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Common Name:

Shrimp Plant

Scientific Name:

Justicia brandegeana

Family Name:



Shrimp Plant is a small subtropical shrub, herbaceous perennial or summer annual depending upon where it is grown in our region. Plants develop and irregularly rounded crown of wiry stems with shrimp-shaped inflorescences in red, orange, and yellow tones. Plants are most effective in masses and are probably most valuable as color or tall groundcovers in partly shady spots.

Plant Habit or Use:

warm season annual, perennial, groundcover, shrub, small shrub, medium shrub, tropical


sun, partial sun, shade

Flower Color:

2 inch to 6 inch long curved nodding four-sided cylindar shaped spike of 1 inch long two-lipped white tubular flowers which barely emerge from the pink-red, bronze, or rarely yellow-green bracts, sort of looks like a cooked shrimp; showy.

Blooming Period:

Spring, summer, fall

Fruit Characteristics:

Long-stalked capsules, not showy


3 ft to 5 ft (6 ft)


3 ft to 5 ft (6 ft)

Earth–Kind® Index:

  • Heat Tolerance: High Heat Tolerance
  • Water Requirements: Medium Water Use
  • Soil Requirements: Low Soil Requirements
  • Pest Tolerance: High Pest Resistance
  • Fertility Requirements: Medium Fertility Requirements
Explanation of the Earth–Kind® Index breakdown

Firewise Index

Explanation of the Firewise Index numerical value

USDA Hardiness Zones:

8, 9, 10, 11

Regions that intersect these hardiness zones:
Region A - Panhandle and High Plains Region B - North and Central Texas Region C - Northeast and East Texas Region D - West Texas Region E - Upper Rio Grande Region F - Hill Country and Central Coast Region G - Southeast Texas Region H - Rio Grande Valley
Click image for enlarged map of USDA Hardiness Zones

Additional Comments:

Avoid foliar salt exposure; poor cold tolerance; occasional pruning will enhance plant density.
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A Special Note about Cool Season Annuals

Cool season annuals typically are planted in the fall or early winter and flower in early spring under moderate temperatures. This group of plant materials includes: pansies, snapdragons, violas, dianthus, flowering cabbage/kale, etc. Because cool season annuals flower in the spring when conditions are mild, most have limited heat tolerance.

As a result cool season annuals do not receive a high Earth–Kind® index despite their outstanding landscape qualities.