The Q&A Archives: Berries on Asparagus Plant

Question: I have been reading through all the questions and answers and noticed in one answer you mentioned that the female plants get berries and are not good producers (so you weed them out when growing from seed). I planted new crowns ordered from Burpee this spring. The fern-like fronds seem to be doing well, but I noticed berries on some of them. Does this mean they are female, or do the males also get berries?

Also, some of the crowns produced several tall stalks (they occasionally surprise us by unexpectedly producing new taller ones even though it is now July), but others have produced only one small frond. Why is that? How many stalks should I expect from each crown the first year?

Answer: The ones with berries are female. The "all-male" cultivars such as 'Jersey Giant' will occasionally produce a female plant. As long as you have mostly male plants, you should see good yeilds. The number of stalks produced by each crown depends on the number of buds and the general health of the crown. Small, spindly stalks indicate that the crown was not hearty and healthy to begin with, or suffered from transplant/transport shock. If you're not satisfied with the performance of some of the plants, write us again, and we'll forward your message to Burpee customer service. Enjoy!

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