Looking for an unusual specimen for your houseplant collection? Give Golden Shrimp Plant a try! This unique tropical plant needs a little special care to thrive indoors, but rewards you with brilliant color for most of the year. If you’re in a warm climate (zone 9b or higher), plant this stunner outdoors and enjoy it for years. Here’s how to care for it, indoors and out.
Golden Shrimp Plant Facts
- Pachystachys lutea, member of the acanthus family
- Native to the New World tropics, including the Caribbean, Central, and South America
- Perennial large plant/small shrub
- Flowering Season: Year-round, though it may take a break in winter
- Flowers: Small white tubular flowers emerge from bright yellow inflorescences made of bracts (modified leaves). The individual flowers last a few days, while each inflorescence remains for a month or more.
- Wildlife: Attracts hummingbirds
Golden Shrimp Plant Growth Needs
- Exposure: Full sun outdoors, brightest possible light indoors
- Water: Prefers regularly moist soil. Will tolerate dryer soils during the winter months.
- Soil: Rich soil is best. Amend sandy soils with compost. Use a good potting mix for houseplants. Fertilize regularly.
- Humidity: Likes humid conditions. Indoors, mist regularly to keep the plant happy.
When Golden Shrimp Plant is grown outdoors, it may experience tip damage in a frost and lose leaves if the temperatures drop below 50 degrees. This is a good time to prune the plant hard, to about 12 inches above the ground. This will encourage bushy growth, as older shrimp plants tend toward legginess. Even plants that don’t experience cold temperatures should be pruned in winter.
As a houseplant, Golden Shrimp responds well to being moved outdoors for the summer months. Give it a sunny spot on the patio and be sure to water frequently to keep the soil moist. When temperatures drop, move it indoors to the warmest possible location. You can cut back a bit on watering over the winter, but be sure to keep the humidity up by misting and give it as much direct sun as possible. Prune the plant by regularly cutting back hard the inflorescence stems after they die. This will encourage new fuller growth.
Love a little gold in the garden? Check out our list of Top 10 Gold Plants here.