Knowing how to water your Goldfish plant (Columnea gloriosa) is essential in keeping your plant thriving. In my experience, the plant needs to be watered once a week in spring and summer, then once every two or three weeks in fall and winter. They have a definite preference for lukewarm rainwater or filtered water if available and I never let the soil dry out completely between each watering cycle. Make sure you’re giving your Goldfish plants just the right amount and type of water with this guide.
When to Water Goldfish Plants
I find that Goldfish plants prefer a peat moss-based soil as they need well-draining soil to prevent water from suffocating their roots. However, they still need their soil to have slight water retaining abilities as they must not dry out completely.
I always allow the first two inches of the plant’s soil is dry before I water the plant again. Remember, these plants are native to Southern and Central America, so they are tropical plants that need moisture.
How Do You Know When to Water?
The best rule I’ve found is to monitor the first two inches of the plant’s soil. When dry to the touch, you need to water the plant again. If your Goldfish plant begins to wilt or droop, then it may need some extra water.
If your Goldfish plant’s color begins to fade and the leaves begin to curl slightly around the edges, you need to water the plant.
How to Check When to Water
There are some methods of testing if your Goldfish plant needs to be watered; some of my preferred methods include:
- The finger test – stick your finger into the plant’s soil about two inches deep. If the soil still feels moist or wet, then your plant does not need water. If it feels dry, then you should water your plant.
- Buy a moisture probe or meter – you can purchase a moisture meter or probe to measure the moisture in the soil. Follow the instructions of the specific probe you buy to measure the moisture.
- The weight test – pick up your plant, is your plant lighter than usual? This can indicate your plant needs to be watered, as it has less water weight in its cells.
- Test the soil with a stick – this is similar to the finger test, but you use a stick in place of your finger. If the stick is moist when you pull it out of the soil, your plant does not need water. If the stick is completely dry, you need to water your plant.
If you grow your Goldfish indoors and in an average home environment, you need to water it once per week.
If you reside in climates where the temperature gets close to or over 80 degrees Fahrenheit, you should water your plant more. If your plant is exposed to air conditioners for extended periods, you will need to adjust your watering schedule.
This will depend on the temperature you set the air conditioner. If it’s cold air blowing, you may not need to water as much. If it is hot air, you may need to water the plant more.
The location your plant is kept in will also affect the plant’s watering schedule. If the plant is in bright indirect sunlight, in a hot room, then you should water it more. In a cool room with bright indirect sunlight, you should water it less.
I find that I need to water my Goldfish plant at least once per week in the spring and summer months. Typically, I only water my plant in the fall and winter months every 2 or 3 weeks.
The Fundamental Importance of Good Drainage
For Goldfish plants, soil drainage is vital to help reduce the loss of nutrients in the soil. If too much water is sitting in the plant’s soil, the essential nutrients will dissolve into the water.
The nutrients will then get carried away from the plant when the excess water finally drains out. If water does not drain properly, this can lead to the plant developing diseases like root rot. This is due to the plant’s roots’ stagnating in the water, which suffocates the roots.
What Type of Water Is Best?
Where possible, I water my Goldfish plant with rainwater or filtered water to help avoid adding excess minerals into the soil. I find that lukewarm water is best, as cold water can shock Goldfish plants.
How to Water Goldfish Plants
There are various procedures you can use to water your Goldfish plant correctly. Let us go through them, so you can find the one that works for you.
Options and Techniques
You can use two methods to water your Goldfish plant: top watering and bottom watering.
Step-by-Step Guide for Top Watering
- First, fill up a watering can with suitable water for your Goldfish plant.
- Next, you should water around the base of the plant, straight onto the soil.
- Avoid watering from straight above the plant, as you should not let the plant’s foliage wet.
- Stop watering when water starts to disperse through the drainage holes into the saucer underneath.
Step-by-Step Guide for Bottom Watering
Bottom watering is watering the plant from the base up. To do this, you can submerge the bottom of the plant pot into a tub of water. Ensure the water is suitable for your Goldfish plant.
The water must not go over the halfway mark of the plant pot. You can keep the plant in the water until the top two inches of soil are moist.
Should Excess Water Be Removed?
Once the excess water has fully drained through the drainage holes of the plant pot, you need to throw the excess water away. You should not let your Goldfish plant sit in this water as this can lead to root rot.
Signs You Might Be Overwatering
If you are overwatering your Goldfish plant, the plant will develop specific problems. You can look for signs that indicate the plant is being overwatered. These signs include:
- The leaves turning yellow and going mushy
- Loss of flowers or buds from the plant
- The lower leaves of the plant may begin to rot
Only water your Goldfish plant when the top two inches of soil are dry and ensure you test the soil every second to the third day. This will help you avoid overwatering your Goldfish plant.
Signs You Might Be Underwatering
If you underwater your Goldfish plant, the plant can develop certain issues; these issues include:
- The rapid loss of flowers
- Sunken leaves
- Leaves turning brown and drying out
- Leaves falling off the plant
Ensure you water your plant enough to moisten the soil throughout the plant pot. Water your Goldfish plant until the water starts running from the draining holes. Adjust your watering schedule to the plant’s environment.
What to Do In Between Watering Cycles
There are some things you can do to help ensure the health of your Goldfish plant in between the watering cycle. Let us have a look at these, so you can ensure your plant is always healthy.
Should You Mist Between Waterings?
You should not mist the leaves of your Goldfish plant in between the watering cycle. The plant does not like its foliage to be wet, as this can cause problems with the plant’s leaves.
Will Goldfish Plants Benefit From Sitting in a Humidity Tray?
If you reside in a particularly dry area, then a humidity tray will help your Goldfish plant survive better. These plants are from tropical climates; therefore, they require a higher humidity level in your home to stay healthy.
Main Things to Keep An Eye On
The main things you should watch for with your Goldfish plant that may indicate a change is needed include:
- Signs of being overwatered
- Signs of being underwatered
- The plant loses vibrance
- Any color changes in the plant’s leaves
- Spotted leaves
If you notice any of these signs happening with your Goldfish plant, you need to re-evaluate your care routine. You should also check the plant for any pests as this can be the problem and not your watering cycles.
Watering Goldfish Plants FAQs:
What Are the Most Common Signs a Goldfish Plant Needs Watering?
The common signs that your Goldfish plant will show when it needs water include wilting and dry soil.
What Is the Best Way to Water Goldfish Plants?
The best way to water your Goldfish plant is through top watering, ensuring that you do not get the foliage wet. This is the better method as you control how much water your plant will receive.
How Much Water Do Goldfish Plants Need?
The amount of water that your Goldfish plant will need will depend on the environment your plant is kept in. Generally, when the first two inches of the soil is dry. You need to water your plant and water it until the water starts running through the drainage holes.
Is It OK to Get Water on Goldfish Plant Leaves?
It is fine if the leaves of a Goldfish plant accidentally get splashed with water. However, you should wipe the water off the leaves when this happens.
Can I Water My Goldfish Plant With Tap Water?
Do not water your Goldfish plant with tap water as this can add extra minerals to the plant’s soil, which can harm the plant.
Watering your Goldfish plant can be a challenging task, but if you know the rules for watering them, then you will be fine. Follow the useful tips and tricks in this article to help ensure your Goldfish plant is healthy and happy. Good luck with your Goldfish plant’s care!
For more, see our in-depth guide to goldfish plant care at home.