SHRIMP PLANT – Beloperone guttata

The Shrimp Plant is a showy plant and a native of Mexico. It has oval, pointed, soft green leaves. The flowers are hidden amongst distinctive clusters of drooping shrimp pink bracts which overlap closely and appear at the ends of the shoots. The plant may not flower for two or three years, until it is mature, but when it does, the bracts will persist for most of the summer.

Temperatures:

Growing season 15-22 °C (60-72 °F)

Minimum winter 10 °C (50 °F)

Soil: A soil-less compost, with good drainage.

Beloperone guttataFeeding and fertilizer: The striking shrimp-like bracts last most of the summer; good light improves the colour. Some leaves may drop in winter. Cut back affected stems in early spring when the plant is repotted and started in growth. Feed weak liquid fertilizer once monthly.

Rest and care: The plant rests in winter. Cease feeding, and reduce water. Keep soil just moist. Move to a cooler, frost-free position. In spring, repot, cut back as necessary, increase warmth and light until growth is vigorous. Increase watering, begin to feed.

When it looks sick:

Leaves drop : Reduce watering.

Leaves become limp and dull : Under-watering is the most likely cause.

The plant appears to be drying : The likely cause is root-rot due to waterlogging. It is difficult to rectify and re-potting is a chance worth taking. Then stand the plant in sheltered shade and it may recover.

Curling leaves : Parasite attack. Inspect plant and when found, deal with them as set out here.

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