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Water, Light and Propagating Care Tips for Your Shrimp Plant

Water, Light and Propagating Care Tips for Your Shrimp Plant

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If you want to transform your space’s overall look and feel, the Pachystachys Lutea might be what you’re looking for. It makes an excellent choice for indoor gardeners because of its stunning and easy-to-care-for attributes.

This post will teach you everything needed to grow a happy and healthy Pachystachys Lutea. We also have recommendations if you want to get your own Pachystachys!

What Is Pachystachys Lutea?

The Pachystachys Lutea (botanical name) is widely known for its attractive flowers. It has lance-shaped leaves that are dark green and heavily veined, giving it a ridged appearance.

It is also called the Golden Shrimp plant, Yellow Shrimp, Golden Candles, and Lollipop plant, which is from the Acanthaceae family.

The overlapping 4-sided vibrant yellow-gold bracts resemble a shrimp, giving it its common name. The flower spikes of this evergreen shrub are upright and held above the dark green foliage. However, the actual flowers are narrow, white, and have two-lipped tubes that protrude from the bracts. They may only last for days, but the golden yellow flower bracts stay for quite a long time.

Do not confuse this plant with Honeywort (Blue Shrimp Plant) or Justicia Brandegeana (syn. Beloperone Guttata). They all look closely similar, but their care requirements differ and may be toxic.

The P. Lutea would survive outdoors in hardiness zones 10-11.

Origin And Family

The Golden Shrimp comes from the genus Pachystachys, which belongs to the Acanthaceae family. This fast-growing plant is originally from the lowland and subtropical areas of Central and South America (El Salvador, Northern Brazil, Panama, and Peru). Recently, it has become in demand and is typically easy to care for.

First described in 1847 by Christian Gottfried Daniel Nees von Esenbeck, this stunning plant makes a great addition to any indoor grower’s collection. Year-round, with good care, though it may take a break in winter, it produces significant medium white surrounded by vibrant yellow-gold bracts.

Where To Buy

Pachystachys Lutea is a beautiful addition to any garden, and we’ve had great success buying one online. You may visit your local nursery first, but if you want to select and purchase plants from the comfort of your home, then be sure to check out Etsy.

The price tags for a Pachystachys Lutea are usually relatively expensive, ranging between $40 for small rotted plants to $70 for larger (10″) or more mature plants.

Pachystachys Lutea Plant Size

When grown indoors, the Pachystachys Lutea grows to a height of 3-6 feet and spreads to a width of 3 feet. It grows fast and thrives near an east or west-facing window.

Pachystachys Lutea Care Needs

Your Pachystachys Lutea will thrive beautifully when it’s properly cared for. It likes to grow in relatively moist and well-drained soil and full sun.

Heavily drench the soil until water seeps out from the pot’s bottom. It will be in its best health when provided with this requirement as a humidity-loving plant.

With the extensive list of tips below, taking care of your Pachystachys Lutea is made easier for you.

Care Difficulty

In terms of care difficulty, the Golden Candle is easy to care for. The soil’s ability to drain efficiently and the amount of water are crucial factors for this beauty.

Growth Rate

The Lollipop plant grows to a mature height of 3-6 feet as a houseplant. From spring until fall, you’ll often observe quicker and bushier growth.

The majority of Pachystachys species, including the Lutea, grow at a fast rate.

Potting

It’s often best to use a medium-sized pot for this plant in terms of potting material and size. The important consideration is for your pot to have at least one drainage hole. Golden Shrimp does not like sitting in water; otherwise, they may succumb to root rot.

Repotting

It’s crucial to repot your Pachystachys Lutea to ensure they get the proper nourishment from the soil. Based on experience, this plant grows relatively fast, so expect to repot younger plants once a year every spring.

While repotting, you can give your Pachystachys a nutrient boost by adding a fresh batch of standard commercial potting soil to replace the old material.

Soil

Golden Candles grow well in standard commercial potting soil. You can also choose to create your potting mix by adding peat moss, perlite, clay, loam, and sand. This plant likes its soil to stay relatively moist.

Additionally, good drainage is vital to avoid fungal diseases, root rot, and other issues.

These are some soil options we recommend:

Photo Title Price Buy
Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting...image Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting Mix 6 qt., Grows beautiful Houseplants, 2-Pack $12.96
Burpee, 9 Quarts...image Burpee, 9 Quarts | Premium Organic Potting Natural Soil Mix Food Ideal for Container Garden-Vegetable, Flower & Herb Use for Indoor Outdoor Plant $12.99
Sun Gro Horticulture...image Sun Gro Horticulture Black Gold 1310102 8-Quart All Purpose Potting Soil With Control, Brown/A $18.06
Miracle-Gro Potting Mix Miracle-Gro Potting Mix $16.99
FoxFarm Ocean Forest...image FoxFarm Ocean Forest Potting Soil Mix Indoor Outdoor for Garden and Plants | Plant Fertilizer | 12 Quart + THCity Stake $19.99

pH

For the Lollipop plant, you’ll need acidic soil with around 7-7.5 pH. In most cases, standard commercial potting soil is close to this pH level, so this shouldn’t be a significant concern.

Conduct a pH test to see if your soil has the right acidity. There are affordable pH meters available online or at garden centers.

To raise the pH level of your soil, add calcitic or dolomitic lime, wood ash, or baking soda. To lower it, you can use sulfur or aluminum sulfate.

Water

The right amount of watering is crucial for houseplants. If you consume too much, you might get fungus infections and root rot. On the other hand, if there is insufficient water, the plants may have brown, malnourished leaves.

For optimal health, Golden Shrimp generally prefers relatively moist soil. Keep its soil relatively moist from spring to fall (warm months) and slightly dry in winter months.

Drainage holes, aerated soil, and high humidity are must-haves for Golden Shrimp. Rule of thumb: Your plant shouldn’t be left submerged in water for a prolonged amount of time. You can mist the leaves regularly to help with humidity.

Light

This houseplant prefers full sun, but it is essential to keep it shaded from hot, direct sun. Too much direct sunlight and its leaves may get burned. Too little light and its stems may get leggy. You can keep this plant outside in the summer but ensure there’s partial shade.

If you’re worried that your Pachystachys Lutea isn’t getting enough light, you may need to relocate it closer to a window or think about using artificial lights.

Below are some basic options to consider:

Avoid clustering Pachystachys Lutea.

Fertilizer

Plants, like people, need more food when they are actively growing because they are using up a lot of their energy. This growth spurt usually happens in spring to fall for the Golden Candles. During this time, you can apply a liquid fertilizer every week for healthy growth.

Propagating Pachystachys Lutea

Reproducing your Pachystachys Lutea can be done with the right propagation method. You can pick from the alternative options below, along with thorough instructions to guide you.

Stem Cuttings In Soil

Most plant enthusiasts agreed that the best way to propagate a Golden Shrimp is by directly planting stem cuttings into the soil. This plant’s growing season is from spring to summer, so it’s best to make cuttings during this time.

1. Cut. Look for a portion of the stem with fresh leaves and at least one node connected. Without a node, your cutting will not produce fresh leaves.

2. Disinfect. Use cinnamon or rooting powder to coat the cut to help the rooting process along and to clean the wound.

3. Plant. Insert the cleaned cutting into the potting soil. Pro tip: Ensure the nodes are buried.

4. Water. Keep the soil consistently wet by watering it (but not soggy).

5. Maintain. Within two to three weeks, the Pachystachys Lutea roots expand. We advise putting your new plant in a well-ventilated, bright, shaded place.

Humidity And Aeration

This Pachystachys is a whimsical plant that prefers high humidity between 50%-70%.

You may consider getting a humidifier if your Pachystachys Lutea has curling or crispy leaves with brown edges. This device is designed to constantly release steam and significantly raise the humidity in a room.

Temperature

The ideal temperature for your Lollipop plant is between 65-80 degrees Fahrenheit. This captivating houseplant will appreciate being kept in locations with warmer climates.

More importantly, ensure you avoid sudden spikes or temperature drops. Don’t water your Lollipop plant with cold or hot water so its roots won’t go into shock, and prevent drafts and air conditioning vents.

Flowers

If you can provide the best conditions for your plant and keep it at its happiest, you might be able to see showy bright yellow bracts surrounded by small white flowers. You must know, however, that most plants generally bloom in an outdoor environment.

Pests, Diseases, And Other Problems

Overall, I would say that Pachystachys Lutea is a disease and pest-resistant plant. Here are some quick tips for curing the most common problem and general suggestions to keep this plant healthy.

Spider Mites

Sometimes, houseplants might invite pests into your home that you don’t want. The spider mite is one such example. The adult mites can be seen quickly scurrying around when disturbed, but the larvae won’t be visible.

Neem oil mixed with water may be sprayed on the leaves of your plant to help get rid of spider mite larvae. Sprays made of organic Pyrethrin are also available and work well at eliminating adult mites. Be careful to select pesticides that are safe for people to inhale when you apply them indoors.

Scale Insects

Scale insects might form like lumps on the stems or leaves of your tropical plant. These tiny bugs can be green, brown, gray, or black and usually remain sedentary once they’ve latched onto a plant.

If the infestation isn’t too severe, you can use a teaspoon of neem oil diluted in four cups of water to discourage scale insects from attacking your plant. Take a spray bottle and vigorously spritz the plant.

Neem oil and horticultural oils may not kill the pests but will definitely cause some damage to them. Numerous insecticidal soap sprays against scales are considered safe to use indoors.

Mealybugs

Mealybugs are white, fuzzy insects that feed on plant nutrients and are the natural counterpart of human head lice. These pests may even cause the death of your lollipop plant.

Neem oil may be sprayed directly on them to drive these disgusting crawlers away (but remember to dilute it in water first). Another choice is to massage the leaves and stem with a cotton ball that has been dipped in isopropyl alcohol.

If you have other plants at home, you may need to quarantine your infected Lollipop plant until you’re no longer seeing signs of mealybugs.

Brown Leaf Tips

Browning edges on the leaves of your Golden Shrimp can be triggered by many factors. Possible causes are lack of humidity, excessive exposure to bright light, salt and mineral build-up from chemically-treated tap water, and fertilizer burn.

Drooping Leaves

A wilting, droopy appearance on your Pachystachys Lutea indicates distress. Drooping leaves can possibly be caused by excessive light exposure, lack of light, overwatering, underwatering, and low humidity.

Yellow Leaves

Moisture stress, poor lighting, insect infestations, nutritional imbalance, fluctuating temperatures, bacterial or viral infections, and many more factors might contribute to this issue.

You must take into account recent weather changes or how you took care of your plant to narrow down the issue.

Root Rot

Overwatering and poor drainage are the two most common causes of rotting roots. Because root rot is often irreversible and deadly, prevention is of utmost importance.

Similar Plants

Love Golden Shrimp? Here are some other interesting flowering houseplant options you should try:

  • African Violets – A popular ornamental plant with clusters of purple, blue, or white blossoms rising above fuzzy leaves. They grow slowly and compactly, with multiple flowering seasons. Even though they might be demanding, you can grow this gorgeous plant if you give it a little more care.
  • Ponytail Palm – despite its name, it is a succulent, not a palm tree. It is a charming indoor plant with low maintenance needs that have long, curled leaves on smooth, bulb-like stalks.
  • Hoya Lacunosa – Beautiful, aromatic, and delicate Hoya lacunosa. Slender, trailing tendrils on the hoya plant grow into an oval-shaped, fragile, green vine. It is a perennial that adds beauty to tropical gardens and blooms all year.

Conclusion

With its attractive flowers, Pachystachys Lutea is a charming ornamental plant that looks stunning indoors. Following our care instructions, you’ll have no trouble growing this plant!

Have you got a Golden Shrimp? We want to see it! Please submit photos to [email protected] so we can share them on our blog.

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