10 Reasons to Plant (and How to Propagate) the Foxtail Fern

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GoranH / Pixabay
GoranH / Pixabay

The Foxtail Fern Is an Easy Landscape Plant for the Waterwise Garden
The foxtail fern is an evergreen, drought-resistant plant that requires little care and looks bright green all year long. It is likewise known as Asparagus meyeri or Asparagus densiflorus ‘myers’.

It is from the South Africa area and grows in the Mediterranean environment zones, however it can likewise grow inside your home in pots and be brought outdoors when the weather permits. It is a simple plant to take care of and will offer many years of satisfaction in your lawn.

10 Factors to Love the Foxtail Fern

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There is no trimming or pruning (as is necessary for hedges or roses).

A fully grown plant will grow to 6 to 8 feet across, but new plants will remain about 3 or 4 feet across for 12 years or more.
For the 32 years I have actually had my plant (envisioned), pests have not assaulted or decreased its health.
It is simple to begin brand-new plants by dividing the base root system with 10 or 12 sprays connected.
If you reside in SoCal or a comparable zone, you will be extremely happy with this plant. Snowy climates will need to bring them in for shelter throughout the colder months.
This inedible asparagus plant is a member of the lily family and is not technically a fern. It is durable– even the occasional frost will leave no obvious damage.
The foxtail ferns in my yard do not get additional water (other than during prolonged durations of 95 degrees or more).
It has tiny white flowers that attract honey bees.
My plants have not tasted a drop of chemicals and are flourishing.
The foxtail adds intense green to contrast with other landscape plants in a semi dry climate.

Two Kinds Of Asparagus Fern

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The plant highlighted here is the Meyeri. The other type, the Sprengeri, has thinner stems that do not stand on their own. Know which one you desire when buying a new plant. Avoid Sprengeri, as it is very invasive. Plant enthusiasts seem to get these 2 plants mixed up. The term “asparagus fern” is typically utilized for both types, and “foxtail fern” is mainly utilized for the Meyeri with the compacted tails.

The Sprengeri is categorized as a weed in Hawaii, Florida, New Zealand, and Australia.

It takes about 4 or five root diggings to rid a location of it. In the 1970s, it was popular as a potted plant and was widely readily available.

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Above, you see both types: the Meyeri on the left and the intrusive Sprengeri on the right. Big mistake, in my viewpoint. Numerous plants in this planting are water-hungry and I discovered in the late afternoon there was evidence of plenty of watering. Not wise in Southern California.

At the upper right, 2 foxtails are planted where, as fully grown plants, only one will fit.

How to Look after a Foxtail Fern.

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Enough about the invasive plant. The foxtail fern looks fabulous with a clean out two times a year. Pare away nonessential and liven up the sides of the bushes.

Keep in mind that there will always be sprays that are dead or drying up. These are the earliest and this is the way the plant keeps itself under control. Two times a year, weed out these dry sticks and tidy the plant to spruce it up.

To do this, raise the sprays off the ground, and hold them to the center. Work into the center, cutting off dead, browning, and thinning spears at least 4 inches from the base. There are always new shoots.

Last, loosen up and select branches from former cuttings to enable locations for brand-new growth.

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If you get more than 10 sprays browning out in one season, you might have to give the plant more water!

Another method is get the spear about midway down, then entering the opposite direction of the line of growth, snap the spear back with a quick motion. It just breaks off at the base. This method is particularly easy to do if the plant has dried a couple of weeks. It took me a very long time to realize I can utilize this quick motion technique. Attempt it on your bush. Make certain to wear gloves.

What Other Plants Can Be Planted Near a Foxtail Fern?

A landscape requires more than a foxtail fern. The aeonium, the sago palm, and jade plant do well next to the foxtail plant.

The sago palm is a chore to keep, but it looks excellent next to the foxtail.

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Succulents are a breeze and the aeonium are colorful and add brand-new textures to the entire landscape. As soon as you have a section established with succulents, replant with brand-new cuttings when a year to replace the long and leggy older ones.

Other Tips.

Use single plants for dramatic color.
In a mass planting, thin out the specific plants as they grow and more crowded to leave the remaining plants 8 feet apart. The root mass gets thick and forms a mound at the center and can be four to six feet in diameter. New spears might grow from any area.
A mature plant will not enable any plants to grow next to it because of its thick root system. Be cautioned: if space is limited, this plant might not be for you.
Purchase only one asparagus meyeri fern. It is extremely easy to propagate. (Guidelines listed below.).
The Sunset New Western Garden Book says it “will endure light frosts but may be killed to ground by extreme cold. Frosted plants often return from roots.”.
It is a houseplant all over; however, it will turn yellow in dense shade.

Little White Flowers.

Little flowers appear on fully grown plants and bring in ratings of honey bees. These flowers become red berries that draw in birds. The berries are stated to be dangerous for felines and dogs. Our dogs have constantly disregarded the berries.

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How to Propagate Foxtail Fern.

The mature plants can be divided into new plants. All you require is a little muscle, a narrow shovel, and some time.

Step One:.
Decide where to split off the plant. In the pictures, you’ll see I take less than a quarter of the plant. I hold the spears down for ease of separating. That method the shovel can be utilized to slice into the root mass. It might be difficult opting for lightweight garden enthusiasts. Slice down as far as you can.

Step Two:.
On the outside of the plant about 6 inches from the stem base, begin digging down and under the root mass. Utilize the shovel to leverage it out by putting your weight down on the end of the manage. Work around the target area three or four times. Now attempt to raise it out. You might have to operate at a few spots to work it totally free.

The root ball is not tough and tangled with thin thick roots, so this should not be too challenging to do. In this photo, you can see how the roots are loose at the bottom.

Step 3:.
Here is the section out of the ground. Clear out cut roots, stems, and loose dirt to offer the new growth plenty of space and air pockets.

Step Four:.
Here is the root ball cleaned up. It is still a little big for the new pot, so I reduced and thinned it out some more. The new plant will have 13 green spears. The pot is filled with shop purchased potting soil.

Step Five:.
The plant will get plenty of water and a somewhat shaded area till brand-new growth appears.

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The Young Foxtail Plant.

Young foxtail are sluggish to develop. In reality, it takes them about 2 or 3 growing seasons to develop in the ground. On a young plant grown in shade, the spears are a darker green and not as dense looking.

Foxtail Fern Q&A.

Have You Grown Foxtail Fern?
Offer us your experience with this asparagus fern plant. Have you showed yourself a green thumb grower with this plant or did yours disappear? Ask concerns if you like. I may have your response.

Lots of readers have actually included their growing pointers in this section. Check out the remarks here for more suggestions on the foxtail fern.

Some concerns responded to below.

1. What are the balls on the roots?

2. How a Wisconsin grower winter seasons her plant.

3. Chris E. offer us her regimen in snowy WVirignia for her two potted foxtails.

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