Asparagus fern is an ornamental See more pictures of ferns.

Asparagus fern, of which there are many kinds, is related to the favorite springtime vegetable, and you'll notice that new shoots look like skinny asparagus spears. The most frequently used ornamental one is called A. sprengeri.

Description of asparagus fern: New asparagus growth expands to form feathery, branched shoots 1 to 2 feet long. From a small plant in spring with 3 to 4 stems, at summer's end up to 10 or more billowing stalks emerge from pots or containers.

Growing asparagus fern: Key factors to good growth include moderate water, a rich, well-drained soil, and full sunlight. Asparagus fern will tolerate low light (even existing satisfactorily as a house-plant), but growth will be diminished. Asparagus fern is a gross feeder; at planting use a slow-release fertilizer lasting summer long or feed weekly with a water-soluble fertilizer mixed at half the recommended strength.

Propagating asparagus fern: By seed (must be fresh) or by division. It's most readily available as started plants.

Uses for asparagus fern: Asparagus fern is primarily used as a filler plant in containers of mixed flowers growing during the summer. It works in wall boxes, hanging baskets, window boxes, and planters of all kinds. Asparagus fern also grows well in partially shaded ground beds, alone, or intermixed with larger, shade-tolerant flowers such as tuberous begonias, Because asparagus fern is a vigorous plant, combine with plants of some stature so they are not overpowered.

Asparagus fern related varieties: Several other asparagus relatives are also used as ornamentals. A. densiflorus Myers is a selection with stiff, upright growth like foxtails. A. asparagoides, the florist's smilax, is sometimes planted in flowering containers. Leaves are coarser, and it is a definite trailer.

Scientific name of asparagus fern: Asparagus densiflorus

In the next section, we'll show you why the asparagus fern also makes a popular house plant. Learn more about the best conditions for growing the asparagus fern indoors -- and how to care for this attractive house plant.

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Asparagus Fern: House Plant

The asparagus fern's star-shaped flowers turn into pretty red and purple berries.

Similar to the outdoor version, the asparagus fern house plant's new fronds look just like skinny asparagus shoots. The trailing-to-climbing stems bear numerous tiny, needlelike growths. The occasional white, star-shaped flowers are relatively insignificant, but turn into attractive red to purple berries.

The asparagus fern has the annoying habit of losing its needles if mistreated. Let it soak in water; otherwise it will not get enough moisture. You may need a hatchet to divide its thick, woody roots.

Asparagus Fern Quick Facts:

Scientific Name: Asparagus species

Common Name: Asparagus Fern

Light Requirement for Asparagus Fern: Bright Light to Filtered Light

Water Requirement for Asparagus Fern: Evenly Moist

Humidity for Asparagus Fern: Average Home

Temperature for Asparagus Fern: Cool

Fertilizer for Asparagus Fern: Balanced

Potting Mix for Asparagus Fern: All-Purpose

Propagation of Asparagus Fern: Division, Seed

Decorative Use for Asparagus Fern: Hanging Basket, Table

Care Rating for Asparagus Fern: Easy

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