Columnea crassifolia is an upright clump shrub. Narrow elliptic leaves are hairy and flowers are dark orange-red. It also is called as the goldfish plant these spreading or cascading gesneriads are easy to grow and bloom. The long, tubular, ‘horned’ blooms give the look of ‘flying fish’. Well, grown plants can have 40-50 or more blooms at a time. Columnea plant is intolerant of frost, these are house or greenhouse plants outside the subtropics. They need a steady temperature, not necessarily hot but average to warm, dappled light and shelter from cold drafts. Allow drying somewhat in winter. Avoid wetting foliage when not in active growth, less watering for 6-8 weeks often stimulates the best flowering.
Scientific Name: Columnea crassifolia
Common Name: Flying goldfish plants.
How to grow and maintain Columnea crassifolia:
Columnea crassifolia prefers part shade, though it can take higher light if slowly accustomed to it. You can grow this plant on south/west/east window and even a north window, though it will reduce the flowering and make the growth leggy. Allow for plenty of light to get the maximum out of your plant. You can also grow under artificial light.
It does best in coarse, open, humus-rich, moderately fertile soil. Soilless potting mixes work fine for indoor plants grown in pots.
Water well in Summer whenever the surface of the compost shows signs of drying out, at least twice weekly. In Winter keep just damp when growth is slower.
Normal room temperatures 65-75°F/18-24°C year-round. Exposure to cold will cause its leaves to fall off.
Feed every 2 weeks spring and summer with a high-phosphorus liquid fertilizer such as 10-30-10 diluted by half.
Take 3 inches stem cutting in Spring and Summer using peat and sand or moistened vermiculite and keep the pot at room temperature in bright filtered light, watering enough to keep vermiculite barely moist. Rooting should occur in about 4 weeks, then transfer to a 3-inch pot of compost.
Pests and Diseases:
Watch for aphids, spider mites, bud mites, fungal spots, and tobacco mosaic virus