Goldfish Plant Propagation – How to Propagate A Goldfish Plant

The goldfish plant got its name from its yellowish-orange-red plants, like little goldfishes. The flowers, leaves, and structure are all part of the plant’s most attractive parts when they are healthy. The goldfish plant blooms in spring and summer, and it is a very prolific bloomer. This plant is a sight to behold when it is in full bloom.

The leaves are dark-green, and they provide a fantastic contrast when the goldfish flowers. One of the main advantages of the goldfish plant over other houseplants is how long it lasts; it can be good for more than ten years. We shall discuss it more shortly. The following summarizes some of the features you need to know about the goldfish plant at a glance.

This plant can grow in many different environments, and its longevity has motivated many gardeners and scientists to develop cultivars. There are, therefore, many natural varieties of this plant and some cultivars too. The plant’s natural habitat is Southern Brazil, Southern Mexico, and a few other places in South America.


Propagation of the different varieties is more or less the same and it usually. The most common goldfish plant propagation method is through cuttings, but you can still reproduce it using seeds, probably to a lower degree of success.

Branch Cuttings

This plant typically has a short stem if it is growing as expected. Having it leggy means that it is not healthy. From the stem, branches later proceed in all directions to cover the pottage and flower. Therefore, it is unlikely that you will find stem cuttings, as with most other plants.

In the goldfish plant, you will need to get cuttings from branches. You can get the necessary cuttings from the supple edges of the still green components. It is also possible for you to get the cuttings from the middle section of the branch. The branch from which you get these cuttings must be from an actively growing pant or one preserved from the previous season. It is also vital that the component shouldn’t have flowers because the cutting will focus on maintaining the flowers at the expense of roots.

After you have selected the branch from which to get your cutting, proceed to sterilize your scissors or whatever cutting tool you are using. Failure to fix the device can cause you to leave your plant infected and carry infection to the new plant.

The best cutting size for this propagation should be between three and six inches long (7.5 to 15 cm). It would help if you detached the branch section you want to use for propagation about 0.5mm above the bottom-most node.

Your cutting is likely to have a considerable amount of leaves, significantly if you have cut it from the edge of the branch. These leaves are susceptible to rotting when they contact the soil. Rotting leaves can infect the cutting and impede its growth.

You should remove the leaves on the lower side of the cutting to avoid this eventuality. Thus the region that will contact the medium will be clear and easily accessible. It is advisable to dub some rooting hormones and stick them into the medium.

Rooting takes about three weeks if you haven’t used rooting hormones, and it takes less time when you use rooting hormones.

Where to Grow

This plant is an epiphyte, which anchors on top of other trees. It makes its food through the leaves from its environment and sunlight. This nature of the plant shows that the pottage where you put the cutting doesn’t need to be fertile. It should, however, be easy to drain because the goldfish plant doesn’t do well in waterlogged soil.

In light of the above, you should place your cutting in a pottage made up of a mixture of peat and vermiculite in equal measure. You can also mix dolomitic limestone with perlite on a one-to-one ratio. The pH neutrality of these mixtures is why they are preferable besides that they are easy to drain. Although the mix drains, it also retains sufficient moisture to facilitate rooting.

Also, you can root the plant by keeping the cutting in sphagnum moss. You take the cutting, stick the side without leaves on the moss, and wait.

The next rooting medium is a bit off; water! You can use pure water to root your goldfish plant cuttings. If you are used to growing succulents, the first thing that comes to mind when you find the plant doesn’t like waterlogging is root rot. The goldfish plant isn’t succulent, and it is not susceptible to root corruption.

If you put the cuttings in a clean water bottle, the water will cause the cutting to produce roots. Too much water is not good because too much water at the roots causes the plant to concentrate on growing roots at the expense of leaves. This is why leaves start falling off because they are not adequately nourished. Be careful not to dip the leafy part section of the cutting in water. You should replace the water in the bottle where you root your cuttings once per week.

Propagation by Division

People often plant more than one rooted cuttings in one pot. The rationale behind planting many cuttings in the same pot is to make the pottage thicker more established faster. Later, you can propagate the plant by separating the original cuttings and potting them separately.

The best time to propagate by division is when you repot the plant. It is the best time because you need to have the roots outside the soil to reproduce this way. Then hold the roots and the stem and pull them apart gently to keep the roots healthy. Once you have removed the plant to report, remove as much soil as possible from the sources.

Take the daughter session and plant it in an appropriate potting mix. You can divide the plant into as many cuttings as were together as you put the plant in a pot.

You may need to trim the roots a bit before potting. Cutting them ensures easy potting and allows the roots to grow and take hold. Ultimately, rooting will be faster with trimmed roots.

Propagation by Seed

Seeds are the primary means of propagation but finding goldfish plants is very difficult. The natural habit where the plant grows is not conducive to pollination. As a result, finding viable, a pollinated seed is quite hard. The previous two methods will guarantee you better results.

The Ideal Rooting Environment

After doing all of the above, you need to position the cutting at a location with the right conditions to facilitate rooting. If you get it wrong here, your seed cutting may end up dying instead of thriving.


A high level of moisture is vital to keep the cutting alive. Although the goldfish plant’s roots are primarily for anchorage, they help get a bit of water to the plant. The plant receives enough moisture when the roots and leaves work in concert.

In the case of a cutting, your plant depends entirely on the leaves for moisture, and it can, therefore, get dehydrated fast if humidity around it isn’t sufficient.

You can reduce the transpiration rate by placing a plastic bag over the cutting to cover them. This twin strategy will keep your plant moisturized. It is also advisable for you to mist the cutting every day to replenish any moisture the cutting might have lost through transpiration the previous day.


This plant grows best under bright light but not direct sunlight. Let it have enough sunlight during the daytime! Remember, most of its feeding and energy generation happens on the leaves.

To emphasize the importance of light to this plant, it needs to be in the morning for up to thirteen hours every day once it takes root. You ought to keep it under indirect light for just as long to allow the leaves in the cutting to generate some energy for rooting.

If you are keeping it outside, ensure it stays under a tree canopy or a cloth shade to protect it from direct rays of the sun. Protection from direct sunlight will also reduce the level of transpiration the plant experiences. If you are rooting the plant in the house, place it next to an eastern window so that sunlight can come through without the rays hitting the baby plant directly.

Grow lights are an essential part of the growth of goldfish plant, even beyond the propagation. Remember the plant needs thirteen hours of sunlight to bloom effectively. This level of lighting isn’t always available naturally. You will often need to supplement the sun with grow lights. Have them in place during this propagation process.

Final Thought

To some people, the goldfish plant is fussy from propagation to growth. However, if you think about it, the care needs are quite a few. All you need is to conserve humidity temperature at the proper levels, and you will have the most fantastic plant ever.

From the discussion above, you may have noticed that propagation by division could be much easier than propagation by cuttings. The stock you pot in the case of propagation already has roots, and the focus is not to develop sources but to have the roots take hold and continue growing.


Richard Miller

Salute everyone. It's Richard, the author of this Succulent & Xeriscaping blog. I am a traveler and a nature lover looking for a connection with the wild green. In my journey, I found a love for succulents and xeriscaping. What attracts me is the long-lasting & unique beauty of every plant I have the chance to see with my own eyes. Welcome to my little blog and let's enjoy a good time together!

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