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Goldfish Plant- Plant Bio: Podcast Ep#83 S1

Updated: Sep 25, 2023

This adorable orange blooming houseplant has (you guessed it) blooms that look like goldfish! With its small waxy leaves, even the foliage is adorable!

Photo Credit: University of Iowa


Botanical Name: Nematanthus gregarius

Common Names: Goldfish Plant, Guppie Flower, Candy Corn Plant


Sun Requirements:

In order to get this plant to bloom consistently, you will need to put it in (at least) medium light, but preferably bright, indirect light.


If you need any guidance to understanding light, or are in need of a grow light to help increase your light, check out the links!


Water Requirement

Keeping this plant consistently moist is also important to maintain healthy flowers. You don't want them completely drying out, or you will lose flowers and foliage color with change. That being said, don't allow your Goldfish plant to sit in water, and try not to overwater it.


Extra humidity is not necessary, but increasing humidity only helps the plants overall health.


Fertilizer

As I always say, there are LOTS of ways to fertilize plants. I currently use Fox Farm's Grow Big Liquid Fertilizer and I fertilize about every 2 weeks when I water my plants, starting around the end of February through October. I only fertilize once or twice in winter because the plant isn't as active!


For this plant, since it is known for its blooms, I would actually use Fox Farm's Big Bloom Liquid Fertilizer to help push out flowers. This means a fertilizer with higher phosphorous. If you are looking at the 3 numbers that areassociated with fertilizers, (example: 10:10:10) then you want the middle number to be the highest.


The Complete Houseplant Survival Manual: "From spring through summer, feed every 2 weeks with a high phosphorous plant food mixed at half the recommended rate. In winter, feed monthly."


There are MANY ways to fertilize and it is completely up to you! There are tons of products out there you can try but an overall rule of thumb for houseplants is that it is best to under-fertilize, rather than over-fertilize. Always use the recommended amount, or less, when applying your fertilizer to houseplants.


Propagation

Goldfish Plants can easily be propagated by taking stem cuttings and placing them in water, soil, or whatever medium you prefer. I usually start my stem cuttings in water and have had great success with many other plants. For this plant, make sure you are taking a cutting from a nonflowering stem and, remember, it could take at least a year to start blooming from that stem cutting.


Other Facts

  • All part of the Gesneriaceae.

  • This is the vining cousin of the African Violet.

  • Native to parts of Central and South America.

  • If this plant is given correct care, it should bloom year-round! You can expect less flowers in winter, no matter what.

  • Natively these grow epiphytically (and love to vine), but you see them mostly sold as a trailing houseplant.

  • They are NOT toxic to pets. If you are interested in learning about more pet friendly plants, check out Podcast Ep#31 for more info or the corresponding blog post!


Instagram Q&A

I asked followers if they had any specific plant questions I could address in this podcast and blog. Here are the questions and answers for the Goldfish Plant:


"Once I brought mine home, it stopped blooming. What happened?"

  • Sometimes the shock of bringing a houseplant home from a bright, humid greenhouse causes issues initially. As long as you are providing the light and water it needs, the plant should bounce back and eventually product blooms again. If you brought it home in fall, this also makes sense because the blooms are less common in winter.

 

WANT TO LISTEN?

Go to Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, and more! Search for Houseplant Homebody to hear this episode and MANY more! You can also listen directly on my website under the Podcast page!


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Always written with extreme plant passion!

Love, Holly (Owner & Creator of Houseplant Homebody LLC)

 

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