Here, we’ll talk mostly about Asparagus setaceus, but you may encounter one of its cousins, A. densiflorus and A. aethiopicus - see below ! A. Setaceus - Asparagus fern, lace fern, climbing asparagus, or ferny asparagus - is a climbing plant in the genus Asparagus. Despite its common name, the plant is not a true fern, but has leaves that resemble one. It is native to Southern Africa, and is grown elsewhere as an ornamental plant. It has become an invasive species in some locations where it has been introduced.
Quick note about two of its cousins :
Asparagus densiflorus - also called asparagus fern, plume asparagus, foxtail fern - is an evergreen perennial plant, closely related to the vegetable asparagus, and native to southern Africa from Mozambique to South Africa. As it cannot tolerate frost, in temperate regions it is usually grown indoors or under glass. Numerous cultivars have been developed, of which the compact form 'Myersii' has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit. Its dense 50 cm plumes of foliage are especially valued in flower arranging.
Asparagus aethiopicus, Sprenger's asparagus, a cousin, also used as an ornamental plant but considered an invasive weed in many locations, has been confused with A. densiflorus, now regarded as a separate species.
This plant likes warm, dry climates, asparagus thrives in light, in rich soil, regularly watered.
Warning: avoid placing it right behind a window facing south, the direct exposure could burn it.
Therefore prefer the proximity of a window facing west to bathe it in brightness. Plant it in a mixture of compost and potting soil, in a large pot. Place a layer of clay balls or gravel at the bottom of the pot.
Water my asparagus fern
Asparagus likes moisture, water regularly and keep the soil always damp. To clean the leaves, mist them with non-calcareous water, otherwise a film will form on them.
During the growing season (spring, summer), watering must be regular - about twice a week. In the fall, gradually space the waterings until winter when a simple input of water twice a month should suffice.
Spray my asparagus fern
In dry weather, spray your plant with soft water, clean the dust on the leaves: it will be all the more beautiful and you will protect it from red spiders - its main enemy!
Fertilize my asparagus fern
In the summer, use every 2 weeks a liquid fertilizer like some compost juices. In winter, the inputs can be stopped.
Repot my asparagus fern
At the end of winter each year, transplant your asparagus in a pot slightly larger than it's current, with a mixture of garden soil and potting soil.
Check on my asparagus fern
Watch out for two things: the presence of mealybugs or red spiders. If you see red spiders on the leaves, it is probably because the atmosphere is too dry, spray them regularly with non-calcareous water.
For mealybugs, you can spot them if you see small white flakes in the foliage. You can dislodge them with black soap if they really proliferate a lot.