S & J Nursery’s Guide to Growing
Orange / Red Shrimp
in Northeast Florida Gardens
( Justicia brandegeana Orange / Red)
Orange / Red Shrimp Plant Justicia brandegeana Origins:
– Native to Mexico, Shrimp Plants are a great low water shade or sun loving plant for
the Northeast Florida | Jacksonville | St. Augustine area garden. Orange / Red Shrimp plant can be
planted into a full sun location, but the blooms will be a little paler than they would be when they are
planted into a shadier location.
– Justicia brandegeana was formerly known as Justicia belaperone and are still
often sold under that name in garden centers.
– What we are calling orange / red shrimp plant is the most commonly found
variety of Justicia brandageana found at garden centers in the Jacksonville and St. Augustine area. They are
prolific bloomers and very pretty plants with lush foliage.
What are you talking about with this
Orange / Red nonsense?
Well here is the thing, there are allot of different species of Justicia plants (1,269 and counting), and within those species allot of different
coloration and variations. Although there are a few new selections of Justicia brandegeana like
“Fruit Cocktail” most of the varieties have no hybrid name and are referred to by color, which leads to alto
of confusion! What one person calls red, I call orange and another person calls something all
together different. I so many times see these sold as red shrimp plants, and they do have some
red in them, in fact they will be slightly different color based on wet her they are grown in the shade or
sun! Sometimes they are mostly reddish with just the bract tips showing some orange. But since there is a
variety that is much more red, and I sell it, I call that one red and this one orange. To avoid some
confusion with that darker red variety we are going to refer to this one for the sake of this website as
Regardless of what you call it, shrimp plants are a great addition to any northeast Florida
Sun Exposure for Orange /Red Shrimp Plant Justicia brandegeana:
– Justicia brandegeana Orange / Red Shrimp plants will grow in full sun or shade in
the North Florida landscape. The flowers and leaves will tend have better color in a shadier landscape situation
in Florida’s sun soaked gardens, but by all means plant it where you want it and let it grow!
Foliage of the Orange / Red Shrimp Plant Justicia brandegeana:
– Bright medium green foliage is oval to elliptical in form and is cold hardy
down to zone 8!
Justicia brandegeana Orange / Red Shrimp Plant Soil Preference / Salt
– Shrimp plant Orange / Red is widely tolerant of soil conditions and components.
They can grow in very dry soil gardens to areas that tend to stay wet for a while after rains. They
can have a tendency to defoliate some and not have as many leaves as they would otherwise under extreme drought
conditions or when exposed to periods of prolonged flooding.
– Shrimp plants will thrive and flower almost year round in moist, well
draining, and fertile soils.
– Salt tolerance moderate, good for coastal area plantings but may damage with
direct salt spray.
Size Variance of the Justicia brandegeana Orange / Red Shrimp Plant:
– Shrimp Plant Justicia brandegeana will grow to 3-4 ft high and wide in the
Northeast Florida gardens landscape.
Growth Habit of the Justicia brandegeana Orange / Red Shrimp Plant:
– Mounding growth habit, best results when tipped back as a small plant a few
times until dense branches and foliage is obtained and then allowed to bloom.
Growth Rate of the Justicia brandegeana Orange / Red Shrimp Plant:
– Fast growing plant will easily grow 1-2 foot in a seasons time here in the
Jacksonville and St. Augustine area garden.
Bloom of the Justicia brandegeana Orange / Red Shrimp Plant:
– Shrimp Plants are grown for their unique blooms, Orange / Red Shrimp plants
have dark rosy red or burgundy color bracts that fade to orange and then yellow at the tips. The
bracts and the “shrimp” flower petals are a bright white with a specked purple throat. Very pretty
– Orange / Red Shrimp plant blooms in the spring, summer, and fall!
Water Requirements of the Justicia brandegeana Orange / Red Shrimp Plant:
– Water well after planting during the establishment period and reduce water
once your plant has resumed active growth in the landscape.
Butterfly or Bird Attracting:
– Butterfly and Hummingbird attracting!!!
Best Uses For Orange / Red Shrimp Plant Justicia brandegeana Plants in the
Northeast Florida landscape:
– Low water use landscape plant that is surprisingly cold hardy and a perfect choice
to add flower color to those green, green and more green shaded garden spots. But don’t rule out Shrimp plants
for sunnier locations, they aren’t picky and will grow there to!
– Easy care, low maintenance plant for the gardener who wants to look like
they spend alto of time in their garden without actually spending allot of time on their garden. Almost
constantly in bloom whether you decide to trim them back or not.
– Excellent potted plant for pools, patios and porches or even indoors!
– Shrimp plants make excellent cut flowers!
– Deer find the foliage distasteful, so if you have trouble with deer, try
Care of Orange / Red Shrimp Plant in our Jacksonville and St. Augustine area
– Pinch back newly planted smaller shrimp plants several times until multiple bushy
stems and foliage have developed and then let them go and watch them bloom. All Justicia respond well to pruning
and can be sheared back after blooming for another spectacular blooming show in the spring summer and fall.
– Don’t like to fuss with your plants? Leave them be without pruning and you
will still be amazed at how well these plants bloom, they will just tend to be have a bit more of a sprawling
habit if left unpruned.
– Water Justicia brandegeana every day during the establishment period. Reduce
water when plants have resumed growth in the landscape.
– You can trim these plants anytime as needed, they readily bloom on new
growth, but try to make sure your last pruning is in August or September so you don’t have any tender new growth
that will frost burn easily on the plant during a frost.
– Trim any winter burnt new growth or older foliage away each spring once all danger
of frost has passed.
– Fertilize each spring with a heaping shovel full of well aged compost or a slow
release poly coated plant food such as Osmocote or Stay Green general purpose plant food, sprinkling the
fertilizer around the mulch circle underneath the foliage of the plant.
-For great blooming results try Miracle Grow’s new time release bloom feeding
fertilizer from Amazon marketplace here!