Foxtail Ferns – Repotting

Q: I am repotting two large foxtail ferns. There are hundreds of potatoes in the soil. Do they reproduce from these, and can I pot them to make new plants?

A: Foxtail fern is actually an inedible asparagus, Protoasparagus densiflorus ‘Meyersii’. The swollen roots store water and starch for the plant. You can divide the large plants into several smaller ones if you are deft with an old serrated steak knife. Slide the point between clumps of “potatoes” that have a couple of foliage stems attached and sever the clump from the main plant. Plant them immediately and fertilize lightly. Given bright light, the small clumps will be as big as the mother plant in no time.

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