A Beginner's Guide to Goldfish Plant Care | All you Need to Grow!
Common Name: Goldfish Plant
Botanical Name: Nematanthus gregarious
Can a plant ever be too cute? We are awing and oohing over this miniature Goldfish Plant to the point of cuteness overload! Nematanthus gregarious is known for its orange flowers that resemble little goldfish, and when it blooms, you will agree! They bloom during the summer when they have access to bright indirect light (at least 6 hours a day!). These guppies may take up to 10 weeks to start to bloom once you receive them. Blooms aside, the Goldfish Plant's foliage is equally as gorgeous! This houseplant will grow upright and then begin to arch, making it the perfect plant for a hanging planter! Learn how to care for these blooming beauties!
The Goldfish Plant can handle medium to bright indirect light. Medium indirect light supports the plant, but it is not always enough to encourage blooming. This houseplant requires plenty of bright indirect sunlight for at least 6 hours a day if you want to promote flowers! The more indirect light it gets, the more flowers it will produce. If you place your Goldfish Plant outdoors in the warmer months, put it in a shady spot. Avoid direct sunlight as this can be damaging to the leaves! Learn about light levels and how to determine where to place your plant!
Goldfish Plants prefer consistently damp soil, but be careful not to over-water. Wait until the top few inches of the soil dry out before watering. Nematanthus gregarious may need more frequent watering when the plant is blooming and less water while dormant.
Average room temperatures are acceptable for a Goldfish Plant. It prefers warmer temperatures as a plant that hails from a tropical climate, so anything between 65-75°F is ideal. If you want to promote flowering, then provide it with warmer temperatures. These indoor plants do not like temperatures that fall below 60°F. A sure sign that your Goldfish plant is too cold is when the leaves start to fall off!
As is the case for most houseplants, drafts can be problematic. Avoid placement near drafty windows, exterior doors, and heating and cooling vents, as temperature fluctuations can prevent flowering and possibly result in leaf loss.
These houseplants can handle most indoor humidity levels, but you may need to increase the humidity if your levels are below 50%. Keep in mind that winter air can be dry in many areas, so the plant may need a helpful boost from a humidifier or a pebble tray with water to help increase the dampness and offset a dry environment.
Fertilize your Goldfish Plant when the houseplant is actively growing to help promote new growth and blooming. A diluted complete liquid fertilizer, a fish/seaweed emulsion, or a slow-release fertilizer can work very well for Lipstick Plants. If you are using a liquid fertilizer, dilute it to ¼ of the recommended strength and add it to the pre-moistened soil every two weeks during the growing season. Take a break from fertilizing when the plant is dormant or when the last of the blooms are over.
Goldfish Plants are fast growers once established. Their vines can grow well past 18-20" long!
Pet Friend or Foe
These plants are toxic to pets! Foe
- Cutting back your houseplant can seem counterintuitive if you want a large, lush plant, but routinely prune your Goldfish Plant to maintain a fuller look. Trimming the vines can prevent the plant from becoming leggy while promoting new growth on the top of the plant.
- Propagate your Goldfish Plant through cuttings. Take a cutting about 4-5 inches long or use a section you remove while pruning and remove the leaves towards the bottom. Place the cut end in the soil and keep the soil damp for the first couple of weeks. (Please note that some plants are patented, and propagation is prohibited! Check the patent status of all houseplants before you propagate.)
- Promote blooms by providing the ideal conditions. Give them lots of bright indirect light, warm temperatures, and adequate humidity. This easy-care houseplant can survive in a wide variety of conditions, but the tradeoff is the plant may not bloom.
- Goldfish Plants like to be slightly root-bound, and it is only necessary to re-pot them when the roots are filling up the grow pot!
- Always use a planter or pot with a drainage hole for Nematanthus gregarious.