Asparagus fern


Asparagus fern

Asparagus fern has the potential to invade a wide range of coastal bushland and gardens. It competes with native ground cover and understorey plants by forming dense growth smothering other plants.

How does it spread

Asparagus fern primarily reproduces from seed but can also spread from rhizomes. Green foliage is usually present year-round. The main growth period is from autumn through to spring. Fruit (green and red berries) appears from spring to summer, but fruit can be present year-round. The berries are spread by birds, foxes, reptiles and other animals that can deposit seeds far from the parent plants. Berries are also spread in water and garden waste. Short distance spreading tends occurs by rhizomes.


Two methods of control: physically removing and herbicide application, but the only effective herbicide/poison is expensive and lethal to many other plants and needs repeated applications so physically removing the plant is the best and safest option.

Plants are best removed by digging out the crown of the plant where the growth stems from and then placed in your red garbage bin and definitely not left near the ground. The root system often comes away as you dig out the crown. Physical removal can be difficult, due to the way the root system can spread but persistence really does pay off.

Important: Removal may be best done in autumn and winter when soils are moist, prior to flowering or fruiting, and when plants have foliage on them.

For photos and further info go here.

Identify safe and non-invasive plants for your garden here.