it to a more lighted area.


The Goldfish plant requires moderate to heavy water levels. Keep the soil moist at all times, however prevent the soil from being soggy. This houseplant is in the same family as African violets and thus requires high humidity levels. Mist the plant daily to help fulfill its humidity requirement.


This houseplant also needs warmer temperatures. Keep temperatures above 60 degrees. Be sure to also avoid vents and drafty areas. Another area of caution. This houseplant can go into a resting period. If your plant begins to drop healthy looking leaves, keep the plant dryer than usual for about a month, then begin normal watering again. This should spring the plant back into gear.


Seeing as this houseplant can be a tricky one, please share any tips you have with everyone!




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38 Comments:

Blogger Plant man said...

I have had a goldfish plant for 3 years. I have it at a east facing window that gets bright light 6-8 hours a day. I keep it watered but not soggy. I trim it back when stems get over 18". This keeps it bushy. It continually blooms 10 of 12 months.

10:58 AM  
Anonymous Julie S. said...

I finally found a hanging goldfish plant at the end of last summer--according to most greenhouse owners, these were rare because of a poor season in the midwest. It is a young plant, stems are only 6-10 inches, but it seems to be content hanging in a north window of the kitchen. It suprisingly is not very much maintenance. It is above the sink, so that might help increase the humidity during the winter, because it sure gets dry here in Indiana!
It sure is nice to see it's flowers even in the winter!

9:49 PM  
Blogger bloomington said...

My son brought home a Goldfish Plant from a school project they did. It was a small cutting in rich potting soil. I had no idea what it was. It has been in our window sill facing east for about 2 months. It is now 14 inches tall and bushed out to 5 stems. I love this plant and wish I had known about them earlier. It loves to be watered and then dried out. I water this one about every 4 days but not heavy. Had to put it in a larger pot today. It is really a beautiful plant with the glossy heavy leaves and "goldfish" blooms. I hear if you keep trimming it back to 18 inches it will really bush out and not get long and leggy. I also hear not to worry if the blooms fall off as it tends to "sleep". Just water less for one month and it will rebloom. Definately recommend this plant. It has grown easily without much care.

4:40 PM  
Anonymous elaine s. said...

My goldfish plant grew find indoors but wouldn't bloom. I asked a nursery and they said the night temperature needs to be below.. some number I forgot! I moved it out outside and its been blooming ever since. I live near the beach in san diego so I don't have to worry about freezing- it stays outside all year. Very easy to propagate from cuttings.

10:11 AM  
Blogger amk said...

I brought home a goldfish plant about a year ago, in a 3 - 4 inch hanging pot. I hung it above the kitchen sink in the west window. It's been doing great ever since. I hesitate to replant it, as I dont want to disturb it. It sleeps every so often and I have never trimmed it back, but may now, from what I have read. I think this is the first plant I've really had any success with.

7:55 AM  
Blogger drayas said...

Thank you everyone for sharing your tips. Greatly appreciated.

-drayas

10:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a gold fish plant that thrives in my south window in the dining room. I don't know now if I should repot it as it has grown so much. Thanks for the help on keeping it trimmed. When do you need to repot it though so it doesn't get root bound.

10:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I brought mine home in a 3 inch pot and immediately repotted it in regular potting soil. I placed it behind my sink in a Westward facing window and it took off! It's been blooming for the last 3 months I've had it. I've watered it every few days. It does dry in between. Good luck.

9:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have had a goldfish plant for 3 years. It is now giving off a very sticky sap. The sap has damaged the plant stand and the wood floor.Can you tell me why and what I should do?
Thank you
Carolyn

11:56 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

I bought a Goldfish plant about 5 years ago. It was doing really well for a few years. It started to drop leaves and the stems were getting really woody. I wasn't sure what to do with it. I didn't know a lot about this plant back then. Though, I still have the plant today. I have moved out of my old place and into a new apartment. I have trimmed all the dead parts off and watered it and spritzed it. It is actually coming back nicely, new leaves and it is looking good! Still tiny but it is on it's way.

I also just found another Goldfish plant that I actually just bought a few hours ago! I haven't seen one in 5 years, so I bought it immediately. I love these plants, they are so glossy and the flowers are really cute!! Now I know so much more about them that tending to them should be simple.

4:19 AM  
Blogger Nicole said...

Is there a best time of the year to replant?

12:22 PM  
Anonymous PConsolati said...

I recently purchased two goldfish plants one for my daughter and one for myself . She has beautiful litte orange flowers she keeps it in a east window.

I have very healthy green but no sign of pretty orange buds . Wher are my flowers?

9:32 AM  
Blogger Mylinda said...

I think I bought a Goldfish plant about three weeks ago but I'm not sure. I have pictures and will try to upload some. Please help me identify it. It has small rubbery type leaves with a reddish tint on the bottom of them. No flowers yet. I bought it at Home Depot and it did not have a label on it. I put it in a hanging basket that hangs in a West facing window. I've been keeping the soil moist but not wet. All of the sudden the leaves are pulling down but the plant looks good otherwise. Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

3:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I received a goldfish plant while in the hospital. I replanted it after I got home and it is on our deck. It's been doing great and growing quite well since the repotting. It just began to bloom a week or so ago. When it bloomed that was how I finally figured out what kind of plant it was.

5:12 PM  
Blogger Shannon said...

I have 2 goldfish plants. I am an animal lover so this was a perfect addition. I live in Ohio so we have varied temperatures. My plants do very well outside in the summers from late march or early april through about early to mid september. I start noticing a change with the temperature changes.

These plants are very hardy. They have been knocked off the shelves from time to time, from either the cats or the high winds. I just replanted them in a good quality soil and they bounce back very well. I have also repotted them in larger pots each year and they don't seem bothered by them at all.

I hope that this helps those of you that are having questions about whether they can be transplanted.

11:40 AM  
Blogger NEW LEAF FLORES said...

Thank you all for the useful information. I am a florist in the Boston area and I sell goldfish plants from time to time. I love having this pool of real life experience to draw from when informing my customers on how to care for this wonderful little houseplant.You have all helped educate me.

4:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This information was great. Thanks for helping me to know how to care for my goldfish plant. Keep it coming.

4:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We live at 8,000 feet in the Sierra Nevadas. our plant is 4 years old, has a south west exposure, blooms all year. I water it when the top feels dry. It has never been misted or pruned, except for a few dead branches. The blooms never fall off. Does anyone know what happens to them???

9:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had a goldfish plant for 2 years and it was mostly outside except winter. It was doing fine until I moved and can only put it inside apt. It died shortly after. I love this plant so I bought another one 2 weeks ago.... it happened again! The leaves are falling and the stems dried out and died... what did I do wrong? I had it next to south facing window, water it once a week (don't want to over water) so it's wet and dry... is it going into sleep? should I trim back? Please help!

11:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this info helped alot i did a science fair project with them and this article among others helped me keep them alive.

3:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have had a goldfish plant for several years from a cutting, I moved it to a less sunny location and it started to drop leaves, could not get it to stop. I moved it back to the east facing window in the kitchen, were it was originally and after a few weeks the leaves stopped dropping and it started to come back. I left it in the kitchen until it got to big, I moved to an east window in the dining room. It likes the sun, it gets very warm in the day and cools down significantly in the night. I water with all of the other plants, about weekly, I don't over water and I have added instant fertilizer about once a month. It is doing great,and I noticed new shoots coming from the top of the plant from the roots that are close to the surface. If you are losing leaves, the first thing I would do is move it to sunnier location and just watch it, water it a little until it picks up

7:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

March 2010: I have had a goldfish plant for 8 years. It has flourished in our Denver condo, inside during the winter in a south-facing window and then outside late-May through September on our south-facing lanai. We are on the 16th fl looking at Pikes Peak so this plant withstands heat, wind and low humidity. It is now approx. 30" wide and 18" tall so it is a small bush. It blooms occasionally but not often (no doubt because of the conditions)and the leaves are healthy. We repotted it last year into an 18" pot. About twice a year I give it a haircut. I can tell by other posts that my plant is surviving in less than ideal conditions!

10:37 AM  
Blogger jean.louis479 said...

I have had a gold fish plant for a little over a year now that I keep at work. I originally had a window office with an eastern exposure. The plant did well there, but I recently moved offices. I have no window now, instead I have a flouresent light right above it. It is doing BEAUTIFULLY with tons of new buds. I also "water" the plant regularly with coffee - it seems to like to acid.

3:14 PM  
Anonymous Yvette said...

I just recently bought a goldfish plant.I have it in a north window so it doesn't get any sun at all but the window is large and it is in bright light all the time but my main question is this.It has the most beautiful varigated leaves.It is fairly large in about a 6 inch pot.I bought it at a flower shop so it should be what I intended to buy. Any help will be appreciated

1:11 PM  
Anonymous Pam H said...

I was given a lovely and very lush goldfish plant as a memento when my husband passed away about six weeks ago. It did well for about two weeks and then started losing leaves BIG TIME. I thought at first that it was going dormant, so I cut down on the watering as some of the postings I read suggested, but it has become very obvious that it is simply dying. After reading these postings, I will try moving it to an area with more sunlight to see if I can save what is left of this beautiful plant, but I would appreciate any suggestions about other things I can do or how I would go about replanting from a cutting if the original plant cannot be saved. Its sentimental value is very great and I would hate to lose this plant. Thanks for the help!

11:04 PM  
Anonymous Glenda said...

I have had a goldfish plant for 5 or more years. It faces west and gets plenty of light. It was a beautiful healthy plant which bloomed all the time. Recently it has literally started to die right in front of my eyes. The stems are dry and the leaves are dry and dying. I repotted it hoping that would help but no. What should I do? Cut it right back?

3:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am glad to be part of the goldfish family. I received my plant in August, put it outside on the porch. It has done ok. now I have it in the house and hope to keep it going. I have read that it flowers on old growth, so if you want it to flower, don't cut it back. I want mine to get bushy so I will cut it and hope to get new plants from it. Wish me luck!

6:57 PM  
Blogger joyce said...

I just got my plant this year and was wondering if i can trim it back? thanks

6:36 PM  
Anonymous Meredith said...

I could use some advice on my plant.
I've been having some luck with my current goldfish plant after many years of failing miserably with them.

By luck I mean that I've achieved successful propagation of other plants from my mother plant, but my issue is with the mother plant itself.

She currently has 2 blooms on her and her leaves are alright I suppose. A bit of curling but dense enough. At the base of the plant, the leaves are sparse and it's a mass of woody stems that eventually end in leafy branches, but the woody stems look terrible even though they're healthy.
My question is, if I were to cut this plant right back to just above the soil, would it damage the plant forever or grow back bushier than before?
Here's a photo of the mother plant. I know it doesn't show the base but I'm wonding if the leaves are too sparse? All the photos I've seen of goldfish plants look greener and bushier than mine.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/msexton/6018191418/in/photostream

1:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was just gifted with a goldfish plant. Thank you who have given freely of so much goo and informative information. I'm hoping to do well with my new plant thanks to you all.

9:19 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I have just got a goldfish plant...I wanted to know weather I should keep it outdoors or indoors. It is March now...so the temp is around 15 degrees...please advise...Mini

6:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love my goldfish plant but it has stopped blooming and is just getting taller.
Going to try giving it room temp coffee like that one chick.

11:54 PM  
Anonymous moira said...

I have had a plant for ovber 20 years but have never known the name, and never seen it again at any nursery or plant shop. The name 'goldfish plant' would describe it perfectly. This summer it has suddenly contracted a disease which I can't find in any website or book! Leaves getting transparent blotches and all around hundreds of little black granules, some stone hard some soft and squashy! Help me please, and I would love to have a photo of this golfish plant: maybe I'll finally find out it's name! Here in Italy, when buying plants in a store they never had a name tag to them, although it is a habit they are (finally) starting to use. But then, here everything is 50 years behind!"!

6:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Could it have aphids? If so, soapy wash should help.

11:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The sticky substance is from scales. Scales will attact when the plant is somewhat weakened. They give off the sticky substance. The only way I've found to rid my goldfish plant of these is Ultrafine Pesticidal oil. Take the plant outside and spray it down with water first to wash off the sticky substance. Then spray it down with the Ultrafine, it smothers the scales. Do that once a week for 2 or 3 weeks and they will be gone.

9:54 AM  
Blogger Bianca said...

i just planted one in a terrarium on a whim and put it in a sunny window. does anyone know if that's what goldfish like? it seems to fit the bill for humidity and warmth, since i moistened the soil well, and the glass is all misty now. any thoughts on goldfish under glass?

5:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A friend gave me a cutting 15 years ago. Same pot, never changed the soil and never fed or sprayed the plant. Plant blooms completely 4 times a year. The blooms last about six weeks. I leave the window open, never move the plant, sometimes direct and sometimes indirect sun. I water it once a week. I read all this commotion about the plant and find it hard to believe. Sounds like something basic is being overlooked.

8:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a goldfish plant for about 18yrs, never flowered. I was told it was a lipstick plant. Last year I placed out on the deck in a shaded area. This winter I put some tea bags in it and I have one flower. I can't wait for more blooms.

4:40 PM  

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