The Plant: Despite appearances this Asparagus fern is a member of the lily family and is not a true fern! Small, whisker-like leaves form brush-style ‘fronds’. Asparagus Sprengerii is quite spectacular with it's long arching growths - evergreen at that! If you look after it well, you may see the long arching stems of white petite daisy star flowers which are normally followed by bright red berries.
Its needs: Good light, a little morning sun. Asparagus sprengerii can tolerate low temperatures, and does not need high humidity. Open mixed compost. It can also be planted outside in summer - shady spot best - or if grown in a hanging pot any place outdoors but not too draughty will be good. This Asparagus Fern is quite hardy - though not frost hardy, but will withstand low temperatures if kept on the dry side.
New growth sprouts up in spring and should be watered sparingly at first, then given a good weekly soak. A nitrogen-rich fertiliser will encourage healthy ‘fronds’. In autumn, congested root-balls can be carefully divided. Water very sparingly over winter.
Trimming Asparagus Ferns is best carried out either just before or during the main growing season. Trimming is sometimes desirable when rhe plant becomes too big or untidy. New shoots will almost always be visible at the base, and these will soon start growing to form new fronds once the old frond has been cut back hard.
Good for: Grow in a tall pot, or allow it to dangle from hanging basket. Good plant for texture and ‘touchability’.
Asparagus densiflorus ‘Sprengeri’
The Sprenger Asparagus Fern - the Emerald Feather Fern
The Plant: Originally from South Africa, a lush green mass of wavy fronds, producing tiny cream-coloured flowers then small, bright red berries.
Its needs: Enjoys strong light, and warmth, but needs no extra humidity. Good open potting compost.
Care: Water from early spring to promote
Asparagus ferns growth,
feed during late
spring/summer. Keep compost moist, but not too wet, during winter.
Root-ball can be divided carefully in spring.
Good for: Cascading from hanging baskets, a good textural plant, eminently 'strokeable!'.
Foliage fronds are also good for floral decorations as they last a long time in water.
Are Asparagus ferns poisonous? Not that we are aware of though the thorny stems sometimes cause pain if penetrate the skin.
Research further at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fp051