The Encyclopedia of House Plants

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Family: Gesneriaceae.

Columnea Genus of about 150 species of evergreen shrubs and subshrubs, with trailing or pendent shoots, and occasionally scandent climbers frommoist woodland, rainforest, or cloud forest in Central and South America, in the West Indies and Mexico. It is a large group, with many popular ornamentals. It belongs in a hanging basket or in a pot where its trailing stems can be allowed to hang freely. Many cultivars respond to in-home basket culture with good natural light (an eastern exposure works well) very favorably. Bloom may taper off during the fall and winter, but warmer temperatures and longer days will induce a profusion of bloom in the spring and summer. Some of the Columnea species produce very long trailing stems, which can stretch for six feet or more from the top of the basket. Flower production can be spectacular, as in this specimen. Some have strongly seasonal habits, and respond to a period of cool night temperatures with spectacular bloom.

It is not an easy plant to care for.

Growing conditions Watering and misting Propagation
Average or above average warmth in summer. Keep fairy cool in winter - minimum temperature 55F or 15C. Bright light - avoid direct sunshine. Water freely from spring to autumn - sparingly in Winter. Use tepid water. Mist leaves frequently, especially in hot weather. Take stem cuttings in spring. Use a rooting hormone and provide bottom head.
Columnea gloriosa Sprague.
Columnea gloriosa Sprague.
Columnea microphylla Morton.
Columnea microphylla Morton.

User-submitted additions and corrections:

Julie Maas
2nd Mar 2008
goldfish plant
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