Table of Contents
- 1 Introduction
- 2 What Is Asparagus Fern?
- 3 Where To Buy
- 4 Asparagus Fern Plant Size
- 5 Asparagus Fern Care Needs
- 6 Similar Plants
- 7 Conclusion
Asparagus Fern is a tropical plant with unique features that make an excellent addition to any plant lover’s collection. Despite its common name, the plant is not a true fern but has leaves resembling one.
This post will go through the dos, don’ts, and everything you need to know to keep your Asparagus Fern happy.
If you want to purchase one for yourself, we’ll go through several possibilities to consider. Continue reading to discover more about the unique characteristics that distinguish this plant.
What Is Asparagus Fern?
The Asparagus Fern is a perennial from the Asparagaceae family, characterized by rich green linear feathery leaves and is prized for its needle-like leaves. Asparagus fern’s “leaves” are “cladodes” or flattened stem portions. Its true leaves are tiny and barely visible scale-like protrusions or sharp spines near the base of the cladodes. While these “leaves” look soft to the touch, they’re pretty sharp.
Asparagus Fern, also known as Asparagus Grass, Lacey Fern, and Ferny Asparagus, thrives as a houseplant in an east or west-facing window.
While most of this essay focuses on indoor growth conditions, you may maintain this Asparagus plant outside in hardiness zones 9-11.
Origin And Family
This Asparagus plant was first described in 1966 by German botanist Carl Sigismund Kunth. Its native habitat is in the forests of South Africa.
Asparagus Grass belongs to the Asparagus genus in the Asparagaceae family. You’ll get to witness its tiny small white blooms most summers.
Where To Buy
You can likely find an Asparagus Fern without difficulty at a local nursery, and Etsy is a great online alternative that I like to use.
In terms of pricing, Asparagus Fern’s very affordable costs fluctuate between $10 for small ones and $30+ for more prominent, mature plants.
Asparagus Fern Plant Size
Indoors, the Asparagus Fern reaches a height of 1-3 feet and a width of 18 inches to 3 feet. This Asparagus grows fast and beautifully thrives when placed near an east or west-facing window.
Asparagus Fern Care Needs
When properly cared for, your Asparagus Fern will thrive like other indoor plants. With its needle-like frilly leaves, this plant adores humidity and wants evenly moist soil throughout the year. In warm, humid climates, asparagus ferns can spread when planted outdoors—to severe invasiveness.
According to most gardeners, water your Asparagus when roughly half of the soil is dry. Ensure the pot’s drainage hole is big enough for all of the water to drain. This stunning plant needs bright indirect light to thrive in terms of lighting and requires more water during its growing season in the hot summer months, and it likes drier soil during the cold winter months.
Our comprehensive care guide may be more precise guidance, as seen below!
The Lacey Fern is typically considered easy to care for with its light, water, and humidity needs. To grow this plant properly, you must use well-draining soil and provide enough sunshine.
Ferny Asparagus’s growth rate is typically fast. It should reach about 1-3 feet as it matures indoors.
In terms of potting material and size for this plant, it’s generally advisable to use a small-sized pot made of plastic, terracotta, or clay. A hanging basket is also ideal when this plant is grown indoors as it’s a great ornamental plant. The most essential thing to remember is that your container should have at least one drainage hole. Asparagus Grass does not like sitting in water; otherwise, it may succumb to root rot.
To maintain your healthy plant, move it to a larger container after it reaches a particular size. It’s time to repot when you notice its roots poking through the drainage hole.
Asparagus Fern grows fast and needs to be repotted every year or two. Because soil loses its natural nutritional components over time, it’s best to repot using ordinary commercial potting soil.
For the Lacey Fern, a standard commercial potting soil is a suitable choice. Use sand, perlite, and peat moss to produce your own soil mix. Keep in mind that this plant requires a uniformly wet medium.
Make sure the soil you choose allows for enough drainage and aeration so the roots can breathe.
We recommend the following potting mixes:
The pH of your soil should be about 6.5-6.8 for the Ferny Asparagus, and this range is thought to be mildly acidic. The acidity level is near-optimal if you’re using typical commercial potting soil, so it shouldn’t be a big worry.
There are a variety of affordable pH meters available online if you want to determine the pH of your soil.
If required, add a sprinkle of calcitic lime or dolomitic lime, wood ash, or baking soda to raise the pH of the soil. In the opposite direction, sulfur or aluminum sulfate may be used to reduce it.
Proper watering is essential for Asparagus Grass. If you overwater, you risk producing illnesses like root rot. If you water your plants seldom, the roots may dry up, particularly on hot days. In general, Asparagus Grass should thrive in a wet growth medium.
There is an easy technique to tell whether your plant needs to be watered. You may check the pot with a wooden skewer or a pencil to see whether there is still damp, muddy dirt. Alternatively, you may just use your finger to feel the dampness. When about 50% of the soil is dry, it’s time to water your plant.
Excess moisture may be removed using a porous container with drainage holes and an aerated, chunky soil mix. Avoid putting your Asparagus Fern in direct sunlight, which could severely damage or even kill it.
You’ll want to simulate the natural environment of the Asparagus Fern, which would be the humid environment in the forests of Southern Africa. Give your Fern bright indirect sunlight for 6-8 hours each day. For optimal results, position this plant near an east or west-facing window.
You’ll know your Asparagus Fern is getting too much light when its leaves look scorched. On the contrary, if this plant gets little light, its stems will get leggy.
Many indoor gardeners overlook fertilization, believing that water and brilliant indirect light are adequate sources of nutrition for their plants. In reality, soil nutrients are equally as crucial to the health of your plants.
Feed your plant weekly during the summer and then every month for the rest of the year. In the colder months, you don’t need to fertilize at all.
Lace Ferns respond well to water-soluble fertilizers. If you’re using a more potent fertilizer, you may need to dilute it first.
Propagating Asparagus Fern
Perhaps you’re impatient to see your Asparagus Fern sprout new leaves. In that case, you can prune back the stem to encourage new growing points. The cuttings you’ve pruned back can then be propagated to develop a new plant!
We’ve laid out various propagation methods for you to choose from.
Ferny Asparagus may be propagated by a technique known as division. While this approach is most often used for crops with bulbs, tubers, stolons, rhizomes, and suckers, it may also be employed for houseplants with clumping stems.
1. Dig up. Take the plant out of its pot. Remember to wear gardening gloves when handling plants and soil.
2. Separate. You should be able to see where the roots and stems spontaneously separated. Gently pull them apart with your fingers. Cut the roots where the sections connect.
3. Repot. Put each section in new pots filled with the same soil they’re used to.
Humidity And Aeration
Your Asparagus Fern needs about 70% or higher humidity for rich-colored leaves and lush growth.
If you’re concerned about the humidity or if you see browning edges on your plant leaves, you may purchase a humidifier and place it near your plants. This addition will make a big difference in your Fern’s health.
Like most Asparagus plants, your Ferny Asparagus will do best in a warm location. Keep the temperature between 70+ degrees Fahrenheit.
Houseplants can be sensitive to drastic shifts in temperature, so make sure you keep your Ferny Asparagus away from heat sources such as vents, hand dryers, furnaces, and other appliances. In the same way, don’t expose your plant to chilly drafts and frost spells during the winter.
If you can provide the best growing conditions for your plant and keep it at its happiest, you might be able to see insignificant tiny white flowers. Most summers, these little flowers are followed by bright red berries that are mildly toxic.
However, you must know that most plants generally bloom in an outdoor environment.
Asparagus Fern— KUMAR. K (@KkHimalaya) April 1, 2022
The start of its flowering. pic.twitter.com/dPT9K8tCpJ
Unfortunately, both pets (including cats and dogs) and people are poisoned by the Lacey Fern. You might anticipate blistering, redness, swelling, vomiting, diarrhea, and/or stomach discomfort if you taste it.
|Botanical Name||Asparagus Fern|
|Common Name||Asparagus Grass, Lacey Fern, Ferny Asparagus|
|Leaf Color||rich green|
|Recommended Home Placement||near an east or west-facing window|
|Light||bright indirect light|
|Soil||standard commercial potting soil|
|When To Water||Water when about 50% of the soil are dry.|
|When To Fertilize||weekly during the summer and monthly the rest of the year during growing season|
|Humidity Range||70% or higher|
|Toxic To Pets?||Yes – symptoms include blistering, redness, swelling, vomiting, diarrhea, and/or abdominal pain|
|Common Pests & Diseases||spider mites, brown tips, powder mildrew, white flied, scale insects, yellow leabes, root rot, aphids, mealy bugs, drooping leaves|
Pests, Diseases, And Other Problems
Is your Asparagus Fern looking ill? Most would say that this is not a plant with strong resistance to pests, diseases, and widespread problems.
I’ve included the most typical problems this beautiful plant encounters in the following sections. Use these guidelines to help you identify and treat Asparagus.
Houseplants can sometimes bring unwelcome visitors to your home in the form of pests. One example of such is the spider mite. The larvae will not be visible, but adult mites can be seen quickly scampering around when disturbed.
Spraying diluted neem oil on your plant’s leaves can help eradicate spider mites at their larval stage. There are also organic Pyrethrin sprays that are effective in killing adult mites. When spraying any pesticide indoors, make sure you choose products that are non-hazardous for humans when inhaled.
Powdery mildew is a fungal infection triggered by heat and poor air circulation. It is identified by a white web-like substance that will quickly cover your Ferny Asparagus’s leaves.
Here is a simple homemade recipe to treat powdery mildew: Mix 5 mL neem oil, 5 mL mild dish soap (make sure it’s non-bleach), 3 grams of baking soda, and 1 Liter of water. Thoroughly spray this solution on your plant’s leaves and reapply as necessary.
After spraying, keep your plant away from direct sources of light and heat to avoid foliage burn.
Whiteflies are grayish-white, triangular bugs that fly around like tiny moths. They can cause significant leaf damage by feeding on the sap of your Asparagus Grass.
Whiteflies and their eggs can be vacuumed off, but make sure to empty your vacuum bag outside before the bugs get the chance to multiply.
Spray the leaves with insecticidal soap, neem oil, or horticultural oil in a severe infestation. These products will coat the eggs, larvae, and adults, suffocating them. Reapply for the chosen treatment as needed.
Although adult scales have a waxy covering on their bodies, they may still give birth to minor bugs that travel about.
To treat an infestation, use insecticidal soap or neem oil. Dish detergent in low doses may also eliminate aphids without hurting your plant. Choose a fragrance-free product, such as Ivory Liquid, for example.
Begin by diluting 1 teaspoon of dish soap in 1 gallon of water, gradually increasing the ratio as needed. Spray this solution on your damaged plant, paying specific attention to the undersides of the leaves, where aphids are often located.
Mealybugs have the potential to infest your Ferny Asparagus. These parasites cause damage by absorbing the nutrients from the plant. If left unchecked, mealybugs have the potential to kill your Ferny Asparagus.
Rubbing alcohol is your number one weapon against mealybugs, and it will kill mealybugs on contact and turn them into a translucent brown. Dilute the alcohol in water and spray directly on the pesky critters.
Brown Leaf Tips
If you notice browning tips on the leaves of your Asparagus Grass, you might need to double-check several factors.
Make sure the humidity in your home is not too low. Filter the sunlight with curtains if it’s shining too harshly on your plant. Don’t apply too much fertilizer. Let the water flow through the soil for several minutes to flush out excess minerals and salts.
A wilting, droopy appearance on your Asparagus Fern indicates distress. Possible causes of drooping leaves are overwatering, underwatering, excessive light exposure, lack of light, and low humidity.
Hey houseplant friends.. my asparagus fern has sent up a very unruly shoot.. any ideas what this is about 🤣 I really want to chop it! #HouseplantHour #reachforthesky pic.twitter.com/ErohReqsjP— Claire Robson (@89claire_louise) April 5, 2022
Yellowing leaves on Lacey Fern can be caused by lack of light, too much light, overwatering, underwatering, nutrient deficiency, overfertilization, recent disruption of the roots, changes in temperature, and humidity, presence of pests, and many others.
If you’re confused, don’t worry! Gardening requires trial and error to figure out the ideal conditions for your plants, and even master gardeners are learning new things every day.
It is usually encouraged to prune off yellowing leaves so the plant won’t waste its energy trying to “save” the leaf instead of supplying nutrients to new leaves.
Root rot is a common killer of Ferny Asparagus, and the rotting starts at the roots then quickly spreads to the stem and foliage. Remember, you should only water when about 50% of the soil is dry.
Poor drainage in the soil is another source of root rot, and this tropical plant demands regular commercial potting soil that remains equally wet.
Other things you can do to avoid root rot include:
- Drilling holes at the bottom of your pot.
- Choosing high-porosity materials such as terracotta and unglazed ceramic planters.
- Lengthening the gap between watering schedules.
Do you like Asparagus Grass? Here are some additional plants that are similar that you should try:
Philodendron Mayoi: This fern-like philodendron is nowhere near the Asparagus Fern family, but if you enjoy the dainty look, you will appreciate the spectacular foliage of the Mayoi. Plus, it’s easy to care for, so that’s a great bonus!
There are several popular varieties of Asparagus Fern, including:
- Nana has bright green foliage and is a compact variety
- Myeri is also known as Foxtail Fern Asparagus. It has dense foliage on upright stems.
- Sprengeri is also called Asparagus Emerald Fern; it boasts long limbs and a complete, almost fluffy form.
- Sprengeri Compacta is the dwarf variety of Sprengeri and has the same features as its namesake.
I think we all need some sunlight on an asparagus fern today… pic.twitter.com/NpnY8UXlpN— Cathy | Honest Gardener 🌱 (@honest_gardener) February 24, 2022
With its feathery foliage, Asparagus Fern is a common plant in your home. You’ll be able to cultivate this plant quickly if you follow our maintenance instructions.
Do you have Asparagus Fern? We’d want to see it! Please submit photos to [email protected]; we may use them on our blog.
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