Do you know Asparagus Ferns resemble ferns due to their feathery leaves? But unlike true ferns, which grow in the shade, Asparagus Ferns have different lighting demands!
Improper lighting demeans the fancy leaves of the plant. So, read on to identify lighting issues with your Asparagus Fern and different ways to provide optimal light.
Table of Contents Show
- Overview of Asparagus Fern
- How Much Light Does Asparagus Fern Need?
- Asparagus Fern Light Requirement (How to Ensure Optimal Light?)
- Do Asparagus Ferns Grow in Artificial Light?
- FAQs About Asparagus Fern Light Requirement
- From Editorial Team
Overview of Asparagus Fern
Asparagus Fern is a denser subspecies of perennial Asparagus that grow regal fern-like feathery leaves, hence its name.
When properly cared for, it can enjoy indefinite life as a houseplant but can wilt and die in a few years.
But you can extend its perennial life span by offering lighting care which is vital to keep back its green leaves.
Check out the brief description of the plant from the table.
|Scientific Name||Asparagus setaceus|
|Common Name||Asparagus Fern, Asparagus Grass, Lace Fern, Climbing Asparagus and Ferny Asparagus|
|Native Range||South-East Africa|
|USDA Zones||9 to 11
Survives zones 7 to 8 with frost protection
|Life Cycle and Habit||Evergreen Herbaceous Perennial|
|Height and Spread||3 feet × 3 to 4 feet|
|Grown For||Leaf-like Cladode (branchlets of leaves) giving it a fern-like appearance|
|Foliage Color||Bright Green or Bluish-Green|
|Flowering Seasons||Spring to Fall|
Shape: Bell-shaped with recurved petals
|Toxicity||Berries poisonous to humans and pets|
How Much Light Does Asparagus Fern Need?
Asparagus Fern is best grown in bright yet indirect sunlight.
Additionally, Asparagus Ferns will attain signature glossy green leaves when the lighting duration, quality and intensity are correct.
But the problem of leaf discoloration (yellowing) is common with light-deprived Asparagus Ferns, while browning leaves indicate burns due to strong light.
Because of less sunlight, the chloroplasts in Asparagus Fern leaves fail to make the peculiar green chlorophyll, resulting in discoloration.
Moreover, intense sunlight can suck away all the water from the leaf cells, causing leaf burns.
Although Asparagus Fern can survive low light conditions, it would not fare well with the plant’s leaves and vertical growth.
Signs of Light-Deprived Asparagus Fern
Some signs of a light-deprived Asparagus Fern are as follows.
- Light-green to pale leaves
- Leaves attaining small size with the leggy appearance
- Stunted growth of the stem
- Wilting leaves and petioles
Signs of Light Saturated Asparagus Fern
Intense light surfaces the following signs in Asparagus Ferns.
- Gradual yellowing of foliage
- Plant with overall droopy looks
- Marginal browning and crispy leaves
Asparagus Fern Light Requirement (How to Ensure Optimal Light?)
Asparagus Fern naturally grows in the canopy of tall trees, rocks, and bushes.
Therefore, you should try mimicking similar conditions when growing them at home.
1. Plant Location
Asparagus Ferns naturally prefer a shaded location that receives ample bright sunlight.
Additionally, Asparagus Ferns can tolerate direct morning or evening outdoor sunlight for 1-2 hours.
However, prepare your plant by gradually exposing it to direct sunlight daily for a few hours before permanently moving it outside.
For this, place the plant in meager direct sunlight for 2 hours a day for over 4 days.
Continue the process for 7-10 days before ultimately transferring them outdoors.
2. Light Intensity
Asparagus Fern prefers low to medium light intensity to grow evenly. Keeping them in dappled light with reduced intensity is wise.
Some would even manage well over 1000 footcandles but ensure the location has ample relative humidity, over 50%.
3. Light Duration
Asparagus Fern loves low to medium-light plants, requiring daily 4-6 hours of dappled sunlight.
Since it does not produce large leaves, it will manage well without countless hours of sunlight.
You can use artificial lights to fulfill the Asparagus Fern light requirement and mimic a natural setting.
Thus, your Asparagus fern will produce tiny white blossoms and later berries when the lighting condition is accurate.
4. Light Quality
The quality of light is more crucial to Asparagus Ferns indoors because the dappled natural light may lack beneficial light colors and temperature.
So, Asparagus Fern’s growth, color, and blossoms will depend on the combination of light colors it receives from the light source.
Moreover, full-spectrum lighting, with blue and red wavelengths (400-700 nm) with smaller amounts of green, yellow, and infrared wavelengths, will help photosynthesis.
But, Asparagus Ferns will need more blue and red light colors to produce lush, green leaves.
Do Asparagus Ferns Grow in Artificial Light?
Asparagus Fern will grow well in artificial lighting with the correct light intensity and spectrum to boost chlorophyll production.
Light quality is more of a concern with Asparagus Ferns using artificial light.
Therefore, consider a proper distance to keep your Asparagus Fern from the light source.
Here is a small table describing the distance between the grow light and the plant.
|HID Grow Lights (400W)||12”-19” away from the plant|
|HID Grow Lights (600W)||14”-25” away from the plant|
|LED Grow Lights (240-400W)||16”-30” away from the plant|
|LED Grow Lights (450-550W)||20”-30” away from the plant|
|CFL (200W)||6”-10” away from the plant|
However, avoid overcompensating your plant by providing extended hours of artificial lighting, which may burn the leaves.
FAQs About Asparagus Fern Light Requirement
What is the Best Place to Keep Asparagus Fern?
Asparagus Ferns love high humidity with lots of bright indirect light.
So, a well-ventilated bathroom is a supreme place to locate the plant.
Can I let Asparagus Fern Climb?
Asparagus Fern is a climber with feathery leaves and thorny stems that loves to climb.
However, you must keep its growth under control indoors so it won’t creep into unwanted light sources.
Can Asparagus Fern Survive in Low Light?
Asparagus Ferns can survive in low light, but the foliage may not remain bright green.
Still, you can move the plant outdoors for a few hours in winter to keep it tip-top.
From Editorial Team
Use Shades to Protect from Bright Light!
If you are situating Asparagus Fern near a south-facing window and there is not enough space for relocating the plant, you can use sheer curtains to shield it from direct sunlight.