How To Grow & Care For the Foxtail Fern

Foxtail Fern

The Foxtail Fern, with its lush green arching stems resembling the bushy tail of a fox, is a fascinating and popular garden plant. Despite its name, it is not actually a true fern but a member of the lily family. Native to South Africa, the Foxtail Fern has become a favorite among gardeners for its aesthetic appeal, easy care, and resilience.

Known for its beautiful feathery fronds and unique growth pattern, the Foxtail Fern adds texture and contrast to landscapes and interiors alike. It has a playful, yet elegant appearance, and its striking green color remains vibrant throughout the year, making it an attractive choice for gardens, containers, or indoor displays.

Besides its aesthetic value, the Foxtail Fern is also loved for its drought tolerance and adaptability to various growing conditions. Whether you’re an expert gardener or just starting out, the Foxtail Fern can be a delightful addition to your green space. Let’s delve into the specific details of this intriguing plant.

Common NamesFoxtail Fern, Myers Fern, Asparagus Fern
Botanical NameAsparagus densiflorus ‘Myers’
Plant TypePerennial
Mature Size2-3 feet in height and width
Sun ExposurePartial to Full Sun
Soil TypeWell-drained soil, pH 6.0-6.5
Hardiness Zones9-11
Native AreaSouth Africa

Foxtail Fern Care

Foxtail Fern is admired for its easy care and adaptable nature. It prefers well-drained soil and can grow in both partial and full sun. While it tolerates drought to some extent, regular watering and occasional feeding will keep it looking its best.

Indoor Foxtail Ferns may require a bit more attention regarding humidity, but overall, the plant is not demanding. It’s a delightful option for adding greenery to your space without the need for constant care and can thrive both indoors and outdoors.

Light Requirement for Foxtail Fern

Foxtail Fern prefers bright, indirect sunlight when grown indoors. Outdoors, it can handle a bit more sun but should be shielded from intense midday rays, especially in hotter climates.

Soil Requirements for Foxtail Fern

Well-drained soil with a slightly acidic pH of 6.0-6.5 is ideal for the Foxtail Fern. It can adapt to different soil types, but good drainage is crucial to prevent root rot.

Water Requirements for Foxtail Fern

Regular watering is beneficial, especially during hot, dry spells. Allow the soil to dry slightly between watering, but don’t let it dry out completely. Overwatering can lead to root rot.

Temperature and Humidity

Foxtail Fern thrives in temperatures ranging from 65-75°F and can tolerate brief cold snaps down to 50°F. Indoor plants may require added humidity, which can be provided with a room humidifier or by misting the fronds.


A balanced liquid fertilizer applied every 6-8 weeks during the growing season will support healthy growth. Avoid over-fertilizing, as this can lead to weak, leggy growth.

Pruning Foxtail Fern

Pruning is generally not required but can be done to remove dead or damaged fronds. Cutting back old growth can also rejuvenate the plant.

Propagating Foxtail Fern

Propagation is typically done by dividing the plant in spring or early fall. Carefully separate the tuberous roots and replant in a suitable location.

How To Grow Foxtail Fern From Seed

Growing Foxtail Fern from seed is a lengthy process and not commonly practiced. If attempting, seeds must be properly prepared and germinated in a controlled environment.

Common Pests & Plant Diseases


Aphids can be treated with insecticidal soap or natural predators.


Mealybugs may be removed by hand or treated with insecticides.

Common Problems With Foxtail Fern

Yellowing Fronds

Yellowing may be caused by overwatering or poor drainage. Ensure proper watering and soil conditions.

Weak Growth

Weak or leggy growth may be a result of over-fertilization or inadequate light.

Pro Tips

  1. Place Foxtail Fern in a location with bright, indirect sunlight for optimal growth.
  2. Water regularly but avoid overwatering to prevent root rot.
  3. Apply balanced fertilizer sparingly to avoid weak growth.
  4. Consider growing Foxtail Fern in containers for easy movement and control over soil conditions.
  5. Enjoy the low-maintenance beauty of this unique plant both indoors and outdoors.