Asparagus Fern Removal

Overview

The asparagus fern is not really a fern at all. Its low-growing, frond-like foliage looks more like a fern than a tulip, but this South African native is actually a member of the lily family. And, like the lily, it is often planted as an ornamental ground cover or hanging plant. Most gardeners who plant the asparagus fern are unaware of its aggressive spreading habit until it is too late. Luckily, the asparagus fern is fairly easy to remove from the roadside or home landscape in one or two seasons, even after it has spread extensively.

Step 1

Cut back the asparagus fern's foliage with lopping shears and bag it. As you remove the plant material, look around the base of the plant for any berries. Bag any that you find to prevent birds from eating them and dispersing the seeds.

Step 2

Use a shovel to dig up the asparagus fern's roots and tubers.

Step 3

Spray any asparagus ferns that come back next season with a non-selective, post-emergent herbicide like Roundup or Oracle. Spot treat each asparagus fern plant (take care not to spray any desirable plants) according to the manufacturer's instructions on a day with no wind and no rain forecast for the next 48 hours.

Step 4

Respray the asparagus fern as needed, at intervals suggested by the manufacturer.

Things You'll Need

  • Lopping shears
  • Shovel
  • Herbicide

References

  • Florida Invasive Plant Education Initiative in the Parks: Asparagus densiflorus syn. A. sprengeri
  • Asset and Ground Maintenance and Pest Solutions Company: Basket or Ground Asparagus Fern
  • Environmental Weeds Action Network: Asparagus Fern
Keywords: dig asparagus fern, asparagus fern removal, asparagus fern herbicide, remove asparagus fern

About this Author

Emma Gin is a freelance writer who specializes in green, healthy and smart living. She is currently working on developing a weight-loss website that focuses on community and re-education. Gin is also working on a collection of short stories, because she knows what they say about idle hands.