Botanical Name: Asparagus densiflorus 'Myers'
Origin: Foxtail Fern originates from South Africa.
Height: The plume-like fronds of the Foxtail Fern can grow up to around 90 cm (3 ft) in length.
Soil: Asparagus densiflorus 'Myers' will do well in any quality potting mix, but, like other Asparagus Ferns, will benefit from the addition of a little peat moss.
Light: Foxtail Ferns like bright, but indirect light. Strong full sunlight may scorch its needle-like leaflets, which will turn yellow or drop off if insufficient light is provided.
Humidity: This house plant prefers moderate to high levels of humidity, and will benefit from being placed onto a pebble tray. It will also appreciate (though not need) a misting with room-temperature water from time to time.
Temperatures: To keep this plant happy, average temperatures should range between 16 and 24 degrees C (60 to 75 degrees F).
Water: While watering should be thorough, the potting mix should be allowed to dry a little before watering again, as over-watering may cause root rot. During the winter, watering should be done sparingly, although the soil should never be allowed to completely dry out.
Fertiliser: From spring into autumn, Asparagus densiflorus 'Myers' should be fed once a month with a diluted (50:50) balanced fertiliser.
Propagation: Foxtail Ferns can be propagated via division, which should be done in spring. After carefully removing the plant from the container, the thick roots should be cut with a sharp knife to prevent pulling and tearing.
Description and Care Tips
Easy to grow, beautiful and - according to some - more decorative than the Asparagus Fern, its close relative, the Foxtail Fern features gorgeous emerald coloured, upright plumes that make it a magnificent accent plant.
The fronds of Asparagus densiflorus 'Myers' are densely covered with 2.5 cm (1 in) long, needle-like leaflets, giving this house plant a feathery, delicate appearance. In spite of this delicate appearance, it is an aggressive grower and will need cutting back or dividing during the months of spring to keep it under control.
Cutting back the stems will keep the Foxtail Fern bushy and compact, and removing older, faded fronds will encourage new growth and keep it looking its best. Spring is also the best time to repot the plant. The new pot should be only a single size larger than the previous one. As the tuberous, fleshy roots occasionally push up the soil as they grow, it is best to leave some space - approximately 2.5 to 5 cm (1 to 2 in) - between the top of the soil and the pot's rim.
This house plant likes dappled sunlight, and too much sunlight may not only scorch the leaflets, it may also cause them to drop, as will dry soil. Although Asparagus densiflorus 'Myers' will tolerate occasional short drought periods, it will grow best when watered well, especially during active growing periods. It is, however, vital not to over-water Foxtail Ferns, as the thick roots store water and soggy soil will inevitably lead to root rot.
Rapid changes in temperature, changing light conditions and over-watering, as well as under-watering, may cause the leaflets of the Foxtail Fern to turn yellow, as will spider mite infestations. As a rule, once the problem causing the plant distress is resolved, new growth will resume quickly. In addition to spider mites, Asparagus densiflorus 'Myers' is also prone to infestations by scale insects and mealy bugs. Preventative measures and regular checking are therefore essential. If an infestation does become serious, it is best to cut all stems right back to the base and allow new growth to form from the bulbs.