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Shrimp Plant

Justicia brandegeeana

Family: Acanthaceae (ah-kanth-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Justicia (jus-TEE-see-ah) (Info)
Species: brandegeeana
Synonym:Beloperone guttata
Synonym:Justicia brandegeana
View this plant in a garden



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Light Shade



Bloom Color:


White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Blooms repeatedly



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From softwood cuttings

By simple layering

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Chandler, Arizona

Goodyear, Arizona

Maricopa, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona

Tempe, Arizona

Prescott, Arkansas

Chowchilla, California

Chula Vista, California

Del Mar, California

Fresno, California

Huntington Beach, California

Irvine, California

Merced, California

Norwalk, California

San Diego, California

San Jose, California

Santa Ana, California

Santa Barbara, California

Van Nuys, California

Visalia, California

Bartow, Florida

Big Pine Key, Florida

Boca Raton, Florida

Bonita Springs, Florida

Brandon, Florida

Brooksville, Florida

Clermont, Florida

Daytona Beach, Florida

Deltona, Florida

Fort Lauderdale, Florida (2 reports)

Hollywood, Florida

Interlachen, Florida

Jacksonville, Florida (2 reports)

Keystone Heights, Florida

Kissimmee, Florida

Labelle, Florida

Lecanto, Florida

Lynn Haven, Florida

Miami, Florida

Micanopy, Florida

Milton, Florida

Ocoee, Florida

Old Town, Florida

Oldsmar, Florida

Palm Coast, Florida

Pensacola, Florida

Plant City, Florida

Riverview, Florida

Saint Augustine, Florida

Sarasota, Florida (2 reports)

Summerfield, Florida

Sun City Center, Florida

Tallahassee, Florida

Trenton, Florida

Umatilla, Florida

Wellborn, Florida

West Palm Beach, Florida

Zephyrhills, Florida (2 reports)

Brunswick, Georgia

Carrollton, Georgia

Clarkesville, Georgia

Flowery Branch, Georgia

Savannah, Georgia (2 reports)

Statesboro, Georgia

Honomu, Hawaii

Kurtistown, Hawaii

Indianapolis, Indiana

Hebron, Kentucky

Baton Rouge, Louisiana (2 reports)

Hammond, Louisiana

Luling, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana (3 reports)

Ringgold, Louisiana

Vacherie, Louisiana

Zachary, Louisiana

Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi

Columbia, Mississippi

Madison, Mississippi

Las Cruces, New Mexico

Buffalo, New York

Davidson, North Carolina

New Bern, North Carolina

Wilmington, North Carolina

North Olmsted, Ohio

Okeene, Oklahoma

Chalfont, Pennsylvania

Conway, South Carolina

Florence, South Carolina

Greenwood, South Carolina

Ladys Island, South Carolina

Moncks Corner, South Carolina

Summerville, South Carolina

Sumter, South Carolina

Austin, Texas (4 reports)

Bellaire, Texas (2 reports)

Brazoria, Texas (2 reports)

Brownsville, Texas

Cibolo, Texas

Dallas, Texas

Desoto, Texas

Fort Worth, Texas

Georgetown, Texas

Geronimo, Texas

Houston, Texas (6 reports)

Iola, Texas

La Porte, Texas

Lampasas, Texas

Liberty Hill, Texas

Lincoln, Texas

Livingston, Texas

Lockhart, Texas

Magnolia, Texas

Mart, Texas

Mcallen, Texas

Missouri City, Texas

New Braunfels, Texas

Richmond, Texas

Salineno, Texas

San Antonio, Texas (2 reports)

Spring Branch, Texas

Thornton, Texas

Trinity, Texas

Victoria, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Apr 13, 2015, azsilvia from Tempe, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

This plant is actually quite drought tolerant, even in our high heat and low humidity. It can get by with water once a week or two once it's established. Growth and color of this plant is better in shade here, and it can grow in total bright shade, lending color and interest where most plants won't grow well. Sunscald can happen in summer if not grown in shade. Hummingbirds love this plant and visit it often, especially in twilight, so plant it where you can watch them. I've not noticed any pests that favor shrimp plants. This plant will spread, so keep it contained if you only want it in one area. Fertilize with a general fertilizer to keep it blooming, and it will bloom all year. It will tolerate frosts without damage, but if you live where it freezes hard be prepared to shelter it. P... read more


On Apr 13, 2015, LeslieT from Bellaire, TX wrote:

Yes, it's aggressive in my Houston-area garden, but I keep it under control with pruning. I prune it to about 2.5 feet in a rounded form. I have it snaking through a large flower bed (and you do have to watch it as it roots wherever a stem touches the ground). I do a major prune in the early spring and a touchup during the summer. It comes back fairly quickly in warm weather. It blooms for me in sun, partial shade and almost full shade.


On Apr 13, 2015, arbuck from Micanopy, FL wrote:

This plant is invasive in my pine-oak woodlands neighborhood. If planted and ignored, it takes over. I've pulled all of mine out. Zone 9a near Gainesville, FL.


On Apr 13, 2015, bluetexasbonnie from Geronimo, TX wrote:

The basic info says that this plant must not dry out. That is not consistent with my experience. It is very drought tolerant. My part of Texas has just experienced 5 years of extreme drought. I don't think a single established plant died -- and they got little to no water.

During the drought, they did not bloom well, and the leaves looked ratty, but green -- which is better than most of the plants looked during this time.


On Oct 7, 2013, alimech from Mart, TX wrote:

About 35 years ago my mother gave my mother-in-law a potted shrimp plant. She then planted it in the ground around her house, next to a rock wall. (She lives near San Antonio,TX). It grew and spread, and 5 years ago I pulled some up and planted them at my home near Waco, TX. At first they went into my back yard near the porch, which is pretty shady, but I have moved them all around the front and back yard, and they thrive! From shade to sun and in between. They don't seem to mind poor soil once they are established, and even with the drought the last 2 years (with Stage 4 water rationing (no outside watering, period) have managed to flourish!

I still marvel at their blooms. My mother passed away in 1998, but my m-i-l is 98, and the fact that the plants have been passed alon... read more


On Jul 27, 2012, VicRay from Indianapolis, IN (Zone 5b) wrote:

I purchased a red Shrimp Plant two Springs ago here in Indianapolis and it turned out to be one of my favorites! The hummingbirds go CRAZY for the blooms! I did take it in before the frost arrived and I have to say it looked as though it would not make it. However, with a little loving care and patience it has come back this year it is even more beautiful. The branches break easily but I just stuck them in the soil and they have flourished. They must have shade. I place mine in front of a window so I could watch the hummingbirds flock to it.


On Jun 6, 2011, seaotter301 from Elmhurst, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:

I bought two "shrimp plants" from a grocery store of all places on clearance. They were in the shape of a ball topiary with the branches similar to a ficus tree. Stunning flowers - beautiful color. These plants were the ONLY reason I started to get hummingbirds (after 7-8 yrs of trying)
The plants went thru several rough summer storms, being knocked over in their pots many times. Both looked (at different times) like they were never going to make it.
Brought in this Fall, they are bigger than ever, quite a bit out of their original shape and I plan to move outdoors today. It's going to be 90 degrees plus.
Made very nice indoor plants. Watered whenever leaves drooped - which was often daily.
problem now is they haven't flowered in some time.
Any su... read more


On Apr 24, 2011, Lilyofthenight from Victoria, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

Purchased one of these last spring that was about 15" tall. It is easily 3ft this year. It did go through a hard freeze in January, however survived it. It's blooming like crazy. I do need to prune it as it has become leggy. It's on the east side of my house mostly in shade, with some morning light that filters through a tree. I don't recall giving it fertilizer more than once or twice, and it has gone without water at times when I was working.
Easy to grow, recommended................


On Apr 24, 2010, dermoidhome from Baton Rouge, LA wrote:

Locally, (Baton Rouge, LA 8B) we speak of 'winter-blooming' (red to flesh-colored) and 'summer-blooming' (white flowers) varieties. This is one of the best hummingbird plants for shady areas in the garden. A favorite, in all varieties.


On May 8, 2008, txboy65 from Austin, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

Had it on the North East side of my house for years. Mine are about 3 - 4 feet high and covered in dark pink "flowers" most of the year. A few years back during a really bad ice storm, they actually had ice hanging from the blooms. Quite a site. Of course once the thaw happened, the flowers were gone. But the plant survived with no protection! Just wish I could get a few cuttings to root so I could have more in other parts of the yard.


On May 13, 2006, KittyAli from San Antonio, TX wrote:

My mother brought this plant from our old house over 40 years ago and planted the east side of this house. I don't know how she replanted them, since I didn't care at the time, but the plants have thrived with very minimal care. Not only the plants have multiplied and have taken over most of the eastern side of the house, but some seed have taken next door and small plants are coming up.

These plants have salmon colored blooms. The ones that get more of the morning sun the most sun have deeper colored and larger blooms than the ones in the shade. Since my mother passed away in 1994 these plants have pretty much grown on their own. We occassionally water them, but probably not more than once every couple of months, so most of the water comes from the rain.
... read more


On Feb 19, 2005, Candyaz from Chandler, AZ wrote:

This plant has survived 9 years, flowers year round in total shade. Due to our intense Spring and Summer sun, shade is important. The plant receives minimal water, is in soil covered with rocks which helps retain the moisture; this plant has begun to spread a little.


On Jul 13, 2004, krussadams from Norwalk, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

These plants are a fond part of my childhood here in So. California. These plants are everywhere out here - and every chance we'd get, we'd pull the white flowers from the bracts, put the ends in our mouths and suck in just the tiniest bit of nectar. It's easy to see why they're so popular with hummingbirds...and why we weren't.


On May 29, 2004, purplepetunia from Savannah, GA (Zone 8b) wrote:

I have the salmon color. In south Georgia, it survives the winter. The hummingbirds love it.


On May 29, 2004, WillowWasp from Jones Creek, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

The beve of arched salmon, rose-pink as well as pale yellow bracts surrounding the white flowers up the 6 inches long, this attractive evergreen shrub resembles a shrimp.
Reaching a height of 3-4 ft and a spread of 24 in, it flowers mainly in summer. I have my best luck with it when it is about 3 ft tall cutting it in half or more. It comes back healthier and happier for the rest of the summer otherwise it breaks easily and the blooming slowes down to almost nothing but straggly stems...

It has survived temperatures as low as 25F, and the plant has resprouted in the spring .


On Nov 11, 2003, dogbane from New Orleans, LA (Zone 9a) wrote:

Throughout the Southeast this is a very popular plant and falls into the 'passalong' category.


On Oct 13, 2003, suncatcheracres from Old Town, FL wrote:

A gardening friend who recently moved from the Tampa Bay Area (zone 9b) to here in Northcentral Florida (zone 8b) gave me cuttings of this plant, with the deep red flowers, and also cuttings of a shrimp plant with pale salmon colored flowers. Cuttings of the deep red one rooted almost instantly in water in a container on the north windowsill above my kitchen sink. The salmon colored one took much longer to root in water, and only a few cuttings actually rooted, and the plant as a whole is much smaller than the red one.

My friend has the original red plant in the ground here, but it took a hard hit this past winter, the coldest winter in zone 8b in about 100 years. And her salmon colored one almost didn't survive at all, and she says it is now quite a lot smaller than when... read more


On Oct 11, 2003, TerriFlorida from Plant City, FL wrote:

In west central Florida, for me, shrimp plant is a winner. At the old place, it survived and bloomed 3' from an old oak, in mostly shade. It was leggy and odd and always got comments. At my new place, with better dirt and more room, the new plant (I've only grown the red type) is a lush full bush covered in blooms. It gets much more water, and probably near full sun in summer. In winter it will get half shade or more from the oaks to the south.

This plant is striking and unusual. The genus seems to have several garden worthy plants, and I intend to seek them out and give them a try.


On Jul 17, 2003, Bairie from Corpus Christi, TX (Zone 10a) wrote:

Easily grown in south Texas, usually thick with bright coral blooms (or bracts?) and lots of them. They like some shade in the middle of the day; too much shade and the colors are not so bright. Easily propagated from cutting, in soil or water. Very popular here.


On Aug 31, 2001, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

The Shrimp Plants will take full sun, but the blossoms will not last as long.


On Aug 2, 2001, Deanne from Franktown, CO (Zone 5a) wrote:

To propagate, sow seed at 61F soil temperature, or root softwood or semi-ripe cuttings with bottom heat from late spring to midsummer. Regularly tip prune to promote bushier plant. Minimum temp is 45F/7C.