Q. My foxtail ferns are getting leggy.
Is there any way to get them to fill out?
Foxtail fern is, surprisingly, not a fern but a relative of asparagus. It needs different care from ferns, including more bright but indirect light, to stay healthy and have a nice form.
Foxtail fern (Asparagus aethiopicus) is native to South Africa where it grows on dry, rocky slopes. In our homes, it enjoys normal room temperatures and needs to have a rest during the winter to gain strength. Water plentifully during the growing period, letting the water drain out the drain hole and removing any water from the run-off dish. From October to March, reduce water so that you just keep the soil from fully drying out.
Only feed the plant during the growing period. Mist occasionally, but you don't need the high humidity required by ferns. If you get the light situation and winter rest routine right, your foxtail fern should begin to grow in the more compact fashion that you are looking for and start to fill out some of the leggy growth when the growing period resumes. At that point, you can cut back some of the old, less healthy leaves.
Courtesy of NYBG Plant Information Service
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