Asparagus 7°C/45°F; South Africa

A. medeoloides (smilax) and A. plumosus (asparagus fern) make very effective potted plants, or plants for the wall of the heated conservatory, but are most frequently seen as cut foliage in floral arrangements and other designs created by the florist. One of the most durable of potted ornamental asparagus, and the one most frequently seen, is A. sprengeri, which can either be grown as a trailing plant or encouraged to climb a plant frame. Choose a loam-based soil and a well-lit spot, shaded from direct sun. Feed every two weeks and give plenty of water in spring and summer. Keep just moist in winter. New plants may be raised from seed sown in a temperature of around 20°C/ 70°F in the spring, but it will be much simpler to propagate by division of roots in the spring.

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