Shrimp Plants a Tasteful Choice for Florida Landscapes

Just to assure you, Florida shrimp plants are in no way related to the crustaceans of the appetizer world. Instead, their colorful bracts are shaped just like the shellfish, hence the name. ArtisTree designers are delighted to serve up a host of reasons to include these tropical perennials in your Sarasota landscape.

red tropical Shrimp plants
Justicia Brandegeana red shrimp plants grace a Lakewood Ranch residence.

Shrimply spectacular!

For starters, shrimp plants are just plain pretty. While you’ll find different varieties on the horticultural menu, our two favorites are the Justicia Brandegeana red and its taller cousin Pachystachys lutea in a buttery yellow. Reds reach about four feet tall and yellows can stretch to five. The bracts of both types are nestled in elongated, oval-shaped foliage. When they’re at their best and brightest (which is just about year round), they don’t even look real. If you’re looking for a spectacular landscape addition, shrimp plants make a jumbo impact.

yellow tropical Shrimp plants
Pachystachys Lutea yellow shrimp plants

Shrimp plants are simple to grow.

These hardy evergreen shrubs thrive in full sun to light shade, with morning sun being ideal. They can tolerate short dry spells but do best with weekly waterings (they don’t like wet feet, though.) That said, you rarely have to fuss with them. They grow best in rich organic soil but do fine in well-drained loamy or sandy soil, too. Fertilize a few times a year and you’re good to grow. By the way, they’re easy to propagate by dividing clumps or collecting stem-tip cuttings.

For plump shrimp plants, prune!

New shrimp plants need light pruning to plump into clumps.  For established plants, plan on cutting back once a year in late February or early March. In the meantime, trim fairly frequently to encourage more growth and plentiful blooms. They’re vigorous growers and need to be groomed to stay nice and tight.

Red shrimp plants paired with crimson ti plants.
Red shrimp plants paired with crimson ti plants.

Shrimp plants can be enjoyed as a main course or side.

Planted in mass, these plants can make quite a statement with their colorful bracts dotted with tiny, tubular white flowers. You can use them as an exotic accent or shrub border, too. Imagine them bobbing down a walkway or perking up your container pots. Regardless, prepare for hungry visitors to arrive in the form of butterflies and hummingbirds. Pollinators love plump shrimp plants!

Contact ArtisTree Landscape Maintenance & Design

ArtisTree Landscape

Hopefully we’ve whet your appetite for a renovated landscape! Contact Jenni Lassen at 941.488.8897, ext. 312, to schedule a meeting with one of our award-winning landscape designers.

Live in an HOA community where the landscape is going downhill? Contact Mike Casper at 941.488.8897, ext. 321, to request a custom proposal and a tour of our properties located in Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte counties.

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