Gardens

Nurturing Your Asparagus Fern

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Asparagus ferns come in a number of varieties and are related to the asparagus vegetable. Its growth expands to form feathery stems from 1 to 2 feet long. There are a few key factors to nurturing your asparagus fern into good growth. A few of these factors are allowing them to have full sunlight, moderately watering them and setting them in soil that is well drained. The asparagus fern will even tolerate low light, but the growth will be stunted. Whether they are grown indoors or outdoors, they need to have a sufficient amount of moisture.

Growing the Asparagus Fern Indoors

When growing the asparagus fern indoors, it is best to keep the plant in a cooler environment. The asparagus plant is considered a hardy plant, so growing it is actually quite simple (Hardy meaning it can survive a frost). To get started, healthy seeds must be purchased at your local garden center or nursery. You can purchase and already established plant, but that is not advised for the best results. Create a soil mixture of 1/3 each sand, potting soil and peat moss. The seeds will need to be planted in the middle. 

The soil needs to be watered so that it is moist, but the pot should have drain holes so that the water will be able to drain well. The asparagus fern does not need to be watered again until the soil is completely dry. It will be at its best in an area where it can get half shade and half direct sun. Since you are growing it inside, too much shade will turn the leaves yellow. The potted asparagus fern will need weekly fertilization starting in the spring up to the early fall. Any indoor plant food can be used but it will need to be cut in half. The plant will outgrow its pot which at that point will need to be placed in a larger container. The root ball can actually be split so you will have 2 plants at this point. To pot the plants in a larger container, use the same soil mixture as when you first started. This will nurture the plant into a healthy one.

Growing the Asparagus Fern Outdoors

When trying to nurture an outdoor asparagus fern, it needs to be planted in partial sun in soil that is able to be well drained. These too need to be watered sufficiently when the warm season comes. The soil needs to stay moist but not soggy. It is good to let the soil dry out before watering again. You will need to watch the soil if you live in a hot or humid area. 

The asparagus fern needs to be fed with a balanced fertilizer. In the summer months, fertilize the plant weekly while fertilizing it every 2 weeks in the winter. The fertilizer needs to be either water soluble or a granule fertilizer. You can use fertilizer stakes as they last a month. Check the asparagus fern on a regular basis for insects. Pinch back the plant at the tip of the stems using pruning shears. If preferable, you can prune the plant down to the soil level. 

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Photo copyright Dave's Garden (davesgarden.com)