Shrimp plants (Justicia brandegeana, formerly Beloperone guttata) are tropical perennial plants that are covered with arching, 3- to 4-inch-tall spiky flower bracts that are reddish-brown to coppery-pink. The shrimp plant also blooms in tiny white flowers, but they're insignificant compared to the showy, shrimp-colored bracts. The shrimp plant is a rounded shrub that can be easily container-grown indoors or planted outdoors in USDA Hardiness Zones 10 through 11, where winter temperatures don't dip below 35 degrees F. Without pruning, the shrimp plant can grow up to 3 feet tall and wide.
Water your shrimp plant two or three times per week to keep the soil evenly and constantly moistened from spring until fall. Cut back on watering the shrimp plant in winter, allowing the top 2 or 3 inches of soil to dry out before watering.
Feed your shrimp plant once every two weeks with a liquid high-phosphorous flower fertilizer at half the normal dosage rate. Fertilize the shrimp plant all year long.
Prune your shrimp plant in early spring. Cut the stems back to nearly half their length each year to prevent the plant from growing too tall and "leggy."
Pinch back the growing tips throughout the spring and summer to encourage the shrimp plant to branch out properly. Pinching off the stem tips will help the shrimp plant to grow bushier and more compact.
Re-pot your shrimp plant when it outgrows it pot. Re-pot in the spring, potting the shrimp plant up to a container that's 1 ½ times the size of the previous one and filling the pot with an all-purpose potting soil.