The Foxtail fern is a perennial evergreen that’s a member of the asparagus family, boasting luscious, fluffy stems of pine needle-like leaves giving it a plush delicate appearance.
It has small white flowers that then produces eye-catching red berries.
It prefers soft light and likes to be planted in areas with filtered shade. A little morning sun is fine, just be sure your plant receives protection in the bright, hot afternoon, as too much strong light will burn the leaves.
Foxtail fern can handle a variety of soil types, as long as it drains well to avoid root rot. It favours slightly acidic soil, but this is not a requirement.
The foxtail fern has tuberous roots, making it drought tolerant, which store water, even when the soil is dry.
It is easy to overwater, so it’s best to water once a week, giving your fern a good drink, but letting the top three inches of soil dry out completely in between.
Start feeding your foxtail in the spring, then continue monthly throughout the growing season.
As with any garden perennial, pruning the stems at the base will help your plant look robust, while encouraging new growth and keep the plant bushy.
It’s easy to propagate through division, and the best time to do it is in the spring. When dividing ferns, always use a sharp knife or spade to cut through the centre of the plant. Once dug, make sure each divided piece has healthy greenery and roots.
Note that all parts of foxtail fern may be toxic to humans and pets, including both the flowers and berries.