Shrimp Plant

flowerpottipperJuly 4, 2012

Hello Everyone,

I was wondering if anyone has any experience with Shrimp plant, Justicia brandegeana. I've seen them in almost all my houseplant books, especially the older ones from the 1970's, but have never actually seen one for sale. Anyways, my local plant nursery just got 4 of them in, and of course I snatched one up, $15 for a 3 qt. plant, and it's very beautiful. But of course all my plant books and plant websights have different advise on caring for it. So I was hoping that maybe someone here has one or use to have one and could give me advise on caring for it. I would be very sad if it dies cause it wont be easy to replace since they seem to be uncommon in my area, and it's so neat looking. It even has a few blooms coming out of those orange bracts.

Also a few of the bracts are turning black (very few, it came that way) but everythng I read does agree that it's caused from over head watering, so does that mean no fine-spray mist for humidity??

Thank you


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Hi FlowerPotTipper,

It's a coincidence that you got one of these for yourself, because after losing mine a couple of years ago I finally got one again last week, to my delight.

It is in my experience a very easy plant, any ordinary proprietary compost seems to suit, free-draining; at different times I have grown mine in John Innes, in peat-based compost, and in a mix of peat and cactus soil, so you can see it's not that picky. It does like to be moist, not waterlogged, and if the air is too dry the leaves will curl under; at the same time it is not a high-humidity plant. It enjoys a windowsill, not too hot, and it doesn't mind sunshine, or lack of it if it is in a bright enough spot. Before the bracts drop off I notice they can turn black, and it doesn't seem to cause any harm. You can have it in flower the whole year. Some people like to cut it back when it gets leggy, but I don't like to lose the bracts, the flowers inside the bracts drop after a while but the bracts persist for a relatively long time. I hope this plant comes into vogue again because it really deserves it. I have only ever seen the 'ordinary' one (there is nothing ordinary about this plant however), but there are varieties with yellow bracts, one called 'Yellow Queen', and hopeful author here told me there is also a variegated variety.

I hope you really enjoy your plant.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2012 at 7:49AM
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Flower, I agree with Marguerite's advice...I misted when plant wasn't in bud or flower.

Accents sells several color Beloperone's.
Noah, Purple, Red, white, yellow, and Variegated..

Good luck w/both Shrimps...Toni

    Bookmark   July 4, 2012 at 12:03PM
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By the way, if it seems a contradiction that I say it's an easy plant yet lost mine, it's because I had it in an unheated greenhouse, and the snow and ice of December before last took us all and our plants by surprise. My new shrimp plant will be living indoors.

Now I'm going to look at the website you mention, Toni, even if I can't buy from the US, I can window shop.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2012 at 2:03PM
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