Botanical name: Asparagus asparagoides
Synonym: Asparagus kuisibensis, Asparagus medeoloides
Common names: Smilax Asparagus Fern, Cape Smilax, Bridal Creeper, Bridal-veil Creeper
Smilax Asparagus Fern also called Cape Smilax, Bridal Creeper or Bridal-veil Creeper is a herbaceaus plant with vigorously-growing trailing stems on which shiny green leaf-like structures are borne.
These leaf-like structures in Smilax Asparagus Fern are flattened stems and not true leaves.
The Bridal Creeper shiny foliage remains fresh for a long time after cutting which makes it ideal for floral arrangements especially bridal bouquets and hence the common name 'Bridal Creeper'.
When provided with the right growing conditions, Smilax Asparagus Fern may produce pendant white flowers which are followed by bright red berries.
Bridal Creeper is ideal for a hanging basket or a trellis; the stems can grow up to 5ft long.
Smilax Asparagus Fern is native to eastern and southern Africa.
According to Mark Tancig (University of Florida), Asparagus Ferns have been found to be invasive.
Avoid growing Asparagus Ferns in the ground and dispose them by burning as they grow vigorously, spreading across and scrambling up other plants.
Buy beautiful and healthy Asparagus Ferns from Etsy.
Photo Credit: Random Harvest Nursery
Smilax Asparagus Fern grows best in medium to bright, indirect light conditions. Keep your Bridal Creeper away from direct sunlight as direct sunlight can scorch the leaves.
Insufficient light for Smilax Asparagus Fern can cause the leaves to loss their color, turning them yellowish. Check out this guide on understanding light for houseplants.
Water Smilax Asparagus Fern thoroughly during the growing season while allowing the top 2 in. of soil to dry a little between waterings.
Reduce watering during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time. Ensure the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy to avoid root-rot disease.
Occasionally water your Bridal Creeper from the bottom to ensure that the soil ball is thoroughly wetted. Read more on how to water houseplants.
Average warmth within the range of 12-280C is ideal for Smilax Asparagus Fern.
Though Smilax Asparagus Fern can adapt to a wide range of temperatures, constantly high temperatures can damage the plant. Read more on understanding temperature for houseplants.
Smilax Asparagus Fern has no need for high humidity. However, it benefits from occasional misting of the leaves especially when the temperatures are high.
Feed Smilax Asparagus Fern weekly during the growing season with a balanced, liquid fertilizer.
Withhold feeding for your Bridal Creeper Fern during the cold season as growth is minimal and feeding at this time can cause fertilizer burn. Read more on how to feed houseplants.
Repot Smilax Asparagus Fern at the beginning of the growing season only when it becomes root-bound.
Use a pot which is only 1 size larger for your Bridal Creeper. Ensure that the pot has a drainage hole to avoid soggy soil as it can lead to root-rot disease.
The large Smilax Asparagus Ferns can be divided during repotting to propagate new plants.
The best soil for Smilax Asparagus Fern should be rich in organic matter and free-draining to prevent it from getting soggy while providing the required nutrients.
Most multi-purpose potting mixes are ideal for the Bridal Creeper. Buy quality free-draining, potting mix for your Smilax Asparagus Fern from Etsy.
Pruning Smilax Asparagus Fern requires cutting back of the old stems to make room for new growth.
Trim the dead leaves and branches to keep your Smilax Asparagus Fern neat and tidy. Read more on how to prune houseplants.
Smilax Asparagus Fern can be propagated at the beginning of the growing season from seeds, cuttings or by plant division. The easiest method of propagation is by plant division.
During repotting, divide the Smilax Asparagus Fern rhizome into sections by cutting with a sharp, clean knife or a pair of scissors.
Pot each Bridal Creeper division into individual pots in moist, free-draining potting soil.
Place the pots in a warm, well-lit place and maintain the soil moist until new growth begins.
Allow the new Smilax Asparagus Fern to be well established, after which routine care can begin.
Photo Credit: Flora of Zimbabwe
Smilax Asparagus Fern (Asparagus asparagoides) problems indoors include yellowing, dropping leaves, root-rot and pests among others. Read on for more and for solutions to these problems.
There are many and varied reasons for yellowing and dropping leaves in Smilax Asparagus Fern.
One reason why Bridal Creeper may turn yellow and lose leaves is too little light.
Move your Smilax Asparagus Fern to a brighter spot where it can receive medium to bright, indirect light.
The second reason for yellowing and dropping leaves in Smilax Asparagus Fern is that the soil has been allowed to dry out.
Water your Bridal Creeper thoroughly during the growing season while allowing the top 2 in. of soil to dry out between waterings.
The third possible cause of yellowing and dropping leaves in Bridal Creeper is too high temperatures.
Maintain an average room temperature within the range of 12-280C for Smilax Asparagus Fern as constantly high temperatures can damage the plant.
Brown leaf spot marks in Smilax Asparagus Fern are sunscorch marks caused by exposure of the fern to hot direct sunlight.
Move your Bridal Creeper to a more shaded place, away from direct sunlight but ensure it is receiving medium to bright, indirect light.
The cause for unexplained death of Smilax Asparagus Fern is root-rot disease which is promoted by soggy soil.
The thick, tuberous roots in Smilax Asparagus Fern store water therefore soggy soil will cause root-rot.
Ensure the soil for Bridal Creeper is loose, free-draining and the pot has a drainage hole to avoid getting soggy soil.
Bridal Creeper pests attack is promoted by either overwatering or underwatering.
Keep away these pests from your Smilax Asparagus Fern by maintaining the soil moderately moist while avoiding overwatering or underwatering.
Smilax Asparagus Fern diseases; crown-rot and stem-rot and root-rot disease which are prevalent in too wet conditions. Isolated the affected fern to prevent spread of the disease to the other houseplants and treat it appropriately for the disease.
Smilax Asparagus Fern (Asparagus asparagoides) is toxic to humans and pets.
If Bridal Creeper berries are ingested, they can cause vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain. If handled with bare hands, the berries can cause contact dermatitis in sensitive skin.
The foliage of mature Smilax Asparagus Fern can develop sharp spines on the branches which can cause skin irritation if handled with bare hands.
Therefore, always wear gloves when handling your Smilax Asparagus Fern to avoid injury.