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Plumosa Fern Care – Bulletproof Hacks

The feathery Plumosa fern is a plant with rapid growth and minimal care needs. However, their rapid growth halts with basic care mishaps.

Plumosa fern proliferates in a bright indirect sunlit warm room (65-80°F). They need loose, porous, acidic (6-6.8 pH) soil and fertilizer every month to sustain their feathery leaves. And give them rain or distilled water every week while managing humidity at 60-80%.

Thus, let me walk you through a comprehensive care routine for Plumosa ferns, so their growth never slows.

Plumosa Fern Overview

Plumosa fern (Asparagus setaceus) is a fern imposter as they belong to the Asparagus instead of the fern family.

They are famous for their unique foliage that blends well in a flower bouquet as a filler.

Scientific NameAsparagus plumosus, previously known as Asparagus setaceus
Common NameAsparagus fern, Lace fern
Native RegionEast or South Africa
Growth Zone 9 to 11
Grown ForFoliage
Mature SizeIndoor: Up to 2 feet tall

Outdoor: Climbs up to 20 feet
Growth RateFast
Growth HabitPerennial, Erect, Climbing
FoliageShape: Broad, Needled leaf

Texture: Featherlike soft

Color: Lime-green
FloweringInsignificant white flower with 2-3 petals.
Flowering SeasonFrom late summer to fall
FruitingBlack or green berry like fruit
ToxicityToxic to Pets and humans
Common Pests Scales, mealybugs, spider mites
Common DiseasesFungal root and crown rot from overwatering

Plumosa Fern: Bulletproof Care Hacks

Plumosa fern won’t bug you much and will grow fine if you consistently fetch them enough water.

plumosa fern quick care hack
Plumosa, aka Asparagus fern, does not have a significant fragrance of its own.

1. Sunlight & Temperature

Plumosa fern tolerates wide light variations but prefers bright indirect sunlight in a warm room with a temperature of 65-80°F.

They enjoy dappled sunlight for 4-6 hours daily at an east or west-facing window. They also grow well outdoors in USDA zones 9 to 11.

But, direct sunlight and temperature <55°F cause fern leaves to turn yellow, limp and push back the growth

In contrast to crispy, dry looks from direct sun, no light causes discoloration of Plumosa leaves, fronds and leggy growth.

Thus, place your plant 3-5 feet away from the window and use frost blankets or heat pads in winter. Or, use an incandescent lamp (10 hours).

2. Watering & Humidity

Plumosa fern is a drought-tolerant plant that thrives in moderate humidity of 60-80% in its natural habitat.

Regularly mist and fetch your Plumosa fern with rainwater every 5 to 9 days or after the top inches of soil becomes dry. But reduce it to once every fortnight in winter.

As the tuberous roots store water, soggy soil from overwatering will cause them to decay.

Moreover, excess moisture causes mold formation and attracts pests & fungal diseases.

watering tips to water your plants
Follow these tips to keep your Plumosa fern hydrated and happy.

Meanwhile, wilting and yellowing leaves with crispy textures are often caused by long-term droughts and low humidity(<40%).

Therefore, opt for the bottom watering approach and add a few pebbles to keep your plant hydrated.

3. Soil & Fertilizer

Plumosa fern proliferates without a hassle in a neutral (6 – 6.8 pH) nutrient-rich, well-draining potting mix.

Provide your Plumosa with a loose, airy soil mix that has medium water retention. Similarly, add balanced 10-10-10 fertilizer monthly to avoid nutrient deficiency. 

However, refrain from fertilizing them in winter to avoid overfertilization as the plant stays dormant. 

Excess fertilizer in the soil causes salt build-ups, chemical burns, curling leaf tips, and brown spots.

Conversely, nutrient-deficient soil suppresses the growth of the plant alongside yellowing its leaves.

Thus, prepare a nutrient-rich, organic potting mix using peat moss, sphagnum moss, perlite, and compost

4. Potting & Repotting

Although Plumosa fern has a rapid growth rate, they stay put in the same pot for almost two years.

However, they need immediate repot if you notice roots poke out from drainage holes. Furthermore, rootbound fern often gets waterlogged and gets crowded on topsoil.

So, repot your Asparagus fern with a 2″ bigger plastic or glazed ceramic pot than the previous pot in spring.

But ensure they have at least one drain hole to let out excess water; if not, drill one yourself.

To reduce the repot stress and to loosen the soil, water the plant a few days before the repotting. 

While repotting, untangle the root and trim healthy roots so you can use them later for root division.

5. Pruning

Like Boston fern, Plumosa ferns need prompt pruning to tame their rapid growth.

For best results, prune one-third of your Plumosa in early spring. But refrain from trimming them in winter.

Similarly, swing the pruning shears any time of the year if they are troubled by pests or fungal diseases.

In general, Plumosa is not impervious to mealy bugs, scale and spider mites.

Meanwhile, fungal root and crown rots are common diseases triggered by overwatering.

Immediately prune off the infected, damaged parts to control and solve such issues. Also, apply neem oil and fungicides regularly to discourage pests.

Plumosa Fern: All About Growth Rate

Asparagus fern is an evergreen, easy-to-grow tropical trailing plant with a rapid growth rate. 

They vigorously grow in spring and summer but remain dormant throughout the winter.

They can easily attain the height of 2 feet even indoors while flaunting their more than five feet-long trailing stems.

Similarly, their vigorous climbing vines can reach up to 20 feet long when kept outdoors.

They have other common names like ferny Asparagus, lace fern, and feathered fern for their unique foliage.

Asparagus fern has a flat triangular, feather or fern-like shaped foliage.

plumosa fern foliage
In nature, the Asparagus fern grows up to 20 feet tall with its climbing vines.

Subsequently, the plant has a brown or burgundy stem with sharp thorns. 

Being an imposter of fern, Plumosa produces white unshowy flowers in its active season. However, indoor ones are less likely to bloom and produce fruit.

After successful pollination, the flower converts into berry-like fruits. Unripe fruits are green at first but turn black after ripening.

The ripe Asparagus fruits bear seeds that can be used to propagate the plant.

Although fruits look appetizing, refrain from eating them because they are poisonous.

You can squeeze the fruit to harvest seeds. Meanwhile, if you are not planning to sow them immediately, store them in a cool, dry place.

Toxicity of Plumosa Fern

Although the Plumosa fern looks alluring and exotic, they lack pet-friendly nature.

According to the ASPCA, Plumosa fern is toxic to cats, dogs, and horses. They are toxic to you too.

Consumption of a berry-like fruit of Plumosa fern triggers vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain.

Furthermore, long exposure to the plant can also trigger skin allergy. Therefore, wear gloves while handling the plant. 

Therefore, carefully place your plant away from your pets’ and kids’ reach.

Contact the following hotlines if you suspect your kids or pets are taking a nibble out of the Plumosa fern.

Propagation Methods for Plumosa Fern

Plumosa fern can be propagated via seeds and root division methods.

However, the root division method is preferred over seed propagation as seeds take more time with meticulous care.

Furthermore, propagation via sprig or stem cutting is not liable for the Asparagus fern.

Therefore, propagate your Plumosa in spring or summer when you’re repotting them.

Now, before getting started, ensure you have rooting hormone, sterilized pruners and fresh potting mix.

1. Propagation via Seeds

The matured fruits bear seeds that can be used to propagate Asparagus fern. Otherwise, you can buy one from a verified online retailer.

  • Presoak the seeds for 24 hours using lukewarm water.
  • Prepare or buy a slightly acidic seed starter mix.
  • Moisten the mix and fill in the germination tray.
  • Sprinkle seeds over the mix and partially cover them with a thin layer of mix.
  • Place the tray in a bright room and regularly fetch water to keep the soil moist but not soggy.

Within a month, seeds should germinate. Once the seedlings appear strong and healthy, transplant them into a new pot.

Plant them 2 to 3 feet apart to avoid nutrition competition if you plan to keep them outdoors. 

2. Propagation via Root Division

As Asparagus fern can not be propagated via stems, you can use trimmed healthy roots while repotting.

Thus, clean the root balls using lukewarm water properly after taking the plant out of the pot. 

Carefully trim the healthy tubers with one stem attached using a sterilized pruner.

Plant each trimmed root tuber in a fresh potting mix and fetch them water, and voila! You did it. After successful propagation, follow the regular care routine.

Plumosa Fern for Sale

The easygoing Plumosa is popular for its exotic cascading foliage that easily adds mini-forest vibes to your space.

Here are a few online stores with Plumosa, aka Asparagus fern, for sale.

Places To BuyDelivery
EtsyAbout 7-10 days after placing order
Garden Goods DirectWithin 3 to 5 business days
Whole BlossomsShips within 5 days
Blooms By the BoxWithin 2 to 3 weeks
Hirt's GardensShips within 2 days of purchase

Wrapping Up…

Plumosa fern is an ideal houseplant with alluring foliage that can act as an excellent air purifier.

But remember to strategically place them somewhere you and your pets regularly can not reach.

Happy Gardening!!!

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