How To Divide Asparagus Fern In 2 Easy Steps

It only takes two steps to learn how to divide asparagus fern, and you should be ready to propagate this perennial herb. Much like a shamrock plant, asparagus fern is one of those plants that even newbie gardeners can easily divide. With this in mind, who wouldn’t want an attractive perennial that is also not that common?

Asparagus fern isn’t exactly a fern, but instead, it comes from the family of tulips and daylilies. It will thrive well indoors as a houseplant or in a greenhouse as an ornamental, but be wary that some states consider it an invasive species outdoors. Nonetheless, it bears attractive and feathery foliage for creating eye-catching mounds with flowers and showy berries

 

How To Divide Asparagus Fern For Beginners

Unlike some perennials, you can’t use cuttings for rooting asparagus fern. Instead, the most common and recommended way of propagating asparagus fern is by division. You can also use seeds or its berries, but you can save time, effort, and money by using existing asparagus fern plants and divide them.

 

Step #1. Preparation and sectioning

Much like dividing other plants, it’s always ideal to prepare the new container for the divisions. You also want to get your parent plant ready by watering the day before division to the point that the medium’s top 2 inches are saturated. This way, it will have a healthier root system that could survive stress easily. 

 

When to divide asparagus fern?

When is the best time to divide asparagus fern? Do it in spring so that it is still actively growing. Slide the asparagus fern from its pot, and if you’re struggling, gently shake the container without damaging the roots and losing much of the soil in the root ball.

 

How to cut asparagus fern for division?

Cut multiple sections on the root ball using a sharp and sterilized knife using rubbing alcohol and drying it. With division, it’s crucial to sanitize all your tools to prevent bacterial or fungal infection. Make sure that each division has plenty of roots, stems, and leaves for growth later on. 

If a section doesn’t have sufficient foliage, it will struggle to photosynthesize and grow. A useful tip to have equal foliage on each portion is tying each group as you cut through the root ball. You can also tease the tangled roots by finger. 

 

Step #2. Planting and maintenance

 

Where to plant asparagus fern divisions?

Once you have your sections, their new and individual pots should be ready beforehand to prevent them from drying. What medium is best for asparagus fern divisions? A simple potting mix composed of loam, perlite, and coir should work well with your sections. 

When planting, ensure that their crowns are well-flushed with the medium to help with establishment and support. And if you have divided other plants before, you’re probably aware of the importance of watering them to aid establishment. You can also place them in the greenhouse to protect from direct sunlight, as their ideal amount is only 50% shade to prevent stress. 

 

How to water asparagus fern divisions?

How to maintain asparagus fern divisions? After the initial deep watering, you must keep the medium moist for the first weeks. Be careful not to saturate the soil, and you can let it dry out for a day between waterings when the asparagus ferns have established themselves. 

As mentioned earlier, you can use a greenhouse as your location for the divisions because the conditions indoors do not fluctuate. Harsh climates outdoors can stress the young plants, so it’s advantageous to start in the greenhouse. Afterward, you can gently acclimate your divisions (e.g., from 50% shade to 25% shade) before transplanting or repotting. 

 

Caring For Asparagus Fern

Asparagus fern plants are hardy and resistant to drought, and you can appreciate how they don’t require a lot of attention to maintain. However, it’s still better to bring them indoors if the cold season in your region gets very harsh. They may also need repotting after two years and trimming every spring to maintain their health and bushy appearance. 

The ideal location for asparagus fern is warm, around 70°F, with humid conditions and speckled shade in a loose and well-draining medium. It must never receive direct sunlight, which is why it’s an ideal houseplant or greenhouse ornamental. For other maintenance practices, keep it hydrated by misting daily and feed them weekly during summer. 

Lastly, pests and diseases are not common problems with asparagus fern, but this doesn’t mean that you should overlook proper practices like consistent checking and cleaning. In general, treat the asparagus fern with care and love as you would with less hardy plants. 

 

Conclusion

Asparagus fern may not be edible, nor a fern, but it’s a unique plant to get for your house, greenhouse, or garden. If you’re curious about how to divide asparagus fern, you’ll be pleased that it’s as simple as sectioning a mature plant and planting it in a pot of loam, perlite, and coir. Put the young plants out of direct sunlight and regularly mist as they establish themselves. 

Asparagus fern plants are also hardy and generally resistant to common plant problems, so there’s no need for particular practices to maintain them. 

 

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How To Prevent Root Rot In Hydroponics: 3 Useful Tips

If you’re a newbie gardener who’s looking to find ways to hone your skills, you’d want to learn how to prevent root rot in hydroponics even before this problem affects your plants.

Hydroponics can be advantageous to crops in more ways than one. However, it also comes with risks of diseases, such as root rot, which can be destructive or even lethal to your plants.

Unfortunately, there are no effective methods to recover the wilted parts that were affected by the root rot once it hits your plants. The only thing you can do if you do not want this catastrophe to befall your crops is to prevent it before it happens. Read on to learn more about this subject.

 

What is Root Rot?

Root rot is a disease that attacks the plant roots and causes them to suffer decay. This usually happens when a lack of oxygen supply occurs in the substrate.

To give you an idea, think about plant roots that are submerged in water that only has a little oxygen in it. Over time, the plant suffocates and dies.

Aside from rot and decay, this disease also leads to the proliferation of fungi that are naturally present in the soil. These include Rhizoctonia, Alternaria, Pythium, Botrytis, Fusarium, or Phytophthora. As soon as fungi colonies start to grow, they tend to target the weakened roots and infect your precious plant babies.

Once the plant becomes infected, they won’t be able to take in what they need to grow – water, oxygen, and other nutrients. When this happens, it won’t be long before the plant dies.

 

What is Hydroponics?

In case you’re not aware, the term hydroponic is derived from a Latin word that means “working water”. To put it simply, hydroponics is an art that involves growing various types of plants without soil. If you’re like most people, the first thing that comes to mind when somebody talks about hydroponics would be a picture of plants with roots suspended into the water without using any type of growing medium.

 

Avoiding Root Rot in Hydroponic Systems

Detecting and identifying root rot can be tricky. When your plants get infected, their leaves and roots gradually wither until the whole crop itself dies from the lack of nutrients, which is a common symptom of many diseases.

 

What causes root rot in hydroponics?

One of the requirements in hydroponics systems is oxygen. Without it, your plants are basically on the road to death. On the other hand, lack of such is one of the major triggers for root rot, and it must be avoided at all costs.

Just like when planting in soil, you loosen up the ground so that your plants’ roots can have their required intake of oxygen. That is the case for crops grown in aqueous solutions as well. If they cannot breathe, they would not be able to grow.

Another agent for root rot is the temperature. The last thing you would want in your system are parasites that leech nutrients intended for your plants and infect the water during the process. In common terms, these fungi are called molds.

One of the best breeding grounds for these is warm and moist areas. For this reason, if the water temperature inside your reservoir is high, then you are susceptible to it. Something as minor as letting the solutions exposed to sunlight can already be a risk factor.

 

3 Useful Tips on How to prevent root rot in hydroponics

There is good news! Root rot in hydroponics can be prevented! Just follow these tips:

Tip#1: Use the right air pump

If you do not want root rot to affect your plants, you merely have to avoid its causes. If you need oxygen, keep the water bubbling by providing an air pump of appropriate size, and also give importance to proper ventilation in the room.

 

Tip #2: Maintain the temperature

The temperature should be maintained within the 70 to 80 degrees F range. Get rid of any materials that can make your system vulnerable to infections, and make sure not to disturb your crops while they are trying to grow.

 

Tip #3: Get rid of the rotten parts

However, if you failed in preventing the disease, then the rotten parts should be removed immediately. Cut them off as there is no chance of reviving them, and focus on the potential new growth instead. Fix your hydroponics system and eliminate the risks.

 

Why Give Greenhouse Gardening a Try?

Greenhouse gardening offers numerous benefits to greens aficionados who dare to take their gardening experience to the next level. Aside from acting as a shield against the effects of inclement weather, a mini, hobby, or semi-pro greenhouse can also serve as a protective layer that keeps harmful bugs and critters at bay.

What’s more, its enclosed structure allows you to control your plants’ growing conditions including the temperature, light, moisture, and ventilation of the greenhouse’s internal environment. With a controlled environment, you’ll be able to extend growing seasons and grow plants that aren’t native to your area.

 

Conclusion

No matter how well-informed you are about how to prevent root rot in hydroponics, you cannot completely eradicate the risks. Therefore, to avoid the worst-case scenario, you should be prepared to sacrifice the infected for the sake of others. While you’re at it, consider trying your hand at greenhouse gardening as well.

 

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