Asparagus plumosus (Asparagus Fern) Indoor Care, Propagation, Problems and Solutions

Asparagus plumosus commonly called Asparagus Fern, Asparagus Grass, Lace Fern, Climbing Asparagus or Ferny Asparagus is grown for the graceful feathery foliage, which is often used in floral arrangements.

Though called a Fern, Asparagus plumosus is not a True Fern, it is much easier to grow than true ferns. The 'leaves' in Asparagus Fern are really needle-like branches.

Asparagus Grass adapts well to a wide variations in light, heat and frequency of watering and does not demand a humid atmosphere like true ferns. It is also easy to propagate.

The foliage of mature Lace Fern can develop sharp spines on the branches which can cause skin irritation if handled with bare hands; use garden gloves when handling.

The cascading growth habit makes Asparagus plumosus ideal for a hanging basket where the branches can cascade downwards beautifully.

Ensure that the arching branches are not impeded by other plants so that they can beautifully display their beauty. It can also be grown as an outdoor container plant.

Asparagus plumosus, Asparagus fern

Botanical name: Asparagus plumosus
Synonym: Asparagus setaceus
Family: Asparagaceae
Sufamily: Asparagoideae
Common names: Asparagus Fern, Asparagus Grass, Lace Fern, Climbing Asparagus, Ferny Asparagus


Asparagus plumosus (Asparagus Fern) is native to Southern and Eastern Africa.


According to Mark Tancig (University of Florida), Asparagus Ferns have been found to be invasive in some regions.

Avoid growing Asparagus Ferns in the ground and dispose them by burning as they grow vigorously, spreading across and scrambling up other plants.


Asparagus plumosus like other Asparagus Ferns is toxic to humans and pets as indicated by ASPCA.

Asparagus Fern berries if ingested, can cause vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain. If handled with bare hands, the berries can cause contact dermatitis.

The foliage of mature plants can develop sharp spines on the branches which can cause skin irritation if handled with bare hands. Therefore, always wear gloves when handling Asparagus Grass.

Where to Buy

Asparagus ferns are a beautiful addition to your collection, you may obtain the ferns online from Etsy.

Asparagus plumosus (Asparagus Fern) Care Indoors

Asparagus plumosus (Asparagus Fern) prefers medium to bright, indirect light, cool to average warmth and moderately moist, rich, well-drained soils coupled with weekly feeding during the growing season.

Lace Fern needs repotting only when it becomes pot-bound. Pruning is required to keep it neat and tidy as well as reduce pest and disease infestations. Continue reading for more on these growing conditions and how to achieve them.

Asparagus plumosus, Asparagus fern

Light Requirements

Asparagus plumosus grows best in medium to bright, indirect light conditions. Keep it away from direct sunlight as direct sunlight may scorch the leaves.

Inadequate light for Climbing Asparagus causes the leaves to loss their color, turning them yellowish.

Asparagus Grass will also grow under grow lights where the natural lighting is not sufficient. Check out this link to Amazon for full spectrum grow lights.


Water Asparagus plumosus thoroughly during the growing season while allowing the top 2 in. of soil to dry a little between waterings.

Decrease watering in the cold period as growth is reduced at this time but do not allow the soil to dry out completely.

Once in a while, water the Lace Fern from the bottom to ensure that the soil ball is thoroughly wetted.

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.

Temperature and Humidity

Average warmth within the range of 12-280C is ideal for Asparagus plumosus.

Though Asparagus Fern can adapt to a wide range of temperatures, constantly high temperatures can damage the plant.

Asparagus plumosus has no need for high humidity but it benefits from occasional misting of the leaves especially when the temperatures are high.


Feed Asparagus plumosus once a week during the growing season with a balanced, liquid fertilizer. Do not feed it during the cold season as growth is reduced.

Potting Medium

The best potting mix for Asparagus plumosus should be rich in organic matter and free-draining to prevent it from getting soggy while providing the required nutrients.

Multi-purpose potting mixes are ideal for this fern. Buy quality Potting Mix online from Amazon for Asparagus Fern.


Repot Asparagus plumosus at the beginning of the growing season only when it becomes pt-bound, when the roots begin to grow through the drainage holes.

Use a pot only 1 size larger than the current one and ensure that the pot has a drainage hole to avoid soggy soil as it can lead to root-rot disease. Check out these Pots with Multi Mesh Drainage Holes on Amazon.

A large Ferny Asparagus can be divided during repotting to propagate new plants.


Pruning Asparagus plumosus requires cutting back of the old stems to make room for new growth.

Trim the dead leaves and branches to keep the Asparagus Grass neat and tidy and also reduce pest and disease infestations. Read more on how to prune houseplants.


Asparagus plumosus (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.

How to propagate Asparagus plumosus by plant division

During repotting, divide the Asparagus plumosus rhizome into sections by cutting with a sharp, clean knife or a pair of scissors.

Pot these sections into individual pots in moist, free-draining, potting soil and ensure each pot has a drainage hole to avoid getting soggy soil which can cause rotting.

Place the pots in a warm, well-lit place and maintain the soil moist until new growth begins.

Allow the new Lace Fern to be well established, after which you can begin routine care.

Asparagus plumosus, Asparagus fern

Asparagus plumosus Problems with Solutions

Asparagus plumosus (Asparagus Fern) growing problems include yellowing, dropping leaves, plant death, pests and diseases among others. Keep reading for more on these problems, their remedies and solutions.

Leaves yellowing and dropping

Yellowing and dropping leaves in Asparagus plumosus are caused by various reasons. One of the reasons is too little light.

Position the Asparagus Fern to a brighter spot where it can receive medium to bright, indirect light or instal grow light if the natural lighting is inadequate.

The second reason for yellowing and dropping leaves in Asparagus plumosus is prolonged underwatering.

Water it liberally during the growing season and allow the top 2 in. of soil to dry out between waterings to keep the soil moderately moist.

Decrease watering in the cold period as growth is reduced at this time but do not allow the soil to dry out completely.

The third possible cause of yellowing and dropping leaves in Asparagus Fern is too high temperatures.

Maintain an average room temperature within the range of 12-280C.

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

Plant dying

Unexplained death of Asparagus plumosus is caused by root-rot disease which is enhanced by soggy soil due to poor soil drainage.

The thick, tuberous roots in Asparagus Fern store water therefore soggy soil will cause root-rot and death of the plant.

Ascertain that the soil is loose and free-draining soil and the pot has a drainage hole to avoid soggy soil. Read on how to treat root-rot disease in houseplants.


Besides root-rot disease, Asparagus plumosus is also susceptible to crown-rot and stem-rot which is prevalent in poorly ventilated and overwet conditions.

Isolated the affected plant to prevent spread of the disease to the other houseplants and treat it appropriately for crown-rot and stem-rot disease.

Improve ventilation and ensure that there is free air circulation for the fern.


Common pests in Asparagus plumosus are are Aphids, Mealy Bugs, Spider Mites and Whiteflies whose infestation is enhanced by either overwatering or underwatering.

You can keep away these pests by maintaining the soil moderately moist during the growing period and slightly moist in the cold period. Do not let the soil dry out completely. Read on how to identify and get rid of pests in houseplants.

You liked it? Share on social media.


Amazon Associates Disclosure is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to