Outside of the edible Asparagus officinalis, the genus Asparagus has been largely relegated to the role of tropical houseplant. Some gardeners even think these lily-relatives are related to ferns because of their common name (Asparagus ferns) and their frilly foliage.
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We grow many wonderful Asparagus ferns from China, Korea, and Africa that have proven to be reliable sun garden perennials. We are continuing to experiment hoping to find even more. Asparagus ferns are very durable and extremely drought tolerant in the garden while providing a nice airy textural contrast to the bolder elements of the garden. Some are also salt tolerant plants. Some asparagus ferns, such as Asparagus virgatus make great cut specimens for flower arrangers.
Most Asparagus species are lianas which are a type of semi-woody vine that climb primarily by leaning on its neighbors, often clinging to them with the help of short thorns. Thus, tall plants like Hedychium, Arundo, Bambusa, Polygonum, Aralia and Verbesina would make nice companions.
When you are ready to buy asparagus ferns for your garden, check out our list of asparagus ferns for sale below.
Since 1988, Plant Delights Nursery has been the choice of serious gardeners and plant collectors looking for the best and rarest perennial plants. We are pleased to have received the Perennial Plant Association Retail Award in 2011, the American Horticulture Society Commercial Award in 2002, and to have been selected as one of the Best Mail Order Plant Sources - Garden Design Magazine 2010. Welcome to our family of plant lovers!
We have grown this splendid South African native asparagus fern in the garden since 2000 and would have shared it by now if it wasn't for the paucity of seed production. The thin upright stalks of Asparagus africanus emerge as a 1' wide clump, producing very stiff dark green "fronds" that fill a 4' tall x 4' wide space. The stems are so durable that the plant acts like a punching bag that bounces back to an upright position if the plant is punched, kicked, or hit with an errant small vehicle (all of which are illegal in states with asparagus hate crime statutes). Asparagus africanus makes a superb textural contrast against bold foliage plants. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
Our form of Asparagus cochinchinensis comes from Korea's Chuwang Mountain where it grows on very dry rocky acidic (pH 4.3) cliffs. The 7' long twining deciduous stalks are clothed with soft, fleshy, dark green foliage and adorned with tiny white flowers in mid-May (NC). We have found Asparagus cochinchinensis to be a wonderful textural element in the garden, best when planted where, like an inebriated partygoer, it can lean on a sturdy friend. In fall, the foliage turns a fabulous bright golden yellow. The tubers of Asparagus cochinchinensis have been used in Chinese medicine for lung and kidney cleansing, and to treat chest pain, cough, bloody phlegm and dry stools...I'm not making this up. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
We are thrilled to offer our winter-hardy selection of the popular houseplant, Asparagus setaceus. This form hails from near Cathcart in South Africa's Eastern Cape at 4,773' elevation, where it grows in dry rocky fields. For us, it has made a wonderful vigorous specimen against a board-on-board fence. Asparagus setaceus is composed of 8' long twining stems, adorned with soft, but bristly dark green foliage and tiny white flowers in spring. In fall, the deciduous plants are covered with tiny red fruit. So far, this has been through 7 degrees F with no adverse affects. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
We first became acquainted with this wonderful asparagus thanks to the late Ferris Miller, founder of Korea's Chollipo Arboretum. The rich, green, lacy foliage makes an easy-to-grow, wonderful textural clump, 2' tall x 3' wide. If pollinated, it will be adorned with bright red berries in late summer and fall. I can think of few plants better to add a textural contrast to the garden. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
Imagine an asparagus that behaves like a twining vine to 15' tall, has glossy green foliage covered in fragrant white flowers in late spring, and is smothered with 1/2" bright red ornamental berries in late summer. Did I mention it's cold hardy to Zone 3? Would you believe it? Well, it's true, and we are pleased to be able to share one of the most unique plants we have encountered. The original seed came from the old DeGiorgio Seed Company via the late Harlan Hamernik, who also adored this perennial in his Nebraska garden. The foliage stays green into the mid-20s F, serving as a perfect foil for the red berries. Any sturdy trellis, old junked pickup, or stationary highway worker is perfect for support...stand back and watch it grow. Fruiting should take about 3 years from potted plants...very cool! Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
This South African broom fern really swept me off my feet with its garden performance. Asparagus virgatus is a wonderful winter-hardy evergreen garden addition where an airy texture in sun is needed. The 3' tall upright spikes open into a soft, thread-like, green "broom." Each 3' wide drought-tolerant clump can be used as a textural contrast in the garden, for a long-lasting filler in floral arrangements, or to treat syphilis and intestinal worms. You gotta love those multi-use plants. In September the foliage of Asparagus virgatus is adorned with a multitude (catalog lingo for more than one) of small red berries. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)