The Tree Center

FREE SHIPPING OVER $99 + 30% OFF WITH CODE: SAVE30

Foxtail Fern

Asparagus densiflorus 'Myers'

Foxtail Fern

Asparagus densiflorus 'Myers'

This product is currently out of stock and unavailable.

-

How are the heights measured?

All tree, and nothin' but the tree! We measure from the top of the soil to the top of the tree; the height of the container or the root system is never included in our measurements.

What is a gallon container?

Nursery containers come in a variety of different sizes, and old-school nursery slang has stuck. While the industry-standard terminology is to call the sizes "Gallon Containers", that doesn't exactly translate to the traditional liquid "gallon" size we think of. You'll find we carry young 1-gallons, up to more mature 7-gallons ranging anywhere from 6 inches to 6ft.

How does the delivery process work?

All of our orders ship via FedEx Ground! Once your order is placed online, our magic elves get right to work picking, staging, boxing and shipping your trees. Orders typically ship out within 2 business days. You will receive email notifications along the way on the progress of your order, as well as tracking information to track your plants all the way to their new home!

Why are some states excluded from shipping?

The short & sweet answer is: "United States Department of Agriculture Restrictions." Every state has their own unique USDA restrictions on which plants they allow to come into their state. While we wish we could serve everyone, it's for the safety of native species and helps prevent the spread of invasive disease & pests. We've gotta protect good ole' Mother Nature, after all.

About Me

-

The Foxtail Fern is an arching evergreen plant with cylindrical leafy stems sprouting directly from the ground. It forms a mound of green about 2 feet tall and up to 4 feet wide, with a unique, exotic look. Small white flowers become pea-sized red berries by fall. It can be grown outdoors all year in hot zones, or during summer elsewhere, and then overwintered indoors, or grown as a permanent houseplant. Either way it’s easy to grow and attractive, and a great addition to your garden or houseplant collection.

  • Arching branches of emerald-green stems
  • Small white flowers followed by bright-red berries
  • Great choice for growing beneath trees or in partial shade</li
  • Valuable garden plant for summer or year-round in hot zones
  • Attractive houseplant for a bright spot indoors

The Foxtail Fern is very adaptable, growing well in full sun, partial shade or light full shade. It is hardy to zone 9, or you can grow it as a houseplant with the option of summers outdoors. It grows in any well-drained soil, and it’s surprisingly drought resistant once established. Pests or diseases are rare, and it doesn’t need much attention at all. The berries can make people or pets sick, if eaten.

Plant Hardiness Zones 9-10
Mature Width 2-4
Mature Height 1-3
Soil Conditions Average
Sunlight Full Sun to Partial Shade
Drought Tolerance Moderate Drought Tolerance
Zones 9-10

Not all ‘houseplants’ need to stay in the house all year round, and the Foxtail Fern is one that enjoys spending the summer months outside. In hot zones it’s an easy-going garden plant, adding a touch of the exotic to beds in sun or shade. It might look delicate, but this is a surprisingly tough plant, taking some drought, and deer-resistant too. The fluffy branches arch up and over, making this an excellent way to cover bare ground without adding work, and the red berries in fall are an unexpected and exotic touch. In cooler zones you can lift it and bring it inside for the winter, or keep it in the house as a permanent part of your collection. However you choose to grow it you will wonder how you lived without this versatile and attractive plant – inside or out.

Growing the Foxtail Fern

Size and Appearance

The Foxtail Fern is not a true fern – in fact it’s a relative of edible asparagus. It grows from fat, white, underground roots, sending up long branches covered with fine leaves that indeed look like the tail of a fox, a cat, or a bottle-brush. These branches can be up to 3 feet long, but they arch over, so the plant is rarely much more than 2 feet tall, covering a wider area up to 4 feet across. It forms a dense, leafy clump with an attractive casual look. The tiny needle-like green leaves are clustered all around the stem, and in summer you will see small white, star-shaped fragrant flowers growing along the leafy parts of the stem, The flowers turn into red, pea-sized berries that make an attractive display for many weeks, usually in fall, but sometimes through summer as well. Birds enjoy the berries, but they are toxic to humans and pets.

Using the Foxtail Fern in Your Garden or Home

Many houseplants don’t grow well outdoors, but the Foxtail Fern isn’t like that at all. It grows even better in the garden than it does in the house, so even if you can’t overwinter it outdoors, plant it in a bed or hang it from a tree for the warm months, and then bring it back inside for the winter. It enjoys hot weather, and it looks great tucked into a bed just about anywhere. It is excellent for filling narrow spaces and softening hard edges, and its unique look is an equally good addition to your garden or your house.

Hardiness

The Foxtail Fern will take temperatures down to about 20oF, so it will grow outdoors all year round in zones 9 and 10. In cooler zones bring it indoors when the night temperatures are getting close to 40 degrees, and put it back out in spring when they reach 50 degrees – it’s easier for a plant to move from cool to warm than the other way round.

Sun Exposure and Soil Conditions

Perhaps surprisingly, the Foxtail Fern is happy to grow in full sun, but it will be a richer green, and need less water if you grow it in partial shade, perhaps with some morning sun. It is also happy in light full shade, such as at the foot of a north-facing wall, or in the dappled shade beneath trees. Indoors choose a well-lit spot. It grows easily in well-drained garden soil, or ordinary potting soil when in a pot – it’s an easy and reliable plant to grow. It is drought resistant when established, but the most luxuriant look and greenest foliage is on plants that are in richer, well-drained soil with regular moisture.

Maintenance and Pruning

Grow your foxtail fern in a pot with drainage, and let the soil dry several inches down before watering again. If you forget to water for a while this is a very forgiving plant. Too much watering will cause the leaves to yellow and fall. Feed with general plant fertilizer from spring to late summer, and keep drier during the winter. Cut out old, yellowing stems at ground level. Outdoor plants can be cut right down in spring, if they are looking untidy, sprinkled with some fertilizer or organic mulch, and they will soon re-sprout a batch of fresh green leaves. Pests and diseases are rare, and outdoor plants are usually ignored by deer.

History and Origin of the Foxtail Fern

The Foxtail Fern is a selected form of the asparagus fern, Asparagus densiflorus. This is a close relative of edible asparagus, and there are about 200 plants in this group, but many are too thorny and weedy to grow in gardens. Almost half of them grow in southern Africa, and the asparagus fern grows wild in the southeastern Cape region of South Africa, Natal and into Mozambique. The variety called ‘Myers’ has denser leaves and more compact growth, giving it the distinctive ‘foxtail’ look. Other spellings of the name include ‘Meyers’, ‘Meyersii’ and ‘Myersii’. It is often suggested the name is connected to Frank Meyer, the American plant collector who gave us the Meyer lemon, but his plants came from Asia. It seems this plant was more likely introduced from South Africa around the beginning of the last century, by a certain Myers Nursery in East London, England.

Buying the Foxtail Fern at the Tree Center

You can always tell the best plants because they win the coveted Award of Garden Merit from the England’s Royal Horticultural Society. That is what the Foxtail Fern did in 1993, so you know this is a reliable and valuable plant. Whether you want it for your home or your garden, or both, order now, because this is a hard-to-find plant that is in high demand – our stock will soon be gone.

Back to top

Foxtail Fern

Asparagus densiflorus 'Myers'