Asparagus Fern: Keeping it Green Since 1988

plumosa asparagus fern and hydrangea

Hydrangea with a side of plumosa

Earlier this week I filled a vase with flowers in lovely shades of pink. I added sprigs of Asparagus Fern ‘plumosa’ for a light, feathery touch

In my apartment-dwelling days, I did most of my decorating with live plants, including these ferns. My Asparagus Plumosa started out as two, seventy-nine cent house plants. They lived on a lace-covered trunk next to my bed in Campbell, until they started to outgrow their pots. The plants came with me from Campbell to San Jose and eventually Fremont, then back to San Jose.

When we bought this house in 1996 my tiny ferns were in a pot too big to lift alone. By then the thorns were mighty fierce. It would be a challenge to transplant. I let it be for a few more years, but the sides of the large, plastic pot started to crack. Worried that the plant would die with so little leg room, Mike maneuvered the pot, split the sides and planted the fern where in now resides. The roots were happy to be free from that pot, and the fern lives on.

History of Ferns

History of Ferns

I wish I had pictures of my traveling fern in those early days. Do you ever wonder how we managed life before digital? Back when film was at a premium, and you had to pay to develop photographs, you chose your subject wisely. Digital photography is liberating.

plumosa asparagus fern

Plumosa growing strong since 1988

plumosa asparagus fern closeup

Lovely new growth

plumosa asparagus fern and lindy

Lindy-Lu under the fern.

Thank you, Boomdee for your July 15th comment. It inspired this post.

Ferns Unfold

As August unfolds, so too do the Ferns

I’ve always had an affinity for ferns. One of the first house plants to grace my home at the age of 16 was an Asparagus Plumosa. We lived in a two-bedroom apartment with no place to garden, so my mother let me keep a dozen houseplants on a stand just inside our front door. She once told me I handled the plants in the same manner as my deceased, horticulturist father. What a compliment!

My transient lifestyle continued well into my thirties as apartments and room-rentals came and went, but the houseplants always followed. In 1988 I bought two small ferns for $1.79 and planted them in a pot next to my bed. I traveled to Europe and back, leaving them in the care of a good friend. In 1989 they moved from Campbell to San Jose; then back to Campbell for a spell. I married and moved to Fremont for a year before we bought our home in 1996 in San Jose. By now they were a tangled twosome, bursting from a heavy pot, filled with thorns and in desperate need of a transplant, but they continued to climb and grow. At last liberated from their pot, they were free to spread along the back fence of our garden. They shelter cats in the heat of the summer and shade the occasional lizard. When I’m lucky enough to have some cutting flowers I add some feathery ferns to the bouquet. When my back is turned they twine around the fruit tree and climb through the fence. I brave the thorns to tame the wild beast, nursing nicks and cuts for a week. All relationships have their ups and and downs. But after 23 years, I would say that we are in it for the long haul. I wouldn’t have it any other way.