Asparagus Fern – Hits Garden Fern | Special Ceramic Pot
Asparagus is a genus of flowering plants in the family Asparagaceae, subfamily Asparagoideae. It comprises up to 300 species. Most are evergreen long-lived perennial plants growing from the understory as lianas, bushes or climbing plants.
The asparagus fern thrives in dappled shade, although it can be acclimated to more light. Keep it out of direct, bright sunlight.
Plant asparagus ferns in pots or containers in moist, loose, well-drained potting soil. Outdoors, plant it in rich, well-drained soil that is slightly acidic. It is generally tolerant of less-than-ideal soil conditions.
Keeping an asparagus fern hydrated takes a little effort, as this plant thrives on humidity. Indoor growing conditions can often be too dry, especially during the winter heating season. Mist the plant daily, focusing on the arching stems. If the plant appears to be turning brown and droopy, it likely needs more water. Keep soil moist, and water when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. Warmer, humid air, and daily misting will help it thrive. Outdoors, keep asparagus fern well-watered to prevent the soil from completely drying out.
Temperature and Humidity
Try to maintain a warm temperature around 70 degrees Fahrenheit and not dip below 55 degrees Fahrenheit for too long. If you have a shady porch or a greenhouse, the indoor plants will likely respond with abundant growth over the summer.
Feed asparagus fern with liquid or water-soluble all-purpose plant food diluted to half strength. During summer, container plants may need weekly feedings; otherwise, feed monthly.
Types of Asparagus Fern
There are several popular cultivars of asparagus fern, including:
- “Myeri” has dense foliage on upright stems; it’s known also as foxtail asparagus.
- “Sprengeri” boasts long stems and a full, almost fluffy form; it’s also referred to as an asparagus emerald fern.
- “Sprengeri Compacta” has the same features as its namesake but is a dwarf variety.
- “Nana” features bright green foliage, and is another compact variety
Asparagus fern is a fast grower, and you may want to trim yours to keep it tidy. It’s also okay if you leave it looking wild and shaggy. Use clean garden shears or sharp scissors to give your plant the shape you desire.
Propagating Asparagus Fern
While this plant can be propagated by planting the seeds found in the berries, the easier and faster way is to dig up and divide the tuberous roots:
- In spring, dig up the entire plant (or remove it from its pot), using a trowel or shovel.
- Divide the root clump into sections with a trowel or knife, making sure each section includes a root section, as well as a portion of the crown with growing shoots.
- Replant the pieces into individual pots or their own garden locations. It is best to keep the plant shaded until new growth begins.
How to Grow Asparagus Fern From Seed
Asparagus fern seeds can be found inside the small red berries produced by mature plants. When the berries are fully ripe, mash them and strain out the small seeds. Before planting, scarify and soak seeds overnight. Then, plant them 1/4 inch deep in pots or trays, indoors. Soil temperature should be at 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Germination should take three to four weeks. When true leaves have developed, you can transplant the seedlings into larger pots to continue growing.
Potting and Repotting Asparagus Fern
Plant asparagus ferns in pots or containers in loose, well-drained potting soil. Asparagus ferns grow quickly, and the tuberous roots can easily break a pot. Plan on repotting often. For the most successful repotting, divide the plant into big clumps, and be sure to take multiple underground roots when dividing. Place the divided plants into new pots filled with fresh potting soil. Water well.
If your outdoor temps begin to dip below 55 degrees Fahrenheit, bring your potted asparagus ferns inside. Keep them in bright light, away from drafts and radiators. Make sure to keep soil moist, but do not let the root stand in water, as this can cause root rot.
Common Pests & Plant Diseases
Spider mites, aphids, and mealybugs like to hang out in this plant’s leaves; get rid of them with insecticidal soap.
Overly wet conditions can cause root rot. Avoid overwatering to prevent these issues.
Common Problems With Asparagus Fern
While relatively easy to grow, asparagus fern does have a couple of issues that are easily remedied if you know what you’re looking for:
Asparagus fern’s leaves will turn yellow if the plant has pests—like spider mites or mealybugs—or if your plant isn’t getting enough sunlight. Remove the pests, place in brighter light, mist your plant, and this should resolve the problem.
This plant’s leaves may also turn yellow if it’s overfertilized (the solution is to fertilize less often), or if it has too much or too little light.
If your asparagus fern is turning brown and looks like it’s drying out, it could be that you have underwatered it. Cut off the brown, dried sections, and try watering more often.
One of the biggest nuisances with asparagus fern is dropping foliage, which can litter floors and tables with fine dried-out needles. This normally happens because of inconsistent watering. While these plants don’t like to soak in water, neither do they like to be parched. The right watering rhythm can be especially difficult in colder climates, where indoor air can be very dry during the winter. More frequent watering and misting is usually the solution to a plant that is badly shedding.
Plant Is Leggy and Sparse
Another common complaint is that asparagus fern can develop very long stems that are bare at the bottom, and thus not very attractive as houseplants. This sometimes occurs if the plant is not getting enough light. Bare branches should be trimmed back to the base, and as new stems grow, pinch off their growing tips. This will coax the plant into widening out rather than extending long shoots.
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