Houseplants forum: Asperagus Fern

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maulydaft
Nov 23, 2011 7:15 PM CST
Hi there!

I live in Toronto and I'm quite a newbie when it comes to rearing the green guys. A couple years ago I purchased a Ficus and with help from sites like this I kept it alive for 3 years. It would still be alive right now, but a friend over watered Sad Anyway, that was the first plant I prevented from dying! Perhaps a bit too confident I bought over $100 worth of plants (on sale too!) and now I'm starting to worry.

My Asperagus fern is starting to yellow and the "needles" fall off. It's not too bad, but I want to stop it before it goes on!

The fern is in a south facing window and gets lots of west light as well.

The room is about 67-69 degrees (currently)

I think the fern probably needs a bigger pot. It's sending out new long shoots.

I put Miracle Gro 6-12-6 mid Oct (about two weeks after I got it) (I know nothing about this stuff or if it was appropriate!)

I think I water it enough, and spritz it sometimes, but not really sure if that does any good.

Anyone help out the poor little fern?
Name: Lee Anne Stark
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threegardeners
Nov 24, 2011 8:36 AM CST

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They hate our winter dry heating systems. Keep it somewhere coolish and maybe try backing off on the light. They don't appreciate any full sunny periods.

Long new shoots are good.

Don't ever let him get dust dry. They are a fern and appreciate a steady watering, but not swampy.

Hope this helps! Mine always struggles in the winter too.
Name: Sheryl
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sheryl
Nov 24, 2011 6:46 PM CST
I agree
In the end, only kindness matters.

Science is not the answer, it is the question.



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tropicbreeze
Nov 27, 2011 7:43 AM CST
Asparagus Fern isn't a fern. It belongs to the Liliaceae family, or Lilies. They do produce flowers and seeds, unlike ferns. The biggest problem is over watering and/or poor drainage. There's a few species cultivated, mainly from South Africa. In warm climates they're a declared noxious weed, the result of people throwing out unwanted plants.
Name: Sheryl
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sheryl
Nov 27, 2011 8:29 AM CST
Good info, Zig!

Actually, though - I saw them planted in the ground when I lived in Phoenix. Once there, it is nearly impossible to eradicate, I've heard.
In the end, only kindness matters.

Science is not the answer, it is the question.


Name: Jenn Capestany
Trenton, TX (Zone 8a)
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Jenn
Nov 27, 2011 11:30 AM CST
It could just be me, but I've had problems with yellowing plants and Miracle Gro. There's a lot of salt in it, and a lot of my houseplants resent that. I get yellowing and burned tips. Maybe cut back on how much you put in, and/or the time between treatments. If you only had the asparagus fern for two weeks, maybe it still had some fertilizer left in the soil that you bought it in, and got a bit overdosed. If that's so, then regular watering and time may be all that you need. You are likely, however, to lose the yellowed foliage. If the plant continues to grow though, then it should recover nicely in spite of the loss.
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
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plantladylin
Nov 27, 2011 6:25 PM CST
Do you know which Asparagus Fern you have?

Here in Florida the Asparagus sprengeri: Asparagus Fern (Asparagus densiflorus 'Sprengeri') is an extremely noxious weed, almost impossible to kill. I've never fertilized the Sprengeri's in my yard and you can see from the photo's in the database that they are quite large and healthy. I don't think anything can kill these things! The needles sometimes yellow and fall when the plants get too dry. Over fertilization can also cause yellowing and dropping of foliage.

Your plant may perhaps be responding to the fertilizer, the cool temperatures in the room it's located, or it could be a moisture issue. If it's root bound to the point where the water is running right through it will need a larger pot.
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Name: Alan
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GardenGuyAZ
Nov 28, 2011 11:39 AM CST
I suspect you are probably overwatering it. Asparagus ferns do very well here, in out hot desert climate, as long as they have limited water in the cooler months. If they are getting to much water in the winter months, they will turn yellow.

alan


























maulydaft
Dec 22, 2011 7:26 PM CST
Thanks!!! Sounds like this is the plant for me - being hard to kill and all ;) :D I'll take your advices!!
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Gleni
Mar 5, 2014 3:19 AM CST
Yes, it is a noxious weed here too in Australia. Today I was walking through thick undergrowths of it in the forests of this island - it can be impassable. It has hard to see a ground-dwelling native plant anywhere. It is also nearly impossible to eradicate. All tragic. Birds eat the berries and spread it everywhere.


Name: Holly
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HollyAnnS
Mar 9, 2014 5:09 PM CST
I love Asparagus Fern and have found it to be pretty hardy and will tolerate a good bit of neglect. They are prone to dropping needles for me it is usually when I have been lax in watering but they rebound beautifully. I hadn't had an Asparagus Fern for years and found some at a local nursery just small ones for a dollar a piece and put them in my window boxes. At the end of summer I had some really nice big plants that I decided to pull out of the window boxes and pot up for gifts to some of my friends. Totally forgetting the thorns. I sure won't do that again.
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QueenEmma
Mar 16, 2014 7:22 AM CST
your asparagus fern doesn't need the high middle number in your fertilizer. using 1/4 tsp to gal water of regular liquid fertilizer will do. when the leaves start to turn yellow and drop just cut them off at ground level and the new ones will come on out. A good plant to play with ....the seeds come up too.
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
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SongofJoy
Mar 16, 2014 8:22 AM CST
I agree
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller

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