Growing the Justicia Brandegeana Shrimp Plant Indoors

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How to Grow the Justicia Brandegeana Shrimp Plant Indoors

If you say "shrimp plant" to five gardeners, you will probably get at least two to five different descriptions. For some, the shrimp plant will always be Pachystachys lutea, also known as the golden shrimp plant. For others, the name applies to one of several species of Justicia, especially J. brandegeana. To make things a bit more confusing, J. brandegeana is also known as Beloperone guttata.

In that case, take a closer look at the shrimp factory known as Justicia brandegeana, also known as the Mexican shrimp factory. It is so nicknamed where it originated.

This plant has a shrimp-colored flower bract (extra leaf) that hangs from the ends of the stem. In their native environment, these plants grow up to twenty feet tall and have very brittle stems. Indoor growers are more likely to trim this plant to keep it to a manageable size to reduce its tendency to break.

Growing Conditions for Shrimp Plants

There are hundreds of species of Justice shrubs around the world. The species J. brandegeana, native to Mexico and naturalized in Florida, is a popular landscape plant throughout the southern United States.

Caring for this plant is relatively simple. Well-developed specimens should receive plenty of water, fertilizer, heat, and light. These conditions closely mimic their natural habitat, which is the understory or transitional areas in subtropical climates.

  • Light:ย Provides bright indoor light but not the midday sun. They are perfect for atriums or other areas flooded with bright natural light.
  • Water: They need a lot of water in the summer months. They should never dry out. Dry plants are more prone to leaf drop. In the winter months, assuming you plan to keep it on for that long, turn off the water and don't let the temperatures drop below 55 F.
  • Fertilizer: Feed weekly with a weak liquid fertilizer that includes micronutrients and encourages flowering. These are relatively tall feeders and will respond well to extensive fertilization.
  • Soil: A light, fast-draining potting soil is perfect. You can use fortified soils.


Shrimp plants are relatively easy to propagate from stem tip cuttings. To propagate successfully, take a cutting and dip it in rooting hormone, then pot it with seedling soil or a sterile rooting mix.

The key to successful cuts is providing plenty of heat and humidity, so try to keep your cuts around 27 ยฐ C in high humidity. Don't let them settle on the flooded ground.


Transplant annually or every two years, depending on your growth rate. If you are growing in a large pot, you can move the plant to the garden during the summer, where it will likely grow much faster and fill the pot faster.

At the end of the season, cut back the plant (you can cut the plant almost to the ground and it will sprout again) and then move it to its winter home. In spring, rinse it again when the first wave of new vegetation appears. If you keep it indoors all summer, you should only repot every two years.

Grower's Tips

Although it is a relatively hardy plant, there are a few suggestions that can help you grow this plant and keep this evergreen shrub thick and colorful.

  • These plants benefit from tough pruning every spring (it doesn't matter if you grow them indoors or outdoors). Strong pruning encourages the plant's bush and vigorous flowers.
  • Shrimp plants are vulnerable to aphids and mites, so look for signs of infestation and treat them immediately.
  • Older plants are more fragile, so be careful not to break the stems unless you are pruning.
  • These plants are sensitive to temperature. Plants will turn yellow or brown in temperatures below 55 F, especially in arid conditions. However, they will easily regrow once the temperatures rise.

Enjoy This Video Tutorial About How to grow shrimp plant

Source: JoyUsGarden

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