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PlantFiles: Asparagus Fern, Sprenger Asparagus
Asparagus densiflorus 'Sprengeri'

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Family: Liliaceae (lil-ee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Asparagus (a-SPARE-uh-gus) (Info)
Species: densiflorus (den-see-FLOR-us) (Info)
Cultivar: Sprengeri

Synonym:Asparagus aethiopicus
Synonym:Asparagus sprengeri

5 vendors have this plant for sale.

41 members have or want this plant for trade.

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Category:
Annuals
Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Height:
18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

Spacing:
36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

Hardiness:
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Danger:
Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested
Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer

Foliage:
Grown for foliage

Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
This plant is suitable for growing indoors
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:
Non-patented

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball
From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

Seed Collecting:
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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There are a total of 35 photos.
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Profile:

40 positives
6 neutrals
15 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

RatingAuthorContent
Negative thewolffeman On Dec 16, 2013, thewolffeman from Orange, CA wrote:

I give this plant a huge negative. This plant is an extremely invasive, noxious weed. The combination of it being extremely invasive and having small sharp thorns make it a huge pain (literally) to remove. If you live in a northern part of the US that has cold freezing winters and you want to plant it in the ground then I guess you could because freezing temperatures kill it, but my advice would be to keep it in a pot just in case because you do not want it spreading. In warmer places like Southern California and Florida, do not plant this under ANY condition.

Positive Nanny23 On Aug 25, 2013, Nanny23 from Mount Sterling, KY (Zone 6b) wrote:

This plant makes a wonderful container plant on my patio. It is tough as nails and can take a lot of abuse. I winter it in my green house, but ...BE WARNED...it does have thorns so be careful in handling a mature plant. It has delicate white blossoms that are followed by red berries. It does not appear to be toxic because my cats and dogs all have eaten it and all are still fine. I have not had a problem with it being invasive in zone 6b, but as I stated above ,I grow it as a potted plant, not planted in the ground.

Neutral MsMaati On Nov 9, 2012, MsMaati from Newburgh, IN (Zone 6a) wrote:

It grows in southern Indiana in summer only, must be taken in for winter.

Positive Cassandra78 On Sep 7, 2012, Cassandra78 from Bryan, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

I love my asparagus fern! Mine lives in a pot outside on my porch all spring and summer long. It comes inside for the winter. I've had fronds grow to be 5-6' long so I give it a hair cut every so often. It encourages new growth and makes it fill out beautifully. The little white flowers smell like buttered popcorn to me!

Negative ssherm_larch On Aug 25, 2012, ssherm_larch from CARDIFF BY THE SEA, CA wrote:

Please heed the negative comments on this one. As nice as this plant may look, it has serious implications in all gardens and native spaces. Even planted as a hanging basket, or in a pot, this plants seeds are spread. As a landscape architect in San Diego, I visit many homes. I have found it sprouting in the midst of shrubs, hedges and throughout gardens where it was never planted. More than half the 400 homes I visited last year have an invasion. I believe birds eat the seeds, spreading the plants to the center of shrubs where birds perch. While I have not found it resistant to Round-Up, if you don't get all the root nodes, it will come back. Also, it is nearly impossible to spray this plant when it is entwined in your hedge.

This plant should be made illegal to sell or distribute in all Southern States.

Positive adeanaz On Mar 29, 2011, adeanaz from Tucson, AZ wrote:

I recently moved to Tucson and was surprised to see asparagus fern, and it's relative foxtail fern, growing in large planters in full sun at shopping centers around town. That has to be one of the harshest environments - hot, hot, hot - but they looks great.

Positive Daisees On Jun 28, 2010, Daisees from Sunderland
United Kingdom wrote:

Ive it for 50 years and during that time it has moved house 7 times, often ending up in cramped, poorly lit places. Ive often left it weeks without watering (what can I say Im a bad gardener!). In my present abode, it lives in a conservatory that gets sun from sun-up to about 3pm and often the place is freezing cold in winter and unbearably hot in the summer. Its often had fronds that were 6 foot long!

Ive had to repot it several times when I would pull off all the potatoes and dead root and put it back in the same pot with fresh compost. Once it got white fly and I had to cut off the mantle which filled 3 black plastic bin bags!

The last repotting the root ball was so dense, I took a saw to it and even cut off the top as it was all spikes where fronds had been cut off. For almost a year I really thought Id finally killed it but last spring it started to shoot again. It flowers about 2 and sometimes 3 times a year in abundance but has never produced berries.

I took this vid of it in flower the other day http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-h8P3RPjcsc (copy and paste the link in your address bar to view it)

As you gather from others' posts, it can be a pernicious weed if planted in the garden!

Daisees.

Positive Cactus_Pete On Jun 27, 2010, Cactus_Pete from Ellsworth, WI wrote:

Now living in WI this plant is a great indoor plant, my Grandmother has had one in her house since the early 1960's and I have had mine for many years.
That said those of you stating this plant is hard to eradicate in southern states seem to forget not all plants can be eradicated with a spritz of Round-Up.... If you eradicate it properly it takes several years and here is a link to the correct way to do so: http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=10150138900700347&topi...
As for being on the FLEPPC list (www.fleppc.org) that is all good that they list it but the government in FL has not, and they have not banned the sale of it (for that matter in any state in the USA) and can be found being commercially grown in FL and even exported to other states.

Neutral monarch_lady On May 16, 2010, monarch_lady from Pikeville, KY wrote:

I just recently bought the aspargus fern and was under the impression it was a herb. I am very glad I did some research on this plant. Thanks for all the comments about how to deal with this plant. I have two house cats and did not know of the poison hazard, so the information I have gleaned from all of these articles has been invaluable. I am planning to have it as a house plant, but now I will make it a hanging plant to keep it away from my pets.
One note about troublesome plants like this fern that will spread when outdoors and turned loose to go its on way, and that is a mint plant. I planted the mint from seeds and even transported it from GA to KY in the dirt with my other plants. You will never get rid of this plant unless you lose everything in your garden and poison the whole area. The roots run the entire area of your garden and right in with your other plants. I pull them up constantly all spring and summer long, but never get rid of them. Just a WARNING ,never plant mint in your yard or prepare for it to take over everything.

Positive marie_renee On Apr 6, 2010, marie_renee from Bellevue, NE wrote:

Although somewhat of a common plant, I love Asparagus Fern for an indoor plant during our long cold winters in eastern Nebraska. Mainly because it adds wonderful greenery and tolerates low light conditions in my home. Easy to care for inside. During the summer it goes outside in a container to become lush and full in the sun as long as it gets plenty of water. Also, a great filler plant to accompany other plants in a container.

Positive KC3Lady On Apr 5, 2010, KC3Lady from Overland Park, KS (Zone 6a) wrote:

I love my asparagus fern! This year I only have one in a hanging basket indoors, but I have grown them outside. The one I have indoors I purchased on sale at the nursery because it had out grown it's pot. I literally had to cut the pot off of the roots, which were hard as concrete. Once transplanted into a hanging basket, the shoots nearly reach the floor. It has a delicate, airy appearance, but make no mistake, if you reach your hand into it you will have scratches.

Negative ifantail On Sep 13, 2009, ifantail from Englewood, FL wrote:

It looked so pretty when I planted it, now it's all over the place,I'm going broke buying Round Up.

Negative ladyla5 On Jun 30, 2009, ladyla5 from Irvine, CA wrote:

Here in Southern California, I have been at war with Asparagus sprengerii for decades in my garden and in other gardens, with a hanging basket in the patio that spread all over the yard and a thicket in the back yard that spread to the front yard via the birds and berries. The brittle stems, thorns and hard-to-find underground tubers make it practically impossible to completely eradicate. I would recommend it only as an indoor plant here.

Negative plantladylin On Jun 27, 2008, plantladylin from South Daytona, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

Even though the Sprengeri is a beautiful plant I would advise anyone in the South to keep it in hanging baskets or other containers. I made the mistake many years ago of planting a couple of small ones in the yard and they took over. It is an attractive plant and the birds love the berries but I have to give a negative rating because of the invasiveness of this plant here where I live. We still have a large area in our backyard that is covered in really, really huge Asparagus Fern. They are monsters to try to dig out, almost impossible and I don't think you could ever get all those little tubers without a bulldozer! It is impossible to keep this plant contained when planted in the landscape here in Florida. It travels by the tubers running everywhere and they multiply quickly. I wish I had never thought about putting it in the ground!

Positive sleepybenja On May 17, 2008, sleepybenja from North Port, FL wrote:

I use these to fill odd spots. It looks great everywhere, easy to take care of and it isn't that difficult to get rid off. Just pull as much as you can out and pour some kill all on the rest, it will die.
Asparagus fern makes very nice flower arrangements with roses,carnations, tulips etc

Positive lisellegriffith On May 7, 2008, lisellegriffith from st joseph
Trinidad and Tobago wrote:

This plant is a major money maker adding interest and beauty to concrete pedastels.Mature plants are available for sale,yet you can never say this plant is mature,the bigger the pot the bigger it gets.lisellep2003@hotmail.com

Positive stephanotis On Dec 11, 2007, stephanotis from Queen Creek, AZ (Zone 8b) wrote:

This has been a great plant here in the hot desert, though so far I have only had it in lots of pots mostly in shade. My neighbors have it in the ground, and it definitely gets huge, though it freezes to the ground here in 8B. The only bad part of this plant has nothing to do with the plant itself, but it harbors lots and lots of bunnies and their babies. I had a small pot of it on the ground, and one morning I watered it and had a bunny explode out of it and hop away. The varmint had chewed 95% of the fern off at the base and then made a little nest in there. I put the pot on a table, and it has started to grow back quite nicely. Out of all the 6 or 7 pots of the stuff growing, I have never had any of it bloom, though the neighbor's has. I do plan to plant a bunch in the ground later on, so I will post more on that later.

Positive Opoetree On Aug 10, 2007, Opoetree from Oak View, CA wrote:

A wonderful fern -- easy to care for and a nice companion for other plants. Love the structure of the foliage!

Positive Sashprd58 On May 25, 2007, Sashprd58 from Manchester, CT wrote:

I lived in GA & FL for many years and had this plant both inside and outside where I could keep it trimmed to shape, but I have lived most of my life in the northeast where this is considered to be a houseplant only. Well, let me tell you, that is a myth as I live in zone 6 and always put my houseplants out for the summer. Two years ago my Asparagus Fern dropped some of its berries and, unbeknownst to me, propagated. Last year (2006) I was amazed to find Asparagus Fern growing in my planting bed and have about 5 plants from that seed dropping. I believe the fact that I always mulch my beds and that it is south facing may have contributed to it surviving!

Positive newhobby On Feb 6, 2007, newhobby from Tolleson, AZ (Zone 9a) wrote:

This is one of the few plants here in Phoenix Az that will grow in full sun and full heat without requiring attention from me. I am new to this gardening thing and while I enjoy it I am totally frustrated with how quickly the heat here kills whatever I plant!

For anyone who doesn't have much time and wants something that is green year round I would recommend this fern. It does have thorns so be careful. When it spreads just cut it back to the desired area...

Positive quasymoto On Nov 26, 2006, quasymoto from Bloomfield, IA (Zone 5b) wrote:

I do happen t love this plant as we bought a nice big one at an Amish auction and it has withstood cold, heat, dry conditions, and a few other brief momnents of neglect.

One comment I would add is that it tends to turn yellow and drop it's little pine needle looking leafs ALL OVER! But after further investigation it may be due to the plant getting too hot indoors. Go figure.

Positive SudieGoodman On Sep 26, 2006, SudieGoodman from Broaddus, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

Zone 8b, deep Southeast, TX, Lake Sam Rayburn

First, to thank all for great information. I purchased a 12" pot of mixed plants. The survior is now one and onehalf feet tall with long runners near 3 foot. This past spring, I placed the mixed pot of plants in my new garden room which gets brief morning sun but no harsh mid-day are afternoon sun. This lovely fern is a great surprise to me for being a real survivor of our hot, humid summer! IT IS A KEEPER.
I plan to place it indoors by a large East window for ample morning sun. It will sit on a tall pedestal to give beauty and pleasure this winter.
I am greatly incouraged by all your culture information and suggestions. Happy Fall season to all.

Keep those hands dirty!

Positive Pashta On Jun 16, 2006, Pashta from Moncks Corner, SC (Zone 8b) wrote:

These things are amazing! I had some small ones that I slowly repotted into larger and larger plants. The last repotting gave my biggest fern such a growth spurt, that the fronds have grown over 3 feet long! I have to cut them back to keep my cats away from them...they are poisonous to pets. My largest one has also sent out buds, which is a first for me. I have never seen one flower before, and I am fvery excited about it. I water abhout once a week, and once a month they get a good soaking. Bright ambient light.

Positive spklatt On Jun 12, 2006, spklatt from Ottawa, ON (Zone 5a) wrote:

I have this plant in a small pot in my office - it adds a nice, airy feel to the place. It likes a high-Nitrogen fertilizer ("plant food spikes" are easiest), in order to keep putting out new growth. Very nice plant.

Positive Tiki_Garden On Jun 4, 2006, Tiki_Garden from Cibolo, TX wrote:

I love this plant. I am, however, glad I don't live in an area where it can become invasive. I use it as a very hardy ground cover and in pots. It adds a lovely touch to any garden.


Positive purplepetunia On Feb 22, 2006, purplepetunia from Savannah, GA (Zone 8b) wrote:

I have a large plant in a container that sits on a table outside. The long fronds hanging down are very pretty. Never thought of it being invasive. I will plant some small plants in the ground and hope they will multiply!

Positive c_etude On Feb 15, 2006, c_etude from Winter Haven, FL wrote:

This asparagus fern is tough as nails. I HAD THE SAME PLANT SINCE 1968. Let me repeat--1968. I was just a kid I remember this plant.

Actually I was shocked to hear it's invasive. I keep it in a pot, and it's been in there ever since. How tall is it? Ohh, I'd say about 1 foot, and it remains in the 12" pot. So the plant is no more than 12" across. Forever. Unchanged, and certainly not invasive. I never water it, or do anything. Frankly I'm surprised it's still alive and green with no care whatsoever. It stays the same in the longest droughts, freezing cold, and even hurricanes. Untouched.

As long as you keep it in a container it stays the same. unchanged. year after year after year after year...and decades later. It will not grow, but it will not die either.

A plant, unchanged, since 1968, is indeed nobel. If you want an impressive looking container plant without having to water or care for it, this is it.

Positive isom On Jan 9, 2006, isom from Mission BC
Canada (Zone 8b) wrote:

I've grown this plant (though not the same one) for over 20 years. The nicest ones were those I grew from seed. I selected the strongest & best & kept them. Some had fronds (stems?) over 5 feet long & were very luxuriant. I won the local fair for houseplants with one of them. I only grow them indoors so they're not invasive where I live as they rarely make it through the winter outside. A little too cold for them.

The only downside to these plants is their very sharp stiff thorns. Althoughthey're small, I manage to stab myself whenever I do clean-up or transplanting. The bigger & older the plant is, the nastier the thorns. They hurt!

When given enough light, tiny white flowers dot the plant & later, bright red berries form. Since they belong to the same family as edible asparagus, the similarity is understandable. I really love the light airy look of these plants. They add a lot to the decor without hogging all the light as some of my big tree houseplants do.

Positive CastIronPlant22 On Dec 11, 2005, CastIronPlant22 from Lompoc, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

this plant is great! Its very easy to grow and can last many many years. Watch out for the little spines it has hidding under all that foliage. Its cute when it has the red/white berry's. In colder winter areas it doesnt look so good, but comes right back in spring. Doesnt need water after its established. It can make it on the rain alone! Very good for outdoors.

Positive Beach_Barbie On Oct 26, 2005, Beach_Barbie from Kure Beach, NC (Zone 9a) wrote:

I've grown this before in pots and were so-so about them, mainly because the stems have small thorns. Then I found out it can be grown in the ground here and like it much better there. It makes a good backdrop for some of my flowering plants.

Luckily for me, it's not invasive as some others here have found it to be. It dies back every winter, and because I have it in a location which gets no extra watering and is shady in the summer, it doesn't get too big. This also could be some of the reason mine isn't spreading.

Positive Breezymeadow On Oct 22, 2005, Breezymeadow from Culpeper, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:

This is a lovely container plant - especially nice in hanging baskets. Cut sprigs also make a nice airy filler for flower arrangements.

Likes its soil kept moist in order to prevent needle drop & under optimal conditions will sometimes produce tiny white flowers followed by tiny green berries ultimately ripening to red.

The only drawback I found to growing it was that it outgrew its containers rather quickly, requiring frequent repotting. Using an old large serrated kitchen knife, one could easily divide up one large specimen into 4 or more new plants.

Positive vossner On Oct 21, 2005, vossner from Richmond, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

I love this plant and rate it positive because it is ZERO maintenance. I have grown it for years in a pot so no "behavior" problems. Every now and then I will find a small seedling growing somewhere and I just quickly pull those off.

Positive KiMFDiM On Aug 30, 2005, KiMFDiM from Alden, NY (Zone 5b) wrote:

Even though I understand that this plant causes many problems in subtropical areas, this plant is very good for the Northeastern states. I keep mine on the back patio during the summer (full sun) amongst my other tropicals to create the feel of being in the subtropics. Since I do not live in the subtropics and my husband wishes to stay up north, I have to recreate that feel. I bring it in during the winter months and keep it in a south facing window until it's time bring it outside again. There is no fear of spreading seeds taking root here, I am a zone 5...the winter would kill it.

This plant is excellent up north. If you live up north, don't let the negative comments prevent you from growing this. Very easy to take care of here, just keep it out of frost and snow!

Negative jnana On May 17, 2005, jnana from South Florida, FL (Zone 10b) wrote:

Highly invasive and very difficult to get rid of. Listed in the category 1 of most invasive plants by the FEPPC. Do not plant it if you live in Florida.

Positive GreenLife On Apr 25, 2005, GreenLife from (Zone 10b) wrote:

I am especially fond of this fern because it grows great as a groundcover and gives sections of my yard an informal, forest-like feel. I appreciate the birds for their help in spreading seeds because I often find new asparagus ferns growing in the most unusual places. Since they are dioecious, only a few grow berries which are often hidden by the more abundant fruitless ferns. I saw a mockingbird eating a red berry so this fern is quite helpful to birds in the winter.

Positive Jace On Nov 22, 2004, Jace from Houston, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

I love this plant. I know it can be invasive, but I keep them in hanging baskets, planters and regular old flowepots, and they thrive in the Houston heat and humidity.

They do very well in the house and light up a dim corner, they thrive on top of the frige, and throughout the house, and don't mind too much when I divide them for new plants.

The flowers are minimal but pretty and even have a slight fragrance. Thorny to the touch when mature they keep my pets at a distance, and the bright red berries are a great contrast to the lovely shade of green, I do believe they are dressing for the holidays.

Negative LynneSun On Jul 28, 2004, LynneSun from Cape Town
wrote:

It's amazing how differently plants behave in different climates. In Cape Town, South Africa, this fern is delightful - except for the thorns - but its close relative is a complete menace. I've had this one in pots & hanging baskets for years & it's beautiful,especially when it has flowers & berries.

BUT, there's another asparagus fern--not sure of its botanical name--that is a HORROR! It's got longer fronds than this one, is darker green in colour, has worse thorns & grows like a triffid, into & over everything in sight. My mother's got it strangling everything in her front & back gardens. Should be classed as an alien invader!

Negative NativePlantFan9 On Jul 27, 2004, NativePlantFan9 from Boca Raton, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

Asparagus Fern is extremely invasive in South Florida. It can climb over, and take over, many native plants. I have a bunch growing on the left edge of my yard. I tried to get rid of them a few times at my friends' house across the street, and it was very painful work (Ouch! Lots of sharp thorns on the fern's stalks). We got some of the weed out, but it keeps growing back!

However, it is still a very popular houseplant indoors everywhere, as well as outdoors in my area, Texas, and California. It grows outdoors in zones 9, 10a, 10b, 11 and below. Underground tubers help the weed spread over a large area, climbing up trees and sometimes even growing OUT OF THE TREE'S TRUNK AND ROOTS! I see them growing out of ficus hedges and trees--another attractive but weedy plant.

It may be useful indoors, but because of it's invasiveness and sharp, painful spines, I hope it is banned completely soon! It grows quickly without water and is adaptable, even though it often dies. It likes being in the company of other invasive plants such as ficus, Snake Plant, Brazilian Peppertree and others (probably competes well with them).

MORE FACTS - Listed as a Class One Invasive by the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council's Pest Plant List (FLEPPC).

Positive punaheledp On Jun 29, 2004, punaheledp from Kailua, HI (Zone 11) wrote:

Mine grew wild in a pot outside, from whence it came I don't know. Even though I give it no care, except water when I water the rest of the garden, it does just fine. (I'm actually somewhere between positive and neutral, but they have no button for that.)

It's a nice contrast to other plants. Have yet to have problem with it spreading (Maybe because it planted itself in a small pot and hasn't gotten overly large, or flowered and seeded). Am glad for the warnings of others on this site, so I can know to do something early if it ever shows signs of becoming invasive. Maybe I'll try it in a hanging planter.

Positive foodiesleuth On Jun 29, 2004, foodiesleuth from Honomu, HI (Zone 11) wrote:

Funny how some plants are perceived in different areas.....we have a couple growing in our yard and have never had problems wit it invading other areas....

I like the light, feathery look they give among some of the other more tropical and substantial tropical plants, like black taro and monstera...

We also have two in hanging baskets mixed with a trailing caladium-like vine with coppery pink leaves (I have no idea what the plant is)....the contrast is very nice.

Positive orca423 On Jun 29, 2004, orca423 from Valley Village, CA wrote:

I have had my Asparagus Fern for a couple years now. I love it. I have it in a hanging planter & have had no problems. There have been no mess. The flowers were a great surprise this year. The berries are just now starting to pop up. A dove laid eggs in the plant & it held up great. I live in sunny southern California & have sun beating down on our plants all day long. This plant almost died a while back, but I brought it back to life & it is doing great now, plus it provides nice shade.

Negative pokerboy On Jun 28, 2004, pokerboy from Canberra
Australia (Zone 8b) wrote:

This plant is a horrible weed in Australian Coastal conditions. It scrambles up over low trees (1-2m tall) and covers the ground thickly, letting dangerous creatures live underneath it (eg Redbacks, Funnelwebs and insects that can cause SEVERE skin irritation). Australia discourages this plant, so if you live in any part of Australia from zone 8b-zone 11a, please consider other alternatives. pokerboy.

Positive SandPiper On Jun 2, 2004, SandPiper from Foley, AL (Zone 9a) wrote:

Ohhhh, such negative feelings about this plant! I could not do without my dear asparagus ferns. I have had no problems with them being invasive, perhaps because they are kept contained in hanging baskets along the front porch. I love the tiny flowers that are blooming on mine this time of the year and find them much less messy and troublesome to take care of than other types of ferns. Just had to take up for one of nature's little beauties! Thanks! SandPiper...

Neutral angelap On May 28, 2004, angelap from Weatherford, TX (Zone 7b) wrote:

Very interesting..the information that this plant is an invasive monster! I suppose it depends on where you live and how it's planted.

Here is central Texas, it's strictly an ornamental plant, meant for large urns and pots. They winter over nicely, and are really tough when left unwatered in the sweltering heat.

I've never tried to grow one in the ground...I suspect it wouldn't be as invasive here as it is in Florida, since there isn't as much rain!

Positive mmm On May 4, 2004, mmm from Milwaukee, WI wrote:

I have one growing just fine right now on top of my refrigerator with an eastern exposure. My new cat has now found he likes nibbling on the stems. Is this the variety of asparagus fern that is toxic to cats or are all of them? And, just how toxic is it? He does not seem to be bothered so far. Plant has no flowers or berries yet either. Love the plant, as it is so easy to grow, but hate to think that I am poisioning my cat! Thanks-mmm

Positive burge On Mar 22, 2004, burge from Colton, CA wrote:

A neighbor gave me a small clump of this "fern" from her very large plant as a housewarming gift --- and I did the same for others over the years. Because my yard was mostly concrete deck, I had it in a pot and had no trouble with it being invasive ---- but can attest to the fact that it is tenacious! I've also used it as a ground cover in the past which was very attractive ---- but have never had to deal with old plants or had to remove it. I've been trying to buy one, recently, and can't seem to find it online. Is it possible that it has just become too unpopular? It can't be any worse than the old ivy and wandering jew that we are removing from our complex because they are great homes for rodents!





Positive suncatcheracres On Sep 20, 2003, suncatcheracres from Old Town, FL wrote:

This plant can be useful as a ground cover. I lived in St. Petersburg, Florida, zone 9b, for many years. I had a circular driveway with a shady half moon planting bed between this driveway and the street--no streetside sidewalk. I found that people--especially teenage visitors to our house--liked to park under the shade of my trees, get out of their cars and tromp through my half moon-shaped planting bed, so I was looking for some rather indestructible plants for this area.

Then I found out a nearby office building was being renovated on the outside, and I managed to get a large amount of these plants for free. My teenage son and I just cut long, two foot wide runners of the plant a few inches deep. It was easy with thick gloves, and the roots are in mats. We rolled up the "runners" and took them home. Then rolled them back out, butting them together, until they covered the entire half moon shaped bed, which was about 30 feet long, and at its widest, 15 feet or so deep.

The asparagus fern made a nice impenetrable groundcover under the shade of the two huge old trees near the road. I found three foot-tall, dark green Sansevieria could compete quite nicely, making a nice contrast to the airy looking asparagus fern. The two together made a formidable barrier no barefooted teenager would dare step on!

The planting bed was contained by concrete all the way around it, so there was nothing to invade. Over the years, the fern grew to about three feet high, with arching branches and pretty, small white flowers. My only problem with this bed was the difficulty retrieving, without getting scratches, the inevitable trash thrown by kids as they walked home from the very nearby middle and high schools.

There are no bad plants--just plants in bad places--except maybe poison ivy and oak--but I understand they feed birds, so maybe there is a place for them too--just far away from me!

Neutral margaretx On Sep 18, 2003, margaretx from Houston, TX (Zone 9b) wrote:

I have it in a pot but it continues to spring up elsewhere. I agree with the invasiveness. I hate that it looks fuzzy and is, in fact, spiny. It does contrast nicely with the foxtail fern, however.

Negative IslandJim On Sep 17, 2003, IslandJim from Keizer, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:

This is terribly invasive in Florida. For once I agree with the local plant cops who think it ought to be outlawed. Unfortunately, one of the unknown geniuses who owned my place before I bought it, planted it in the back yard. I have not found it immune to Roundup, however. It just takes a couple of applications a week apart and a little patience.

Positive JanLynn On Sep 17, 2003, JanLynn from (Jan) So Milw, WI (Zone 5b) wrote:

My plant is 3 years young. I put it outside in June (full sun!) and bring it back indoors in October. I'm very happy with my plant!

By the way, I started my fern from seed, very fast, easy germination and now it's six years "old" and, once again, is outside for the summer.

Positive broozersnooze On Sep 17, 2003, broozersnooze from Jacksonville, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

My goodness. A lot of negative experiences for some of you. Should I worry about the attack of the killer plant? (joking) Maybe I should feel fortunate that mine hasn't reproduced on its own other than me dividing the root ball every spring. Oh well, Mother Nature is odd like that. Makes it all the more interesting.

My only negative experience is the cats using it for a napping spot. Wooden kebab skewers sticking up out of the soil solved that.

I've had one for many years now. It remains outdoors unprotected year round in a very large planter sitting on upright concrete blocks to keep the fronds off the ground.
My experience with this plant is strictly positive in that I have thoroughly enjoyed its addition to my container garden.

Negative palmbob On Sep 16, 2003, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Have to agree this plant has little virtue and a lot of negatives: sharp, totally resistant to Roundup, invasive, spreads everywhere, outcompetes other plants - a weed of the worst kind. And it's not a fern (gives ferns a bad name.)

Negative DeniseAnne On Sep 16, 2003, DeniseAnne from La Mesa, CA wrote:

Here in San Diego the asparagus fern is everywhere. It gets inside, under, etc. everything. I am attempting to eradicate it. Perhaps it could be used as a ground cover on a back hill if you can keep it contained there. It can rip up your hands when you attempt to remove it. Be sure to get all the roots and bulbs.

Neutral jen_nate On Aug 23, 2003, jen_nate from Saint Marys, PA wrote:

My mother has a plant and it is almost too far gone to be helped. Her plant is a little yellowed and isn't very bushy; it looks like an asparagus plant (the kind you eat), and the needles aren't very close together.

Negative astanton On Aug 5, 2003, astanton from Anaheim, CA (Zone 10b) wrote:

This plant is probably the most invasive weedy plant I could possibly think of. It can even grow on tree trunks without soil. The spreading is underground by tiny watery bulbs that seem to be connected by an underground rhizome of some kind that is thread-like in thinness.

Upon looking under the thick carpet of my baby tears, I found at least one bulb at every inch! They exclusively like to grow in the middle of other plants--particularly bushes. In my neighborhood in Southern California, I noticed how gardeners just trim them into the shapes of the bushes these ferns overtook and killed! Such bushes might include hardy ones like Juniper, Bird of Paradise, or Roses.

I wish California would prohibit their sale!

Positive cleboeuf On Aug 3, 2003, cleboeuf from Katy, TX wrote:

I find this plant easy to maintain, having had no problem with it being invasive, and believe it adds an airy, exotic feel to the area(s) in which it is planted. In fact, I am in the process of adding more terracotta pots of just asparagus fern throughout our backyard, which is mostly pool and deck.

Positive Lavanda On May 21, 2003, Lavanda from Mcallen, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

I have grown these from seed as houseplants. They are very easy to grow that way and make nice houseplants.

Negative Kelli On May 21, 2003, Kelli from L.A. (Canoga Park), CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

Terribly invasive and birds spread the seeds.

Positive 623MERLIN On Apr 30, 2003, 623MERLIN wrote:

I love the Asparagus Fern. I have had one for over 30 years in a free standing wicker plant stand and it is just beautiful. It does very well here in Arizona and loves the heat.

Negative ButterflyGardnr On Jan 27, 2003, ButterflyGardnr from Orlando, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

Although this plant is very hardy, it is considered an exotic invasive in Florida. People thinking about planting this or having it in hanging baskets out of doors should check with the local cooperative extension agent to determine if it is invasive in their area. I have it growing up through my hedges and azalea bushes and have not been successful in removing it. From time to time it will also sprout in the lawns here. The roots have large nodules filled with water which allow it to survive uprooted for days, perhaps weeks. It also tends to get small thorns on it as it grows and matures. For those reasons, I will not grow this plant. I had one as a houseplant in WI that grew fronds 5-6 feet long.

Neutral talinum On Sep 2, 2001, talinum from Kearney, NE (Zone 5a) wrote:

Tender perennial used an an annual. Trailing bright glossy foliage. An excellent house plant, also good for hanging baskets. It eventually bears fragrant, whitish-pink flowers. Best performance in medium to bright light. 2' tall to 2'3' wide.

Regional...

This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

, (2 reports)
Eight Mile, Alabama
Foley, Alabama
Millbrook, Alabama
Mobile, Alabama
Rainbow City, Alabama
Satsuma, Alabama
Oro Valley, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona (3 reports)
Picture Rocks, Arizona
Queen Creek, Arizona (2 reports)
Scottsdale, Arizona
Surprise, Arizona
Tolleson, Arizona
Tucson, Arizona
Aliso Viejo, California
Calistoga, California
Cardiff By The Sea, California
Castro Valley, California
Colton, California
Davis, California
El Cerrito, California
Fresno, California
Irvine, California
Lompoc, California
Long Beach, California
Los Angeles, California
Merced, California
Oak View, California
Orange, California
Paradise, California
San Diego, California
Thousand Oaks, California
Walnut Creek, California
Atlantic Beach, Florida
Bartow, Florida
Big Pine Key, Florida (2 reports)
Black Diamond, Florida
Boca Raton, Florida
Deltona, Florida
Eatonville, Florida
Florida City, Florida
Fort Mc Coy, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida (2 reports)
Jan Phyl Village, Florida
Longwood, Florida
Macgregor, Florida
Manasota Key, Florida
Miami, Florida
New Port Richey East, Florida
North Port, Florida
Oldsmar, Florida
Pembroke Pines, Florida
Port Charlotte, Florida
Ruskin, Florida
South Daytona, Florida
South Venice, Florida
Zephyrhills South, Florida
Cordele, Georgia
Honomu, Hawaii
Kailua, Hawaii
Chicago, Illinois
Bloomfield, Iowa
Overland Park, Kansas
Camargo, Kentucky
Frenchburg, Kentucky
Bossier City, Louisiana
Franklinton, Louisiana
Gonzales, Louisiana
Leesville, Louisiana
New Iberia, Louisiana
Shreveport, Louisiana
Zachary, Louisiana
Saint Louis, Missouri
Las Vegas, Nevada
Alden, New York
Mechanicville, New York
Brevard, North Carolina
Kure Beach, North Carolina
Fruit Hill, Ohio
Springboro, Ohio
Hoot Owl, Oklahoma
Hulbert, Oklahoma
Saint Marys, Pennsylvania
Moncks Corner, South Carolina
Murrells Inlet, South Carolina
Centerville, Tennessee
Austin, Texas (2 reports)
Broaddus, Texas
Brownsville, Texas
Bryan, Texas
Cinco Ranch, Texas
College Station, Texas
Dallas, Texas
Houston, Texas (2 reports)
Hudson Oaks, Texas
Humble, Texas
La Vernia, Texas
Macallen, Texas (2 reports)
Nassau Bay, Texas
New Braunfels, Texas
Paris, Texas
Richmond, Texas
Rowlett, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
Spring, Texas
Spring Branch, Texas
Sunset Valley, Texas
Trinity, Texas
Kalama, Washington
South Milwaukee, Wisconsin



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