Asparagus setaceus
Asparagus Fern

Asparagaceae

Asparagus setaceus'

Asparagus setaceus or Asparagus Fern, a native of South Africa, is not really a fern at all. Even though they are fern-like in appearance, the needle-like leaves are actually short branches called cladodes. The true leaves are inconspicuous dry scales.

Blooming Time: Summer: The flowers are whitish and very inconspicuous and are followed by clusters of black berries.

Culture: Asparagus setaceus need full sun to partial shade. The color of the plant seems to be best under 25% shade. The plant tends to yellow if grown in dense shade. A suitable soil mix consists of 2 parts peat moss to 2 parts loam to 1 part sand or perlite. Even though they have very fleshy roots and can withstand a fair amount of drought, they grow better if kept on the moist side during the growing season. Fertilize in the spring with a balanced fertilizer and trim out old growth to make way for new lush growth. Repotting should be done in spring before new growth begins.

Propagation: Asparagus setaceus are propagated by division and by seed. Seeds usually germinate in 21-30 days at 60-70° F (16-21°C).

Asparagus setaceus was featured as Plant of the Week November 30-December 6, 2001.

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