12 Reasons Why Asparagus Fern Leaves are Yellowing and Dropping (with solutions)

An Asparagus Fern may turn yellow and drop its leaves due to overwatering, underwatering, root-rot disease, pests, too little light, underfeeding among other reasons.

Asparagus Ferns are mainly grown for their beautiful foliage and can develop problems if the growing conditions are not met. One of the commonest problem in Asparagus Ferns is yellowing and leaf drop (fall).

There are several Asparagus plants that are ideal for growing Indoors. Here are 5 Types of Asparagus Ferns for Growing Indoors with Pictures.

We have herebelow discussed 12 reasons why an Asparagus Fern leaves may turn yellow and drop, and their solutions. Continue reading.

Asparagus plumosus, Asparagus fern

12 Reasons why Asparagus Fern Leaves are Turning Yellow and Falling

1. Poor Quality Soil

Poor quality soil does not drain easily and therefore it easily becomes compacted or soggy which can negatively impact the growth of the plant.

Asparagus Fern requires loose, free-draining soil that does not hold excessive amounts of water as soggy soil can lead to root-rot disease which is characterized by yellowing and loss of leaves.


Pot your Asparagus Fern in good quality soil that is loose, free-draining and rich in organic matter like these quality potting mixes from Amazon.

2. Too Little Light

The Asparagus Fern requires medium to bright, indirect light away from direct sunshine. The light is needed for making food that is required for energy and growth.

Insufficient light implies that the plant cannot make enough food for energy and growth. In an attempt to save energy, the Asparagus Fern begins to yellow and eventually drop its leaves. This way, it saves the available energy for the vital functions inorder to keep alive.


Move the Asparagus Fern to a brighter spot where it can receive medium to bright, indirect light or instal a grow light if you do not have adequate lighting in your home.

Regularly turn the pot for your Asparagus Fern to ensure that the plant absorbs enough light for photosynthesis on all sides.

3. Pest Infestations

Asparagus Fern is prone to spider mites, whiteflies, aphids and mealy bugs whose infestation is promoted by either overwatering or underwatering.

These pests attack the new growth from where they suck the plant sap. This causes the Asparagus Fern to become dehydrated and results in wilting, yellowing and shedding leaves.


Regularly inspect the Asparagus Fern for the pests and take timely control measures.

Treat the Asparagus Fern appropriately for the pests with appropriate products like neem oil or insecticidal soap among others.

Asparagus falcatus, Sicklethorn Asparagus

4. Underfeeding

Underfeeding Asparagus Fern implies that the plant is not getting enough nutrients need for growth and energy.

Inadequate nutrients in the actively growing tips causes nutrients to be withdrawn from the older lower leaves which begin to yellow and drop.


Feed Asparagus Fern with a balanced, liquid fertilizer weekly during the growing season. Take care not to underfeed and follow the instructions on the label of the plant food.

However, do not feed the Asparagus Fern during the cold season as growth is minimal to prevent fertilizer burn.

5. Overwatering

Overwatering Asparagus Fern results in soggy soil (excess water in the soil). Too much water in the soil reduces the oxygen concentration in the rootzone and this causes the thick, tuberous roots to die.

When roots die, they cannot take up water and nutrients needed for the food making process. Therefore, the plant does not make enough food for growth and energy. In a bid to save energy, the Asparagus Fern begins to yellow and shed its leaves.


To avoid getting soggy soil, ensure that the pot for your Asparagus Fern has a drainage hole and that the soil is loose and free-draining.

Also, reduce watering during the cold season to maintain the soil slightly moist as growth is minimal at this time.

6. Underwatering

When the Asparagus Fern is underwatered, there is little moisture in the soil. As such, the plant cannot take up nutrients and water needed for photosynthesis (food making process).

Since the plant does not get adequate food for growth and energy, it begins to turn yellow and eventually dropping neddles inorder to save energy.


Water the Asparagus Fern immediately and it should recover.

Thereafter, water the Asparagus Fern liberally during the growing season and allow the top 2-3 in. of soil to dry out between waterings.

Reduce watering during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time but do not allow the soil to dry out completely.

Asparagus densiflorus 'Sprengeri', Emerald Fern

7. Extreme Temperatures

Asparagus Fern requires average room temperatures within the range of 12-280C inorder to thrive.

Extreme temperatures; either too high or too low (outside the above range) will affect the normal functioning of the plant systems.

Too high temperatures will cause excessive loss of water leading to wilting, yellowing and leaf drop while at too low temperatures Asparagus Fern stops growing and begins to die. Yellowing and shedding leaves are the first signs of a dying plant.


Keep the Asparagus Fern away from cold draughts like drafty winds, air conditioning vents, open doors and others.

Ensure your Asparagus Fern is not near hot surfaces, hot air vents and other hot areas to prevent extremely high temperatures.

Maintain an average room temperature within the range of 12-280C. Usually, a room temperature that is comfortable for you is ideal for Asparagus Fern.

8. Too Cold Water

Asparagus Fern is native to the tropical regions where the temperatures remain constantly warm. Therefore, constantly watering these plants with too cold water will shock them and will respond with yellowing and losing leaves.


Water Asparagus Fern with water that is at room temperature to avoid shocking these tropical plants.

9. Overfeeding

Overfeeding Asparagus Fern will cause the roots to die due to fertilizer burn. When the roots die, they cannot take up nutrients and water required for photosynthesis.

Without, adequate food for growth and energy, the Asparagus Fern begins to turn yellow followed by shedding leaves inorder to save the available energy.


Take care not to overfeed Asparagus Fern. Feed Asparagus Fern weekly during the growing season with a balanced, liquid fertilizer.

Do not feed the Asparagus Fern during the cold season as growth is minimal to prevent fertilizer burn.

Regularly flush out the salts from the soil by running a stream of water through the soil until it comes out through the drainage holes and repeat the process several times.

Asparagus asparagoides', Smilax Asparagus Fern

10. Root-rot Disease

Asparagus Fern is prone to root-rot disease. Root-rot disease is brought about by soggy soil. The disease is characterized by yellowing and wilting of the leaves which is rapidly followed by browning and plant collapse.

Soggy soil reduces oxygen concentration in the soil which causes the roots to die. Once the Asparagus Fern roots die, they cannot take up water and nutrients to the leaves. The leaves begin to wilt, yellow and eventually drop.


Take out the Asparagus Fern from its pot and inspect the roots. Brown-black mushy roots indicate root-rot, trim them off and treat the healthy roots with a fungicidal solution.

Disinfect the pot or use a fresh pot to repot the plant in fresh free-draining soil. Do not water the Asparagus Fern and keep it dry for some time before resuming watering. Read more on how to treat root-rot here.

11. Root Bound Plant

A root bound Asparagus Fern is one whose roots have filled the pot and there is very little soil to hold water when you water the plant.

Therefore, there is no water for the plant to take up to the leaves. The leaves lose their stiffness, wilt, turn yellow and drop.


Check the bottom of the pot for roots growing through the drainage hole.

Repot the Asparagus Fern into a pot one size larger than the current one.

You can also, divide the Asparagus Fern into several sections and plant the sections in individual pots to propagate new plants.

12. Repotting Shock

Repotting Asparagus Fern may cause it some shock which may lead to some leaves wilting and dropping before it can adjust to the new growing conditions.


To minimize repotting shock, water the Asparagus Fern thoroughly one day before repotting. A well hydrated plant experiences less shock and is easier to divide.

Do not make too many changes at once. For instance, after repotting, maintain the Asparagus Fern in the same location until it is well established before moving it to a new location.

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