The Unassuming Goldfish Plant: Everything You Need to Know for Successful Care - Absolute Gardener

The Unassuming Goldfish Plant: Everything You Need to Know for Successful Care

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goldfish plant

There are few things in this world as beautiful as goldfish plants. They come in all different colors, shapes and sizes, some with long narrow leaves while others have wide, circular ones. Regardless of what type you prefer, goldfish plants provide a cool splash of color when they’re grown indoors or outside on your porch. In this article, we’ll take a look at goldfish plant care so that you can grow the perfect goldfish plant!

What is Goldfish Plant?

Goldfish Plant, also known as Nematanthus gregarious, is a type of flowering plant in the Aizoaceae family that derives its name from goldfish because they are often orange and red just like goldfish. Goldfish plants can come in many different colors, including green, pink, purple, white or yellow. They are from the genus Nematanthus and originated in the South Eastern part of Brazil.

The goldfish plant is a perennial evergreen that grows well outdoors or indoors with moderate sunlight, so it’s an excellent houseplant for people who live in areas where summers are hot and humid.

Goldfish Plants – not to be confused with African violets – grow as a perennial in warm regions of the world, and as an annual in cooler or dry climates.

It grows quickly and can grow up to 20 inches long with width of 12-15 inches wide has shiny dark green leaves that are about one inch thick and gold leaf margins. With so many varieties and colors to choose from, goldfish plants are easy to grow indoors or out. A goldfish plant in the garden attracts beneficial insects like lacewings while providing color and texture.

The nematanthus goldfish plant has an interesting nickname. It is sometimes called the “golden marguerite” or “water marigold.” The goldfish plant gets its name from a folk story that involves goldfish swimming in ponds and eating it as they would other aquatic plants (hence, goldfish). However, this appears to be a myth; goldfish have not been found in North America for decades.

Goldfish plants are an easy-to-care for decoration. They are most commonly used to create eye catching displays at weddings or other events because of their bright colors and ability to grow well in a wide variety of environments. Goldfish plants also have a reputation for making goldfish bowls “pop” because of the contrast between their gold and green colors.

Goldfish plants are not only beautiful, but they also have many medicinal benefits! The leaves can be used to create a poultice that soothes insect bites while the roots produce an astringent which tightens tissues. This plant is also an herb that can be used to treat asthma, bronchitis and sore throat.

Origins of Goldfish Plant Plant

Originating in Japan, goldfish plant is a popular plant that spends its time floating on the surface or clinging to submerged rocks and other surfaces. Known as erythronium densiflorum outside of Asia, goldfish plants are considered an invasive species in much of North America.

It can be found all across the world, but it grows best in tropical climates. The goldfish plant got its name because it resembles goldfish swimming around on top of water due to how their leaves are arranged and they have small flowers that look like bright orange-red goldfish.

goldfish plant

Goldfish Plant Care Guide

It is important to keep goldfish plant happy and healthy, which means finding a place for it that will suit its preferences. Goldfish plants are very easy to care for and do not require a lot of maintenance, making them an excellent choice for gardeners with little time or experience. Here are some goldfish plant care guides.


Soil is goldfish plant’s foundation for survival. Goldfish plants are not rooted in the ground, they grow from a tuberous root system that needs to be planted into soil and watered regularly so it can continue to produce more tubers. If you notice your goldfish plant wilting away or has roots coming out of its pot, it is most likely because the goldfish plant’s root system has outgrown its small pot.

Soil needs to be a rich and well-draining soil that does not contain any fertilizer or pesticides since goldfish plants have sensitive roots that can rot easily if there are toxic chemicals in their environment. If there are any chemicals in your soil when it first arrives (i.e. fertilizers, pesticides), make sure to wash the goldfish plant’s pot and its roots before planting it in soil.


Choose the goldfish plant’s location carefully. It prefers partial shade, so it could thrive in a corner of your yard with morning sun and afternoon shade from trees or buildings on either side of it. Try to place goldfish plants where they will get about six hours per day of direct sunlight when possible. It is recommended that goldfish plants are placed near an east- or west-facing window in order to provide enough light during the day. If you don’t have any other options for adequate lighting within your home, consider buying one of those goldfish plant grow lights.


Water goldfish plants less than other houseplants, once a week to every two weeks. Watering more frequently will cause the goldfish plant leaves to droop and turn brown or yellow. As with all container-grown plants, careful watering is crucial for healthy goldfish plant growth. A good way of determining when it needs water is to set up a schedule where you place the goldfish plant in a saucer of water and wait for it to be fully absorbed. When this occurs, it’s time for another watering.


The goldfish plant prefers a temperature of 65-90 degrees Fahrenheit. The goldfish house should maintain this temperature throughout the day, but it’s best to avoid drafts from windows or doors. Avoid temperatures below 60 degrees for the goldfish, as this is where it becomes more susceptible to bacterial infection and rot. If you are going on vacation or leaving your house, make sure someone can come over once in a while to water the goldfish plant. This will help prevent it from drying out and dying.


There are a few steps to taking care of goldfish plant. One is humidity. Humidity affects how plants grow and can be adjusted in different ways depending on the climate you’re living in. If your goldfish plant needs more moisture, place it closer to a window or near another water source (like from periodic rainfall). Conversely, if it’s too wet, goldfish plant can be successfully grown in a tray of water (similar to hydroponics) outside or near an open window.


Goldfish plants thrive in moist soil, so they need regular fertilising. The goldfish plant needs a lot of nutrients to be healthy and grow well. A simple solution is to add compost or organic material (e.g., leaf litter) on the surface of your goldfish potting mix before planting up the goldfish plant. This will add more nutrients to the goldfish potting mix

If you don’t have a compost heap at home, or access to leaf litter, an alternative is to use a fertiliser like bonemeal which can be bought from most garden centres. Mix this with water and pour on top of your goldfish plant when it’s in its pot.


One of goldfish plant’s most common problems is toxicity. Goldfish plants cannot actually be toxic, but they can accumulate nitrates in the soil and leaves that are harmful to touch or eat. This means that goldfish plants need a good amount of water circulation around their roots for healthy growth indoors (if you do not have access to an outside goldfish plant, you may want to consider a more hardy goldfish plant species for your needs).

Nitrates are harmful because they can be ingested by humans and pets alike. Nitrate poisoning in humans is rare but the effects of nitrates on animals can vary depending on their size (it’s better if larger animals avoid goldfish plants altogether).


goldfish plantPruning gold fish plants is an important part of goldfish plant care. Here are some tips to do it effectively:

  • Always prune goldfish plants while they’re still wet from watering them and immediately after a heavy rainstorm or light snowfall, when the soil is moist but not saturated. If you wait until later on in the day, the wilted leaves will be too dry to tear off easily.
  • Use a sharp goldfish plant pruning knife or shears for clean and easy cuts. It’s important not to use secateurs, which can crush delicate goldfish stems with their powerful jaws.
  • When you’re removing goldfish plant branches from the goldfish plant, try to cut just below the node where it’s attached. This will prevent any future roots from growing at that spot and helps reduce disease risk.
  • It can be tempting to pull goldfish plants out by their leaves when you want them gone fast. However, this is a surefire way of killing your goldfish plant. Plus, goldfish plants with their leaves intact are beautiful and graceful while still full of life!
  • Don’t let the goldfish plant roots dry out by watering thoroughly before pruning. This will help to create a healthy root system for your goldfish plant going forward.

Propagation and Growth

Goldfish plants can propagate by dividing or taking cuttings. Propagating goldfish plant by division is done in late spring to early summer when goldfish plant’s root system has grown some but not too much – goldfish plants do best when they are given a deep pot with plenty of room for roots and leaves, so don’t divide until the goldfish plant reaches the pot’s edge.

Cuttings can be taken at any time of year, but they will have to grow their roots before being transplanted in the ground outside or potted up and placed on a sunny windowsill indoors.


A goldfish plant needs to be repotted every so often. You can tell when it’s time because the roots will start coming out of the drainage holes, and you’ll notice that leaves are starting to yellow or curl up due to lack of water. It’s best not to wait too long before repotting a goldfish plant, because goldfish plants can become root bound and that decreases the chances of a goldfish plant thriving.

A goldfish plant also needs to be repotted every time you bring it inside for the winter–even if it was outside for just one day. Repotting will help keep goldfish plan healthy by avoiding potential shock from sudden changes in light, temperature, and humidity.

Repot goldfish plants in a potting mix that is half peat moss and half perlite or vermiculite. This will give the goldfish plant firm support for its roots while still allowing air to reach them so they don’t rot away from lack of oxygen.”

Plant Disease

Diseases are one of the top goldfish plant problems. You might notice a goldfish plant suddenly changing color and wilting away, or leaves turning brown. This usually means that your goldfish is struggling to fight off an unseen disease. If you water isn’t clean enough for goldfish plants (see Plant Care section), it can lead to goldfish plant diseases like rot.

A goldfish plant disease called leaf spot is common in goldfish plants and appears as small brown or black spots on the leaves of your goldfish plant. Sometimes, these spots will appear towards the top where a new leaf would grow out from the stem if this didn’t happen.

The best way to prevent goldfish plant diseases is by using the right goldfish plant soil and water, so you can give it the nutrients it needs for happy growth!

Goldfish Plant Variegated

An interesting goldfish plant variety is the variegated goldfish plant. It’s not pure gold because it has white or yellow-white stripes and spots that come from its genes. However, still a beautiful gold color!

It can be quite unassuming looking with little in terms of decoration but some people would say it looks like it’s smiling. It has a very goldfish-ish shape and it is easy to grow as long as you keep the soil moist. They have been known by many names including Dutchman’s pipe or just goldfish.

Common Issues with Goldfish Plant Care

Goldfish plant care is not difficult, but goldfish plants do have some issues that can arise. One of the most common problems goldfish plants face is overwatering; goldfish plants are very sensitive to over-watering due to their roots being above water like an epiphytic plant would be.

Another issue with goldfish plants is goldfish plant dropsy. Goldfish plant dropsy happens when goldfish plants are exposed to too much fertilizer or water, and the leaves turn brown before they die.

Tips for Keeping Goldfish Plant Happy

goldfish plantThere are many goldfish plant care guides, but the following will be a good start. If you follow these tips and have patience for goldfish plant’s needs, then your goldfish plants should thrive!

  • First make sure to put goldfish plant in indirect sunlight or filtered light – never direct sun. They can handle low levels of light, but not high levels.
  • Second goldfish plants need a moist soil; if you find your goldfish plant is dry with shriveled leaves this could be the cause of the problem.
  • Third goldfish plants should never stand in water and they also don’t like to have wet feet so it’s important that their pot is planted in a pot with drainage holes.
  • Fourth goldfish plant can’t tolerate erythromycin, so avoid this if you are trying to save goldfish plants from dying. Other common goldfish plant problems include over watering and underwatering which will cause root rot – it’s important to find the happy medium!

TIP : You can use a goldfish to help your goldfish plant thrive! It sounds odd but it’s true: just place one goldfish in the container with water and put it on top of or next to the goldfish plant.

Goldfish Plant Frequently Asked Questions

How do you take care of a goldfish plant?

  • Goldfish plants should be watered twice a week
  • Goldfish plants enjoy being in indirect sunlight and are sensitive to direct sun, so it is important not to place them too close to windows
  • Goldfish plant leaves often turn brown after the first few weeks of having one. This is normal and they will regrow their leaves over time
  • Goldfish plants should be watered twice a week
  • Goldfish plants enjoy being in indirect sunlight and are sensitive to direct sun, so it is important not to place them too close to windows
  • Goldfish plant leaves often turn brown after the first few weeks of having one. This is normal and they will regrow their leaves over time
  • Goldfish plant care guides recommend that goldfish plants be given a dose of liquid fertilizer once or twice a week and to replace the water in the goldfish tank every two weeks, adding fresh water each time. This is because goldfish’s waste can build up quickly and low levels of dissolved oxygen will result

How do I get my goldfish plant to bloom?

Goldfish plants are mainly sold in a “bunched together” form, so it may take some time for them to bloom. They can be grown as houseplants or outdoor plants. Goldfish plant potting soil should have a pH level of around neutral. Goldfish plants need a lot of light to bloom, so they are best suited for indoor planting

Is a goldfish plant easy to care for?

Goldfish plants are one of the easier houseplants to care for. They require low light and can even be grown in water, making goldfish plant a unique addition to any home or office space.

How much sun does a goldfish plant need?

A goldfish plant will need a lot of sun year-round to thrive. If you don’t have any other plants or trees in the area, it may be best for your goldfish plant if you move it outside during summer months. Be sure not to put it too close to an intense heat source (such as a deck railing) or a drafty area, as either of these will dry out the goldfish plant.

If you have other plants in your yard that provide some shade from intense sun and also provides humidity (such as bamboo), then it may be best to leave your goldfish plant outdoors year-round, but bring it inside during cold months so that it doesn’t suffer from frost damage.

If you are growing goldfish plants indoors, they will need a lot of light to thrive – ideally in a south-facing window where the sun is brightest and most direct during winter months. Be sure not to restrict air flow by covering your goldfish plant with curtains or placing other furniture near it, as goldfish plants need fresh air to survive.

Should I trim my goldfish plant?

Trimming goldfish plants is a matter of personal preference. Some people feel that trimming it down will grow new leaves, while others only do so to maintain the plant and its shape.

Some goldfish plant owners prefer to cut or pull off any dead leaves from their goldfish plant as soon as they are noticed in order to prevent the goldfish plant from losing too much water or diminishing nutrients. Goldfish plants are usually trimmed when they start to grow out of control and could potentially damage furniture, walls, floors etc.

If you want your goldfish plant to have a design other than round shape (e.g., oval), trim it accordingly. If you want to make goldfish plant last longer, trim it every few months.

Is goldfish plant indoor or outdoor?

Goldfish plants are indoor plants and can live in most locations. This goldfish plant is considered a perennial, which means it will largely survive outside of its natural environment for an extended period of time. However, goldfish plant should be placed outdoors during summer months to avoid excess humidity indoors.

Are goldfish plant toxic to cats?

Goldfish plants do not have any known toxic effects on cats. You should always keep goldfish plant out of your cat’s reach to avoid them from chewing or scratching it as they can cause serious harm to themselves if swallowed.


The goldfish plant is a great addition to any home. It’s easy to care for, low maintenance and adds an interesting color-pop in the room! All you need now is your own goldfish plant so start growing today!

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