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Asparagus officinalis (Asparagus)

Asparagus officinalis Photo/Illustration: Michelle Gervais


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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Botanical Name: Asparagus officinalis ah-SPARE-ah-gus oh-fi-shi-NAH-lis Common Name: Asparagus Genus: Asparagus
Asparagus is a perennial vegetable whose edible shoots are harvested in spring. Male plants produce better crop yields because they do not flower or fruit. The foliage is garden worthy because of its tall size and masses of feathery, delicate texture. Female plants may self-seed abundantly. Plants do not like to be moved, so choose a permanent location. Foliage is useful in floral arrangements.
Noteworthy characteristics: The feathery, fernlike masses of the mature stems made a good backdrop for bedding plants.
Care: Choose a sheltered site in partial shade with fertile, moist but well-drained soil.
Propagation: Sow seed at 61°F in autumn or early spring.
Problems: Fusarium crown rot and Helminthosporium and Cercospora leaf spots are common. Rust, anthracnose, and canker occur. Slugs, spider mites, and aphids are also problems.
Height 1 ft. to 3 ft.
Spread 3 ft. to 6 ft.
Growth Pace Moderate Grower
Light Part Shade Only
Moisture Medium Moisture
Maintenance Moderate
Characteristics Showy Foliage
Bloom Time Summer
Flower Color Green Flower; White Flower
Uses Beds and Borders
Style Vegetable Garden, Kitchen Garden, Cottage Garden
Seasonal Interest Summer Interest, Fall Interest
Type Perennials

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