Ultimate Guide To Growing and Caring for the Guppy Plant

Ready to spruce up your indoor or outdoor spaces with lush green flowering plants? The Guppy plant ticks all the boxes when adding a dash of color to your home. Its shiny dark green leaves and bright orange-red flowers will definitely brighten up your house or garden.

The Guppy plant is easy to grow and maintain. If this is the plant you want for your home or office, this guide covers you. Learn how to grow and care for this plant to make it more vibrant.

What Is the Guppy Plant?

The Guppy plant is a tropical flowering plant native to Brazil. In the wild, this plant is an epiphyte, growing on trees in tropical rainforests. You can also hear people call it the Goldfish plant, cog plant, ‘Kissing Lips’ plant or Nematanthus gregarius.

The plant has thick dark leaves growing on long stems. Goldfish plant has masses of bright red-orange flowers that resemble leaping goldfish. The plant can bloom almost all year round, with most flowers appearing during summer and spring.

Most people love the Guppy because it can survive almost a decade. However, you must maintain the plant well to help it last longer.

How To Grow the Guppy Plant

Growing an epiphyte plant at home or in your office might sound tricky. Should you grow it on other trees as it does in the wild? The good news is that this plant will thrive in a pot, like any other potted plant. Follow these steps when growing a Goldfish plant:

  • Create a medium. To get started, create a suitable growing medium in your pot. Ensure you have a light, coarse medium that doesn’t hold water for long. For example, you can use sphagnum moss. If you can access vermiculate and perlite, combine them with your sphagnum moss in equal quantities.
  • Propagate. After creating a medium, it’s time to propagate a Guppy stem through cutting. Choose a healthy stem of this plant and cut about 3-4 inches. For better results, propagate in spring or summer to allow the stem cutting to root faster. Ensure the cutting doesn’t have flowers.
  • Apply a rooting hormone on the cutting to boost your odds of success.
  • Plant the cutting into the medium. Ensure the medium is moist enough to avoid damaging the stem. Gently push down your cutting into the medium to encourage rooting.
  • Place the pot in a bright warm area and ensure it’s not direct to sunlight.
  • Keep the pot humid. With time, the cutting will root, and you’ll see new growth.

How To Care for the Guppy Plant

The Guppy is a rewarding plant when taken care of properly. Its stems will grow 2-3 feet tall and cascade down from your pot, forming a stunning display when they bloom. Below are the best ways to care for your Guppy/Goldfish plant:

Soil Condition

This plant prefers light soil that drains quickly. If your pot or container has sphagnum moss, perlite, and vermiculite, your Goldfish plant is safe. You must keep the soil slightly acidic – a pH of about 6.1 to 6.5.


Water the plant when necessary to keep the soil moist. This plant requires regular watering in summer as the soil tends to dry out faster. Avoid overwatering by inspecting the soil to see if it’s dry or moist. You can insert your finger into the medium to determine if you need to water it.

During winter, minimize watering frequency to avoid problems of overwatering. The medium stays moist for an extended period due to the slightly humid environment. If you overwater the plant, you may suffocate the roots, cause a leggy growth or impede the blooming process.

Light Requirement

Like other potted plants, the Guppy requires light to photosynthesize, grow, bloom, and maintain their structure. Place your plant in a bright area, but don’t expose it to direct sunlight. Expose the plant to the Eastern or Northern sun to ensure proper growth and successful blooming.

You can experiment by placing the plant near the Eastern or Northern facing windows. Observe how the plant behaves for some time. If your plant blooms and appears happy near a certain window, make it its dwelling place.

The plant will bloom in summer if you meet its light and other requirements. When winter comes, the Goldfish plant goes to sleep and might die without proper maintenance. Since this plant requires 12 hours of daylight, it will do well with indoor lights in winter.


The Guppy plant is sensitive to extremely low and high temperatures. The leaves may drop or turn blown if the temperatures are too high or too low. Your plant will eventually die if you fail to correct the temperatures. To avoid such issues, maintain a room temperature of about 65-75°F.


This plant suffers a lot when the humidity level is too high. If your house is too humid, especially in summer, the leaves can become moist and turn blown. You can prevent this problem by using dehumidifiers or air conditioners to reduce air moisture.


The Guppy plant requires regular fertilizing during its growing season. Feed it weekly with a weak liquid fertilizer to ensure fast absorption.

The fertilizer should have micronutrients to encourage growth and blooming. Alternatively, use controlled-release fertilizers to allow the continuous release of essential nutrients.

Pests and Diseases

Your plant can be susceptible to pests and diseases, especially when you fail to maintain it. Aphids, spider mites, mealybugs, powdery mildew, and gray mold can cause severe damage to the plant.

You can treat pests and diseases on the plant with pesticides or insecticides. Inspect the plant regularly to spot pests or diseases before they cause more harm.


Pruning your plant is a great way to promote branching and a bushier look. You can prune damaged or old stems, flowers, and leaves to make the plant more appealing. It’s wise to prune the stems after blooming to promote thick, long branches.

If you have an outdoor Goldfish plant, its stems can grow up to three feet high. To keep them shorter, prune the tallest stems to keep them at least two feet. Pruning your outdoor plant will encourage a bushier look and allow it to bloom better.


For your Guppy to survive for years, repot it every 2-3 years. Repotting offers additional room for growth while ensuring the plant gets more nutrients. However, avoid repotting it more often as it can get stressed and develop growth issues.

When repotting, root-prune the plant to encourage the growth of new roots. You’ll also want to use a slightly bigger pot or container to promote the development of more stems.

Final Thoughts

The Guppy plant is one of the best indoor or outdoor potted plants you can grow at home. It’s a low-maintenance tropical plant that can survive many years if well cared for. This plant blooms all year round, brightening your home with orange-red flowers and dark green leaves.

To care for your Guppy, provide it with adequate light, water, nutrients, and temperature. You should also prune and repot it to encourage a bushier look and good blooming. Inspect the plant regularly to solve the problem of pests and diseases before they harm the plant.