Emerald Fern - Your Ultimate Guide

Updated on September 30, 2023

Have you ever found yourself entranced by the verdant beauty of the Emerald Fern? You're not alone. This charmingly delicate yet resilient plant, scientifically known as Asparagus densiflorus Sprengeri, has made its way into the hearts and homes of gardening enthusiasts worldwide. Commonly referred to as the Sprenger Asparagus Fern, this gem is sure to spruce up any indoor or outdoor space.

Quick Care Guide

Before we dive into the beautiful world of the Sprengeri Asparagus Fern, let's get you up to speed with a snapshot of its care essentials. Consider this your cheat sheet for keeping this leafy beauty thriving:

  • Light: Bright, indirect light. Avoid direct sunlight.
  • Water: Thoroughly water, let the top 2-3 cm of soil dry out before the next watering.
  • Temperature: Coolish room between 7–21°C/45–70°F is ideal.
  • Humidity: Moderate to high humidity. Bathrooms or kitchens can be ideal spots.
  • Soil: Well-drained potting mix.
  • Fertilization: Feed once a month during spring and summer.
  • Pruning: Remove yellowing stems at their base during winter.
  • Propagation: Divide during spring.
  • Pests: Keep an eye out for red spider mites.

Keep these quick tips handy, and your Emerald Fern will reward you with its lush, feathery foliage all year round.

Detailed Plant Description

Now, let's take a closer look at our star, the Emerald Fern or Asparagus Sprengeri. Contrary to its common name, this "fern" is actually a member of the lily family! Its feathery, arching fronds give it a fern-like appearance, making it a standout in any plant collection.

The Emerald Fern blooms tiny white or pinkish flowers, transitioning to bright red berries as the plant matures. With its average height reaching up to 2-3 feet, it's compact enough for a desktop or large enough for a statement floor plant.

Originally hailing from the warm coastal regions of South Africa, the Emerald Fern has adapted beautifully to life indoors across the globe. However, in certain areas, it's considered invasive due to its fast growth and tenacity. Therefore, outdoor planting should be done responsibly considering your local ecosystem.

Light Requirements

Emerald Fern, also known as Asparagus Sprengeri, is a bit of a drama queen when it comes to light. It loves to bask in the glory of bright, indirect light. But, just like us, it's not a fan of sunburn. Direct sunlight can cause its vibrant green leaves to turn a sad shade of yellow or even brown.

An east or west-facing window, where the plant can enjoy morning or late afternoon sun, is a perfect spot for your Sprengeri Asparagus Fern. You may be tempted to put it in that sunny south-facing window, but remember, too much direct sunlight is a no-no. If you notice the leaves are getting scorched or turning a bit crispy, just pull it back a bit from the light.


Watering your Emerald Fern is less about a set schedule and more about meeting its needs based on the conditions it's experiencing. The golden rule? Allow the top 2-3cm of soil to dry out between waterings.

This plant isn't a big fan of soggy feet, so make sure you're using a well-draining soil and a pot with proper drainage holes. Overwatering could lead to root rot, a silent killer among plants. On the other hand, if your fern's leaves start turning brown at the edges, it's a cry for more H2O.

Temperature and Humidity Requirements

When it comes to temperature, the Sprenger Asparagus Fern is adaptable. However, it's happiest in a "coolish" room, with temperatures ranging from 7–21°C/45–70°F. Be sure to avoid drastic temperature changes, though. No fern likes a cold draft or a scorching radiator.

Humidity is where the Emerald Fern says, "the more, the merrier!" While it will tolerate some dryness, it truly thrives in higher humidity levels. If you've got a bathroom with a window that gets good light, your fern will think it's at a spa retreat. If not, consider grouping it with other plants to up the humidity level or invest in a small room humidifier.

Remember, keeping your Emerald Fern happy is a delicate balance, but don't worry - once you get to know your plant, you'll be able to read its signs like a book. And trust us, it's worth it to see those lush, feathery fronds thriving in your care.


When it comes to feeding your Emerald Fern, or as the botanists would say, Asparagus Sprengeri, think of it as a frequent yet light eater. An all-purpose liquid fertilizer works wonders here. Monthly feedings during the growing season (spring to summer) will keep your plant's appetite satiated.

Just remember - less is more when it comes to fertilizing. Overfeeding can cause more harm than good, leading to burnt foliage or even a prematurely deceased plant. If in doubt, dilute your fertilizer a little more than recommended. Your Sprenger Asparagus Fern would rather be underfed than overfed!

Soil and Potting

Good news, folks - the Emerald Fern isn't fussy about soil. Any well-draining potting mix will do the job. However, adding some perlite or coarse sand to your potting mix can improve drainage and prevent waterlogging.

The pot you choose is just as important as the soil. Make sure it has plenty of drainage holes and is spacious enough to accommodate the growing root ball of your fern.

As for repotting, keep a close eye on your plant. When the roots start giving you a "peek-a-boo" from the drainage holes, it's time to upgrade. Spring is the best time for repotting, giving your fern enough time to settle into its new home before the growing season.


Propagation is a fantastic way to multiply your Emerald Fern family. The best time? You guessed it - spring. Here's a simple step-by-step guide for propagation through division:

  • Gently remove your fern from its pot, taking care not to damage the roots.
  • Using your hands or a clean, sharp tool, divide the root ball into two or more sections, each with some healthy fronds.
  • Plant each division into a pot with fresh, well-draining potting mix.
  • Water the newly potted divisions well and place them in a location with bright, indirect light.
  • With a little patience, you'll see new growth in a few weeks!

Remember, each new Emerald Fern plant you propagate shares the same DNA as the mother plant. It's a bit like creating clones of your favorite fern, without the sci-fi twist!

Pruning and Maintenance

My fellow gardeners, let me tell you, your Emerald Fern needs a good haircut every once in a while. But don't worry, it's simpler than it sounds. The best time to prune is in spring - just snip away any yellow or dead stems at the base. Remember, a happy fern is a well-groomed fern!

As for maintenance, remember our golden rules: bright, indirect light, regular watering (but don't overdo it), and monthly feedings during the growing season. With a little care, your Sprenger Asparagus Fern can thrive and become a real conversation starter.


Even with the best of care, sometimes issues pop up. But don't worry, with a little detective work, we can get to the root of the problem (pun intended).

  • Yellowing leaves? This could be due to too much light or inconsistent watering. Try moving your fern to a slightly shadier spot and be sure to let the top couple of inches of soil dry out between waterings.
  • Brown edges? It's a sign of too much sun or dried-out compost. Again, relocating your fern to a less sunny spot can help, and remember to keep the soil slightly moist.
  • One last heads-up - the Emerald Fern is prone to red spider mites. These tiny pests can be a nuisance, but a weekly pest check can help you catch and deal with them early.

Toxicity Information

If you're a pet owner or have little ones running around, it's important to know that the Emerald Fern can be mildly toxic if ingested. Its sap can also irritate the skin. So, while it's a beauty to behold, it's best kept out of reach of curious pets and children.


So there you have it - the insider's guide to Emerald Fern care. From its flexible light requirements to its graceful, feathery foliage, the Emerald Fern is truly a gem among houseplants. With these tips in your gardening toolbox, I have no doubt you'll be a successful Sprengeri Asparagus Fern parent.

So go on, give it a try! Who knows, you might just discover your new favorite plant. Happy gardening, my friends!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How do you take care of an emerald green fern?

Taking care of an emerald green fern involves providing it with bright, indirect sunlight, watering when the top 2-3 cm of soil is dry, and feeding it with a balanced fertilizer monthly during its growing season.

Do emerald queen ferns like sun or shade?

Emerald queen ferns prefer shaded areas or indirect sunlight, as direct, strong sunlight can scorch their leaves and cause them to turn brown.

How do you take care of an emerald asparagus fern?

Care for an emerald asparagus fern by placing it in bright, indirect light, watering it regularly without over-saturating the soil, and feeding it with a balanced liquid fertilizer during the growing season.

How often do you water an emerald queen fern?

Water an emerald queen fern about twice a week, or when the top 1-2 inches of the soil feels dry to the touch. Always remember to avoid waterlogging the soil.

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