Plumosa fern is also called Asparagus fern. It is not a common houseplant and is mainly found in wilds. But if you want you can grow it as a houseplant.
For caring plumosa fern you need to learn about its growing needs. Like light, water, fertilizer, temperature, and humidity.
Pruning, repotting and propagation are other important plumosa fern care steps.
It has feathery, soft leaves that look like a fern. But in actual it is not a real fern. It is a member of Liliaceae (lily’s family).
The plant is native to South Africa.
In today’s article, you find every single growing and caring detail about the Asparagus Plumosa fern.
Quick Care Guide
|Common Names||Plumosa Fern, Asparagus fern, Asparagus plumosa fern|
|Size||Less than 2 meters|
|Light||Minimum 4 hours per day|
|USDA hardiness zones||9b, 9a, 10b, 10a, 11b, 11a|
|Pests||Mealybugs, Scales, Spider mites|
|Toxicity||Cats, Dogs, and Horses|
About the plant
Plumosa fern is an evergreen perennial plant. Under ideal growing conditions, it grows rapidly. You can control the growth of indoor growing asparagus plumosa fern by pruning it on time.
In the US if you are living in or above the USDA zone 9. Then you can grow it in your outdoor garden. Whereas in other zones it has to be grown as a houseplant. Because when you grow it in containers you can save it from outdoor weather.
You can move the container outside in good weather. And move it inside when the outdoor temperature becomes unsuitable for plumosa.
In the first few years, the plant produces soft leaves. As the plant gets old the soft stems become woody and it develops small spines.
Therefore, my advice is to wear garden gloves and then prune it or clean it. This plant also produces small green berries and they turn into red color when get matured. You can use red matured berries to multiply this plant.
Because red-berried has the seeds in them. Later in this article, I will explain the best method of plumosa fern propagation.
You May Also Like: How to grow Eyelash Fern Indoors?
Plumosa Fern Care
If you are growing it indoors then you need to keep a record of its growing needs. It is easy to grow and maintain with little attention. In case you left the fern on its own the plant will cover the entire place and create a mess. Because it has the tendency to grow rapidly.
Therefore, keeping eye on its growth is very important especially in the case of outdoor growing plumosa fern.
Below is the perfect Asparagus plumosa fern care guide. Follow the steps as it is and have the beautiful asparagus fern plants.
You May Also Like: Gollum Jade Plant Care tips
It is best for the plant if you grow it as an indoor plant. Because it does not require full sun to grow. In fact, excess exposure to sunlight can scorch the plant. Always grow tiny leave plants in shade. They do not have the immunity to absorb and utilize the high intense sun rays.
Like other living things, it does need some amount of light. Limit light exposure to a maximum of 6 hours per day.
If your apartment does not have sunny windows. Then you can use artificial grow lights. Use any branded 100 watts grow light.
If the plant is growing well in indoor light it is good. But if it develops the yellow leave. Then you need to move it in the sunlight. Morning low intense sunrays are beneficial for this plant.
It will revive its health in 3 to 4 days.
Plumosa fern needs loose well-draining soil. The soil should have some organic mixes in it for the supply chain for nutrients. One way is to buy the commercial potting mix and plant fern in it.
The second method is using your garden soil to grow asparagus plumosa fern.
As we all know you cannot use your garden soil as it is in the containers. You need it makes it suitable for indoor plants.
And for this add perlite into the soil. The amount of perlite depends on the size of the container. Generally, you have to use 15 % perlite, 15% sand, and 70 % garden soil.
The soil also has to have some organic components to supply nutrients to the plant. Do not add compost to the containers. Because it has bacteria in it (good for plants). Compost is good for outdoor container plants.
Use any branded organic fertilizer to add it to the soil. This will surely boost soil fertility.
You need to be careful while watering the plumosa fern. Always give water to the roots of asparagus. This way the plant can absorb the water efficiently.
Never mist water on the plant leaves for any reason. This will cause the leaf to rot. Once the plant gets affected by leaf rot. It is hard to keep them alive. In the initial stage, you can save it by removing the rotted leaves.
When you just plant it in the pot, you need to water it regularly. Once the plant gets established in the container. Then reduce the water applications.
Drinkable water is best to water plumosa fern plants. Such water does not have a high number of salts.
If you use rain barrels to collect rainwater. Then give it rainwater without any worries. It acts like a miracle on plants
The last thing you need to follow is a strict watering routine. This way you do not miss any watering session and your plant get enough time to absorb it.
Do not forget to use the bottom hole pot for plumosa fern care.
Fertilizer for plumosa fern care
For best plumosa fern care give it some healthy boost in form of fertilizers. Fertilizers are of 2 types one is granular and the second form is liquid.
For indoor plants always use liquid fertilizer. Whereas granular or powdered fertilizers are best for outdoor garden plants.
First of all, dilute the liquid fertilizer according to the given instructions (check the bottle). Use clean fresh water to make good nutrient plant food.
Then give it directly to the soil. Do not spray nutrients on the leaves, this will burn them. Plants absorb nutrients via their roots. Leaves absorb sunlight and moisture from the air.
Use synthetic fertilizers for container plants. These fertilizers are made commercially to suit indoor plant needs. They do not release unpleasant smells like organic fertilizers. Also, they do not have living bacteria in them. So, they are safe to use on plants that are growing inside your home.
The 18 to 24 degrees C temperature range is ideal for plumosa fern care. Maintain the indoor temperature in this range for your plants.
The interesting news is it can tolerate low temperatures than high temperatures.
You can leave the plant container outside up to -6 degrees C. Below 6 causes health problems to the asparagus fern.
Put the indoor plumosa fern in a stable temperature. In short, find a place in your home where the temperature does not change suddenly. Minor fluctuations are ok for the plant. But frequent drop or increase in the temperature in a day is not a good place to grow your plant.
Buy a temperature Monitor from Amazon and install it near the plant. This you will know when and how many times the temperature drops or rises in a day. From this data, you can find a suitable place for the plants.
Plumosa fern needs 70 % air humidity to grow stable. If you have low humidity in your home. Turn ON your humidifier.
You can mist the water on the plant in a limited quantity. But only in summers because misting water in other seasons causes leaf rot.
The other method of increasing humidity level is called plant grouping. Put all pots of plants close to each other. This will help to increase the humid level of the grow room.
The last technique includes a pebble tray filled with water. Put the plant pots on it. When the water gets evaporated from the tray. It increases the air moisture around the plant pot.
Do not put the plant in the bathroom. Because there we have more than 80 % humidity. Such a humid place is not good for plumosa fern.
Repotting is necessary to keep the plant healthy. But the question is how will you know when to repot plumosa fern to a new pot. Follow the below techniques.
You need to repot it when the plant roots get infected by the fungus disease. When the leaves of the plant turn yellow and brown. This indicated that the roots are suffering from the fungus.
Take the plant out of its pot, inspect for the fungus. Remove the rotted part of the roots and plant it again in new soil.
Repot the plant when the plant roots entangle themselves. Plants that grow in pots do not have enough room to spread their roots. When the roots grow large in size, they make a nest. Your plant shows stunted growth with wilting leaves.
The third time you need to repot is, due to the pathogen in the soil. If the plant gets any other disease that stops its growth. It is probably due to pathogens.
They are not common in houseplants. This condition is only possible when you use old infected soil in pots without sterilizing it.
Plumosa fern Propagation
You have 2 propagating options one is to propagate plumosa fern from seeds and the second is from root division. The root division method is easier than seed propagation.
In this method, you have to have some plumosa fern seeds. Buy them from the market or harvest them from your old fern plants.
The berries that fern produce is the seeds of the plant. Save them from the plant and plant them in a seed starting mix.
Then put the pot in the low light
Seeds will take about 15 days to germinate. Remember that not all seeds will germinate. The germination process of seeds has a less than 70 % success rate.
When the sprouted seeds get a minimum of 2 leaves then transfer them to their individual containers.
Choose springtime to do propagation by root division. In this technique, we use healthy root tubers. Do not use stem cutting for propagation. The stem will not produce roots.
Once you have tubers, plant them in the different pots. Give them regular water and they will grow the same as the parent plant.
Pruning of plumosa fern is necessary to keep it healthy. The good news is you can cut the long stems from the base. This will not harm the plant. Because the stems can grow again.
Prune it when you see dead parts of the stems and leaves. Wear garden gloves and use sharp shears to cut and remove the dead part of the plant.
Also, remove the old stems that look woody and develop spikes. These stems destroy the beauty of the plant.
Pests & Diseases
Mealybugs, spider mites, and scales are the common pests that are enemies of fern plants. Whenever you see them remove them right away.
Use neem oil and dishwashing liquid in equal amounts in a spray bottle. Then spray this liquid on the plant. This will not cause leaf rot. Because the neem oil is anti-bacterial. In fact, it saves plants from many common pests and diseases.
Root rot is a common disease when plants are given excess water. Generally, new growers give extra water to the plants. Because they think plants need only water to grow. They need water every day like humans.
But this not true, before growing any plant know about its growing requirements.
Once the plant root gets infected by rot. You need to remove the rotted roots to save the plant.
Plumosa fern toxic
Yes, the plumosa plant is toxic to cats, dogs, and horses (source: ASPCA). If you have any pets at home then it is your duty to keep them away from the plant.
Because the berries of plumosa fern cause stomach pain, vomiting, and diarrhea when ingested.
Frequent contact with plant leaves can cause skin irritation. In this case, apply anti-inflammatory cream.