Goldfish Plant Care & Propagation Instructions

Written by Lisa

Oct 01 2021

Goldfish Plant Care & Propagation Instructions
Goldfish plant gets its name because the flowers look so much like goldfish. Goldfish Plant can not only be foliage plant but also flower-watching plant, which is suitable for an indoor potted plant or hanging potted plant, placed on the top of the cabinet, a few shelves or windowsill. Under ideal conditions and proper care, the goldfish plant blooms prolifically in a variety of reds, oranges, yellows and tricolors.

Goldfish Plant Info

The Goldfish plant (Scientific Name: Nematanthus gregarious.) is a perennial herb with non-fluffy stems. The sepals are oblong, up to 35 cm long; It is native to Mexico and South America, epiphytic on forest trunks and rocks
Scientific Name Nematanthus gregarious
Common Name Goldfish plant
Plant Type Perennial 
Plant Size Stems 2 to 3 in. long, branches up to 3 ft. long
Lighting Requirements Bright light but not direct light
Soil Type Slightly acidic well-drained soil
Bloom Time Spring, last about 20 days
Flower Variety Red, orange, yellow, tircolor
Native Areas Central America, South America, Mexico

Goldfish Plant Flowers

Goldfish Plant Flowers slant to one side with tubular corolla. The flower is red initially, gradually turning yellowish to white; The leaves are thick green. Goldfish plant flower often bloom in spring, lastign more than 20 days. A large plant can bloom more than 100 flowers at the same time, and the flowers are large and colorful, quite spectacular, so it is an ideal shade loving plant for leaf viewing and flower appreciation. It is also ideal as an epiphytic plant in greenhouses and indoor gardens, as well as for home hanging potted plant.
Goldfish flower means always miss you, love you in the heart but hard to speak out. The meaning of goldfish is not beautiful, even sad. Goldfish flower is very unique and very bright.

Goldfish Plant Pictures

Goldfish Plant
Goldfish Plant

Goldfish Plant Care

Goldfish Plants like warm and humid environments. They are drought resistance but not waterlogging resistance; It is best to grow on weak acid soil with loose fertility and good drainage.

Goldfish Plant Soil

The basin soil of goldfish plant should be loose and fertile, drainage and good aeration, rich in organic matte. It had better use peat soil or leaf rot soil, or soil with perlite and peat soil mixed by different proportions, so that it is weak acid to facilitate goldfish plant growth.

Goldfish Plant Lighting

Goldfish Plants are native to tropical areas and enjoy warm, humid and shading environment. They can be gorwn in bright scattered light place. In summer, it should avoid direct strong sunlight and is best to move to a cool and ventilated place for caring, otherwise the strong sunlight is easy to lead soft rot on the stems to death. Winter and spring are the flowering seasons of goldfish plant, which needs plenty of sunlight. That's what makes the flower color beautiful.

Goldfish Plant Temperature

Goldfish Plant growth temperature is 16-26℃. Too high or too low temperature will affect the growth. In the warm spring and autumn season, branches can keep pumping new leaves; When the temperature is lower than 10℃ in winter, the Goldfish plant will be dormant so you need to move it indoors. If the temperature is lower than 5℃, it is easy to freez injury. In addition to low temperature, if the temperature continues to exceed 30°C, the goldfish plant leaves will fall. At high temperature in summer, goldfish plant growth is very slow or almost stop growing, so it should appropriately take shade measures in order to make its growth more vigorous.

Goldfish Plant Fertilizer

The amount of fertilizer requirement by Goldfish Plant depends on the growth of the plant. Usually, when the seedlings are transplanted, add 20-30 organic compound fertilizer particles in 1/3 of the basin soil, and then bury organic fertilizer again when repotting. Apply 1-2 times a month thin fertilizer. Before flowering and when flowering, adding phosphorus potassium fertilizer can promote more flowesr to bloom. The application of thin liquid fertilizer is mainly in spring and autumn, and apply once every 10 to 14 days. In Autumn, apply Goldfish Plant with nitrogen fertilizer based liquid fertilizer to promote lush branches and leaves, and in spring apply more phosphorus and potassium fertilizer to promote flower more beautiful color. Fertilization should be stopped when Goldfish Plants stop growing in summer and after dormancy in winter so as not to cause fertilizer damage.

Goldfish plant Watering

Give plenty of water during goldfish plant peak growth and keep the soil moist at all times. In dry weather, spray water around the plant to increase the humidity of the air. If you don't have time to water, place the goldfish plant pot in a shallow bowl of fresh water to keep the humidity in a small range. In winter, goldfish plant will be into the dormant period, and it grows slowly, so it is necessary to reduce the amount of watering, keep appropriate dry until the buds appear. Once you see the buds, you can increase the amount of water appropriate to prepare for flowering.

Goldfish Plant Pruning

After goldfish plant flowers bloom, the weak branches and bare branches should be trimmed off in time. Cutting dead flower stems before winter and keeping them dry will allow new flowers to grow better the following spring.

Repotting Goldfish Plant

  • Repotting Time
Goldfish plant needs to repot every year. It is best to repot in spring, because this period of time the weather temperature is suitable, and it is the peak growth season, which is a good time to repot goldfish plant for better growth.
  • Repotting Requirements
If the goldfish plant bloomed vigorously last year, it is best not to repot to avoid affect the flowering. The new pot should choose according to the plant size, not too large. Being a little bit larger than the plant is enough, which is better for the growth of goldfish plant.
  • Repotting Steps
Take out the goldfish plant from old pot, and clean the old soil on the root. If there is rot roots, cut them off, then replant the plant into new pot with slightly acidic well-drained soil.
Goldfish Plant

Propagating Goldfish Plant

Goldfish plant can use sowing, division and cutting propagation, commonly use cutting propagation. Because the seed is not easy to obtain, so seed propagation is not often used.

Goldfish Plant Propagation from Cuttings

  • Goldfish plant can be propagated from branch cutting and stem cutting, which can be carried out all year round. The best propagation time is in or after flowers indoors.
  • Choose one-year robust branches, cut to length of 10-15cm, and cut off all leaves on the bottom, leaving 3-4 leaves on the top of the branches. In addition, in order to improve the survival rate of Goldfish Plant cuttings, they can be soaked with dilute concentration of potassium permanganate solution before planting for 15 minutes.
  • River sand or vermiculite culture soil is the best choice for propagating goldfish plant from cuttings. If not, loose and breathable rural soil can also be used.
  • Insert cuttings into the matrix, leaving the leaves and a small part of the branches to stay outside the soil, and then water throughly and cover with thin plastic film. Generally keep the temperature at about 20℃, goldfish plant cuttings can germinate in 3-4 weeks. After germination, the cuttings are incubated in the substrate for a period of time. When the growth of cuttings is stable, they can be transplanted.

Goldfish Plant Propagation from Seeds

The seeds and culture medium of Goldfish plant should be disinfected before sowing. Soak Goldfish plant seeds in a solution of potassium permanganate at a concentration of about 0.5% for 1-2 hours. You can add appropriate amount of methyl topzin powder in the medium, and stir 2,3 times, so that it is fully mixed with the medium, and then water while stirring, with the medium can be held into a group by hand, and loose and not scattered as best, finally covered with film, about 8-10 hours after placing in the hole plate.
Goldfish plant seeds are small, apply good base fertilizer before sowing in the basin, and then sow the seeds. Generally each hole dish can sow about two hundred seeds, each hole put a seed, after sowing press gently by hand, so that the seed and medium bonding. Then spray permeable, finally covered with newspapers or plastic filml. Then wait for 7-10 days or so the seeds can germinate.
Goldfish plant belongs light-loving plant when germinating. The appropriate germination temperature should be between 20-22℃, abd give it the right amount of light, but pay attention to avoid direct sunlight. At the same time to keep the medium and the newspaper wet until the seeds germinate and then open the newspaper. It usually takes 7-15 days to sprout. After germination, Goldfish plant seedlings need to be moved to the temperature of 16-18℃ environment growth.
Goldfish plant seedlings growing 5-7 weeks later, can be directly planted in the 7-8 cm pot. It is a plant with long sunshine, and sunshine time greater than 12 hours is more conducive to flower bud differentiation. For this characteristic, light can be appropriately supplemented to promote its early flowering, but at the same time, attention should be paid to prevent the harm caused by high temperature.

Goldfish Plant Propagation In Water

The Goldfish plant can be propagate in water, but it is different from many hydroponic plants. In general, there is as much water as possible for many hydroponic plants. But goldfish plant not, it can be hydroponic, but a water can not exceed a third of the root. If the water is too high, the old root in the water for a long time will rot.
Propagating goldfish plant in water is to choose strong branches, wait for it to take root slowly. It generally takes root in 20-30 days. If the hydroponics cutting branches are strong, the root growing speed will be accelerated to a certain extent; If weak branches are used, they will grow slowly. In addition, proper pruning before propagation in water is also critical, and should wait for cuts at the bottom of branches to dry before hydroponics. If you cut it and propagate it in water inmmediatly, it will be difficult to grow roots
  • Change Water: Ensure that the water quality is clean enough, usually need to change water for goldfish plant in time. In the spring and autumn about half a month to change the water, when the temperature rises it can be changed for 10 days, when the winter temperature drops, it can be changed for 20 days.
  • Spray Water: When caring, spraying more water to its leaves can make the goldfish plant leaves more smooth breathing and wash away some accumulated dust, conducive to photosynthesis, which will grow faster.
  • Nutrient Solution: It is best not to use nutrient solution before the root system has developed. It is best to use nutrient solution until the roots have adapted to the new environment. Applying nutrients to the goldfish plant during its growth will make it grow faster.
Goldfish Plant

Goldfish Plant FAQs

Goldfish Plant Toxic To Cats

Goldfish plant is not poisonous and safe to cats and dogs. Also, not only is it not poisonous, it has a positive effect on the environment. Its ability to absorb poison is not to be underestimated. If put goldfish plant in the room, it can absorb the poisonous material that produceing by smoking and formaldehyde by interior finish. Therefore, it is also called "green purifier".

Goldfish Plant Not Blooming

  • Insufficient light
Goldfish plant likes a negative environment, but light is necessary for the survival of green leaf plants for their own accumulation of nutrients. Lack of light plant will affect Goldfish plant growth, not to mention blooming flower. Do not put it directly in the sun exposure, appropriately increasing the sun exposure in winter, will increase the quality of flowering. 
  • Improper watering
Goldfish plant likes cold, dry conditions, which have a short dormant period in winter, and bloom when they wake up. If you water too much, it's easy to cause soft rot and death of the stems and branches, and it's difficult to bloom flower if the plants are infected with pests and diseases. When we water, we must pay attention not to water directly on the leaves of the plant. Water more in the high temperature season and at the end of winter when dormant period is almost past and is going to bloom.
  • Poor Ventilation
If there is no ventilated environment, the Goldfish plant leaves will gradually wilt, yellow. If it is just in the flowering season, it is difficult to bloom normally. It can be put in ventilated balcony when caring.
  • Inadequate Fertilizer
Inadequate fertilization can also cause Goldfish plant to fail to bloom. In the growing season, apply organic thin fertilizer liquid every 1~2 weeks. Before flowering, increase the application of phosphate fertilizer to increase the number and quality of flowering. Do not fertilize when flowering. Apply nitrogen fertilizer after Goldfish plant blooming. 

Goldfish Plant Losing Leaves

  • Infestation by Pests & Diseases
Goldfish plant is easy to suffer from pests and diseases during growth, such as aphids, root rot, anthrax and other diseases, which will cause goldfish plant losing leaves. In this conditon, treat with corresponding medicine liquid in time.
  • Lack of Light
Goldfish plant is suitable to grow in the environment with adequate light. If growing in the dark or strong light environment for a long time, it will drop leaves. Therefore, put goldfish plant under bright scattering light, giving about 5 hours of light, so that the branches and leaves can grow healthy. In the summer, place it in shade to avoid strong light burn leaves.
  • Improper Soil 
Goldfish plant is suitable for growth in loose breathable, well drained soil with rich matter. If the soil appears to be rigid, it will make goldfish plant loose leaves. Change soil immediately  with leaf mold soil, garden soil, river sand in accordance with the ratio of 2:2:1 mixed into a cultivation matrix.
  • Improper Temperature
Goldfish plant is suitable for growing in a warm environment. If growing in high or low temperature environment for a long time, it will lead to goldfish plant leaves loss. Therefore, when the temperature is higher than 30℃ in summer, it is necessary to spray water around the blade to cool it. When the temperature is low, it is necessary to move the goldfish to indoors and control the room temperature at more than 10℃.

Is A Goldfish Plant A Succulent

Goldfish plant is not succulent, it is a perennial herb with non-fluffy stems.