Care of the Shrimp Plant

Overview

Shrimp plant, (Justicia brandegeana), is a popular plant with an unusual bloom that looks much like a plump shrimp. The shrimp plant grows on tall, thin stems and can reach heights of 2 to 4 feet. The shrimp plant is native to Mexico and thrives in hot, dry climates. It will bloom for much of the year. Shrimp plants won't tolerate cold winters with temperatures below 25 degrees F. In cold climates, the plant makes an interesting indoor plant.

Step 1

Plant the shrimp plant in full sunlight or partial shade. Plant the shrimp plant in a large container, if you choose, with a drainage hole. Fill the container with commercial potting mixture. Place an indoor shrimp plant in a sunny window.

Step 2

Water the young shrimp plant regularly to keep the soil moist. Water it lightly when the top of the soil feels slightly dry to the touch once the plant is established and is showing new growth.

Step 3

Spread 1 to 2 inches of organic mulch around the base of the shrimp plant to help it retain moisture and enrich the soil.

Step 4

Prune the shrimp plant in early spring before new growth emerges. Remove any dead branches, or branches that have been damaged during the winter, and any growth that detracts from the desired shape and size of the plant. Prune it to ground level if the plant has been severely damaged during the winter,

Step 5

Pinch off branch tips randomly to encourage bushy growth. Remove blooms as soon as they fade so the shrimp plant will continue to bloom.

Step 6

Feed shrimp plants monthly during the growing season with a fertilizer for blooming plants. Fertilize container-grown shrimp plants monthly with a water-soluble fertilizer for houseplants. Dilute the fertilizer to half of the strength indicated on the package.

Things You'll Need

  • Large container
  • Commercial potting mixture
  • Mulch
  • Pruners
  • Fertilizer

References

  • Floridata.com: Justicia brandegeana Common Names: shrimp plant, false hop, shrimp bush
  • Emilycompost: Justicia brandegeeana Shrimp plant, Shrimp bush, acanthaceae
  • Google News, "Palm Beach Daily News", Shrimp Plants Aren't Really Fish out of Water
Keywords: shrimp plant, indoor plant, blooming plant

About this Author

M.H. Dyer is a long-time writer, editor and proofreader. She has been a contributor to the East-Oregonian Newspaper and See Jane Run magazine, and is author of a memoir, “The Tumbleweed Chronicles, a Sideways Look at Life." She holds an Master of Fine Arts from National University, San Diego.