Asparagus Fern

  • Plant Type: Annual, though can be perennial in zones 9B-11
  • Sun: Part shade to full sun
  • Plant Size: 18 to 24 inches tall

Adaptable and easy to grow, asparagus fern enhances any planting area. Its fresh, green cascading stems are covered in needle-like leaves that add a fine-textured element to plantings. You’ll plant asparagus fern for its beauty, but love it for its character: durable, drought-tolerant, deer-resistant, and low-maintenance. Plants withstand full sun in even the desert southwest. Showcase it in containers, baskets, and large urns to help restrain its wandering ways. (Plants have been reported to spread aggressively in the landscape in certain regions.)

Plant Spacing: 18 to 24 inches.

Secrets to Success »

Asparagus fern thrives in any soil type. In containers, use rich, well-drained soil. Plant after all danger of frost is past. In warmer regions, if a winter cold snap zaps plants, trim in spring to remove any damage. If stems died to the ground, simply wait for new growth to appear.

Where asparagus fern is evergreen year-round, prune plants anytime to keep growth in check. With plants grown as a hedge, it’s okay to mow stems to the ground at the start of the growing season.

Plants survive drought thanks to specialized potato-like root structures that store water. In drier settings, asparagus fern grows more slowly than in situations with ample moisture.

Use »

Use in containers, window boxes and landscape beds (cooler regions only). In warmer regions, choose larger containers because plants can quickly outgrow smaller ones. Choose this fern for sunny spots where traditional ferns won’t grow. Plants look lovely cascading over the top of a wall. Stems have spines, so use sparingly in poolside plantings and other areas where folks may be tempted to go barefoot.

Try These Garden Companions »

  • Pair with Dusty Miller and Sun Coleus for a pretty foliage combination.
  • Accent with sun-loving flowers, such as Geranium, Petunia, or Lantana.
  • Team with Dragon Wing Begonia for a versatile sun or shade pot.
  • Plant with Pansy, Snapdragon, Flowering Cabbage, and Flowering Kale for an eye-catching cool-weather container combination.

From Our Library