How to Grow an Asparagus Fern


Asparagus ferns are closely related to the vegetable they share part of their name with, but they are an ornamental plant instead of an edible one. They aren't true ferns, but their mounds of bright green leaves resemble ferns. Asparagus ferns produce small white flowers nestled amongst their lacy leaves, which later develop into bright red berries. Growing these attractive plants in beds, containers and borders provides evergreen foliage and interest to the garden year-round.

Step 1

Fill a 3-inch diameter pot with a fine-textured potting medium. Water the potting soil until the excess begins to drain from the bottom.

Step 2

Plant one asparagus fern seed in the pot at a depth twice the seed's width. Cover the pot with a plastic bag and place it in a warm room to germinate.

Step 3

Remove the plastic once sprouts appear, usually within 10 to 14 days of planting. Place the pot in a warm, sunny window and water it when the soil surface begins to feel dry.

Step 4

Transplant the fern once it is 4 inches tall into a permanent 12-inch diameter pot. Alternatively, plant the asparagus fern into a well-drained, partially shaded garden bed. Plant the fern at the same depth in the pot or bed that it was at in its seedling pot.

Step 5

Water the asparagus fern when the top 1-inch of soil in the pot or bed begins to feel dry. Water bedding plants until the soil feels moist to a 6-inch depth, usually once weekly from spring until fall. Water potted plants until the excess moisture drains from the bottom of the pot.

Step 6

Fertilize bedding ferns each spring with a slow-release, balanced fertilizer following the application rates on the label. Fertilize potted plants every two weeks with a balanced liquid houseplant fertilizer from spring until fall, following label application directions.

Step 7

Repot potted asparagus ferns when the roots become severely pot-bound and begin lifting the soil out of the pot. Transplant them into a pot that is one size larger than the one they outgrew.

Tips and Warnings

  • Asparagus ferns can become invasive, especially in warmer areas. Plant in containers to avoid this issue.

Things You'll Need

  • Pot, 3 inches in diameter
  • Potting mix
  • Seed
  • Plastic bags
  • Large pot
  • Fertilizer


  • LSU Ag Center: Consider Growing Asparagus Fern
  • University of Florida Extension: Asparagus densiflorus 'Sprengeri'
Keywords: growing asparagus fern, ornamental aspargus plants, asparagus fern care

About this Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications, including the "Dollar Stretcher." Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.