Justicia Brandeaeana ‘Chartreuse’
This plant appears under several different names in reference works, but it is probably more familiar as the Shrimp Plant (Beloperone guttata), although there can be few colours less shrimp-like than the lime green bracts of this particular cultivar. Long, slender, purple-spotted white flowers emerge from the overlapping bracts which, together with the colour of the species, give the plant its common name.
This cultivar has been developed from the Mexican parent species: in the home, it can grow straggly if light levels are low in Winter. As the flowers and bracts are produced on young plants, it is best to discard the plant after a couple of seasons.
This plant needs cool growing conditions in Winter: grow it at a Winter minimum of 5°C (40°F), with a preferred temperature of about 10°C (50°F). In Summer, if the temperature exceeds 21°C (70°F) ventilate without draughts.
J. b. ‘Chartreuse’ likes full sun, but should be protected from the hottest mid Summer sunshine. If grown in light shade, turn it regularly to ensure balanced growth.
Water this plant well during the growing season, making sure that thesurface dries before watering well again. In Autumn, give just enough to prevent the plant from shrivelling: at the recommended temperatures, little water will be required during this rest period.
Humidity levels are unimportant, and this plant will grow well in the dryish atmosphere of most homes.
Feed every two weeks in Summer, using a proprietary houseplant feed: don’t feed during the rest period. If the plant is to be kept to the following year, repot it in Spring and cut the growth back by half, trimming to a bud: repot in either a peat- or loam-based compost.
The legginess of this plant can be disguised by growing more than one cutting in a pot to give a much bushier-looking plant. Takein Summer.
Red Spider Mite can be a problem: few insecticides on the domestic market are effective against RSM, and badly-infested plants should be burned.