Struggling to keep your asparagus fern alive? Here’s everything you need to know
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Keeping these delicate plants happy can be pretty tricky. Here’s how to give your asparagus fern everything it needs to thrive.
Asparagus ferns may be best known for their airy, delicate foliage and unique shape, but behind the scenes, they can be a real handful to keep alive.
If you’ve ever found yourself pondering why yet another of your plant’s fronds has turned yellow or brown, you’re not alone – even the most experienced of houseplant owners can find these little guys difficult to handle.
The key, then, is knowing exactly what asparagus ferns like when it comes to water, light and humidity. And that’s where this article comes in.
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While we can’t guarantee you won’t still face problems in the future, knowing how to give your plant exactly what it needs will give you the best chance of success.
So, to find out everything you need to know, we spoke to Maddie Porritt, plant expert at the online gardening centre The Stem. Here’s what she had to say.
Where is the asparagus fern from?
While you’ll find asparagus ferns in plenty of homes across the UK, their native home is on the other side of the world.
“The asparagus fern is native to South Africa, but has become naturalised and invasive across the tropics,” Porritt says. “Because of how fast it grows, it is actually classified as a weed in many places of the world.”
Is the asparagus fern actually a fern?
It’s called a fern, and it looks like a fern – but surprisingly, the asparagus fern isn’t really a fern at all.
“The asparagus fern is actually part of the lily family, Liliaceae, and is closely related to tulips, daylilies and hostas,” Porritt explains. “Unlike ferns that spread by spores, the asparagus fern spread by the seeds found in their small blackberries.”
What makes an asparagus fern turn yellow?
Keeping your asparagus fern happy 24/7 can be tricky, and if your plant’s fronds are turning yellow or brown, chances are it’s not having all its needs met.
The most common reason? A lack of water. Porritt explains: “An asparagus fern turning yellow is often a sign that it needs more water. The soil of the plant should be kept moist (but not soggy) at all times.”
Other reasons why an asparagus fern might turn yellow or brown could be overwatering (you should wait until the plant’s soil is about 50% dried out before adding more water) or a lack of or too much light exposure (asparagus ferns do best in bright but indirect light).
What’s the key to keeping an asparagus fern happy and healthy?
If you want to take good care of your asparagus fern, you’ll need to remember three simple tips, Porritt says. They are:
- Keep your plant in a bright spot, but out of direct sunlight
- Keep its soil moist, but not soggy
- Mist your plant regularly to keep its foliage fresh
New to plant parenthood? Check out Stylist’s guide to buying, styling and caring for plants to get started.
You can find out more about the most common houseplant problems by checking out our range of plant care content, too.
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