S & J Nursery’s Guide to Growing
Red Shrimp Plant
in Northeast Florida Gardens
( Justicia brandegeana Red )
Red Shrimp Plant Justicia brandegeana Origins:
– Native to Mexico, Shrimp Plants are a great low water shade loving plant for the Northeast
Florida | Jacksonville | St. Augustine area garden. 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
– Justicia brandegeana was formerly known as Justicia belaperone and are still
often sold under that name in garden centers ( Including mine here at S & J! )
Sun Exposure for Red Shrimp Plant Justicia brandegeana:
– Justicia brandegeana 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 Red Shrimp Plant Justicia brandegeana:
– Darker green foliage is oval to elliptical in form and tends to be slightly on the
larger side for the Red Shrimp plant.
Justicia brandegeana Red Shrimp Plant Soil Preference / Salt Tolerance:
– Red shrimp plant 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 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 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 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 Red Shrimp Plant:
– Shrimp Plants are grown for their unique blooms, Red Shrimp plants have dark
rosy red or burgundy color to the bracts and the “shrimp” flower petals are a creamy white with a hint
of red to the tips. Very showy when in bloom.
– Red Shrimp plant blooms in the spring, summer, and fall!
Water Requirements of the Justicia brandegeana 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 Red Shrimp Plant Justicia brandegeana Plants in the Northeast Florida
– 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!
Care of Red Shrimp Plant in our Jacksonville and St. Augustine area garden:
– 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.
– 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.