PlantFiles is getting a new look! Just in time for spring, we're rolling out a new look for the best online plants database. It will also work with your smart phones and mobile devices, so now you can take it with you on garden center visits or botanical garden tours. Questions or comments? Please post them here.

Goldfish Plant
Nematanthus wettsteinii

Family: Gesneriaceae (ges-ner-ee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Nematanthus (nee-ma-TAN-thus) (Info)
Species: wettsteinii (wet-STY-nee-eye) (Info)

Category:

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Height:

6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

Spacing:

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

Hardiness:

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Light Shade

Danger:

Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:

Red-Orange

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Foliage:

Evergreen

Smooth-Textured

Shiny/Glossy-Textured

Other details:

This plant is suitable for growing indoors

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

From softwood cuttings

By tip layering

Seed Collecting:

N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

Regional

This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Ontario, California

Hollywood, Florida

New Port Richey, Florida

Oldsmar, Florida

Binghamton, New York

Grants Pass, Oregon

Oregon City, Oregon

Katy, Texas

Falls Church, Virginia

show all

Gardeners' Notes:

3
positives
1
neutral
0
negatives
RatingContent
Positive

On Jul 2, 2010, gsytch from New Port Richey, FL wrote:

Nematanthus so easily here in Tampa Bay. They are actually hardy to 28-30F as I found out this past winter. I left a few baskets hanging in my shadehouses during our two weeks of cold in Jan. It hit 27F in my yard three times, 29F in the uncovered shadehouse. Barely a few tips damaged. They handle heat, love smaller pots to dry out, and bloom best for me from fall thru spring. Some of my baskets get massive, and other than getting heavy, they are foolproof. The hybrids are outstanding! 'Champagne Jam' with its dangling peach pouches is my favorite. It also has large, red backed leaves. Everyone should grow these, and they root by cuttings so easily.

Neutral

On Dec 28, 2007, gray_53 from Mcdonough, GA wrote:

I had one once. Forgot to water it. Started to die. Leaves fell off. Transplanted remaining part to a better pot. Leaves fell off. No more goldfish plant.

**************************** weeps ******************************** ;-(

Positive

On Jan 7, 2006, isom from Mission BC
Canada (Zone 8b) wrote:

I've grown this plant as a houseplant in a hanging basket. Leaves are very shiny, deep green & are attractive even without flowers. I found that mine won't flower until we start getting more sun in spring. Winter & fall, here are cloudy, dull & rains a lot so plant coasts through those times, growing little & not blooming.

But come sunny weather with lots of bright light (mine loved sun but not too close to the glass), it flowers profusely. Flowers look like small fat goldfish sticking out between the leaves. Flowers all along the stem except right near soil. Because it grows rapidly, I find it worth fertilizing frequently while actively growing & transplanting every spring. Anyone who sees it in bloom falls in love with it. Roots easily from stem cuttings so you can share ... read more

Positive

On Oct 20, 2005, tyshee from Kenai, AK wrote:

I grow it as a houseplant giving it a summer winter temperature variation. In the winter it is kept around 40 degrees. In the summer it is naturally heated by the sun. It blooms profusely and has many more flowers in a cluster than the photo. With the right care this is a very showy plant and grows large in one year.Excellent as a large hanging plant.