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  • Writer's pictureMay

Care of Asparagus Fern Plants

Have you ever brought home a full, beautiful fern and noticed in less than one months time it is turning brown or yellow and dropping leaves? I have! Right now I am on my third asparagus fern plant (my personal favourite variety of fern). There are over 10,000 species of ferns, but I can probably name 5 on a good day.

I brought home my first fern plant from a flower shop I worked at when I was 17 (7 years ago). It had been thrown in the garbage because it wasn't doing very well, and no one had interest in trying to nurse it back to health. I grabbed it out and asked my boss if I could take it home, as I very much liked the plant and it was the only one in the shop. She told me to go for it. After a few months of almost daily misting I had nursed this tiny 4" plant into a lush asparagus fern. It had come a long way from the yellowing plant in the garbage that was dropping all of its greenery.

I kept the above fern plant alive for 4-5 years, but it sadly didn't take the process of moving very well and the whole plant turned yellow. I had started to stock plants in my own store by the time this plant had died. In all of the shipments of hundreds of plants we received, we never received an asparagus fern. My mum knew I was on the lookout for one of these to replace my first one, and she happened upon one at a hardware store and brought it home with her. We knew I was going to be moving again in the next year or so, so she kept it alive at her house for me.

I took this replacement fern to the condo my husband and I had bought in December of 2020. He was doing very well, with a spot on the top of the bookshelf to allow for the height and width of him! Check out how lush he was in the photo above. Unfortunately I fell on the ice in January of 2022, and he was without misting and water for a few days. He made this very clear to me by turning yellow and dropping tons of greenery around him. My mum came over every day for 2 weeks and did her best to try and revive him, but sadly the plant had given up. I now have one piece of him in a jar of water, (in hopes of propagation!) as there was one piece left with new growth. I have since found a new asparagus fern, and hopefully this one stays with me for a while.

Now, how did I keep this asparagus fern alive for so long? Daily misting of the plant, and daily watering! Normally we hear that plants don't like to sit in water, but this plant seems to want constant water. If the soil even got slightly dry, it would turn yellow within a day or two. You can see in the photo above that I had the plant in a pot cover - I would often let the cover bubble up with water inside. I would then water the plant again the next day, as the water would be long gone!

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