Family: Liliaceae

Scientific Name: Asparagus densiflorus sprengeri

Common Name: Asparagus Fern Sprengeri

DescriptionA popular plant grown indoors and commonly used as a green filler plant in patio pots, hanging baskets, etc. This plant is not an Asparagus and it is not a Fern!
Pronunciation(ass-SPAR-uh-gus)(den-sif-FLOR-us)(SPRING-er-eye)
Plant TypeIndoor Foliage
Sunlightfull sun to semi-shade
MoisturePrefers to be kept evenly moist. Occasionally letting the plant get dry won't kill it. Letting it get bone dry will cause a massive leaf drop. Over watering will also cause yellowing and leaf drop.
Growing Mediaaverage house
Temperatureaverage house, tolerates cold, I have had plants outside into the upper 30 F
FlowersThe flowers are: small, white, waxy, fragrant and have bright yellow/orange anthers.
FruitThe fruit starts green and ripens to red. The black seeds are small to medium in size.
LeavesProduces pendulous stems covered with small linear leaves. Once again Mother Nature has tricked us. The leaves are really not leaves but small-flattened stems called cladodes. The plant rapidly produces strong root masses. Many of the roots will have bulbous fleshy masses. These can act as water storage devices.
Rootsforms masses of white tuberous roots
DimensionsWill become large, cascading over two feet, easily filling out a 10-12" pot. On purpose I have not transplanted plants over an extended period of time and they have either broken the pot or pushed up, out of the pot, leaving only a large mass of white fleshy roots. Stems can reach up to 3 feet long.
MaintenanceAs time goes on the plant will grow out of the pot and need to be transplanted. I have taken the pot bound plants cut an inch thick slab of roots off of the bottom, and trimmed an inch off the sides and replant. Given a little TLC, the plants have recovered. Although this plant can be cut back, it doesn't recover rapidly from this process, but many times this is a necessity.
PropagationThe most common way is to grow from seed. The seeds are hard and black I have germinated the seeds by directly seeding them and also soaking them over night. Both methods seem to work equally well. Older plants can be divided.
Native SiteNative to South Africa, Natal.
Misc FactsNamed after Karl Sprenger (1846-1917), German nurseryman and introducer of a few plants at Vomero, Italy.
Author's NotesI have grown this Asparagus Fern many times. One thing I learned is if it gets to dry to many times the floor will become littered with the yellow, dead leaves (cladodes).
Notes & Reference#02-Exotic Plant Manual (Alfred Byrd Graf), #21-Indoor Gardening (Chicago Botanical Gardens Staff), #70-Indoor Plants (Courtuer and Clark), #158-Plantepedia (Maggie Stuckey)
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