Common Names: shrimp plant, false hop, shrimp bush
Family: Acanthaceae (acanthus Family)
Shrub Attracts Hummingbirds Attracts Butterflies Fast Growing Has
evergreen foliage Flowers
The popular shrimp plant grows in clumps of weak, twiggy stems that
get 3-5 ft (1-1.5 m) tall, 3 ft (1 m) wide, and may spread to form a
large colony. The branching stems are tipped by 6 in (15 cm)
drooping spikes of dark red to rusty brown bracts, each bract
enclosing a tounguelike white flower. Shrimp plant is evergreen in
mild climates, and blooms almost continuously. The leaves are oval,
light green and 2-3 in (5-8 cm) long. The young stems and the
undersides of the leaves are soft and downy. There are cultivars
with yellow bracts, bright red bracts, and others with lime green
Justicia brandegeana is native to Mexico. It is often grown in
tropical and subtropical gardens, and has escaped cultivation and
naturalized in peninsular Florida.
Light: Shrimp plant does well in full to part sun.
Moisture: Shrimp plant likes a fertile, well drained soil; water
generously in hot weather to keep plant looking fresh.
Hardiness: USDA Zone 8-11. Shrimp plant is killed to the ground by
hard frosts but usually recovers quickly when warm weather returns.
Propagation: Start new plants from stem cuttings in spring or by
division of clumps.
With big blossoms against bright green leaves, the shrimp plant is
superbly showy, easy to grow and not usually bothered by pests.
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Use shrimp plant in mixed perennial beds and borders, wherever you
want a mass of continuous color - they bloom almost all year long!
Keep the bushes tip pruned to promote bushiness and increase
flowering. In cooler climates, shrimp plant is grown in a container,
to be brought indoors in winter.
The Mexican shrimp plant is easy to grow. The exotic, interesting
flowers bloom continuously in frost-free areas. It is not bothered
by pests. What a great plant! Another outstanding Justicia is