Looking for a tropical getaway this summer? Try turning your garden into a vacation of its own by adding the colorful, exotic shrimp plant.
These hardy shrubs can easily transform a basic backyard garden into a floral paradise, while putting your hummingbird feeder out of a job.
Let’s get into what shrimp plants are, how to care for them, and why your garden might just need a few.
The tropical origins of Shrimp Plants
These tropical shrubs are native to the warm habitats found in Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras, where they grow comfortably on the partially shaded floors of tropical forests. Although their long stems and speckled oval leaves aren’t particularly out of the ordinary, these plants earn their name from their unique blossoms.
In warm climates, shrimp plants bloom year round, showing off long white flowers encased in brightly colored bracts, whose shape and hue may have you dreaming of a seafood dinner. (hence the name!)
Outside of native tropical climates, shrimp plants lose their flowers to harsh winters and unpredictable frosts. However, these perennial plants are surprisingly hardy, reappearing quickly when the cold of winter has passed.
How to care for shrimp plants
While shrimp plants aren’t too high maintenance, proper care can take a lackluster bush to a show-stopping shrub.
These plants do best in partial shade, receiving enough sunshine each morning to stay vibrant, but avoiding the harsh afternoon light that might leave blossoms looking washed out.
Plant your shrimp plant in well-drained sandy or loamy soil, and expect to see fairly quick blooming in the first year of growth.
Once blooming slows, trim your shrub to keep growth fresh and consistent over the coming years. With proper maintenance, your shrimp plant could reach up to 4 feet in both height and width. When you decide one shrimp plant simply isn’t enough, propagation is easy through division of clumps or rooting large trimmings. Before long, you’ll have a small paradise from the comfort of your backyard.
Can You Grow Shrimp Plants Indoors?
Shrimp plants add a beautiful pop of color indoors when potted, while staying safe from the winter chill.
Plant in high quality potting soil and add fertilizer to see the best growth.
Keep your pot on a well-lit window sill and trim your plant regularly to keep the blossoms looking fresh all year.
Why hummingbirds love Shrimp Plants
Shrimp plants’ long tubular flowers serve as more than garden eye candy.
These blossoms contain delicious nectar, earning regular visits from hummingbirds while in bloom.
During the warmer months, expect your shrimp plants to become a magnet for stunning locals such as the Ruby Throated Hummingbird and even the occasional Rufous Hummingbird.
Shrimp plants’ sweet nectar can also draw in a number of bright butterflies throughout summer, adding an extra burst of life to your garden.
Shrimp plants are the perfect addition to gardeners of all levels seeking variety, and an absolute must for hummingbird lovers.
Where to Buy Shrimp Plants in Dayton, Ohio
At Stockslager’s Greenhouse and Garden Center, we carry a large, unique assortment of flowering hanging baskets you won’t find anywhere else. Grown in our 7 acres of greenhouses right here near Dayton, Ohio, our shrimp plants are a huge hit year after year.
If you’re specifically looking for a shrimp plant, give us a call to check to see if we still have them available at 937-687-2722.