Goldfish plants, or Columnea gloriosa, first bloomed in the Central and South American tropics. Due to their distinct shape of being similar to goldfish, they gained their name and became a popular indoor plant. This gorgeous plant comes in a variety of 25 colors that bloom throughout the year. The goldfish plants are epiphytes, meaning that they will grow upon another plant, or usually a tree. They do not host on the plant they grow on, but use it as a means to perch and anchor themselves upon.
Goldfish plant add an additional beautify to well-groomed gardens. Their dark green, thick and waxy leaves that are 2 to 3 inches long, and exquisite yellow, orange and red flowers enhance the beauty of every outdoor setting. They look best in hanging baskets and pedestal tables. Despite its unique look, the goldfish plant can actually be difficult to maintain and grow when you aren’t taking care of it properly. If you plan on growing a goldfish plant at your home garden, these tips will come of handy for its care:
- The soil content of the goldfish plant should be coarse sphagnum moss, vermiculite, and perlite in equal quantities. These three must be mixed well before planting the goldfish plant.
- The goldfish plat needs bright light but it should be indirect so that the flowers develop. They need 13 hours of light a day. Use a good grow-light to aid in the plant’s healthy growth.
- Water is needed when 25-30 percent of the soil in the plant has dried out. The leaves will fall off if the plant is over-watered. The water level must be kept low.
- Fertilize the plant every two weeks during the spring and summer. This is the time it is actively growing. Feed the plant monthly in the fall and winter. The fertilizer must be one with a high-phosphate level in liquid form.
- These plants grow best in temperatures of 65-85 degrees Celsius. Intense heat will burn their leaves. They must be kept away from heaters and drafts. During the summers, they should be kept under a heavy canopy.
- The higher the humidity, the better the plant grows. So spray mist the plant frequently. You can also use a room humidifier to keep a high humidity level around it.
- The must be kept in a small pot for flowering. The pot should have a drainage hole.
- Common pests to come over this plant are Aphids and Mealy Bugs. Spray the plant thoroughly with green solution so that the pests get rid from the flowers.
- The soil should be rich potting soil for the plant as it holds water and then drains it as well. Use African Violet soil for it.
- Trim the plant often for proper growth, and propagate it with stem cuttings. This will make the plant bloom and encourage branching.
- Unlike most plant, the goldfish plant enjoys being pot-bound, meaning it should not be re-potted too frequently. Re-pot the plant every 2 to 3 years. Gently root-prune the parent plant when you re-pot so as to encourage new root growth.
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