The Lollipop Plant or Golden Shrimp Plant (Pachystachys) is a perennial shrub often sold as a potted plant in colder climates. It’s origin from South America. This plant bears cone-shaped flower-heads above the oval leaves. The main appeal is the long flowering season – from late spring until fall if the plant is liberally watered and fed regularly. The lollipop plant is an easy care plant that will do fine in semi-shade or full sun with routine rainfall or watering. Don’t hesitate to prune it when it gets leggy.
Pachystachys lutea grows about 1½ ft high, with flower-heads made up of golden bracts and white blooms peeping through. The leaves are prominently veined.
Pachystachys lutea likes a plain neutral soil, partial sun to partial shade outdoors, a little food and reasonably consistent water. In pots, you can accent with the lollipop plant blooms anywhere outdoors and move plants indoors if your area needs winter protection. Just water less in cold months until spring warmth returns and your plant flowers return, stronger every year.
Long, white flowers emerge from the flower bracts, opening in succession from the bottom of the bract to the top.
Leaf fall is a sign of dryness at the roots. This shrubby plant can get out of hand if it is not pruned in the spring. The stem tips which are removed can be used as cuttings.
Pinch off the growing tips often to encourage branching. You’ll be rewarded with a much nicer-looking plant that is compact and bushy. If you want, you can propagate the stem tip cuttings for more plants.
The lollipop plant is a perennial shrub that will last for several years. It’ll get tall and leggy if not pruned back regularly.
Secrets of success
Temperature: Average warmth – minimum 55°F in winter.
Water: Water liberally from spring to late fall; slightly drier in winter. Its leaves may fall off if the soil dries out.
Air humidity: Mist leaves in summer.
Light: It needs plenty of light to bloom. Give it bright light, but no direct sun.
Soil: Any good-quality potting mix.
Fertilizer: Feed every 2 weeks spring through early fall with a high-potassium liquid fertilizer diluted by half.
Propagation: Take about 4 in stem cuttings in spring or summer.