Justicia betonica, Justicia pallidior, White Shrimp plant, Squirrel Tail, Paper Plume

Justicia betonica, Justicia pallidior

White Shrimp plant, Squirrel Tail, Paper Plume
Family: Acanthaceae
Origin: South Africa
Small plant 2-5 ftSemi-shadeShadeRegular waterWhite, off-white flowersPink flowers

Justicia betonica (White Shrimp Plant) is a small, woody shrub native to South Africa that grows to heights of 2-5 ft. This beautiful and unusual plant is a great choice for growing in USDA Zones 9-11, as it will thrive with plenty of shade and semi-shade, and can even tolerate full sun in cooler climates. With regular watering, this plant blooms with white or off-white petals that age to a wonderful pink. It's an incredibly vibrant and eye-catching plant, and its free-branching, upright shape and amazing, tropical inflorescence of 6" white bracts will be sure to turn heads.

Growing and caring for Justicia betonica is fairly simple. While these plants prefer rich soil and good drainage, they don't necessarily need to be potted to thrive. However, if you live in a colder climate, potted plants will fare better and can easily be moved indoors when not in use. Make sure that the pot is well drained and has plenty of organic matter, and position it in a semi-shady area away from direct sunlight. Be sure to water regularly, but be careful not to overfill it, as this can cause root rot and other issues. Pruning is also recommended--even though it can grow quite tall, it can easily be shaped and kept to a manageable size. With proper care, Justicia betonica will be sure to provide months of striking beauty in any home garden.

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