Orange Shrimp Plant

Justicia fulvicoma

Orange shrimp plant is a dwarf relative of the more common shrimp plant, Justicia brandegeana.

This lovely low-growing perennial makes a beautiful addition to any garden, especially in the front of beds and along walkways. Orange shrimp plant gets only about two feet tall, but spreads twice as wide, so give it plenty of space.

The bright orange flowers do indeed resemble actual shrimp, and they cover the plant all summer long. In milder climates, orange shrimp plant is said to be evergreen.
Listed as hardy to zone 7, it’s reliably perennial in our garden, but does die back each winter. It reemerges from the roots in early spring, as soon as temperatures begin to warm up, so be sure to shear to the ground by mid-winter, to ensure full, bushy growth each year. Even after an unusual cold snap of several days below freezing and nights in the teens, this plant cheerfully returned in our Travis County Extension demonstration garden this year.

Shrimp plant easily handles full sun, but also does fine in light shade and even heavy shade, if given morning sun for at least a few hours. If planted in shadier spots, it may form fewer flowers and get a bit taller. Water well to establish, then regularly throughout the dry times, especially if planted in full sun. I would consider orange shrimp plant a medium water-use perennial.

Hummingbirds just love the color and shape of these flowers, so be sure to plant where you can observe them easily. You’ll also find butterflies visiting them.

Orange shrimp plant also does quite well in containers.