Widely used as indoor or house plants Columnea are a varied group of plants, mostly used in hanging baskets where their trailing nature allows them to show of their natural growth habit.
These are an epiphytic plant from a warm environment, and mimicking these conditions is the key to successful cultivation. With a little care and a good growing environment, these colourful indoor plants are rewarding to grow.
A number of species and cultivars are available with Cascading Beauty is perhaps one of the best varieties for a hanging basket, are all epiphytic plants with great foliage or flowers. Species include :
- Columnea gloriosa – Also known as the Goldfish plant.
- Columnea crassifolia – Smaller growing compact species, also easier to grow than some others.
- Columnea microphylla – Very strong long trailing habit.
- Columnea hirta Variegate – Called the Gold Fish plant because of the brilliant orange flowers.
Columnea are epiphytic and require a very open potting mix. Most species are trailing plants and the majority are from from Central and South America. They prefer warm conditions with cool nights. Try growing indoors near a window in cooler climates.
- Best grown in a hanging basket.
- Use a free draining orchid potting mix that retains moisture.
- Best in a warm temperature around 20 – 25 C
- Bright filtered light rather than direct sunlight.
- Added humidity will improve plant growth.
- Good air circulation is important, however cold drafts should be avoided.
- Liquid organic fertiliser every 2 – 3 weeks during active growth.
Try not to over-pot these plants, they prefer a restricted root run, this also assists with eliminating over watering. If plants are putting on long weak growth it is usually a problem with lack of light.
Available for sale from the following nurseries