Chuparosa (Justicia californica): How To Grow and Care

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The Chuparosa plant is native to some of the most challenging areas on earth, as it thrives best when grown in rocky slopes or desert soils, where nothing else seems to grow. 

This plant is indigenous to southern Arizona and New Mexico, albeit nowadays, they are easily found in other southern states of North America, such as Texas and California.

Continue reading and discover more about Chuparosa.

Basic Facts about Chuparosa Plant

This plant is also referred to as Beloperone, more specifically, beloperone californica syn. Justicia californica. Alternative names include hummingbird bush and chiparosa. They belong to the family of plants Acanthaceae.

Chuparosa literally means ‘’suck roses’’ in Spanish. Yet, in some parts of the world where Spanish is spoken, chuparosa is also the name for hummingbirds. 

This plant can quickly grow up to 3 feet tall and up to 4 feet wide if all the right growing conditions are met. 

Its leaves are easy to recognize as they resemble a succulent plant. However, this plant has tubular, small flowers that are often red, although some could be orange or yellow.

Beloperones are usually sown when gardeners need to attract hummingbirds to the garden, as the pollinator absolutely loves the plant mentioned above.

In addition, bees and hummingbirds eat this plant, and humans can do it too, as its flowers are edible. Usually, people compare the taste to that of a cucumber. They can be eaten raw in salads, or people can blend them into a potent super juice. 

Chuparosa Shrub Growing Tips

This plant is a drought-tolerant plant that can survive nearly any type of climate condition. Yet, they do require specific growing conditions to thrive best, albeit these are relatively easy plants to care for and require little maintenance.

Light Requirements

The Justicia californica plant needs to be fully exposed to direct sunlight. This will make the plant reduce its blooming time, yet, it will also grow healthier. 

Water Needs

water can and bucket

As previously stated, Chuparosas are great for areas that are known for having drought periods. If the plant is watered regularly, it will, ultimately, grow fast, yet it will also struggle with its blooms.

On the other hand, if droughts are severe, they could damage the plant as the heat will only produce stress on its foliage. 

Ideally, this plant should be watered twice a month. If there are intense droughts, then irrigation could happen once every two weeks, putting a lot of emphasis on not overwatering the plant. Otherwise, it could develop root rot. 

Soil Type

The Justicia californica plant prefers rocky or sandy soil, and they will not tolerate clay soil. They do need to be planted into well-drained soil, as they cannot withhold water.


garden shears

Depending on the winter, pruning will be necessary on chuparosas. This will allow the plant to reappear and regrow healthier during springtime.

Some winters are too strong on these plants, and they will damage their foliage; the best thing to do is to prune it for the plant to be restored and to have a better life and shape.


This shrub is easy to propagate. The gardener only needs to take the stem cutting when spring is almost ending, or, alternatively, during early summer. The cuttings should be placed inside a container, or you could directly sow them in the garden. 

The soil should be a mixture of half sand and half potting mix, ideally. Yet, gardeners are always encouraged to discover an ideal ratio for the plants, according to their location.

Pests and Diseases

The Justicia californica plant is very tolerant of unwanted pests, and they will not do anything to harm them. 

Also, they don’t suffer from diseases, which makes this plant excellent for beginner gardeners who would like to grow a plant without worrying too much about its maintenance. 



This drought-tolerant shrub is ideal for areas with little to no rainfall. The Chuparosa bush can turn any deserted landscape into a beautiful and vibrant garden within a couple of years. 

What’s more, the most crucial aspect of this plant is that it welcomes hummingbirds, an excellent ally for any gardener who wants to bring more pollinator species into their garden.

One thing is for sure, though, Chuparosas are gorgeous flowers that could bring many important and relevant benefits to any garden!

Check our blog for more popular shrubs and bushes.

*image by TygerGilbert/depositphotos

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