Everything You Need to Know About When and How to Water Goldfish Plants Grown Indoors

Knowing how to water your Goldfish plant is essential in keeping your plant thriving. Along with delightful blooms, these plants have gorgeous trailing leaves, making for a dramatic cascading display. However, poor watering habits can make them discolored, stretched out, or flopping over. Make sure you’re giving your Goldfish plants just the right amount and type of water with this guide.

When and How to Water Goldfish Plants – the Essentials

Watering your Goldfish plant correctly is crucial to the plant’s health. Ensure you water the plant with lukewarm rainwater or filtered water. The plant needs to be watered once a week in spring and summer, then once every two or three weeks in fall and winter. Never let the soil dry out completely. 

About Goldfish Plants

About Goldfish Plants

The botanical name of the Goldfish plant is Columnea gloriosa, and they are perennial plants that will live for years. This plant is from the Gesneriaceae plant family, with Columnea being their genus and gloriosa being their species. 

This plant’s common name comes from its long, tubular orange or orange-red flowers that resemble Goldfish. The Goldfish plant is native to Southern and Central America, so they are more accustomed to warmer climates. 

The Role of Water in Plant Health and Development

Water is needed to keep a plant healthy as it helps maintain the turgidity of the plant’s cell walls. The water helps cell enlargement because of turgor pressure and the plant’s cell division which, in turn, increases the plant’s growth.

The water you add to your plants is also crucial in the germination of the plant’s seeds and the growth of the plant’s roots. It also helps in the plant’s nutrition. Water assists the transpiration process, which is crucial in maintaining the absorption of nutrients from the soil. 

Water assists in the plant’s hydraulic process and helps the plant convert starch to sugar that it can use for energy. 

When to Water Goldfish Plants

When to Water Goldfish Plants

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. 

You should allow the first two inches of the plant’s soil is dry before you 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 a Goldfish Plant Needs Watering

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 Goldfish Plants

There are some methods of testing if your Goldfish plant needs to be watered; these 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. 

How Often Goldfish Plants Typically Need Watering

If you grow your Goldfish indoors and in an average home environment, you need to water it once per week. 

Environmental Considerations That May Impact Watering Cycles

Environmental Considerations That May Impact Watering Cycles

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. 

Seasonal Considerations That May Affect Watering

You should water your Goldfish plant at least once per week in the spring and summer months. You should only water your plant in the fall and winter months every 2 or 3 weeks. 

The Fundamental Importance of Good Drainage

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 for Goldfish Plants

Water your Goldfish plant with rainwater or filtered water to help avoid adding excess minerals into the soil. You should also use lukewarm water, as cold water can shock your Goldfish plant. 

How to Water 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 Your Goldfish Plant

Signs You Might Be Overwatering Your Goldfish Plant

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 Your Goldfish Plant

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

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 Goldfish Leaves 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 
  • Drooping 
  • 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.

What Do I Do if I Over Water My Goldfish Plant?

Wait for the excess water to run out the drainage holes, and then place your plant in direct sunlight for a few hours.

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.

Should I Mist My Goldfish Plant?

It would be best if you never mist the leaves of your Goldfish plant in any way. The plant does not like its foliage to be wet, as this can cause problems with the plant’s leaves.

Wrapping Up

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!


I’ve long been fascinated with the world of flowers, plants, and floral design. I come from a family of horticulturists and growers and spent much of my childhood in amongst the fields of flowering blooms and greenhouses filled with tropical plants, cacti, and succulents from all over the world. Today, my passion has led me to further explore the world of horticulture, botany, and floristry and I'm always excited to meet and collaborate with fellow enthusiasts and professionals from across the globe. I hold a BSc degree in Plant Sciences and have trained professionally at leading floristry schools in London and Paris.

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