Why is My Asparagus Fern Turning Yellow?

Asparagus Fern
Asparagus Fern (Source: Etsy)

Are you worried that your Asparagus Fern is turning yellow?

Keep your worries at bay because it is one of the common problems in this ornamental perennial plant.

Usually, Asparagus Fern turns yellow due to overwatering, but there are other reasons too.

Yellowing of Asparagus Fern is primarily due to environmental stress like overwatering or under watering, excessive sunlight, less sunlight, pests infestation, incorrect fertilization, etc. Usually, Asparagus Fern turns yellow due to water-clogged soil damaging the roots and turning the plant yellow.

Listen to this article here:

A well Nourished Asparagus Fern
A well-nourished Asparagus Fern. (Source: Etsy)

First, you need to speculate the cause and treat the plant accordingly to eradicate the issue.

This article will be your ultimate guide to diagnose the cause for yellowing Asparagus.

Is it Normal for Asparagus Fern Leaves to Turn Yellow?

Asparagus Fern has more delicate leaves, making it more prone to various environmental stresses. So, yellowing leaves of Asparagus Fern is normal.

However, yellowing of the plant could be a possible sign that you overwatered the plant or due to other causes mentioned above.

Treatment of yellowing Asparagus Fern is possible by understanding the underlying cause.

But, you must be alert if the whole plant turns yellow. The yellowing of the entire plant indicates that the plant is under some severe environmental stress.

Furthermore, the yellow plant will turn brown, which indicates that the plant is about to die.

Why is my Asparagus Fern Turning Yellow?

It’s common for Asparagus Fern to turn yellow if it is overburdened with water or due to lack of enough light.

Also, some of the other reasons for Asparagus to turn yellow are fertilizer problems, pest infestation, lack of water, oversupply of light, and underwatering.

First, it is important to find out the root cause of the problem and solve the issue accordingly.

Asparagus Fern
Asparagus Fern (Source: Pexels)

1. Watering Issues

Both over and under watering are the reasons for Asparagus Fern turning yellow.

Asparagus Ferns have tuberous roots that store water during availability. So, the plant can act quite well even during the drought.

But overwatering may invite excessive moisture in the soil leading to Root Rot.

Roots require oxygen to survive but if the soil is always soggy, the root cannot intake the required oxygen. Hence the yellowing of the leaves starts.

Pro Tip: Always remember to inspect the plant every two to three days to notice any changes. This will prevent the plants from getting damaged in the critical stage.

Similarly, the long-term drought resulting in dry soil might also be the reason for the yellowing of the plant.

At first, you could notice the yellowing in the foliage, which later turned brown and crispy.

To recover the foliage is not easy, but new foliage will appear in the plant after regular watering resumes.

Save an Overwatered Asparagus

Check if the Asparagus has been overwatered, examine the soil. Also, check if the soil takes a bit longer to drain water.

Now you know that your Asparagus Fern is overwatered, you need to rescue your plant from dying.

  • First, pause the watering and let the soil dry out completely before watering again. However, if the soil is not drying properly, there might be a drainage issue.
  • Consider repotting with soil mix having 60% peat, 30% perlite, and 10% compost. In a matter of time, your plant will flourish with the given proper environment.
  • Also, avoid planting in the larger pots as it takes longer for the soil to dry out during watering.
  • Root rot with brown or black, mushy roots are very fragile, and if there is an offensive odor from the soil. You will immediately need to repot your Fern, removing all affected roots with sterile pruners.
A girl is watering the plant with a can
A girl watering the plant. (Source: Unsplash)

Save an Underwatered Asparagus Fern

  • Immediately water the plant until the soil is completely wet and the excessive water overflows from the drainage holes.
  • Observe the plant regularly and water the plant regularly after the soil loses moisture
  • Keep the water checked until the plant revives completely.
  • As usual, place the plant in indirect sunlight during the whole recovering process.
Dry and Cracked Soil
Dry and Cracked Soil

Tips to Water Asparagus Fern Properly

  • The plant loves being kept well-watered in the warmer season. They like moist soil but not the soggy one in the warmer months.
  • However, in autumn and winter, be conservative to watering.
  • Water the plant evenly and regularly by observing the soil’s moisture.
  • Then, reduce the watering time until the soil turns completely dry.
  • Don’t wait until the soil dries out to extremity.
  • The watering schedule is not always the reason for excessive soil moisture. Sometimes it is a drainage issue. Make sure your pot has drainage holes.
  • Fill your pot halfway with water and drain excess water accumulated in the saucer.
  • Timely review the soil by placing your finger in the soil

Are you In need of a Watering Can? Here are 10 Cute Mini Watering Cans for Indoor Plants with pros and cons.

2. Drainage Issues

Either, Too Compact Potting Mix or Inappropriate Container, both invites drainage issues. 

If your Asparagus fern is planted in poorly draining soil, there is a high chance of it getting Root Rot.

Sometimes, the soil might have less air or space due to excessive moisture in the pot. You can put a good potting mix to access a good airflow to the roots.

Potting Mix For Plants
Potting Mix For Plants (Source: Pexels)

Consider the soil mix with

  • 60% peat,
  • 30% perlite, and
  • 10% compost.

Put some stones or pebbles on the bottom of the soil to make a good airflow inside the pot.

If the pot hasn’t got good drainage, it is pretty obvious for the moisture to get trapped inside the pot.

Also, the plant’s roots will not provide enough nutrients needed for the plants. This lack of nutrients caused due to less supply from the roots results in the yellowing of the plant. 

It is best to transfer the plant to a pot with good drainage holes. Also, you can create drainage holes in the previous pot itself.

Always make sure the pot has well drainage while watering the plant. 

If you are growing Asparagus in a container, choose a pot that is strong enough to hold the root system as the plant matures.

Both clay pots and plastic pots are ok. But using clay pots means that some of the water in the soil can evaporate through the sides of the pot which isn’t the case for the plastic pots.

Terracotta pots with saucer pans
Terracotta pots with saucer pans (Source: Amazon)

You can start with small pots. You should consider repotting as the plant matures.

In a matter of time, your plant will flourish with the given proper environment.

3. Low humidity

Asparagus fern thrives in moderate humidity. So, it is best to create a humid environment around the plant.

Also, a too dry environment could contribute to the yellowing of leaves.

So, don’t forget to mist the plant daily.

Here are 8 Best Plant Spray Bottles for Plants to fulfill their humidity requirements.

4. Improper Lighting Issues

Asparagus Fern needs bright but indirect light. It is best to put the plant in such an environment with little moisture in the soil.

Sometimes Asparagus Fern turns yellow due to less light or excessive light. So, to save the plant from yellowing, always make sure you keep your plant in a proper light setting.

You can check the intensity of light by examining the shadow. For example, if your shadow is clear rather than faint, this might be the perfect lighting for your plant.

Excessive lighting can turn the foliage of the Asparagus Fern into yellow.

Since the plant can only tolerate up to 1-2 hours of direct sunlight per day.

Bright indirect sunlight is ideal for Asparagus Fern.
Bright indirect sunlight is ideal for Asparagus Fern. (Source: Unsplash)

Best is to put it in the northeast-facing area as the plant will receive enough light throughout the year.

Tips to Provide Adequate light

  • If your plant is not receiving a good amount of light, move the plant to an area with proper lighting. With enough light, the plant should start reviving.
  • Use artificial grow light as fluorescent tubes to provide an excellent balance for light.
  • Also, remember to change the plant’s location according to the season. This change in placement is necessary because the lighting varies according to the time of the year.
  • Keep them away from radiators.
  • Place the plant in a bright location with indirect sunlight.
  • To avoid direct sunlight, place the plant about one meter away from a window.
  • On outdoors, hang the plant on a patio or in the shade of a tree.
  • Draw curtains or blackout drapes in front of the window to avoid direct sunlight.

YES! The color of the light affects the growth of plants. What Light Color is Best for the Plant’s Growth? is here to solve your queries

5. Cold Temperatures

Asparagus Fern loves warm temperatures. The plant suffers from the cold temperature making the leaves turn yellow.
They need a minimum temperature of at least 13°C.

Mini portable greenhouse with grow light for Indoor Plant Care
Mini portable greenhouse (Source: Amazon)

If you expose the plant to a colder temperature for a longer period, the temperature might kill the plant to the round.

However, the plant can grow back from the roots after the end of the cold season.

Tips to Maintain Warmer Temperature

  • Bring the plant indoors to avoid the harsh winter outside
  • Avoid putting your plant around coolers, air conditioners, vents, etc., as the cool air might affect the plants, making them sick.
  • Place the plants in the bright area where there is indirect sunlight
  • Water the plant only if the topsoil is very dry.
  • Avoid placing your plant near drafty areas, heating and cooling vents like radiators.
  • You can also use heating pads to protect them in winter.
  • Creating a greenhouse effect using transparent plastic is another way to protect the plant from cold.

Note: A sunny location with direct bright Sunlight is a double NO.

6. Fertilizer Issues

Asparagus fern does well in the soil, rich in organic matter.

Also, the plant has low fertilizer needs. However, it is not bad if you give a bit of nutrient now and then.

It is good to feed some balanced half-strength fertilizer once a month during the growing season.

Always remember to balance while providing fertilizer to the plant because both under fertilization and overfertilization can turn Asparagus Fern yellow.

Underfertilization

If your Asparagus Fern is under fertilized, the plant may show symptoms like yellowing of the leaves and slow growth.

And if you are concerned about the yellowing of the plant, the deprivation of a good supply of nourishment for a long gap results in the yellowing of the leaves.

Fix the Underfertilized Asparagus Fern

  • You should moisten the soil before supplying fertilizer to the plant unless you are using liquid fertilizer.
  • Fertilize the plant with equal parts of potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorus.
  • Continue the supply of the fertilizer once a month during the growing season but, pause during the winter.

Overfertilization

As much as an under-fertilization result in the yellowing of the Asparagus fern, overfertilization can exhibit the yellowing symptoms too.

Yes, if you supply too much fertilizer to the plant, it doesn’t perform best.

But, like us, plants do not like to feed too much or starve when hungry. So, moderation is the key.

But, be careful about over-fertilizing it. Over-fertilized Asparagus plant’s leaves will develop brown tips. This can be another problem which you need to avoid.

Fix the Overfertilized Asparagus Fern

  • If the yellowing of the plant’s leaves is due to over-fertilizing, stop fertilizing the plant immediately.
  • Pause the fertilization to the plants for a few months and restart with a long gap between.
  • Drain the fertilizer out of the soil by watering to take the fertilizer out of the root
  • If there is a solid form of fertilizer, remove it carefully but make sure 1/4 of the soil remains
  • Remove the yellow or wilted leaves
  • Consider consultation or rethink the fertilization supply for the plant.
Fertilizer for asparagus fern
Soil mix with fertilizer (Source: Pexels)

Tips for Proper Fertilization of Asparagus Fern

  • Fertilize only once a month with the half-strength formula
  • Make sure you supply fertilizer in the wet soil unless you are using the liquid fertilizer
  • Stop fertilizing the plant in the winter season when the plant is in the dormancy period

7. Infestation of Pests

Asparagus Ferns face problems due to common pests like mealybugs, spider mites, and scale.

Types of PestsPest IdentificationSymptoms Of Infestation
Meal BugsSmall and pale with waxy filamentsYellowing of leaves and leaves fall
House Plant ScaleLooks like fish like scale stuck to plantsDeformed leaf growth,
pale leaves and brown pock marks
Spider MitesTiny in size

Often seen with web with heavier infestation
Discolored appearance and spotty surface

These pests weaken the plant by extracting hydration and good nutrients are one of the reasons for the yellowing of the plant.

Solutions

  • Wipe the leaves with a cotton swab containing rubbing alcohol.
  • Trim the heavily infected parts
  • Spray with liquid insecticide soaps (mixture with 1 tablespoon of liquid baby soap with 1 liter of water)
  • You can spray need oil concentration too

After you notice any pest infestation, treat the infected plant immediately. You can use horticultural or insecticidal soap to remove the pests from the plants.

Pests found on leaves
Pests on leaves. (Source: Pixahive)

Ever heard about the effectiveness of Neem Oil for Indoor Plant? Here is an article: How to use Neem Oil on Indoor plants?

Preventive Measures

  • Examine the plant in two to three days to notice any changes.
  • Make sure to check underneath the leaves too.
  • Keep away healthy plants from the infested plants.
  • Increase humidity by spraying with water.
  • Always remember to disinfect the pruning tools so that the healthy plants won’t get infected.

8. Transplant Stress

Usually, transplant stress occurs if you transfer the plant from one environment to another.

For example, if you buy an Asparagus Fern plant from a well-conditioned greenhouse and place it in your house. The new plant needs some time to adjust to the current environment.

So, the process of plant transfer might turn its leaves yellow.

The yellowing of the leaves indicates environmental stress from coping with the environment. Usually, during the first few weeks, the plant might show some yellow leaves.

To avoid transplant stress, you can try to provide a similar condition to the plant, like it has been set before. Placing the plant in a colder environment will exaggerate the issue more.

Finally, have patience. If you take care of the plant well, the plant will revive after a while.

Should I Remove the Yellow leaves?

Yes, you should remove the yellow leaves, as doing so will give space for new growth.

So, pluck out the yellow twigs or use sterilized scissors to cut off the yellow leaves. If the plant has turned full yellow, consider cutting the leaves only.

Consider cutting all the leaves because they are not turning green again.

But, in a matter of time, you will see the growth of healthy leaves from the stems. The only way to turn the fern plant green is to wait until it produces new foliage.

Also, don’t forget to examine if your pot is draining the water well.

Potted asparagus fern
Asparagus Fern (Source: Etsy)

Conclusion

The best way to approach curing the yellowing of Asparagus Fern is to understand the cause.

Usually, the plant turns yellow due to various environmental stresses.

Some common causes of the yellowing of Asparagus Fern are overwatering, under watering, too much sunlight, less sunlight, transplant stress, fertilizer issue, and pest infestation.

No need to be an expert green thumb to save your plant from yellowing.

Just apply whatever you have learned from this article. Then, you are good to go!

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