Post last updated: October 10th, 2018

Shrimp plants are native to Zones 8 through 11. In frost-free areas, they bloom continuously and look good planted as a mass in perennial beds or borders. It does well in full to part sun but must be watered generously in the summer. In winter, it might disappear below the ground but comes back strong in warmer weather.

The red, white and yellow shrimp plants have oddly angled branching stems and grow 3 to 5 feet tall. New plants can be started from stem cuttings or by clump division.

I have this dark red shrimp plant, justicia brandegeeana known as Red Pinecone with a pink tongue-like bloom. I love it and I’m trying to grow more of it. All of the following photo links go to Dave’s Garden.

shrimp plant red-5904
justicia brandegeeana

I also have the white shrimp plant, justicia betonica known as Squirrel’s Tail and White Shrimp Plant. I happen to think it has an ugly bloom. It wasn’t blooming when I got it at a swap meet. Just give me another swap meet and I’m  palming this thing off on somebody else.

More commonly recognized is the yellow shrimp plant, pachystachys lutea, known as Golden Shrimp Plant. It has a white tongue-like flower that is more noticeable than the other shrimp plant blooms.

One that I have never seen with my own eyes is the purple shrimp plant, justicia scheidweileri, known as Purple Shrimp Plant, Rose Pine, South African Acanthus, Jade Magic, and Maracas Brazilian Fireworks. It has a VERY attractive leaf with white veins.

The pink shrimp plant, justicia carnea, known as Brazilian Plume, does not look like any of the above shrimp plants but it has been in Momma’s collection, and now mine, for years.


justicia 2-1591
justicia carnea
These are grown at my front steps and are 3 feet tall; another mass in deep shade are 4 to 5 feet tall.

The blue shrimp plant, cerinthe major purparescens, also known as Blue Wax Flower, Honeywort and Blue Shrimp Plant. To me, it does not look anything like a shrimp plant although it is quite striking and, when photoshopped, will have you drooling.

18 thoughts on “SHRIMP PLANTS”

  1. How great it must be to live where you can grow such beautiful plants. Alas, my yard is not so productive. Shade and more shade and tree roots instead of dirt. So I will admire yours from afar.

  2. I giggle at the thought of you palming off that ugly plant. The one that you have at your step is lovely and that was one of mom’s favorite plants. In fact, I was hoping to plant some in her honor next year.

  3. Linda, I recently visited a yard of a Mandarin Garden Club member who had Shrimp Plants planted in mass. They were beautiful. I think she had the purple. When I get home from my trip, I’ll ask her and take you to see the purple one if you want to go. Hey, did you get your Newsletter?

  4. Well, Dahlink, I just love my white shrimp plant. Looks lovely in arrangements…I’ll be happy to have yours! I do love these plants. They are a pleasure to behold. Re: the blue, if you photoshopped a picture of me, I can have you droolin’, too!
    In re: to lulu, container garden is the word she’s lookin’ for. Jus’ sayin’…

    1. Becky B — Kim will be so impressed that I have already found someone I can palm off this white shrimp plant. Problem is, I have a terrible memory and I will probably have forgotten by the time I next appear at MGC. I don’t think they had any programs in November that appealed to me. This white shrimp plant grows really tall and flops all over the place. Yuk. Okay Lulu, did you understand the gypsy’s cryptic suggestion for your garden? You are to have container gardens. Pots. Grouped together to look good.

  5. I planted yellow shrimp plant, and it produced a few pitiful blooms before it died of heat stroke. Your justicia carnea is fabulous! That looks like something I could have in my garden, and it will grow in shade? Perfect!

  6. Hi Linda, cute plants. I tried to grow the last one once as an annual, but it didn’t like my garden and it didn’t work. But the shape and colour of the flowers were quite divine. Good luck with growing more of the Red Pinecone.

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