Plants

Foxtail Fern Guide: How to Grow & Care for “Asparagus Densiflorus”

Read our guide to Foxtail Fern plants for everything you will ever need to know! Tips for planting & caring for “Asparagus densiflorus”
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If you are looking for an attractive plant to add to your tropical home gardening collection, the foxtail fern plant is a great choice. This bright green plant will add the right touch of fun and brightness to your room without being overpowering.

The bright emerald green colors are vibrant and will lift your mood every time you come home or walk into your office. With its easy to care for manner, the foxtail fern is sure to be a crowd-pleaser among all of your other indoor plants.

This indoor plant is relatively easy to care for and is much more visually appealing than its cousin the asparagus fern. Contrary to the name of this plant, it is not actually a fern but instead comes from the lily family.

The plant will stay green all year long which makes its bright needle-like leaves stand out during the winter months. During the spring you can look forward to small white flowers that later turn into tiny red berries. Though inedible, they provide an attractive look to the otherwise all green features of this plant.

Although the Asparagus densiflorus may seem like a gentle or delicate plant, it is actually quite aggressive. If you plan to keep this plant in a pot, you don’t have to worry about it much, but if you want to plant it in your garden that’s a different story.

Pruning regularly will keep growth in check and will also be the perfect time to propagate. If you are interested in raising this warm weather plant, keep on reading to find out more about its proper care.

About the Foxtail Fern Plant

  • The asparagus densiflorus myers plant has strong tuberous roots.
  • Foxtail fern plants thrive when provided dappled sunlight.
  • Misting the plant occasionally will keep leaves perky and the plant well hydrated.
  • This plant originally comes from the forest of South Africa.
  • The foxtail fern can grow to be as tall as three feet.
  • It is best to turn the pot by a quarter degree once a week to ensure proper sun disbursement.
  • The lowest temperature a foxtail fern can tolerate is 50 degrees.
Foxtail Fern
Foxtail Fern

Foxtail Fern Plant Features: An Overview

  • The botanical name of the foxtail fern is Asparagus densiflorus ‘Myers’.
  • It has very small emerald-colored leaves in a plume formation.
  • The asparagus densiflorus myers is a part of the lily family, but it is also related to the edible asparagus.
  • The stems of the foxtail fern have 1 inch long needle-shaped leaves.
  • The asparagus densiflorus myers is a native of Africa and loves warm temperatures.
  • Foxtail ferns produce red berries ad white blooms in the spring.
  • They will be drought resistant once matured.
  • It grows aggressively and can survive in plants or in a wild garden.

Growing Foxtail Ferns

Growing the foxtail fern is simple. They can grow well in temperatures that range between 65 and 75 degrees. Plant your foxtail fern in a high-quality potting mix that is formulated for tropical houseplants.

It is a fast-growing plant and should be given a water-soluble houseplant fertilizer once a month during the growing season. Avoid over-fertilizing and overwatering in the winter when the growth cycle is dormant.

The Asparagus densiflorus is an aggressive and fast-growing houseplant. It will need to be pruned on a regular basis to curb its upward growth and to ensure it maintains its bushy appearance. Generally, it will need to be moved to a larger pot once a year which should be performed in the spring.

Growing outdoors
Growing outdoors

It the plant gets overcrowded, it can be split into two pots so long as the roots are gently separated. When the top three inches of the soil has become dry, water the plant again to ensure proper moisture and even growth.

Once your foxtail fern has matured, it will be resistant to drought, but it should still be planted or housed in a shaded area. In the winter the plant will do well in direct sunlight, but in the summer it should only be given dappled light to prevent burning. Although mature plants are drought resistant, it is a good idea to water them on a regular basis for optimal growth.

You will need to fertilize your foxtail once monthly, or more often if the leaves start to turn a pale yellow color.

Watering Foxtail Ferns

It is important to water your foxtail fern thoroughly. This is a plant that loves humidity and comes from a warm climate, so dryness will result in wilting leaves and slow-growing plants. Although the soil needs to remain moderately moist, it is a good idea to allow the soil to dry slightly between each watering session.

Overwatering of the foxtail fern and any other houseplant can easily trigger root rot. If your roots are overly wet and begin to rot, the plant will die.

Foxtail Fern Live Plant, From Amazon

In the winter, the soil should not be allowed to completely dry out, but you will need to water less often. If the soil is too dry, the leaves will begin to shed. Never water the plant with hot or cold water. It should be watered with room temperature water or tepid water to prevent root shock. Humidity is also important for this forest plant.

A 40% to 50% humidity level is enough for this plant to grow well. If you live in a dry climate, house your plant on top of wet pebbles to help encourage a proper moisture balance.

For homes that use circulated air, it is important to mist the fronds as well as water the plant on a regular schedule. During dry winters, run a cool-mist room humidifier in the same room to prevent the plant from drying out. It should be kept out of the direct path of air vents that blow both hot and cold air.

Propagating Foxtail Ferns

Propagating the asparagus densiflorus myers is fairly easy. It is a fast-growing and aggressive plant that needs regular pruning. In order to maintain its bushy appearance; the stems should be cut on a regular basis.

These cuttings can be used to form new plants. Pruning and repotting should be performed in the spring. This is also the best time to propagate new asparagus densiflorus myers plants. When increasing pot sizes, cut a small root ball from a healthy part of the plant and place it in fresh soil.

Asparagus Densiflorus
Asparagus Densiflorus

Pot sizes should only be two inches larger than its previous pot to help curb its aggressive growth. For new cuttings, make sure there is a least one inch of space between the root ball or cutting and pot rim. The roots of the foxtail fern plant very thick and fleshy. The thickness will often dislodge soil during regular growth.

These plants need plenty of warmth and indirect sunlight in order to thrive. As tropical plants, they need a medium range of humidity and moist soil for proper growth. Direct sunlight or inadequate sunlight will cause the leaves to droop as will overly dry soil. Though most foxtail ferns are pest resistant, lack of proper humidity can cause spider mites to move in during the winter.

Conclusion

If you are looking for an attractive forest style plant to add to your indoor garden, the asparagus densiflorus myers is a great option. It is easy to care for and easy to propagate which makes it perfect for home gardeners on a budget.

Foxtail asparagus ferns are evergreen which makes them an attractive plant to use for home decoration all year long. In addition to hosting the plant indoors, it can also be planted outdoors to create a forest style landscape in the middle of the suburbs. These false ferns love to grow in clumps, which is where they got their names. The arching plumes are easily identifiable, and the white flowers and red berries add a festive touch.

Many gardeners will avoid planting the foxtail fern assuming that it is a delicate plant or that they are hard to care for. These hardy specimens are quick growers and made tough. Once they have matured either in the pot or in the garden they are drought resistant which makes them perfect for new gardeners and veterans alike.

Aside from cuttings, new plants can be propagated from the berried that appear after the flowering season. These seeds or berries can be saved for planting in the spring, or the plant can be split at the root during repotting.

A well-draining soil is the best for this forest-friendly plant to ensure that the tuberous roots get plenty of moisture without getting soggy.

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Hollie Carter

Hollie is a life-long gardener, having started helping her Dad work on their yard when she was just 5. Since then she has gone on to develop a passion for growing vegetables & fruit in her garden. She has an affinity with nature and loves to share her knowledge gained over a lifetime with readers online. Hollie has written for a number of publications and is now the resident garden blogger here at GardenBeast. Contact her at hollie@gardenbeast.com or follow on twitter https://twitter.com/greenholliec

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