Aspargus Fern

greyandamySeptember 17, 2011

I'm sorry I don't know the scientific name.. I've brought most "house plants/tropicals" inside (Sigh). About the asperagus fern, I'm trying to decide if it's worth it... for the pretty foliage (though berries toxic to animals, I know), etc..

I groomed it, prepped it, gave it massive haircut... Question, how "messy" are they inside? Do they drop a lot of needles? I've never noticed outside.

I saw a picture somewhere on a forum here of someone's who was going to enter hers in a fair, it was gorgeous. I also have a lot of plants inside.

What do they need indoors? Light-wise? Humidity-wise? I know the potential problem of bugs, despite their "disinfecting".

Also, they grow fast (obviously), pretty potbound, IF I bring inside, would it be okay in this pot until spring? Or should I literally hack in/knife it in half first?

Thanks for any opinions!


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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

There are a number of plants commonly called 'asparagus fern' A. sprengeri, A. densifloris, A. plumosa are a few. Some can be messy (sprengeri/densifloris) - others not.

They all tolerate dry conditions pretty well, like fast draining/well-aerated soils & a goodly amount of fertilizer when growing well. I have grown both plumosa and sprengeri indoors with very good success - attractive foliage all winter - on a kitchen table near small south and west windows. They don't mind a chilly room at all and will actually tolerate some freezing. I've successfully over-wintered plumosa in my unheated garage.

I'll be disassembling my outdoor display containers very soon. I have several very healthy plumosas and a couple of equally healthy densiflorises if anyone would like them for the postage. I'd be happy to separate them before the plantings are turned into the compost pile.


    Bookmark   September 17, 2011 at 11:40AM
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Al, I always appreciate the knowledge/advice you give everyone here. THanks. You're not overwintering yours this year in the garage? Thanks for what I needed to know.

Take care, amy

    Bookmark   September 17, 2011 at 2:30PM
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Hello Grey and Amy. When Asparagus Ferns are brought indoors, the most important thing to remember is, Keep Away from Vents, etc. The cooler the room, the better. They do well at 40F degrees.

My AF's, 'different varieties,' get little sun during winter months. Mainly east and a semi-obstructed south windows.
I don't prune, 'unless a stem grows twice as large as the others.'
As for berries, if they are toxic, remove an toss them.

There's no need for repotting now. Remember, in spring, when repotting should be done, the large the pot, the bigger the AF will be.
Withhold fertilizer until new growth appears and sun is once again shining.
Mising is very important. Even though AF's are not true ferns, they do like humidity, so misting/showering keeps frond clean, and helps somewhat with humidity.

Here are a few pics of my AF's..I also have Plumosia, but don't have a pic.

Variegated, Asparagus Fern, 'baby'

Foxtail & Ming Ferns

Asparagus Fern

The Ming is 10+ years old, Fox Tail 5-6. Variegated AF was purchased in 2009, green Asparagus, some time in the mid-2000's.

So a cool, bright spot, and daily spraying, will prevent fronds from browning/falling while indoors. Toni

    Bookmark   September 17, 2011 at 4:05PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Hi, Amy - Thanks for the kind words. I have so many trees over-wintering in the garage that room is at a premium and everything in the outdoor mixed plantings goes into the compost after the first freezes.

FWIW - I don't think anyone can say that misting will prevent spoiled foliage - especially when there is plenty of evidence that it's ineffective and more likely to contribute to spoiled foliage than prevent it, and low humidity levels are best considered contributory to spoiled foliage, rather than causal. I never mist plants, and I've posted hundreds of pictures of plants, all with unspoiled foliage. It's pretty easy to draw the conclusion from that, that it's unnecessary, but to each their own.

I also think that most people understand why I'd be very reluctant to repot in spring when plants are at their lowest energy levels. Recovery is slowest, leaving the plants susceptible to insects and disease for much longer than if you wait a few months and repot immediately before or during the most robust growth period so recovery is fastest instead of slowest. I do full repots, including root pruning and bare-rooting on more than 125 tropical plants each year, succulents and houseplants included. Recovery and o/a vitality has always been fastest/best when I repot in the summer months.

Take good care.


    Bookmark   September 17, 2011 at 8:28PM
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