Darn Good Gravy & Green Thumbs


Hey there, and welcome to my blog. Thanks for stopping by.

I grew up in the South where gravy accompanied nearly every meal (I shudder to think of life without gravy.) I’ll be sharing good recipes from time to time, many that prefer to swim in gravy.

I garden. Not as much as I used to, but as long as I live I’ll have something blooming in a pot. Have you seen a fruit cocktail shrimp plant (justicia brandegeana)?


I’ve only had this plant for two years. My good neighbor, Grace Howard, brought one home from the Florida Seafood Festival (they have crafts and vendors from all over each year). I was fascinated, having never seen or even heard of a fruit cocktail shrimp plant. I took off like Lindy’s goose to get me one. It was the last day of the festival and the plant man had only a few plants left. None of them were what I was looking for. I plead my poor-me story on how desperately I would love to have one of these rare beauties. He remembered that he had a start (the little thing was only a few inches high with no blooms) in his truck. So, $8.00 later, I hurried home to repot the plant, and within no time I had a healthy, bushy bunch of leaves. 

When the first blooms appeared, I felt like a new grandma. Before the summer was over Grace’s plant died, but mine was big enough to share, so I gave her a start. By the next summer it had died. She has a green thumb the size of Texas, so we couldn’t figure out what was wrong. I gave her a second start off my plant that was doing well. Before the summer was over my shrimp plant began to wither, and soon there was nothing left but shriveled leaves in a plastic pot. Grace and I put our heads together and decided that we had killed our plants by over watering. And not much over watering. Apparently the fruit cocktail shrimp plants likes to dry out completely before being watered again. She gave me a start off her plant and here it is today.


Fruit Cocktail Shrimp plant

Grace moved away, shrimp plant and all. I recently visited her and her husband Pete. We strolled around her yard looking at her shrubs. There, proud as a peacock sat her shrimp plant.

Good neighbors who share  the beauty of blooming plants make for good things and good times.









7 thoughts on “Darn Good Gravy & Green Thumbs

    • Meg jones

      Now I want a shrimp plant although I suppose it would freeze here and that would be the end of it. If it’s not one thing (water) it’s another.


    • Northern Alabama weather would not allow the plant to live outside, of course. You’d have to take it inside and put it out on warm days. Takes a dedicated shrimp plant person to care for these plants. Thanks for your comment, Meg. Hope things are good with you and yours.


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