Deets: The goldfish plant (Nematanthus gregarious) earned its name because of the masses of red-orange flowers that appear in the spring and summer and look a bit like leaping goldfish. If you've ever seen a fully mature plant in a hanging basket in full bloom, it's a wonderful sight. They are profuse bloomers when cared for and add splashes of color. Indoors, these are great cascading plants for a bright sill or can be used in baskets. They are relatively long-lived plants, surviving almost a decade, providing you repot them when necessary (but not too often!) and keep them away from air that is too dry or cold. The original plant has been extensively hybridized, so pick a plant based on its vigor and flower color. It takes six to 10 weeks for a goldfish plant to flower.
Name(s): Nematanthus gregarious; Common: Goldfish PlantLight: Goldfish plants prefer bright light, but they don't like direct light. An eastern facing window is perfect. They can also successfully be grown under lights indoors, especially during the winter.
Water: During the summer, water generously and keep the soil continuously moist. In the winter, cut back on the water and allow the soil to become slightly drier. This seems to encourage better blooming. Be aware that the soil should never dry completely out.
Grower: Beginners, Advanced, Expert; all types.
Pet Friendly: Yes
Propagating Goldfish Plant
These will readily root from stem-tip cuttings. Choose stem tips that don't have flower buds on them and are about two to three inches long. A rooting hormone will increase your odds of success. Place newly planted cuttings in a warm, bright area and keep it humid until new growth emerges. New plants will not flower until the summer after they are propagated.
Potting and Repotting
Like many tropical plants, goldfish plants like to be slightly pot-bound and seem to respond with greater vigor and better shows of flowers. As a result, only repot the plant every two to three years. When you repot, you can gently root-prune the parent plant to encourage new root growth. Don't repot into much larger pots, but limit the repotting to one size up.
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