Goldfish Plant, Dancing Dolphins Indoors (Columnea species)

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Plant Details

Category: Houseplants
Light: Medium Light
Bloom Season:
Height: 2-8" / 
5-20cm
Space: 2-3' / 
0.6-0.9m
Zones: 11, 12
Lowest Temp: 40° to 80°F / 
4° to 27°C
Colors: Grown for foliage

Basic Care

Thrives in a warm location with bright, indirect light. Keep soil consistently moist. Can be pruned freely to maintain desired size.

Water

Keep soil evenly moist.

Soil

Orchid bark mix.

Feed

Once every month during growing season.

cascading plants

Cascading

Heat Tolerant

Ornamental Foliage

Containers

hanging baskets

Hanging Baskets

Features

Easy to grow, epiphytic plants produce a cascade of foliage splashed with bright orange, tubular flowers that resemble gold fish! Epiphytes are plants that attach to trees, rocks, or other structures instead of growing in the ground. Looks great in hanging baskets or mounted to a piece of bark or moss.

Uses

A great potted plant for a sunny spot indoors or on a lightly shaded deck, patio, or porch during warm weather. Perfect for hanging baskets.

Goldfish Plant, Dancing Dolphins Indoors (Columnea species) Care Guide

Start with a good quality, commercial potting soil. These are usually lighter in weight than topsoil, sterile and pest-free. Many are available with a mild starter fertilizer in the mix.

Select a container with a drainage hole or be prepared to drill holes for drainage if there are none.

Prepare the container by filling with potting soil up to 2” (5cm) from the rim of the planter. Remove the plant from its pot.

Make a small hole in the soil slightly larger than the root ball either by hand or using a trowel. Insert the plant into the hole and press soil firmly around the roots and just covering the root ball. When all the plants are potted, water thoroughly to settle the soil and give plants a good start. Place plant in a reliably sunny location.

Repot every 2 years in the same container or in a container slightly larger than the diameter of the roots.

Prefers moist but well-drained soil. Check the soil moisture with your finger. If the top 2-4” (5-10cm) of soil is dry, or plants are wilted, it is time to water.

Apply water at the soil level if possible to avoid wetting the foliage. Water the entire soil area until water runs out the base of the pot. This indicates that the soil is thoroughly wet.

Most container plants can be pruned freely to maintain the desired size and shape. Keeping the foliage trimmed also keeps the plants looking neat and tidy, encourages the plant to develop more side-shoots and flowers, and reduces the demand for the plant to develop a larger root system. This is important since the roots are in a confined space.

Fertilizers are available in many forms: granulated, slow-release, liquid feeds, organic or synthetic. Determine which application method is best for the situation and select a product with a nutritional balance designed for foliage plants.

Too much fertilizer can damage plants so it’s important to follow the package directions to determine how much, and how often, to feed plants.

Slow-release fertilizers are an especially good, care-free choice for container plants. A single application can often provide plants with the proper level of nutrition all season long.

Companion/Combination Plants

6 Comments

  1. Eileen Bell

    Want to buy red dancing Dolphine

    Reply
  2. Wanda Curl

    Mine is growing very well. The vines are almost 3’ long now but there weren’t a lot of blooms. Only 2-3 at a time. What can I do to increase the blooms?

    Reply
    • My Garden Life

      Hi Wanda,
      It sounds like your goldfish plant is thriving, so it’s probably getting plenty of light (low light can diminish flowering). You could try fertilizing it with a plant food for indoor flowering plants. These are typically higher in phosphorus than nitrogen or potassium. Phosphorus supports root development and encourages flowering. We recommend a liquid fertilizer for quick uptake by the plant. Apply according to the product directions.

      Reply
  3. CHRISTIE DELOIA

    HOW DO I PURCHASE ONE OF THESE Goldfish Plant, Dancing Dolphins Indoors (Columnea species) PLANTS? I HAVE BEEN LOOKING EVERYWHERE SINCE MY DAD PASSED AWAY AND CAN’T FIND THEM

    Reply
    • My Garden Life

      Hi Christie,
      If you can’t find this plant at your local garden center or florist, there are online sources. If you do an internet search for “buy Columnea” or “buy Nematanthus” (another similar plant with the common name “goldfish plant”) the search results should provide you with online retailers.

      Reply

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