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SHRIMP PLANT

Aptly named for its drooping bracts that resemble shrimp, this year-round bloomer adds brilliant color and interest to the part-shade garden. Inside the showy bracts are small white flowers that attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Shrimp plant can grow up to 5 feet tall and 3 feet wide and spreads in clumps. Regular shaping with pruning shears keeps this exotic plant looking its best; otherwise, its twiggy stems can appear a bit unruly. With soft, light green leaves, shrimp plant is evergreen in mild climates, but needs protection from freezing temperatures. Hard frost kills it to the ground, but it bounces back quickly in warm weather. Another option is to grow shrimp plant in a patio container that can be moved indoors.

COMMON NAMES: Shrimp plant, lollipop plant, shrimp bush

BOTANICAL NAME: Justicia brandegeana

OF INTEREST: Shrimp plant is inexpensive and easy to find at local nurseries. Besides the common yellow, there are cultivars with rosy red and lime green bracts. It's super easy to start new plants from stem cuttings placed in moist, sandy soil or by dividing clumps.

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