My indoor asparagus fern was looking straggly – with tendrils reaching from its perch on the landing window sill almost down to the stair turn (approx 4 feet – sorry didn’t think to take a pic).
The original plant was given to us by our friend Jo Fletcher and has traveled around a fair bit. I have re-potted it several times but in a rather haphazard fashion and it was a job I had been putting off for some time as I was not quite sure how to tackle it, i.e. how much to cut off. In the end I took off this much…
A little reading up told me that to promote dense growth I should pinch back the asparagus fern’s stem tips by about a third every few months and, if the plant’s shape becomes too sprawling,to cut back the oldest stems close to the soil to encourage new growth.
The article warns the stems of mature asparagus ferns can become tough and woody, with tiny but sharp spines along the branches and to protect hands with gloves – but really they are not bramble style thorns and unlikely to break the skin unless you are excessively frail, just a little prickly. The writer should try rehoming some of my cacti …
It also told me to ensure that when repotting to include some of the fleshy bulbous roots. Having untangled a spiraling mass and divided the plant in two I thought perhaps some of the root could go or it would refill the pot and leave no room for new soil. I cut out a large mass and as an experiment put it in a pot in the garden to see if it would regrow.
I have ended up with two ferns of manageable size to go back indoors and I now know to keep pinched them out to stop those straggles.
We should all learn something new every week!