Winter hardy to USDA Zones 10-11. In St. Louis, grow in the garden as a summer annual, in containers that can be overwintered indoors or as a houseplant. In the ground, plants need a moist, organically rich, well-drained soil in full sun. Tolerates part shade. Houseplants are best in warm, humid, sunny locations.
Native to Peru, lollypop plant (also called golden candle or shrimp plant) is a tropical evergreen shrub or subshrub that grows 2-6’ tall in its native habitat. When grown in containers in the St. Louis area, it grows much shorter, more typically to 12-18” tall. Narrow, tubular, two-lipped white flowers are partially covered by and protrude from showy, overlapping golden yellow bracts which provide the predominant structure and color to the 4-sided inflorescences. Yellow bracts somewhat resemble the overlapping scales on a shrimp, hence the common name of shrimp plant. Although it blooms throughout the year in its native habitat, this species blooms primarily in summer in the St. Louis area. Very similar in appearance to Justica. Pachystachys in Greek means thick spike in obvious reference to the flowering spikes. Lance-shaped to elliptic medium green leaves (to 6” long) are heavily veined.
No serious insect or disease problems. Watch for aphids, whiteflies and spider mites, particularly on indoor plants. Leaf drop often occurs if air temperatures dip into the 60s.
Summer annual. Container. Houseplant. Greenhouse plant.