Common Name: Asparagus Fern
Botanical name: Asparagus densiflorus ‘Sprengeri’
When you see the Asparagus Fern, you will be very tempted to pull off a stem and place it in your hair! Thin stems support delicate and tiny leaves that have a feathery appearance, but they do have small thorns, so be careful! Truth be told, this indoor plant is technically not a fern! It's possible that it was given this common name because of its habit and fragile-looking leaves. In fact, this so-called fern can tolerate drought once it is established, but indoors, it needs regular watering. Asparagus Fern will thrive in indirect light, but this adaptable houseplant can handle shadier areas. Increased humidity will help this houseplant look full and continue to push out new growth. Read more to find out how to care for Asparagus Ferns!
The Asparagus Ferns needs some light, so don't hide these indoor plants in dark corners! Medium, indirect dappled light will bring out the best in the Asparagus (picture them under a thick canopy of trees on a sunny day). Avoid direct sunlight, especially in the summer when the sun's rays are intense! The less light your ferns receive, the slower they will grow. If you see this happening, immediately relocate the Asparagus densiflorus ‘Sprengeri’ to a brighter spot! Learn more about what light is right for your indoor plants!
Ferns need constant moisture, but don't let your Asparagus Fern sit in standing water; you will regret it! Do not forget to water your ferns. When that happens, you will find a dying fern surrounded by a ring of brown, crunchy leaves. Try this little trick if you are unsure how often to water your Asparagus Fern. Water frequently, but lightly. Avoid soaking your ferns once a week or whenever you water your plants. Give them a little bit every few days, or just enough to keep the soil moist but not soggy.
The soil composition is critical when it comes to growing ferns! Your Asparagus Fern needs a soil medium that can retain moisture but still drain excess water to avoid the roots from rotting (not a pretty sight!). Most pre-mixed soils will suffice. Make sure that there is plenty of organic matter, like coco-coir, peat moss or shredded leaves, and avoid soils that contain moisture retaining crystals. If the soil is draining too quickly, we recommend re-potting your Asparagus Fern into a compost-rich soil mixture.
Asparagus Ferns adapt quickly to most household temperatures. They prefer to live in cooler temps but can withstand temperatures into the 90's. Just add more water and shade during a heatwave. When the temperatures are hot and stagnant, we recommend using a fan to provide good air circulation! Moving air helps keep pests and diseases, and fungus away!
Humidity is a must to keep your Asparagus Fern strong and vigorous! If you think about the tropical rain forests where they naturally grow, it’s easy to understand why. A humidifier will be the best solution to raise the humidity in your home during the cold months when the forced-air heat is cranking and dries out the air. Learn how to increase humidity around your indoor plants!
Feed the Asparagus densiflorus with a ¼-diluted complete liquid fertilizer twice a month during the growing season. You can add organic compost, worm castings, or a slow-release fertilizer. Keep in mind that they are sensitive to being over-fertilized, so always dilute any concentrated fertilizer before applying it! Avoid feeding during the winter or in the colder months.
Asparagus Fern is a fast-growing plant when kept in proper light. It grows up to be 8 ft. in height with the leaves spreading for 4-5 ft.
Pet Friend or Foe
The Asparagus densiflorus is toxic to pets! Foe.
- Only fertilize your Asparagus Fern after you’ve saturated the soil with water; this avoids burning the roots and foliage.
- Group the Asparagus Ferns together to make caring for them easier.
- Leave your Asparagus densiflorus in the grow pots or ceramic pots as this helps keep their soil moist. Terra-cotta pots can dry out the soil too quickly!
- Indoor Asparagus Ferns can become root-bound which leads to stunted growth. Re-pot the fern into a container that is 2" wider in diameter, using organic-rich soil when re-potting them!
- A great time to divide the Asparagus Fern is when you are re-potting them; take a sharp sterilized knife and carefully slice the root ball in half and plant each division into its own new pot!