Asparagus fern, also known as Sprengeri fern, is a longtime favorite for hanging baskets and as a filler for other blooming plants. Asparagus fern, Asparagus densiflorus, is a herbaceous plant that has fine textured needlelike leaves on arching stems. It grows in a mounding form because of the way the stems spread out. It grows to about 1’ high to 2’ wide. Asparagus fern can be a house plant grown indoors, or a hanging basket in warm climates. If you have a canopy gazebo, or any type of gazebo, try adding a few hanging baskets around the frame of your gazebo to get a nice cooling effect from the green foliage.
Asparagus Fern Care
The asparagus fern thrives in bright to medium light and tolerates lower light although it will be less full. Provide it with temperatures between 60-75 degrees and an average humidity reading of 30-65 percent.
You should keep this fern evenly moist in summer. Allow the soil to dry slightly during the winter. Feed with a dilute solution of foliage plant food every time the plant is watered. Repot it annually; otherwise, the thick tuberous roots will push out of the soil and break the pot. It is time to repot when the plant must be watered daily.
Prune the plant only when needed for aesthetics, be mindful of small thorns at eht leaf nodes. Too much sun or dry soil will yellow the foliage, and the plant may drop its leaves when the light is too low. This is common when plants come in from a summer outdoors. Plants often receive enough light outdoors to produce small red berries.
*Be aware when bringing in the plants that these berries may drop and are POISONOUS to animals and children.
Propagation can be done by seed if your plant produces fruits. Otherwise, divide the root ball. Slip the plant from its pot and use a sharp knife to cut the root bal into two or more pieces. It may be necessary to remove some of the potato-like tubers to fit the plants into new pots. This will not harm the plants at all.
Repotting of Asparagus Fern
- Asparagus fern fills its pot quickly with fleshy roots and will need division every year.
- Slip the plant out of its pot and slice cleanly through the root ball with a sharp knife.
- Repot the pieces in clean potting soil, making sure they are at the same soil level as before.
Pests and Diseases of Asparagus Fern
You might find that spider mites will sometimes appear on your plant if the humidity is too low. Also check for aphids as the new shoots emerge from the ground. Aphids often will attach themselves to the young shoots.
Related Species to this plant would be the Foxtail fern, A.d.‘Meyersii’ which has compact, cattail-like fronds that are upright.
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