Columnea is a flowering herb

Image - Wikimedia / Wildfeuer

the plants called column or golden carp have very curious flowers, as you can see yourself in the image above. It is believed that there are more than 200 varieties, all of them originating in the tropical areas of tropical America.

Some are herbs, but there are others that are bushy, so without a doubt it is a genre that is worth knowing.

What are Columna?

It is a series of herbaceous or shrubby plants that can have a terrestrial or climbing habit depending on the variety. Leaves vary greatly in size and shape: they can be ovate, elliptical, lanceolate, linear; with or without petiole, and with a shade of green that is not the same in all of them.

The flowers are tubular, open at the end, and red, red-orange, or yellow in color.. Once they have achieved pollination, the fruits ripen, which are globe-shaped berries inside which we will find the seeds.

Column Types

Of the more than 200 types that have been described, very, very few are known. But don't worry, there are enough for you to have a house decorated with a nice variety of plants. Check out:

column argument

Columnea arguta is a flowering plant

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La column argument It is a hanging plant with long stems, approximately 40 centimeters, composed of 1-2 centimeter leaves. Its flowers are red or red-orange.

column glorious

Columnea is a hanging plant

Image - Wikimedia / geoff mckay

La column glorious is a hanging plant -like the vast majority of species of the genus- that It has leaves with an elongated shape and covered by very short hairs. off-white. The flowers are red.

Column 'Krakatau'

The krakatau column is small

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La Column 'Krakatau' It is a variety of low bearing, with hanging stems composed of dark-green leaves. The flowers can be orange or rather reddish, but in any case, they are really curious.

Columnea purpureovittata

The Columnea purpureovittata is a beautiful plant

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La Columnea purpureovittata It is, for me, one of the most beautiful. It has a hanging habit, with wrinkled leaves that can measure 3-4 centimeters long, green with purple nerves.. The flowers are purple and green as well. It is spectacular.

Columnea x banksii

Columnea is a hanging plant

Image - Wikimedia / Kor! An (Корзун Андрей)

La Columnea x banksii it is a low-rise hybrid -in fact, it does not usually exceed 20 centimeters in height-, with dark green leaves and orange flowers.

What are Columnea care?

Goldfish is a type of plant that can be very demanding. Remember that it is native to tropical America, so we will not have to expose it to low temperatures. For this reason, in a country like Spain, it is usually recommended to grow it indoors, although I also tell you that if you have a patio or balcony that had shade all day, you could have it outside during the warm months.

Anyway, if you follow us for a long time, you will know that we like to explain in detail the care that must be given to plants. It's a way to prevent problems from arising, or if they do happen, to know what may be going wrong so that the plants are weakening.

So Let's go there:


There are many hybrids of columnea

Image – Wikimedia/NasserHalaweh // Column "Midnight Lantern"

  • If you are going to have it at home, you should put it in a room where there is a lot of light, but not draughts. It is important that you know that the air conditioning, fan, or any other device that generates this type of current, what it does is dry out the environment. If the plant is close to them, you will see how its leaves turn brown. Therefore, it is much better to place it in one where there are no drafts.
  • If you're gonna keep her out, you have to put it in shade. This is especially important if you live in an area where the sun "is very strong"; that is, if the degree of insolation is very high and "burns", as occurs, for example, in the Mediterranean during the summer. In case you live in an area where the climate is mild, you could have it in semi-shade; but you should never put it in full sun to avoid damage.

Soil or substrate

The columnea or golden carp is a plant that needs fertile, well-drained soil. Therefore, if it is going to be in a pot, we recommend planting it in one with a universal substrate (for sale here!); and if you intend to plant it in the garden, we advise you to do so only if the soil drains water well, and if temperatures remain above 10ºC at all times.

Irrigation of the columnea or golden carp

Columnea is a perennial plant

Image - Wikimedia / Joan Simon

It must be watered frequently in summer, and much less in winter. But how often? It is a bit difficult to know, because each climate has its peculiarities. Therefore, rather than telling you "you have to water X times in summer and X times in winter", I'd rather you know how to check soil moisture, because that way you will know when you have to pour water on it, and when not.

And for this, you just have to take a wooden stick, the ones you get in Japanese restaurants for example, and insert it to the bottom. If the soil is wet, the stick will come out moist and even with a bit of soil attached to it; On the other hand, if it is dry, it will come out like this, dry, and if a grain of earth has adhered to it, it will come off very easily.

Things you have to avoid:

  • If you're going to put a plate under it, NEVER keep it full of water. Excess water will rot the roots and kill the plant.
  • Do not spray its leaves if you live on an island or a short distance from the sea. If you do, the fungus will rot them. If you are not sure what humidity is in your area, I advise you to buy a domestic weather station: if it is higher than 50%, then you will not have to spray, but if it is lower, then yes, otherwise the leaves will dry.


It is advisable to pay the Columnea in summer, taking advantage of irrigation. We will use a liquid fertilizer such as this, following the instructions for use.

Plagues and diseases

Columnea is a hanging plant

Image - Flickr / Barry Hammel // Columnea lepidocaulis

In general it is quite resistant, but it can be attacked by Red spider y aphid, which are eliminated with universal insecticides; or if you want, with diatomaceous earth (on sale here!) which is a natural insecticide and very easy to apply:

If it is watered in excess, or if the leaves are sprayed when the humidity is very high, it will kill botrytis, which is a fungal disease (caused by fungi). The bad thing is that when the symptoms (gray mold, rot) become visible, it is usually too late to save it, but you can try cutting the affected parts and applying fungicide, such as this.


It is very sensitive to cold and frost. In addition, it does not like too high temperatures either; in fact, if they exceed 30ºC it is preferable to keep it at home, in a cool room -remember: without air conditioning or fans- so that it is better.

What did you think of the column? Does it look like a pretty plant?

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