Beloperone

It is always a pleasure to come across a plant with a particularly appropriate common name. One such is Beloperone guttata, the Shrimp Plant. This name refers to the drooping spikes of salmon-red bracts and white flowers which do closely resemble the familiar shrimp.

Beloperone guttata is, of course, a popular house plant as well as a greenhouse subject. It will continue to flower the year through given favourable conditions, and a moderately heated greenhouse, conservatory or sun lounge is a natural choice. The flowers are likely to be borne especially prolifically in summer and autumn. In the home it can be a little tricky in winter if the atmosphere becomes too cold or stuffy, but this is not a role for which we are considering it at the present time.

Cultivation

Established plants should be repotted in spring, using the John Innes No. 1 Potting Compost. They will need quite a lot of water in spring and summer but less during the rest of the year. The best temperature is 16 to 18°C. (60 to 65°F.) but it can fall to 7°C. (45°F.) in winter if necessary.

Cuttings

To increase the Shrimp Plant it is best to cut the established plant back in spring to encourage shoots to form from the base from which cuttings can be made. These can be rooted from April to August in a warm propagating frame. The cuttings will root much more easily if treated with hormone rooting powder before insertion. Rooted cuttings are potted first into 3-in. pots, then into 4-½- or 5-in. pots and finally into 6- or 6-½-in. pots, using John Innes No. 1 Potting Compost.

01. March 2012 by Dave Pinkney
Categories: Featured Articles, Greenhouse Gardening, Plants & Trees | Tags: , | Comments Off on Beloperone

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