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When to Cut Asparagus Ferns (+ How To Prune Asparagus)

If you’re wondering when to cut asparagus ferns, it’s best to cut back asparagus fern in fall.

As a cousin to lilies comprising daylilies, tulips, hostas amaryllis, asparagus fern is a fern in name, appearance, and characteristics, like the ability to spread rapidly when planted outdoors.

Due to its fast growing and indestructible nature, this tropical perennial is the go for gardeners desiring a pop of greens in their home gardens.

Asparagus ferns thrives when it isn’t exposed to excess sun. It is lant when you require a pop of green. Nutritious and easy to grow, this beautiful plant is a perennial with long branches.

In this article, you’ll also learn how to prune asparagus ferns. Let’s get started!

Asparagus Ferns Overview

Asparagus has little tiny leaves giving it a smooth look. This plant has little flowers and belongs to the plant family, Asparagaceae. It’s a fast growing plant known for growing up to 2-8 feet tall and about 2-5 feet wide.

The basic kinds are plumosa ferns, sprengeri ferns, and foxtail ferns. Each species of the plant has many names and botanical names. For instance, the plumosa fern is called asparagus setaceus and asperagus plumosus. 

It is worth noting that real ferns do not flower; however, asparagus does, and it produces little green or red berries when it’s done flowering.

Asparagus fern is also a highly nutritious plant low in calories and a great choice for weight loss. They are rich in fibre, folate, vitamins A, C, and K.

Eating asparagus has several potential health benefits, including weight loss, improved digestion, healthy pregnancy outcomes, and lower blood pressure.

When to Cut Asparagus Ferns

The best time to cut back asparagus ferns is in the fall for a neat appearance. However, we’d suggest you wait for the foliages to die and turn yellow or brown before cutting the plant.

This usually occur immediately after the first frost, but it can also happen without frost in places where frost does not happen. Researches have revealed that asparagus ferns grow aggressively.

They possess tuberous roots that grow strongly. I would recommend you grow them in containers as house plants or for aesthetic purposes.

It takes a lot of care and patience to grow and cut asparagus fern. One of the most important aspects of caring for the asparagus fern is cutting the asparagus back.

In other words, pruning is a very vital aspect of plant care.This helps to protect the plant a bit from pests and diseases.

After cutting the asparagus fern back, you need to add enough inches of mulch to the plant bed. This helps fertilize the bed, smothering the weeds.

Especially edible plant care, asparagus foliage forms after harvest and strengthens the root system for the following year’s crop. So some people prefer to prune in early winter or late fall.

How To Prune Asparagus Plants

When to Cut Asparagus Ferns

Now that you already know when to cut asparagus fern, let’s quickly look at how to prune asparagus plant.

  • After you observe that the foliage has turned brown or yellow.
  • Cut the plants into the soil and apply the mulch to assist against changes in soil temperature or weeds.
  • However, if you have problems with insects or diseases, I recommend you cut the tops off your asparagus so it can grow very healthy.
  • Before the new spears appear during spring, cut the old tops.

These ferns require pruning to rekindle their growth. While some cut theirs in spring, others do it in the fall.

I recommend you wear your gloves when cutting or pruning them because they can irritate your skin on contact. Cut the plant within 2-3 inches of the soul using clean and sharp pruning shears.

Meanwhile, lightly trim climbing asparagus Ferns. Cut the unwanted part of the growth to the nearest branching stem.

Some people recommend cutting the fronds down to the root.

Tools required in cutting your asparagus plant:

  • Gloves very important you don’t want to get your skin irritated.
  • Gardening knife
  • Pruning shears sharp and clean, of course
  • Fertilizer
  • Household disinfectant or bleach
  • Stuff brush

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I cut asparagus back in the summer?

Yes, you can cut back the asparagus foliage to the ground summer. But it is always advisable to allow the dead foliage to stand over winter.

Can you cut back asparagus in the spring?

Asparagus foliage that is remaining in the garden over the winter months should be cut back in late March or early April before spears start to appear.

Does asparagus grow back after you cut it?

Yes asparagus do grow back after you cut, and this is because perennial plants often return year after year. Besides, there’s no way a plant can last for up to 20 years if it cannot grow back after cutting.

What happens to asparagus if you don’t cut it?

If you don’t cut asparagus plant, what will happen is that asparagus beetles will lay eggs in those ferns, which will feed on the plant’s spears and cause scarring and browning. This is often the case.

What do you do with overgrown asparagus?

Once your asparagus is overgrown, you will want to cut it back. After you’ve done that, add many inches of mulch (10 cm) to the plant’s bed.

This will help to fertilize the bed for next year. Use compost or well rotted manure as they make a fantastic mulch for asparagus in autumn.


Asparagus ferns thrive in homes. In caring for them, do not expose them to direct sunlight. Although this perennial plant needs to be watered often, only water the fern once you notice the top layer of soil drying.  

The Asparagus fern frowns at overwatering as in times of less sun and cold temperatures when it will require very little water.

Mist it often to keep a high level of humidity. Ensure you fertilize every month in its growing season.

This is important to replenish the nutrients yearly to have the elements required for new spear production for whenever you cut your asparagus plant.

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