Asparagus Fern Plant Care & Growing Guide Outdoors and Indoors 2022

Asparagus Fern Plant Care & Growing Guide Outdoors and Indoors 2022

The asparagus fern is not exactly a common houseplant, but it is very attractive and can be successfully grown indoors with its light, feathery foliage. In warmer regions, the fern can easily adapt to outdoor cultivation, where it sometimes grows like a vine and can even become invasive. Indoors, the key to a robust asparagus fern is to keep the plant bushy and dense so that its lace-like foliage forms an attractive mound.

Origin of the asparagus fern

Asparagus Ethiopic is native to the Cape and Northern South Africa provinces. Often used as an ornamental plant, it is considered an invasive weed in many places. Asparagus fern and foxtail fern are common names; however, they are unrelated to true ferns. A. Aethiopicus has been confused with A. Densiflorus, which is now considered a separate species, often the information about A. Aethiopicus.

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Scientific name: Asparagus Aethiopicus

Plant type: Fern

Sun exposure: Speckled shade. Avoid direct sunlight.

Soil Type: Well-drained potting soil indoors.


The Ethiopians Asparagus is a perennial herb with branched stems heavy aerial green that is sparsely covered with spines. The leaves are lined, 0.8-2 cm long and 0.1-0.2 cm wide, emerging in groups of four or more from the stem. Occurring in spring, the small white or pinkish-white flowers are 0.3-0.5 cm long and arise in clusters outside the stem.

In summer, the flowers are followed by small round berries 0.5 cm in diameter, bearing a 3 mm diameter black seed. Initially green, the berries ripen and turn red in winter. The root system is a fibrous root mat with bulbous tubers from which plants can sprout.

Asparagus fern cultivation

Growing the asparagus fern is easy. The ruffled, feathered asparagus fern plant appears soft and furry, but when you take care of asparagus ferns, you may be surprised to find that they have spiny spurs. It, however, is no reason not to grow asparagus ferns; wear gloves while caring for the asparagus fern.

The asparagus fern can provide small flowers and berries when it is happy in its location. Berries can be planted to propagate the asparagus fern. A medium green cascading foliage can be expected that will quickly fill a container when growing the asparagus fern. Growing the asparagus fern indoors requires a little more effort.

Moisture is necessary, and indoor areas are often dry due to winter heat. Spray the plant daily and provide a nearby pebble tray to prevent the tiny leaves turning brown and falling off. The fern can dry out to the point where it appears dead; however, the spring temperatures outdoors generally revive it. Keep the plant well watered in all situations and repot every few years.

Light and temperature

The asparagus fern thrives in dappled shade, although it can be acclimatized to more light. Avoid direct, bright sunlight and try to maintain a warm temperature (around 70 F), and don’t drop below 55 F for too long. If you have a shady porch outside or a greenhouse, your indoor plants will likely respond with abundant growth during the summer.

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Asparagus ferns should be planted in loose, well-draining pots.


Keeping an asparagus fern hydrated takes a bit of effort. This plant feeds on moisture. Indoor growing conditions can often be dry, especially due to winter heat. Spray the plant daily, focusing on the arching stems. If the plant appears to be turning brown and limp, it probably needs more water. Although the asparagus fern may dry out to the point of looking dead, it likely is not. The warmer, more humid air and the daily mist will help revive it.


Like many ferns, this variety does not mind being loosely potted and can take up to two years before replanting. For more successful replanting, divide the plant into large groups, and be sure to take multiple roots underground when dividing. Place the divided plants in pots of similar size to preserve the narrow growth habit. Asparagus ferns do not need large pots as they are slow spreaders indoors.


When this plant is happy, it can produce small flowers and berries. These berries can be planted and propagated by the plant.

In hot, humid climates, this fern can spread Quickly when planted outdoors. The asparagus fern has been declared a weed in Florida and Hawaii due to its invasive nature.

Asparagus Fern: Plant Care & Growing Guide Outdoors and Indoors 2022

Asparagus fern care

Caring for asparagus ferns indoors involves moistening the arched stems to provide moisture for the plant. When growing asparagus ferns outdoors in the summer, asparagus fern care involves watering, fertilizing to stimulate growth, and occasionally pruning off dead stems. Asparagus ferns prefer potted, so annual division is neither necessary nor desirable.

Combine this trusty specimen with summer flowers and foliage plants for an attractive container. A spiky, shady plant does well in the center of the pot, surrounded by the cascading branches of the asparagus fern.


The “leaves” of this plant are small twigs called cladophylls that are flat and look like leaves. Mature plants become woody and can develop sharp thorns on the branches, so use caution when trimming older specimens and wear gardening gloves if you plan to prune an older plant.

Asparagus fern toxicity

If eaten, the berries of the asparagus fern plant can cause gastrointestinal problems, such as diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. If the berries come into contact with the skin, they can cause a rash at the point of contact. Additionally, the asparagus fern is toxic to domestic cats and dogs. Be careful if you have this plant in your home with young children and pets, especially if it is producing berries.

Uses for asparagus fern

The asparagus fern is primarily used as a filler plant in mixed flower containers that grow during the summer. It works in-wall boxes, hanging baskets, window boxes, and planters of all kinds. The asparagus fern grows well in partially shaded ground beds, alone or intermixed with larger, shade-tolerant flowers such as tuberous begonias. Because the asparagus fern is a vigorous plant, it is combined with plants of a certain height not to dominate.

Characteristics and care of the feathery fern (Asparagus plumosos Baker)

The genus Asparagus groups together various species that are grown indoors and outdoors. They are known as ferns because of their appearance. Still, in the botanical classification, they are included in the Liliaceae family, including the dracaena, the tulip, the hyacinth, and other similar plants.

Characteristics of the feathery fern (Asparagus plumosos Baker)

My feathery fern entangled in aloe vera.

The feathery fern is widely grown indoors and also in gardens. In addition, it is used for cutting in flower arrangements, bridal bouquets, and decoration. It is a thorny, climbing shrub with thin, branched stems, persistent foliage, and tuberous roots of African origin. Its modified leaves measure about 5 mm and meet in fascicles arranged in horizontal plans. It should be noted that they are very soft to the touch and have small, greenish, or whitish flowers that are solitary or grouped in the armpit of the stems.

They thrive in loose soils, rich in humus and 25 cm or more in-depth. The mixture of three parts of river hangover, four parts of black soil, and three parts of peat is extremely suitable for growing the feathery fern in a pot. This fern requires a pot change when budding slows and roots appear below.

To do this, the pot is held with the fingers on both sides of the stem, and the plant is detached with a tap on edge. With a rod, part of the soil that has adhered to the roots is removed, and the plant is placed back in the center of the new pot The substrate is added to fill the pot, pressure is applied around the fern and watered.

Asparagus Fern: Plant Care & Growing Guide Outdoors and Indoors 2022
Asparagus Fern: Plant Care & Growing Guide Outdoors and Indoors 2022

Feather fern division

To divide the feathery fern, you must separate the plant from the pot and, with a rod, remove part of the adhering soil. Separate the roots and stems with your hands and put each part of the plant in pots.

Ambient brightness, temperature, and humidity

It is favored by strong luminosity protected from direct sunlight and is generally tolerant of shady positions indoors. Regarding temperature, its optimal conditions range between 13 ° C and 18 ° C, but it admits up to 4 ° C in winter and tends to deteriorate in environments with very high temperatures. If it is exposed to temperatures between 6 ° and 8 ° C for a month, the feathery fern produces an intense budding after a period of vegetative rest. The humidity of the environment is a bit demanding because in hot environments in summer or heating in winter, the foliage must be sprayed periodically with rainwater.

Irrigation and compost

The substrate remains humid in summer with three weekly irrigations. At the same time, the amount of water decreases in winter to one irrigation every seven days or less in very cold places ranging from 8 ° C to 10 ° C. Incorporating 2 g of compound fertilizer dissolved in irrigation water every 30 days the summer helps maintain the sprouting continuity In high doses, the use of chemical fertilizers can cause the foliage to fall within a few days of its application

Growing from seed

The feathery fern is planted in spring, using a substrate of peat, river surf, and soil in equal parts. The seeds are covered with a layer of sifted mixture and then watered. The seedling should be covered with glass and a dark cloth. It is kept humid with temperatures close to 16 ° C this way. The seeds germinate in 20 days, and when the seedlings appear, the glass is removed, and the feathery fern is gradually exposed to direct sunlight. It is thinned and replanted in individual pots when it acquires greater development.

Problems and solutions

  • Yellowish leaves that fall off? It is due to dryness and excessive heat. The solution will be to water the feathery fern more frequently.
  • Green leaves that fall? It is due to the excess of cold. The solution will be to move to a much warmer place.

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In addition to the feathery fern, other species such as the asparagus fern, the Nephrolepis fern, the bird’s nest fern, and the Pteris fern. Look at the pictures to distinguish them:

How much sun does an asparagus fern need?

Asparagus ferns are adaptable and will grow in full sun to shade. Their foliage, however, tends to look somewhat yellow when grown in full sun. Their growth and color tend to be better if they receive some shade for part of the day.

Why is asparagus fern toxic?

Causes of Asparagus Fern Poisoning in Dogs

The toxic element to the Asparagus fern is a type of naturally occurring steroid known as sapogenin that is concentrated within the bright red berries. This steroid is the cause of both the gastrointestinal distress of the patient and the dermal reaction from the sap.

How do you take care of a asparagus fern?

Mist the plant daily and provide a nearby pebble tray to keep the tiny leaves from turning brown and dropping. The fern may dry out to the point it appears dead, however, outdoor springtime temperatures generally revive them. Keep the plant well watered in all situations and repot every few years.

Can asparagus fern survive winter?

Outdoor-grown asparagus ferns will survive harsh winter weather best if brought indoors before temperatures dip below 55 degrees Fahrenheit. … Too much water during the winter months can cause root problems in asparagus ferns, so water only when the soil feels very dry on the surface

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