13 Asparagus Fern Types: Find Your Perfect Variety!

You’ve probably heard of asparagus ferns if you’re a plant lover. The plants are popular among gardeners due to their attractive feathery, fern-like leaves and clumping habit. Each type of Asparagus fern offers unique features, including different foliage shapes and growth habits. 

This article will explore 13 types of asparagus ferns, their characteristics, and how to care for them. 

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced gardener, this guide will provide the information you need to make an informed decision and add asparagus ferns to your collection.

Types of Asparagus Ferns for Growing Indoors

Asparagus ferns are cherished for their lush, feathery foliage, making them ideal for indoor gardening. Here’s a closer look at various indoor-friendly Asparagus fern varieties:

1. Asparagus Asparagoides (Bridal Creeper)

Asparagus Asparagoides (Bridal Creeper)

Origin: Native to Eastern and Southern Africa.

Appearance: Glossy green, lance-shaped leaves up to 2 inches long, woody stems reaching up to 10 feet, tiny white spring flowers, and red toxic berries.

Care Tips: Plant in a contained area to prevent invasiveness. Prefers well-drained soil, full sun to partial shade, tolerates heat and dryness but not cold temperatures.

2. Asparagus Compact Sprenger Fern

Asparagus Compact Sprenger Fern

Origin: Member of the lily family.

Appearance: Delicate, bright-green leaves with tiny, needle-like leaflets on arching stems. Blooms small white flowers in summer, producing poisonous crimson berries.

Care Tips: Requires frequent, moderate watering and bright, indirect sunlight. Ideal for hanging baskets, groundcovers, or accent plants. Propagate through seeds or divisions. Hardy in USDA zones 7 through 11.

3. Asparagus Densiflorus ‘Nana’

Origin: South African native.

Appearance: Decorative, compact plant ideal for indoor settings.

Care Tips: Needs bright but indirect light, warm temperatures (above 13°C), and high humidity. Avoid drafts and radiators. Suitable for bathrooms or terrariums.

4. Asparagus Densiflorus ‘Meyeri’ (Foxtail Fern)

Asparagus Densiflorus 'Meyeri' (Foxtail Fern)

Origin: South African native.

Appearance: Needle-like cladodes forming fern-like leaves. Grows up to 3 feet in height and width, blooms tiny white flowers in spring.

Care Tips: Thrives in sunny locations with well-drained soil. Water regularly in summer and fertilize bi-weekly during the growing season. Ideal for container gardening, groundcovers, or as a feature plant.

5. Asparagus Plumosus (Plumosa Fern)

Asparagus Plumosus (Plumosa Fern)

Origin: Native to Southeast Africa’s subtropical and tropical rainforests.

Appearance: Known for lacy, delicate fronds, popular in cut flower arrangements.

Care Tips: Low maintenance, excellent air purifier. Prefers indirect light and regular watering.

6. Asparagus Retrofractus

Asparagus Retrofractus

Origin: Native to Western South Africa.

Appearance: Light-grey, zigzag stems, can grow up to 3 meters high.

Care Tips: Easy to grow, ideal for adding height to spaces. Requires regular care and maintenance for longevity.

7. Asparagus Scandens (Climbing Asparagus Fern)

Asparagus Scandens (Climbing Asparagus Fern)

Origin: Native to South Africa.

Appearance: Slender, climbing stems with small, soft, bright green leaflets. Blooms tiny white flowers in summer.

Care Tips: Easy to care for, prefers bright, indirect sunlight and regular watering. Can be grown in hanging baskets, as groundcover, or as a specimen plant. Fertilize bi-weekly, mist regularly, prune in spring, and repot every 2-3 years.

8. Asparagus Setaceus (Lace Fern)

Asparagus Setaceus (Lace Fern)

Origin: Native to South Africa.

Appearance: Delicate, fern-like foliage, wiry stems covered in sharp spines, can grow up to 6 feet tall.

Care Tips: Prefers well-drained soil, full sun to light shade. Minimal maintenance required, including weekly fertilizing during growing season and routine watering in hot weather. Prune in spring for new growth.

Types of Asparagus Ferns Suitable for Outdoors

9. Asparagus Acutifolius (Wild Asparagus)

Asparagus Acutifolius (Wild Asparagus)

Origin: Mediterranean region.

Appearance: Perennial plant growing up to 2 meters, with spiny stems and small leaves. Produces white spring flowers and black berries.

Care Tips: Prefers full sun to moderate shade and well-drained soil. Water frequently in hot weather. Ideal as a ground cover, border plant, or hedge. Edible young shoots, though not as soft as cultivated Asparagus.

10. Asparagus Cochinchinensis (Chinese Asparagus)

Asparagus Cochinchinensis (Chinese Asparagus)

Origin: Native to Eastern Asia.

Appearance: Climbing plant up to 2 meters tall with slender stems and needle-like leaves. Produces white spring flowers and black berries.

Traditional Use: Roots and rhizomes used in traditional Chinese medicine for various health benefits.

Care Tips: Consult a doctor before using for medicinal purposes. Grows well in well-drained soil and full sun to partial shade.

11. Asparagus Falcatus (Sickle Thorn)

Asparagus Falcatus (Sickle Thorn)

Origin: Native to South Africa and Mozambique.

Appearance: Can grow up to 7 meters tall, with thorny stems and a climbing nature. Produces white spring flowers.

Care Tips: Thrives in well-drained soil, full sun, and partial shade. Versatile use as a groundcover, border, or hedge. Young shoots are edible. Requires regular watering and fertilizing.

12. Asparagus Aethiopicus (Sprenger’s Asparagus)

Asparagus Aethiopicus (Sprenger's Asparagus)

Origin: Indigenous to South Africa.

Appearance: Grows up to three feet tall with a long, trailing habit. The foliage is airy and fluffy. Produces tiny white spring blooms and red summer berries.

Care Tips: Low maintenance, drought-resistant. Prefers direct, intense sunlight but can tolerate some shade. Suitable for both indoor and outdoor settings, including window sills and hanging baskets.

13. Asparagus Densiflorus ‘Sprengeri’ (Emerald Fern)

Asparagus Densiflorus ‘Sprengeri’ (Emerald Fern)

Origin: Closely related to the vegetable asparagus.

Appearance: Long and slender stems that can reach up to 2 feet, covered with small, needle-like leaves.

Care Tips: Prefers bright, indirect light and moist, well-drained soil. Requires high humidity; mist regularly or use a pebble tray. Versatile for indoor and outdoor use.

How to Care for Asparagus Ferns


Regular watering is key for asparagus ferns, but it’s crucial to strike a balance to avoid overwatering. These plants have tuberous roots that are efficient at storing water, making them susceptible to root rot in overly wet soil. 

Due to their feathery leaves, asparagus ferns experience a higher rate of water transpiration, necessitating frequent watering. However, in the winter, reduce watering since the plants’ growth rate slows down, even though they do not become dormant.


Asparagus ferns are best suited to bright, indirect light. They can tolerate moderate direct sunlight, but only for limited periods to prevent leaf damage. 

Ideal lighting conditions can be achieved under filtered or dappled light, such as beneath a tree canopy or near a translucent window curtain. 

For indoor plants, fluorescent or LED lamps providing 12 to 14 hours of light daily will help maintain their lush appearance.


The ideal temperature range for asparagus ferns is between 18°C to 21°C during the day and 10°C to 13°C at night. 

They can withstand brief periods of lower temperatures, down to about 4°C, but exposure to frost or freezing conditions is harmful. 

Temperatures above 24°C may cause the ferns to wilt or suffer foliage damage, so it’s advisable to grow them in a cool, shaded area.

Read: Different Types of Spider Plants


Thriving in tropical and subtropical regions, asparagus ferns prefer humidity levels of 60% or higher. Low humidity can lead to brown tips, dry fronds, or leaf drop. 

Using a hygrometer to measure humidity levels can be helpful. To increase humidity, regularly mist the plants, use a humidifier, or place them on a pebble and water tray. Grouping these ferns with other plants also helps in maintaining desirable humidity levels.


Regular fertilization is crucial, especially during the spring and summer when asparagus ferns are actively growing. 

A balanced 5-10-10 fertilizer or one specifically formulated for houseplants is recommended. In the fall and winter, reduce the amount of fertilizer or cease it altogether to avoid salt buildup in the soil, which can damage the plant’s roots and leaves.


Pruning should be done in late winter or early spring before new growth begins. Using sharp, clean pruning shears, cut back the stems by one-third to one-half of their length. 

Focus on removing any dead, damaged, or diseased stems at the base. After pruning, dispose of the cuttings responsibly and provide water and fertilizer to encourage new growth and reduce stress on the plant.


Repot asparagus ferns every 1 to 2 years, depending on their growth rate. The process involves using a larger pot, fresh soil, and scissors. 

Carefully remove the plant from its old pot, loosen the roots, and trim away any damaged parts. Place the plant in the new pot with fresh soil, press down firmly, and water thoroughly to settle it in.

Pest Control

Asparagus ferns can be susceptible to pests like spider mites, mealybugs, and scale insects. 

Visible pests should be removed with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol. If the plant develops a disease, a suitable fungicide is recommended for treatment.


Asparagus Ferns offer a diverse and attractive range of indoor and outdoor gardening options.

Each type, from the delicate Sprengeri to the robust Myers, brings its own unique beauty and ease of care. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a novice looking to add some green to your space, Asparagus Ferns are a versatile choice.

By understanding the different types available, you can choose the perfect fern that suits your aesthetic preferences and care capabilities, enriching your environment with their lush, feathery foliage. Remember, the right Asparagus Fern can transform any space into a serene green haven.

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