How to grow and care for Asparagus plumosus (Asparagus Fern) Indoors

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Asparagus plumosus care, Asparagus fern care

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

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 Description

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 plumosus 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 Asparagus plumosus 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. 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 Origin

Asparagus plumosus is native to Southern and Eastern Africa.

Asparagus plumosus Invasive

Avoid growing Asparagus plumosus in the ground as the plant is invasive where it grows vigorously, spreading across and scrambling up other plants.

Asparagus plumosus Fern for Sale

Buy beautiful and healthy Asparagus Ferns from Etsy.

Asparagus plumosus care, Asparagus fern care

Photo Credit: Random Harvest Nursery

Asparagus plumosus (Asparagus Fern) Care Indoors

Asparagus plumosus Light Requirements

Asparagus plumosus grows best in semi-shade to bright light conditions. Keep your Asparagus Fern away from direct sunlight as direct sunlight as it may scorch the leaves

Insufficient light for your Asparagus plumosus causes the leaves to loss their color, turning them yellowish. Check out this guide on understanding light for houseplants.

How to water Asparagus plumosus

Water Asparagus plumosus thoroughly during the growing season while allowing the top 2 in. of soil to dry a little between waterings. Reduce watering for Asparagus plumosus during the cold period as growth is minimal.

Occasionally water your Asparagus plumosus from the bottom to ensure that the soil ball is thoroughly wetted. Read more on how to water houseplants.


Temperature for Asparagus plumosus

Average warmth with a minimum of 120C is ideal for Asparagus plumosus.

Though Asparagus plumosus can adapt to a wide range of temperatures, constantly high temperatures can damage the plant. Read more on understanding temperature for houseplants.

Humidity for Asparagus plumosus

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

Asparagus plumosus Fertilizer (Feeding)

Feed Asparagus plumosus weekly during the growing season with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer.

Withhold feeding for your Asparagus plumosus during the cold season as growth is minimal. Read more on how to feed houseplants.

How to repot Asparagus plumosus

Repot Asparagus plumosus at the beginning of the growing season only when it becomes root-bound.

Use a pot which is only 1 size larger for your Asparagus plumosus. Ensure the soil is loose and free-draining and the pot has a drainage hole to avoid soggy soil.

The large Asparagus plumosus ferns can be divided to propagate new plants.

How to prune Asparagus plumosus

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

Trim the dead leaves and branches to keep your Asparagus plumosus neat and tidy. Read more on how to prune houseplants.

Asparagus plumosus (Asparagus Fern) Propagation

Asparagus plumosus 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 each Asparagus Fern division into individual pots in moist potting soil.

Place the pots in a shaded place and maintain the soil moist until new growth begins.

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

Asparagus plumosus care, Asparagus fern care

Photo Credit: Beekenkamp Group

Asparagus plumosus (Asparagus Fern) Problems Indoors

Asparagus plumosus yellowing, brown-edged or scorched leaves, leaf drop

There are two reasons for yellowing foliage, brown-edged or scorched leaves accompanied by leaf drop in your Asparagus plumosus.

One reason for yellowing foliage, brown-edged or scorched leaves accompanied by leaf drop in your Asparagus plumosus is too much sunlight.

Protect your Asparagus plumosus from direct sunlight or move it to a shadier spot.

The second reason for yellowing foliage, brown-edged or scorched leaves accompanied by leaf drop in your Asparagus plumosus is that the soil has been allowed to dry out.

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

Asparagus plumosus yellowing, leaf drop, no scorching

The are two possible causes of yellowing foliage, leaf drop with no scorching in your Asparagus plumosus.

One possible cause of yellowing foliage, leaf drop with no scorching in your Asparagus plumosus is high temperature.

Maintain an average room temperature for your Asparagus plumosus. Constantly high temperatures can damage your plant.

The second possible cause of yellowing foliage, leaf drop with no scorching in your Asparagus plumosus is too little light. Move your Asparagus plumosus to a brighter spot.

Asparagus plumosus dying

The cause for unexplained death of Asparagus plumosus is root-rot disease which is promoted by soggy soil.

The thick, tuberous roots in Asparagus Fern store water therefore soggy soil will cause root-rot.

Ensure the soil for your Asparagus plumosus is loose and free-draining and the pot has a drainage hole to avoid soggy soil.

Asparagus plumosus Pests

Common pests in Asparagus plumosus are Spider Mites, Aphids, Mealy Bugs and Whiteflies.

Attack of your Asparagus Fern by these plant pests is promoted by either overwatering or underwatering.

You keep away these pest from your Asparagus plumosus by maintaining the soil moderately moist while avoiding overwatering or underwatering.

Asparagus plumosus Diseases

Common diseases in Asparagus plumosus are Crown Rot and Stem Rot and Root-rot which are prevalent in too wet conditions.

Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to the other houseplants and treat it appropriately for the diseases.

Is Asparagus plumosus (Asparagus Fern) toxic?

Asparagus plumosus (Asparagus Fern) is toxic to humans and pets.

The berries of Asparagus Fern if ingested, it can cause vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain.

If handled with bare hands, the berries of Asparagus plumosus can cause contact dermatitis.

The foliage of mature Asparagus plumosus can develop sharp spines on the branches which can cause skin irritation if handled with bare hands.

Therefore, always wear gloves when handling Asparagus plumosus.

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