Photo Credit: Little Prince Plants
Botanical name: Pachystachys lutea
Common names: Golden Shrimp Plant, Yellow Shrimp Plant, Lollipop Plant, Golden Candle Plant
Pachystachys lutea commonly called Golden Shrimp Plant, Yellow Shrimp Plant, Lollipop Plant or Candle Plant is an upright evergreen shrub which bears a bright yellow spike from which white, two-lipped flowers emerge.
The spike is made up of bright yellow bracts and short-lived white two-lipped flowers which emerge sequentially. Yellow Shrimp flowers from spring through summer.
The common name, 'Shrimp Plant', is in reference to the layered (overlapping) bright yellow bracts which resemble a shrimp's layered scales.
The dark-green leaves in Golden Candle Plant are heavily veined which gives them a corrugated appearance. The inflorescence are held upright on long stalks above the dark-green foliage.
Golden Shrimp Plant can grow to a height of about 3-6 ft.
Golden Shrimp Plant (Pachystachys lutea) is native to the subtropical regions of Peru.
Photo Credit: GardensOnline
Golden Shrimp Plant (Pachystachys lutea) grows best in bright light with some morning or evening sunshine but too hot direct sunshine will scorch the leaves. It can also grow under a grow light where the natural light is not sufficient.
If light is not enough for Yellow Shrimp Plant, it will become leggy with wide spaces between the leaf nodes and will not bloom.
Turn the pot regularly to ensure the plant receives light on all sides for even growth. Check out this guide on understanding light for houseplants.
Golden Candle Plant can also be grown outside under direct sunshine but it needs to be acclimated gradually before being exposed to direct sunshine to avoid sunscorch.
Water Golden Shrimp Plant (Pachystachys lutea) thoroughly during the growing season and keep the soil consistently moist through out. Reduce watering during the cold season to maintain the soil slightly moist as growth is minimal at this time.
Do not allow the soil for Golden Shrimp Plant to dry out as it can lead to wilting and leaf drop. Read more on how to water houseplants.
Ensure that the soil is free-draining and the pot has a drainage hole to avoid getting soggy soil as it can lead to root-rot and eventual death of the plant.
Average room temperature within the range of 15-280C is ideal for Golden Shrimp Plant. Keep the plant away from draughty conditions as cold temperatures can cause leaf drop. Check out this guide on Understanding temperature for houseplants.
Average to above average room humidity is ideal for Golden Shrimp Plant. The plant thrives in warm, humid conditions like in its natural environment.
To raise humidity especially where the room temperatures are very high, set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier to avoid brown leaf tips and edges. Check out these techniques on how to raise humidity for houseplants.
Feed Golden Shrimp Plant (Pachystachys lutea) with a phosphorous-rich, water-soluble fertilizer every 2-3 weeks during the growing season to promote flowering.
Do not feed the Yellow Shrimp Plant during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time and feeding at this time can cause fertilizer burn. Read more on how to feed houseplants.
Prune Golden Shrimp Plant (Pachystachys lutea) by removing dead blooms and leaves to maintain the plant neat and tidy.
Cutback the stems at the beginning of the growing season to rejuvenate growth as the plant becomes straggly and unattractive with age. Read more on how to prune houseplants.
Repot Young Golden Shrimp Plant (Pachystachys lutea) at the beginning of the growing season into a pot one size larger than the current.
Ensure that the pot has a drainage hole and the soil is free-draining soil to avoid getting soggy soil as it can lead to root-rot and eventual death of the plant.
Do not repot a Yellow Shrimp Plant that is in flower as the repotting shock can shorten the flowering period.
The large Lollipop Plants can be top-dressed annually at the beginning of the growing season by replacing the top 3-4 in. of soil with fresh soil.
The best soil for Golden Shrimp Plant (Pachystachys lutea) should be rich in organic matter and free-draining to prevent it from getting soggy while providing the required nutrients.
Most multi-purpose potting mixes are ideal for Yellow Shrimp Plant. Buy quality potting mix for your Golden Shrimp Plant from Etsy.
Golden Shrimp Plant can be propagated at the beginning of the growing season from stem-tip cuttings.
Take a 4-6 stem-tip cuttings from a healthy Golden Shrimp Plant. Strip off the lower leaves of the cuttings and coat the lower part of the stem with a rooting hormone.
Carefully insert the coated cuttings in moist, free-draining soil and ensure the rooting container has adequate drainage holes to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to rotting.
Cover the set up with a clear plastic bag or sheet to create a greenhouse effect to hasten rooting. A warm and humid environment is needed for rooting to happen.
Place the set up in bright light but away from direct sunlight to avoid cooking the cuttings.
Maintain the soil moist through out until the Yellow Shrimp Plant cuttings are rooted. Rooting should occur in about 6-8 weeks and is indicated by new growth.
Once rooted, remove the plastic cover a little every day over a period of 2 weeks to acclimate the Lollipop Plants to normal indoor growing conditions.
Allow the new Golden Shrimp Plant to be well established before transplanting after which you can begin routine care.
Photo Credit: Wikipedia
Underwatering is the cause of wilting and droopy leaves in Golden Shrimp Plant (Pachystachys lutea). Water the Lollipop Plant thoroughly and maintain the soil moist during the growing season. Reduce watering during the cold season but do not allow the soil to dry out completely.
The are three possible causes of lack of blooming in Golden Shrimp Plant (Pachystachys lutea). One possible reason why Golden Shrimp Plant will not flower is too little light.
Move the Yellow Shrimp Plant to a brighter spot where it can receive bright light with some morning sunshine or instal a grow light where the natural lighting is not adequate.
The second possible reason why Golden Shrimp Plant will not bloom is feeding it with a nitrogen-rich fertilizer which promotes foliage growth at the expense of flowering.
The third possible reason why Golden Shrimp Plant is not blooming is underwatering. Water Golden Candle Plant thoroughly during the growing season and keep the soil moist through out. However, reduce watering during the cold season to maintain the soil slightly moist.
Two reasons are responsible for brown leaf tips and edges in Golden Shrimp Plant.
One reason for brown leaf tips and edges in Golden Shrimp Plant is dry air (low humidity). Set the pot on a wet pebble tray to raise humidity or use a cool mist humidifier. Read more on how to raise humidity for houseplants.
The second reason for brown leaf tips and edges in Yellow Shrimp Plant is soggy soil. Maintain the soil moist but not soggy by ensuring that the pot has a drainage hole and that the soil is free-draining (drains easily).
The common pests in Golden Shrimp Plant (Pachystachys lutea) are Mealy Bugs, Scales, Aphids, Whiteflies and Spider Mites. Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to the other houseplants and treat it appropriately for the pests.
A Research directed by C. Daehler (UH Botany) indicates that Golden Shrimp Plant (Pachystachys lutea) is toxic to animals and causes allergies or is otherwise toxic to humans.