Asparagus officinalis



Rhizomatous perennial herb producing edible cladophylls or 'spears' in clusters. Yellow or yellow-green flowers.


Edible spears can be harvested in the second year when and for up to twenty years following. Harvest in late winter to early spring when the spears are approximately 15-20cm (6-8 inches). Can be used in a variety of dishes or eaten raw. Vegetable.


Prefers temperatures between 15-25 degrees C. Grow in fertile, deep, well-drained soils. Apply liberal amounts of fertiliser with high levels of phosphorous, potassium and boron. Soil pH should be between 6.0-6.8 Intercrop with other vegetables in the first year. Can be attacked by aphis, slugs, white fly and caterpillars. Inter-cropping with tomatoes will deter asparagus beetle. Can suffer from rust, fusarium, crown rot and root rot. Remove any diseased foliage. Keep free of weeds. see,


Seed, Division


Several, including ones with green, white or pink spears.

Plant Health

Thrip and cutworm can damage the growing spears; less usually fern damage by heliothis, loopers and aphids.

Can also be afflicted by fusarium crown rot, rhizoctonia root rot, asparagus rust, asparagus stem blight and leaf spot of the ferns.

More info

Home Vegetable Growing and Commercial Vegetable Production courses through Australian Correspondence Schools, see 'Commercial Hydroponics' on CDROM, see

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