J. brandegeeana is a bushy evergreen shrub growing to 100 cm (39 in) tall by 60–90 cm (24–35 in) broad. The stems and leaves are downy. The leaves are variegated and usually grow in clusters on the branches. As the plant receives more sun, the amount of creamy white on the speckled leaves will increase, and vice versa. The flowers emerge from bracts that form off the stems. The bracts start out white, but with more sun exposure they turn anywhere from pale pink to deep salmon. A chain of bracts will continue to grow until it falls off in most cases; thus the chains can grow anywhere from a few inches to nearly a foot in length. Flowers emerge from the bracts; usually, they are long, thin, and white with speckled maroon throats.

Blooming continues for months once it has begun, then halts for a short period before starting again. The flowers attract hummingbirds and butterflies. Pollination is usually by hummingbirds.