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How to Prune a Shrimp Plant

By Bridget Kelly ; Updated September 21, 2017

The shrimp plant is an easy-growing perennial shrub native to Mexico. The shrimp plant needs very little attention; just give it fertile, well-drained soil and afternoon shade, and it will grow to 36 inches in height and bloom as long as the weather is warm. When it comes to pruning the shrimp plant there are two schools of thought: those that say it needs pruning and those that say it doesn't. Overall, it depends upon the climate in which the plant is grown. If you live in a colder climate, the plant will die back in the late fall or early winter and begin again in the spring. For those in mild climates, the plant may get leggy and overgrown and need a little thinning.

During the growing season, pinching the tips of the plant will encourage it to grow in the shape you want. Pinch back 4 or 5 inches immediately above a leaf node (where the leaf joins the stem).

Pruning should begin with removing any dead or damaged stems from the shrimp plant. Check for pest-infested or diseased branches, and remove those as well.

Prune away any crossed stems to allow air to flow through the plant.

Cut the plant back about one-third its size to encourage it to grow bushier.


Things You Will Need

  • Pruning shears


  • Don't prune your shrimp plant in the spring, as they bloom on new growth and you may inhibit its ability to bloom. Prune in late February or early March.

About the Author


Based in the American Southwest, Bridget Kelly has been writing about gardening and real estate since 2005. Her articles have appeared at Trulia.com, SFGate.com, GardenGuides.com, RE/MAX.com, MarketLeader.com, RealEstate.com, USAToday.com and in "Chicago Agent" magazine, to name a few. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in creative writing.