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Asparagus fern

Asparagus aethiopicus

A hardy evergreen trailing groundcover that grows branches up to 1m long. Not a true fern, but often discribed as one. It can be utilised in both full sun or shade in large containers or hanging baskets. Variety 'Cwebe' can only be grown in semi-shade. Flowers are often small white or pink and sweetly scented, flowering erratically once every 2-3 years. They have bright red berries that attract birds and have a low toxicity if consumed by humans. Fairly drought tolerant once established and tolerate different soil types although it prefers loamy soil. Used in cut flower arrangements and tubers are traditionally used as a supplementary food source in summer. Versatile evergreen garden plant or pot plant.

Planning

Difficulty
Easy
Flowering time
Summer
Fruiting time
Autumn

Harvesting

Harvest fruits for propagation after it has flowered.

Propagation

Seed
Sow seeds in Spring one and a half times deeper than the size of the seed. Sow in a sandy soil mix and keep moist.
Division
Divide the thick tubersroots and branches with enough of each in the new clumb.
Tubers
The fleshy roots form tubers that stores enough reserves for a new plant - use them to quickly multiply, but give help in keeping moist and a good nutrient-rich soil.

Special features

Drought resistant
Underground roots store water in thick tubers.
Pot plant
Excellent hanging basket plants where the green foilage will tumble over the sides.

Geography

Origin
South Africa
Natural climate
Coastal regions to rocky areas and woodlands.

Environment

Light
Full Sun
Soil moisture
Moist
Soil type
Loam
Soil PH preference
Neutral
Frost hardiness
Hardy

Uses

Notes
Versatile evergreen garden plant or pot plant. Roots can be eaten.

Personality

Family
Asparagaceae
Flower colour
White or pink
Scent
None

Problems

Little pests or diseases.

Companion plants

Clivias sp., Agapanthus sp.

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