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Climbing Asparagus Asparagus plumosus

Previously known as:

  • Asparagus setaceus
Phonetic Spelling
a-SPARE-uh-gus plu-MOH-sus
This plant has high severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Asparagus Fern is a wiry shrub with branches that scramble or climb if support is provided. It is one of the fastest-growing, least demanding houseplants.  Asparagus ferns are not ferns at all, they belong to the asparagus family.  The common names are derived from their appearance, the plumes of feathery foliage resemble delicate, lacy ferns.

They need bright indirect light, without full sun and high humidity.  Insufficient light as well as insufficient water will result in yellow needles that drop.  Should these conditions damage the plant, the yellow needles will not rejuvenate, however, once proper conditions are met, new growth will appear at the soil line.  

They prefer rich, slightly acidic, well-drained soil.  They produce large, tuberous roots that can become pot bound quickly.  If pruning is necessary, cut stems all the way back to the root rather than just shortening them.  Misting daily will help keep maintain proper humidity. 

Insect and pest problems: they are prone to mealybugs, spider mites, and scale.

It has become weedy in some locations where it grows outdoors.  

Site: They can be brought outside under the shade of a tree during the summer, but prefer temperatures of around 70 degrees F.

Quick ID Hints:

  • Leaf-like cladophylls*
  • Branches in horizontal planes*

They are grown for the graceful feathery-like, fern-like foliage, sprays are utilized in floral arrangements.  They are adaptable to wide variations of light, temperature, and frequency of watering. Prefers medium warmth with regular watering in spring to autumn, sparingly in winter.  It is intolerant of high light intensity, avoid direct sunlight.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  Root rot can occur when the lighting is insufficient, i.e. too dark, or the soil is allowed to remain wet.

Insect issues can include aphids, spider mites, blackfly and root mealybugs.  Ensure that plants that have been outdoors are checked before bringing into the home.

The berries are poisonous if eaten.  The thorns that form along the length of the stem are sharp and may cause skin irritation.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#houseplant#shrub#fine texture#frost tender#feathery leaves#showy leaves#scrambling#interiorscape#hanging baskets#flower arrangements#fast growing#herbaceous#poisonous fruits#deer resistant#feathery#fern-like#fantz#humidity tolerant#skin irritation#container plant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#houseplant#shrub#fine texture#frost tender#feathery leaves#showy leaves#scrambling#interiorscape#hanging baskets#flower arrangements#fast growing#herbaceous#poisonous fruits#deer resistant#feathery#fern-like#fantz#humidity tolerant#skin irritation#container plant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Asparagus
    Species:
    plumosus
    Family:
    Asparagaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Houseplant
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Southern and Eastern Africa
    Play Value:
    Easy to Grow
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Deer
    Climbing Method:
    Twining
    Edibility:
    The berries are poisonous.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 0 in. - 1 ft. 6 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 1 ft. 6 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Ground Cover
    Perennial
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Needled Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Climbing
    Erect
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Fine
    Appendage:
    Thorns
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    12 inches-3 feet
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    9b, 9a, 10b, 10a, 11b, 11a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Black
    Green
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Occasionally produces a red berry-like structure, rare. They blacked as they mature.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Insignificant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Petals:
    2-3 rays/petals
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Tiny white flowers appear late summer to fall. Inconspicuous, rare in interior settings.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Needled Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Soft
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Fronds
    Leaf Shape:
    Acicular
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Plumosus comes from the Latin word "plume" because the leaves are feather-like. They produce soft, fine lime-green needle-like leaves that can cascade down a container on pendulous stems or can be trained up a trellis like a vine.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Red/Burgundy
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    Wiry, herringbone pattern, lateral branches progressively shorter towards apex. CLADOPHYLLS bright to dark green, triangular-shaped, pointed apically. Thorns along the stem are sharp.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Hanging Baskets
    Houseplants
    Patio
    Landscape Theme:
    Shade Garden
    Design Feature:
    Specimen
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Humidity
    Problems:
    Poisonous to Humans
    Problem for Cats
    Problem for Dogs
    Weedy
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    High
    Poison Symptoms:
    Digestive issues, abdominal pain and vomiting
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Sapogenins
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    Yes
    Poison Part:
    Flowers
    Fruits
    Sap/Juice