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Asparagus Fern | An Easy-to-Grow Herbaceous Garden Perennial


Asparagus Fern | An Easy-to-Grow Herbaceous Garden Perennial

By Harry Rose from South West Rocks, Australia – Asparagus aethiopicus fruit2, CC BY 2.0,

The Asparagus fern (asparagus aethiopicus) is a fast-growing, perennial groundcover that is native to South Africa. It is commonly grown as an ornamental indoor/outdoor plant but is not, however, a true fern. It grows hardly in USDA Plant Hardiness Zone: 9-11.

Asparagus ferns have soft leaves that are light green and long. The foliage is commonly used in floral arrangements. The plant is also grown as a low maintenance houseplant (great taking center stage indoors or in hanging baskets).   

By John Tann from Sydney, Australia – Asparagus fern in flower, CC BY 2.0,

Asparagus ferns prefer part shade if grown outdoors and the plants can become weedy. They grow well in slightly acidic, rich soil that is well draining. They are deer resistant but suffer from several types of pests such as scale, spider mites and mealybugs. Occasionally the plants will produce small, white flowers usually in late summer followed by non- edible berries which are toxic.

If Asparagus ferns are grown indoors, they will need indirect but bright light to prevent yellowing of the leaves. The plants roots are tuberous and large so check occasionally to see if they are becoming pot bound. If you wish to take your housebound plants outdoors during warmer months, they should be placed under a tree in the shade (they do not care for hot temperatures).

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