Columnea microphylla (Goldfish Plants) is one of the attractive flowering plants. It has thin, trailing, and branching stems that are densely covered with brownish-red hairs. The stems carry nearly overlapping pairs of equal size, almost round, dark green leaves, these too are densely covered with reddish hairs. The blossoms carried singly on tiny stalks, bear hairy calyxes, which are green tinged with red and the flower corollas are bright scarlet with a yellow throat. The blossom is followed by a white berry cupped within the calyx. It is suitable for hanging baskets to enhance your interior.
Species: C. microphylla
Scientific Name: Columnea microphylla Klotzsch & Hanst. ex Oerst.
Common Name: Goldfish Plants, Flying Goldfish Plants
How to grow and maintain Columnea microphylla (Goldfish Plant):
It thrives best in bright light but keeps out of direct sunlight, which will turn the leaves brown. An eastern facing window is perfect. They can also successfully be grown under lights indoors, especially during the winter.
It grows best in well-drained, any good potting mix. Use a peat moss-based mix, such as African violet potting mix.
Water thoroughly, spring through fall and allow the top inch of soil to dry out between waterings. In the winter, water less often and allowing the soil to become almost dry between waterings. However, the soil should never dry out completely.
Columnea microphylla prefers average room temperatures 65°F – 75°F / 18°C – 24°C year-round. Exposure to cold will cause its leaves to fall off.
It prefers moderate to high humidity. Use a room humidifier or a humidity tray to maintain moist air. Mist foliage every day, use room-temperature water because cold water will cause brown spots on the foliage.
Fertilizer every 2 weeks spring and summer with a high-phosphorus liquid fertilizer (such as 10-30-10) diluted by half.
Prune back old stems severely after the flowering season to encourage new growth.
Columnea microphylla can be easily propagated by stem-tip cuttings. Take 10 cm (4-inch) stem tip cuttings (without flower buds on them) in spring or summer. Goldfish Plant can also be grown from seed. When the seed is soft and ripe, collect the seed and sow by sprinkling lightly on the surface of fine soil. Germination is in approximately two weeks.
Pests and Diseases:
The goldfish plant is highly susceptible to botrytis mold, fungal leaf spots, and mosaic viruses. Aphids, spider mites, and cottony cushion scale are common.