Columnea Gold Fish Plant Growing Instructions

Columnea, often known as “fish plant,” and its several crossbreeds are eye-catching hanging houseplants. Columnea fish plant has long, slender stems, little oblong fallen leaves, and many yellow, orange, or red blooms.

Because the gorgeous flowers are said to resemble fish or lipstick, you may hear this plant referred to as a fish plant or a lipstick plant. The lipstick vine is another name for Aeschynanthus and Nematanthus. In this article, we will go through how to care for this unique dangling basket houseplant. Continue reading to learn more.

The Fish Plant – Origin, The Name “Columnea,” And Plant Type?

Goldfish plants are native to the American tropics, particularly eastern Mexico. The plant is named after Fabio Colonna, a 16th-century botanist, explorer, and author of plant-life books. These unusual plants are epiphytes from the Gesneriaceae family, which includes African violets and Episcia, and there are over 100 native Columnea species. Because attractive fish plants demand a consistently temperate environment, they make excellent houseplants. Orchids and other epiphytes grow in trees.

  • They link to the tree’s bark and get their moisture and nutrients from the air surrounding them.
  • They do not extract any nutrients from the tree and do not harm it in any way.
  • They do not live as parasites.
  • They just utilize the tree as a foundation.
  • The fact that the fish plant grows high in the trees contributes to its vigorous routing behavior.
  • This is what makes it such a good choice for a hanging houseplant.
  • The stems might grow to be forty inches long.
  • Plants that are healthy and balanced can grow up to sixteen to twenty inches in a year.

All Year Long, Enjoy Fish Flowers

Columnea plants may provide beauty to your home all year long if you give them with enough light, a comfortable temperature, and a high level of humidity.

Hummingbirds and other pollinators love its long, curtaining stems covered with vivid, nectar-rich flowers in the wild.

  • The blossoms of several lipstick plant varieties appear different (i.e. black fish plant).
  • Some resemble parrot beaks, some like fish, and still others resemble lipstick.
  • All are available in yellow, orange, and red tones.
  • They are all odorless.
  • After the blooms have died, remove them by cutting the stems in half to encourage fresh growth and also blooming.
  • Pinch the tips of the stems to help your plant seem healthier and bushier.
  • Lights and also a Fish Plant Treatment Area
  • The Columnea plant prefers a lot of light as well as a consistent temperature range of 65° to 75° Fahrenheit all year.
  • Keep the plant near a south-facing window in the winter and also near a west-facing window during the growing season.
  • Allowing the plant to rest too close to the home window glass may cause it to freeze in the winter or burn the dark eco-friendly falling leaves in the summer.

It should not be exposed to direct sunlight. Intense, indirect lighting is ideal. A greenhouse is appropriate since your plant demands consistently high moisture levels. A bright, warm restroom (or one outfitted with excellent artificial lighting) is also an excellent place to keep a single plant. Keep in mind that they do take up some space.

Repotting, Rooting, and Proliferation of Gold Fish Plants

In the natural, these plants constantly regenerate and revitalize. The mother and father plant can survive for many years, and you can start new plants on a regular basis by taking cuttings. For this reason, you may expect your plant to survive indefinitely! Repotting and breeding must take place in the early spring (March or April). At this time, cut and deadhead blossoms and shape the plant. Make ensure you use the proper type of potting tool. Keep in mind that they are epiphytes. They leave their imprint on the bark of trees in nature. You cannot use regular potting soil for this factor. Use a well-drained epiphytic growth medium made from a blend of equal parts perlite, peat moss, and vermiculite. If you’re using a pre-packaged African violet dirt mix, add a handful of perlite to make it more permeable. If you desire to grow new plants from cuttings, follow the instructions outlined below for starting plants from these cuttings.

  • To get the cuttings started, use a soil-free mixture of perlite and peat (50/50).
  • Each cutting used as a fresh starting should be around 2 inches long. Place a packet of cuttings (3-8) in a small container filled with perlite and peat.
  • Water lightly and wrap the pot in a plastic bag. Place the pot in a warm spot with plenty of indirect sunlight.
  • Leave the sack in place until you see that fresh shoots have emerged.


Columnea: Water and Plant Food Requirements

Because Columnea are epiphytes, they get all of their moisture and nutrients from the air surrounding them. As a result, a high moisture content is required. When the weather is hot and dry, you must haze the plants on a daily basis. This is especially true with hanging plants. If you are growing your Columnea in a container on a stand, you may place a pebble tray full of water under the plant to guarantee that the water vaporizes and humidifies the air around it.

To provide continuous feeding to the plant, add water-soluble, well-balanced houseplant plant food to the haze and/or the water in the pebble tray.

  • This has to be a very poor cure.
  • Use 14 times the amount of plant food recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Keep the potting tool slightly moist at all times.
  • Use filtered system water or rainwater.
  • Do not add plant food to the water you use to wet the substrate.

How to Select the Most Effective Columnea

Despite the fact that there are several natural types, just those that have been exactly replicated for large, colorful flowers and also resistant development routines are generally expanded by enthusiasts in a hanging basket.

Serious collecting organizations may occasionally extend indigenous species, but for the average enthusiast, samplings that have been replicated to be houseplants are far more pleasant.

These are some examples:

Aladdin’s Lamp
The Golden State Orange Gold Sherbet Schwarz Frosty Hills Volcano Mirage

All of these varieties have gorgeous blossoms as well as lush, attractive foliage.

The majority of Columnea have thick, ceraceous, dark environment-friendly fallen leaves that are around 2 inches long. Some plant species have hairy leaves. Two of the crossbreeds discussed here (Mirage and Frosty Hills) have variegated leaf. This plant is available in all seasons. Look for healthy, balanced, portable plants that are growing quickly. The plant you buy should have a lot of unopened buds. In this video, a Columnea fan describes a few different treatment options.

Columnea Troubleshooting Fish Plant Kingdoms

Columnea is also founded on:

  • Too much calcium in plant food, potting tools, or water causes browning of fallen leaves.
  • Fallen leaves are reduced as a result of drafts and also extremely dry air.
  • Places where fungi have fallen
  • Mold and mildew caused by Botrytis
  • Infection with mosaics

Why are my goldfish plant’s leaves falling off?

If you see that the stems and/or roots of your plant have wilted, you should take healthy and balanced cuttings, discard the affected plant, and start over.

Plants could likewise drop fallen leaves as a result of assaults from crawler termites, invasion by mealybugs, whiteflies or black aphids (plant lice) on plants.

Use a houseplant pesticide or a Neem oil treatment to treat plants.

Why isn’t my Columnea blooming?

If your plant stops flowering, it may need to rest.

Move the plant to a cooler location (55-60 degrees Fahrenheit) for 6 weeks and reduce watering. When you move it to a warmer environment, it should resume flowering. Inadequate flowering can also be caused by “colder” temperatures and a lack of humidity. Provide plants with at least 70 levels and no fewer than 50 levels during the pause. Splashing twice a day is frequently insufficient. In the winter, a humidifier will undoubtedly help.

How To “Deal With” Straggly-Looking Plants

Gradually, the plant may begin to appear straggly. Cut or pinch the plant. Remove a couple of the woody stems and begin regularly pruning and squeezing back.

Why do my plant’s stems have mushy spots?

A stem-rot fungal disease occurs when the plant’s base and stems become soft and mushy.

This fungus issue is generally brought on and spread out by low temperatures and also overwatering.

Starting new plants from cuttings and also repotting is an excellent idea. Remove and also dispose of infected areas, and then spray injuries with a fungicide. Transfer the plant to a warmer location and allow the soil to become wet before sprinkling.

What causes yellow margins with brown or black attractions, as well as dampness or blistering?

This is a fungal or microbial illness or ailment that causes leaf spots. The cause is usually due to inadequate lighting, cooling, and/or overwatering. Increase the temperature, light, and air flow. Dry out the earth before resuming a regular watering schedule. Remove polluted areas and apply a fungicide to any remaining fallen leaves.

What Causes Reduced Entrusts To Yellow and Stems To Become Soft And Also Dark In Shade?

This issue typically emerges when plants wilt and appear to be underwatered, yet a root-rot condition prevents the root system from absorbing water.

Begin by:

  • Removing the fish creeping plant from its container
  • Launder the roots and also remove all of the potting dirt with warm water.
  • Getting rid of origins that appear to be severely damaged
  • Repot in new soil.
  • Remove any damaged falling leaves and vegetation.
  • Water enough to keep the plant from withering.
  • When the plant begins to grow normally again, water it thoroughly.
  • When I started watering again, I soaked the earth with fungicide.

Watering carefully and paying attention to the environment might help to avoid these problems with fish plants.


Although these plants have a reputation for being difficult to grow, the truth is that if the proper growing conditions are set in terms of light, temperature, storing plant food, and also adequate hydration, they are quite simple to grow. You will almost surely refrain well if you lack these foundations. The fish plant is one of our over 30 potted indoor houseplant varieties.

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