Goldfish plants (Nematanthus spp.) are native to Central and South America, where they grow as epiphytes in the shade of taller plants. These charming tropical perennials produce small, goldfish-shaped flowers that come in a variety of bright colors, including orange, red, yellow, and pink. To keep your goldfish plant healthy and looking its best year-round, it’s important to know how to prune it properly.
When to Prune Goldfish Plant
The best time to prune a goldfish plant is during its active growing season from spring through fall. Avoid pruning during the winter months when the plant is dormant or has reduced growth. Also avoid pruning just before or after transplanting or repotting.
Tools You’ll Need for Pruning
You don’t need fancy tools for pruning a goldfish plant – just some sharp scissors or pruners will do the trick. Choose tools that are small enough to fit into tight spaces between leaves and stems.
How to Prune Goldfish Plant
1) Remove dead or damaged foliage: Begin by inspecting your goldfish plant for any browned leaves or stems that indicate damage from cold drafts, pest infestations, overwatering or underwatering. Use clean snips at an angle close to the base of each affected stem until you reach healthy green tissue below.
2) Cut back excessively long stems: If you notice any tall shoots on your goldfish plant that look leggy compared with others around them (which can happen if too much light reaches them), use sharp scissors/pruners at an angle about ¼” above a node where new growth occurs so as not leave behind any unsightly “stumps. This should encourage bushier growth overall!
3) Pinch off spent blooms: After enjoying their beautiful colorful display for few days/weeks depending upon blooming period of individual varieties; deadhead each flower carefully using thumb and index finger to encourage more flowering later on. Cut the stem back to a node so that new growth can develop.
4) Shape your plant: Once you’ve removed any damaged or unwanted stems, step back and take a good look at the shape of your goldfish plant. Is it too leggy in some areas? Too bushy in others? Use pruners/scissors to make selective cuts as needed to achieve an overall shape you like.
Tips for Pruning Goldfish Plant
– Always use clean scissors/pruners when pruning your goldfish plant to prevent the spread of disease.
– Cut at an angle whenever possible because it helps keep rainwater from settling on top and promoting fungal diseases.
– Don’t be afraid to prune aggressively if necessary; goldfish plants are relatively forgiving and can recover quickly from heavy grooming.
– Consider using pruning as an opportunity not just tidy up but also propagate new plants! Simply cut below an existing node with sharp snips leaving about 2 inches between leaves/stem & place cutting in moist soil until roots form (normally within few weeks).