Nematanthus is an easy-to-grow houseplant with foot-long arching or trailing branches. The orange, red, or yellow flowers, about an inch long, look puffy with pinched “goldfish mouths.” Thus the plant is commonly called goldfish plant or candy corn.
The species was formerly classified in the genus Hypocyrta.
Get to Know Nematanthus
- Plant type: Tropical perennial
- Growing Zones and range: 11-12
- Hardiness: Tender; best in 70° to 75°F (21°-24°C) range
- Height and width: Trails to 12 inches (30cm) or more
- Foliage: Glossy dark green leaves on arching or trailing branches
- Flowers: Puffy, tubular flowers 1 inch (2.5cm) long resemble a pouch narrowing to a tiny opening with 5 petals
- Bloom time: Given sufficient warmth and humidity plant may produce flowers all year long.
- Uses: Houseplant
- Botanical name: Nematanthus
- Common name: Goldfish plant, candy corn plant
Where to Plant Nematanthus
- Nematanthus like bright filtered or reflected light and responds well to a couple of hours of direct, cool morning sun each day.
- Grow Nematanthus in an African violet mix.
How to Water and Feed Nematanthus
- Keep the soil moist but not soggy. Water with tepid water only.
- Boost humidity by frequent misting or by placing the pot on a humidity tray.
- Fertilize every 2 weeks with a mild, complete fertilizer, except in autumn and winter.
- Nematanthus blooms best when somewhat potbound.
- Prune straggly branches to retain nice shape.
- Mealybugs, red spider mites, scale, and whiteflies may occasionally bother Nematanthus.
- Propagate by division, stem cuttings, or seeds.
Nematanthus Varieties to Grow
- Nematanthus fritschii has speckled lavender flowers.
- N. nervosus has spreading growth and orange and red flowers.
- N. perianthomegus has yellow orang flower with maroon stripes that appear throughout the year
- N. wettsteinii has thin, pendulous stems and profuse yellow and red flowers.