Botanical name: Asparagus densiflorus 'Meyeri'
Synonym: Asparagus densiflorus 'Myersii'
Common names: Foxtail Fern, Plume Asparagus
Foxtail Fern also called Plume Asparagus is an evergreen fern-like plant whose erect stems are densely packed with needle-like foliage.
The evergreen foliage in Plume Asparagus grows in clumps giving the plant a spiky appearance. The 'leaves' are really needle-like branches.
Though commonly called a Fern, Foxtail Fern is not a True Fern, it is much easier to grow than true ferns. The Fern adapts well to indoor growing conditions.
Foxtail Fern is mainly grown for the beautiful foliage and texture. The Fern can also be grown as an outdoor container plant.
Foxtail Fern can grow to a height of 2 ft and 4 ft wide.
When provided with the right growing conditions, Plume Asparagus may produce small white flowers which are followed by bright red berries.
Foxtail Fern (Asparagus densiflorus 'Meyeri') is native to southern Africa from Mozambique to South 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 (Asparagus densiflorus 'Meyeri') from Etsy.
Photo Credit: Pinterest
Foxtail Fern grows best in medium to bright, indirect light conditions away from direct sunlight as direct sunlight can scorch the leaves.
Insufficient light for Plume Asparagus can cause the leaves to loss their color, turning them yellowish. Check out this guide on understanding light for houseplants.
Water Foxtail 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 period as growth is minimal.
Occasionally water Plume Asparagus from the bottom to ensure that the soil ball is thoroughly wetted. Read more on how to water houseplants.
Ensure that the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to root-rot disease and eventual death of the Fern.
Average warmth within the range of 12-280C is ideal for Foxtail Fern.
Though Plume Asparagus can adapt to a wide range of temperatures, constantly high temperatures can damage the plant. Read more on understanding temperature for houseplants.
Foxtail Fern has no need for high humidity. However, it benefits from occasional misting of the leaves especially when the temperatures are high.
Feed Foxtail Fern weekly during the growing season with a balanced, liquid fertilizer.
Do not feed Foxtail Fern during the cold season as growth is minimal. Read more on how to feed houseplants.
Repot Foxtail Fern at the beginning of the growing season only when it becomes root-bound.
Use a pot which is only 1 size larger than the current one. Ensure that the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to root-rot disease.
The large Plume Asparagus Ferns can be divided to propagate new plants.
The best soil for Foxtail 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 Plume Asparagus. Buy quality Potting Mix for your Foxtail Fern from Etsy.
Pruning Foxtail Fern requires cutting back of the old stems to make room for new growth.
Trim the dead leaves and branches to keep your Foxtail Fern neat and tidy. Read more on how to prune houseplants.
Foxtail 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 (splitting).
During repotting, split (divide) the Foxtail Fern rhizome into sections by cutting with a sharp, clean knife or a pair of clean scissors.
Pot each Plume Asparagus Fern division into individual pots in moist, free-draining potting soil.
Ensure the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to rotting.
Place the pots in a warm, well-lit place and maintain the soil moist until new growth begins.
Allow the new Foxtail Fern to be well established, after which routine care can begin.
Photo Credit: Nature Hills Nursery
Foxtail Fern (Asparagus densiflorus 'Meyeri') problems indoors include yellowing, dropping leaves, root-rot and pests among others. Read on for more and for solutions to these problems.
Yellowing and loss of leaves in Foxtail Fern is caused by various reasons.
One reason for yellowing and leaf drop in Foxtail Fern is too little light.
Move the Plume Asparagus to a brighter spot where it will receive medium to bright, indirect light away from direct sunlight.
The second reason for yellowing and dropping leaves in Foxtail Fern is prolonged underwatering.
Water the Foxtail Fern 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 Foxtail Fern is too high temperatures.
Maintain an average room temperature within the range of 12-280C for Plume Asparagus as constantly high temperatures can damage the plant.
The cause for unexplained death of Foxtail Fern is root-rot disease which is promoted by soggy soil.
The thick, tuberous roots in Plume Asparagus store water therefore soggy soil will cause root-rot.
Ensure the soil for Foxtail Fern is loose, free-draining and the pot has a drainage hole to avoid soggy soil.
Plume Asparagus attack by these plant pests is promoted by either overwatering or underwatering.
You can keep away these pest from your Foxtail Fern by maintaining the soil moderately moist while avoiding overwatering or underwatering.
Foxtail Fern diseases; Crown-rot and Stem-rot disease and root-rot disease which are prevalent in too wet conditions. Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to other houseplants and treat it appropriately for the diseases.
Foxtail Fern (Asparagus densiflorus 'Meyeri') is toxic to humans and pets.
The berries of Plume Asparagus if ingested, can cause vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain. If handled with bare hands, the berries can cause contact dermatitis.
The foliage of mature Foxtail 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 Foxtail Fern.