Top Tips for Propagating Foxtail Fern from Rhizome Division

Top Tips for Propagating Foxtail Fern from Rhizome Division

Are you looking to expand your garden with beautiful foxtail ferns? One of the best ways to do so is by propagating them from rhizome division. This method is not only easy but also a cost-effective way to multiply your foxtail fern collection. In this article, we will provide you with some top tips on how to successfully propagate foxtail ferns from rhizome division.

Understanding Foxtail Fern

Foxtail fern, also known as Asparagus densiflorus, is a popular ornamental plant that is prized for its feathery, fern-like foliage. It belongs to the asparagus family and is native to South Africa. Foxtail ferns are commonly used in landscaping and indoor gardening due to their unique appearance and low maintenance requirements.

Description of Foxtail Fern

Foxtail ferns have vibrant green, needle-like leaves that grow in a dense, bushy manner, resembling a fox’s tail. The plant can reach a height of 2-3 feet and spread up to 4 feet wide. It produces small white flowers in the summer, followed by red berries in the fall. Foxtail ferns are non-toxic to pets and humans, making them a safe choice for households with animals or young children.

Benefits of Growing Foxtail Fern

Growing foxtail ferns can provide several benefits to gardeners. These plants are drought-tolerant and can thrive in a variety of soil conditions, making them a versatile choice for different environments. Foxtail ferns are also known for their air-purifying properties, helping to improve indoor air quality by removing toxins and pollutants. Additionally, the unique foliage of foxtail ferns adds texture and visual interest to gardens, making them a popular choice for landscaping projects.

Ideal Growing Conditions for Foxtail Fern

Foxtail ferns thrive in bright, indirect light and prefer well-draining soil. They can tolerate some shade but may not grow as vigorously in low-light conditions. Water foxtail ferns regularly, allowing the soil to dry out slightly between waterings to prevent root rot. During the growing season, fertilize foxtail ferns with a balanced liquid fertilizer every 2-4 weeks to promote healthy growth. Prune any dead or yellowing fronds to maintain the plant’s appearance and encourage new growth. With proper care, foxtail ferns can be a beautiful and low-maintenance addition to your garden or home.

Propagating Foxtail Fern from Rhizome Division

Selecting the Right Rhizomes

When propagating foxtail ferns from rhizome division, it is crucial to select healthy and mature rhizomes. Look for rhizomes that are firm, plump, and free from any signs of disease or rot. Avoid using rhizomes that are shriveled or discolored, as they may not successfully propagate.

Preparing the Rhizomes for Division

Before dividing the rhizomes, it is important to prepare them properly. Start by gently removing the foxtail fern from its pot and carefully brushing away any excess soil from the rhizomes. Trim away any dead or damaged fronds to ensure that the plant can focus its energy on new growth.

Step-by-step Guide to Dividing Rhizomes

  1. Identify where you want to make the divisions on the rhizome. Look for natural separations or nodes that can be easily split.
  2. Using a sharp, clean knife or shears, carefully cut through the rhizome to create separate sections. Make sure each section has at least one healthy frond attached.
  3. Plant each divided rhizome section in a well-draining potting mix, making sure to bury the rhizome just below the soil surface.
  4. Water the newly divided rhizomes thoroughly and place them in a location with indirect sunlight.
  5. Keep the soil consistently moist, but not waterlogged, until new growth emerges from the divided rhizomes.

By following these tips for propagating foxtail ferns from rhizome division, you can successfully propagate new plants and expand your collection of these beautiful and unique ferns.

Caring for Propagated Foxtail Fern

After successfully propagating your foxtail fern through rhizome division, it is important to provide proper care to ensure its health and growth. Here are some tips on how to care for your propagated foxtail fern:

Transplanting the Divided Rhizomes

When transplanting the divided rhizomes into a new pot or garden bed, make sure to choose a well-draining soil mix that is rich in organic matter. Gently place the rhizomes into the soil, making sure they are covered with a thin layer of soil. Water the newly transplanted rhizomes thoroughly to help them establish roots in their new environment.

Watering and Fertilizing Tips

Foxtail ferns prefer slightly moist soil, so make sure to water them regularly but avoid overwatering, as this can lead to root rot. Fertilize your foxtail ferns with a balanced liquid fertilizer once a month during the growing season to promote healthy growth. Be sure to follow the instructions on the fertilizer label to avoid over-fertilizing.

Common Issues and Troubleshooting

Some common issues that may arise when caring for propagated foxtail ferns include yellowing fronds, brown tips, and pest infestations. Yellowing fronds may indicate overwatering or nutrient deficiencies, while brown tips can be caused by underwatering or low humidity. To troubleshoot these issues, adjust your watering schedule, improve air circulation around the plant, and inspect the fern for pests such as spider mites or mealybugs.

By following these tips for caring for your propagated foxtail fern, you can ensure that it thrives in its new environment and continues to beautify your space with its unique foliage.


In conclusion, propagating foxtail ferns from rhizome division is a simple and effective way to expand your plant collection. By following the top tips outlined in this article, you can successfully divide and transplant your foxtail ferns to create new plants. Remember to use sharp, clean tools, provide the proper care and environment for your divided rhizomes, and be patient as your new plants establish themselves. With a little time and effort, you can enjoy a thriving foxtail fern garden in no time. Happy gardening!