Saturday, February 6, 2010

Shrimp Plant

At Christmas my friend Lorne, a fellow Master Gardener, gave me a gift of a Shrimp plant. Little did he know that I tend to allow house plants to expire due to my neglect. Usually from lack of water. This time I intend to change my poor houseplant habits and have this one survive for a goodly period of time. I have seen magnificent specimens at the Royal Botanical Gardens in their Mediterranean room. Mine is only about 5 inches tall.

The Mexican Shrimp plant or Justicia brandegeana (for the Latin lovers) is a tropical plant and is grown here in Ontario as a houseplant or an annual outdoors. It grows beautiful overlapping bracts that resemble a shrimp and ends with a small white flower with a deep purple throat. From my limited experience it flowers constantly and likes a moist soil. As with all indoor plants a monthly dose of fertilizer will keep it in good shape. Certainly a plant I want to have around since I am a sucker for ever-blooming flowers.

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