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PlantFiles: 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

5 vendors have this plant for sale.

60 members have or want this plant for trade.

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

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

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15 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive alimech 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 along gives me comfort. I love my - our - shrimp plants!

Positive VicRay 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.

Positive seaotter301 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 suggestions?
BTW, I'm in Zone 5a

Positive Lilyofthenight 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................

Positive dermoidhome 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.

Positive txboy65 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.

Positive KittyAli 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.

Several of the plants are about 4 ft. and desperately need pruning. I find it hard to prune them as they always seem to be blooming. Since they are so easy to grow here, I'm really surprised that the only other ones I've seen are the ones that I've given to a couple of friends.

Positive Candyaz 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.

Positive krussadams 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.

Positive purplepetunia 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.

Positive WillowWasp 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 .

Positive dogbane 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.

Positive suncatcheracres 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 it was growing in the Tampa Bay area. I put my plants in pots and will overwinter them protected, under a makeshift greenhouse, where I can put out lights and/or heaters if needed, and then next year I will take more cuttings and then take a chance with them in the ground.

My friend says this red type is very vigorous and spreading--almost invasive--but it is so beautiful that I wouldn't mind a lot of them around in my garden. Her plants get morning sun and bloom profusely. I get dappled sun most of the day under large live oaks, so will experiment with different sun/shade placements. I have a lot more shady spots than sunny ones!

Positive TerriFlorida 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.

Positive Bairie 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.

Neutral smiln32 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.

Neutral Deanne 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.


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

Chandler, Arizona
Goodyear, Arizona
Maricopa, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona
Prescott, Arkansas
Chowchilla, 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
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
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
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
Madison, Mississippi
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
Brazoria, Texas (2 reports)
Brownsville, Texas
Cibolo, Texas
Dallas, Texas
Desoto, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas
Georgetown, Texas
Houston, Texas (5 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

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