A Comprehensive Guide to Propagating Foxtail Fern by Rhizome Division

A Comprehensive Guide to Propagating Foxtail Fern by Rhizome Division

Are you looking to expand your garden with beautiful foxtail ferns? In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the process of propagating foxtail ferns through rhizome division. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a beginner looking to add some greenery to your space, this step-by-step guide will provide you with all the information you need to successfully propagate foxtail ferns and watch them thrive in your garden.

Understanding Foxtail Ferns

Overview of Foxtail Ferns

Foxtail ferns, also known as Asparagus densiflorus, are popular ornamental plants known for their unique appearance and easy care. They are native to South Africa and belong to the asparagus family. Foxtail ferns are prized for their fluffy, fern-like foliage that resembles a fox’s tail, hence their name.

Characteristics of Foxtail Ferns

  • Foxtail ferns have upright, arching stems that can reach up to 2 feet in height.
  • They produce small white flowers in the spring, followed by red berries in the fall.
  • Foxtail ferns thrive in bright, indirect light and well-draining soil.
  • They are drought-tolerant and only require occasional watering.
  • These plants are hardy in USDA zones 9-11 and can be grown indoors as houseplants in colder climates.

    Benefits of Propagating Foxtail Ferns

Expansion of Garden

Propagating foxtail ferns through rhizome division allows gardeners to quickly and easily expand their garden. By dividing the rhizomes of an established plant, you can create multiple new plants to fill in empty spaces or create new garden beds. This method is especially useful for gardeners looking to increase the size of their foxtail fern collection without having to purchase new plants.

Cost Savings

Propagating foxtail ferns through rhizome division is a cost-effective way to enhance your garden. Instead of purchasing multiple new plants, you can simply divide an existing plant to create new ones. This can result in significant cost savings, especially for gardeners looking to fill a large area with foxtail ferns.

Preservation of Unique Varieties

Propagating foxtail ferns through rhizome division is a great way to preserve unique varieties of the plant. By creating new plants from an established one, you can ensure that rare or unique traits are passed down and preserved for future generations. This is especially important for gardeners who have cultivated their own special varieties of foxtail ferns and want to ensure their continued existence.

Preparing for Rhizome Division

Before you start propagating your foxtail fern through rhizome division, there are a few key steps you need to take to ensure the process goes smoothly.

Selecting the Right Plant

Choose a healthy and mature foxtail fern plant for propagation. Look for a plant that has multiple stems and vibrant green foliage. Avoid plants that show signs of disease or pest infestation.

Gathering Necessary Tools

To successfully divide the rhizomes of your foxtail fern, you will need a few essential tools. These include a sharp pair of pruning shears or a knife, a clean cutting surface, and some potting mix for replanting the divided rhizomes.

Timing for Propagation

The best time to divide the rhizomes of your foxtail fern is in the spring or early summer when the plant is actively growing. This will give the divided rhizomes the best chance of successfully establishing themselves in their new pots.

Steps for Propagating Foxtail Ferns

Identifying Healthy Rhizomes

Before you start propagating your foxtail ferns, it’s important to identify healthy rhizomes. Look for rhizomes that are firm, plump, and free from any signs of rot or damage. Healthy rhizomes will have a vibrant green color and should feel slightly moist to the touch.

Separating Rhizomes

To propagate your foxtail ferns, carefully separate the rhizomes using a clean, sharp knife. Make sure each new division has at least one healthy shoot attached to it. Be gentle when separating the rhizomes to avoid damaging the plant.

Planting and Care Tips

Once you have separated the rhizomes, plant them in a well-draining potting mix that is rich in organic matter. Make sure to water the newly planted rhizomes thoroughly and place them in a location with indirect sunlight. Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged.

To care for your propagated foxtail ferns, provide them with regular waterings, fertilize them every few months with a balanced fertilizer, and repot them as needed. With proper care, your foxtail ferns should thrive and continue to grow for years to come.


In conclusion, propagating Foxtail Fern by rhizome division is a relatively simple and effective method for expanding your plant collection. By following the steps outlined in this comprehensive guide, you can successfully divide and propagate your Foxtail Fern to create new plants. Remember to provide the proper care and environment for your new divisions to ensure their growth and development. With a little patience and attention to detail, you can enjoy a thriving Foxtail Fern garden in no time. Happy propagating!