Indoor gardening isn’t merely an alternative for those who don’t have a garden. Many gardeners opt for it since it brings life to their interior decor, freshens the air in their surroundings, and is easier to manage. In addition, since you often cross paths with them, you’re less likely to forget watering houseplants. So suppose you’re ready to upgrade your home interior with an indoor garden, count asparagus in! With fresh shoots popping up year after year, it will add spark to your room and your plate. But how to grow asparagus indoors, or can you? Let’s find out!
So Can You Grow Asparagus Indoors?
Absolutely! It’s recommended to start the seeds indoors in northern climates and transplant them once the frost has passed. But by maintaining suitable indoor conditions, you may be able to pull out a decent crop from container-grown asparagus on your window sill.
In this post, we’ll teach you everything on how to grow asparagus indoors so you can feast on juicy spears for years to come.
What Kind Of Plant Asparagus Is?
Asparagus, or garden asparagus, is one of the few vegetables that grow as a perennial. With proper care, they come back year after year with a fresh supply of spears for your kitchen early in the spring. With favorable growing conditions and good care, an asparagus plantation can be productive for over 20 years!
The History And This Day Of Asparagus In A Sealed Package
Asparagus is a delicacy treasured in many cuisines for centuries. Romans and Greeks consumed it fresh during spring and dried it for using it through the winters. Currently, the vegetable is extensively grown and consumed in China, Peru, Germany, Mexico, and Thailand.
What Is The Best Way To Eat Asparagus?
Asparagus is served best when sauteed in a drizzle of olive oil with some seasonings, but it also works great in soups, stir-fries, pasta, scrambled eggs, salads, and many more recipes besides these.
How To Grow Your Asparagus Indoors?
Though it thrives outdoors in temperate and subtropical climates, indoor asparagus can even grow well in cooler climates if you provide them a comfortable environment in the room they’re in.
You can start asparagus from seeds, but since it takes 3 to 5 years to come to harvest, most gardeners find it faster and easier to grow from root divisions, also called crowns. Once established, the plant will fill into the pot, giving fresh spears to harvest for over a month each spring. No matter how you choose to start asparagus, below are some recommended guidelines for establishing the best asparagus crop indoors.
Here’s How To Grow Asparagus Indoors In A Pot?
Seeds are typically started indoors 6 to 8 weeks before the last spring frost. First, fill some pots with seed starting mix. Plant the seeds 1 ½ inch (about 4 cm) deep in small pots, initially, and you can transplant them later once the seedlings are tall enough.
Plant one seed in each container, so they have plenty of room to develop their roots. Place them over a heat mat or at a warm location. When the soil temperature is 75°F (about 24°C), asparagus seeds will take between 7 to 21 days to germinate.
Where Does Asparagus Grow Best?
Place them at a sunny window where they can have a warm, bright spot to grow. In about 8 to 10 weeks, the seedlings will be ready to be potted on. Transplant to bigger pots as they grow bigger until they are ready to go in their permanent home. Ideally, the permanent container should be at least 18 inches (about 46 cm) deep and 12 inches (about 30 cm) wide for a single plant.
You Can Also Use Crowns!
An alternative option is to plant crowns. Choose one-year-old crowns from the nursery and transplant them into their permanent containers. Choose the same 18-inch (about 46 cm) deep, 12-inch (about 30 cm) wide container for growing each crown. Crowns are planted deep, which is why it’s imperative to choose a deep pot. Fill the pot with light potting soil and plant crowns 4 to 6 inches (about 10 to 15 cm) deep.
Place the pots at a window that receives full sun. Spears will grow ideally at room temperature. But, it will need a cooler period for winter dormancy. You can either move the pots outdoors or to an unheated location during the winters.
The young spears will start developing within a few weeks of planting the crowns but avoid harvesting them during the first two years. Three-year-old asparagus can be harvested “lightly.” Harvesting the spears earlier than this can weaken the crop.
What Conditions Does Asparagus Need To Grow?
Though asparagus typically grows outdoors, the plants will need a little extra care to thrive indoors. As long as you maintain the specific growing conditions that this veggie needs, there’s no reason why it shouldn’t grow well. Here’s what you need to consider when it comes to growing asparagus indoors:
How Much Sunlight Does Asparagus Need To Grow?
Asparagus grows best in full sun, temperatures between 65 and 85°F (about 18 to 29°C). Select the brightest spot that you have indoors to station your potted asparagus and make sure it gets consistent optimal surrounding temperatures during the growing period. If the plants are short on light and warmth, place them under grow lights.
How Much Water Does Asparagus Need To Grow?
Container-grown asparagus plants will need regular watering since the soil dries out much quicker than it does in the ground. For the first two years, young asparagus plants will need 1 to 2 inches of water each week. After that, older plants will need an inch of water each week.
Should You Feed Your Asparagus?
Asparagus is a heavy feeder. Therefore, it will enjoy a dose of all-purpose fertilizer prepared at half strength each year during its active growing period, around mid-spring.
What Asparagus Varieties Are Excellent For Indoor Growing?
There are tons of varieties to grow indoors, but the most preferred ones are bred to be all-male. The male plants will put all their energies into growing spears rather than fruits and seeds. They’re more productive and produce thicker spears for harvesting. Here are some of the popular varieties you can grow:
1. Mary Washington (Female, Heirloom)
It’s one of the oldest and most common cultivars grown among asparagus varieties. You can start it from seeds or bare roots, and they are ready for light harvest in 2 years. Besides the tasty harvests, the feathery green foliage of the cultivar makes it a beautiful houseplant.
2. Jersey Knight (Male)
Jersey Knight is a vigorous grower that gives large, flavorful spears. It’s resistant to common plant diseases, including rust, fusarium, and crown rot, and is ready for light harvest within two years. After the first two years, the crop will start producing full yield if given optimal conditions.
3. Brock Imperial
Brock Imperial is a high-yielding variety recommended for growing in climates like that of California. The heat-tolerant type produces dark green spears that are large and succulent.
4. Purple Passion (Male / Female)
It’s a delicacy you won’t usually find in supermarkets with a sweet flavor, mildly nutty when cooked, and deep purple spears. It typically grows 10 to 15 years and is resistant to rust, crown rot, and fusarium.
5. Millennium F1 (Male)
This is a cold-hardy variety, preferred for northern growers. It maintains the spear size and yield over years of production, giving better results than other cultivars. The hardy plant adapts to most soil types, resists diseases, and offers a high yield.
What Mistakes To Avoid When You’re Growing Asparagus Indoors?
Now that you know a lot about growing asparagus, there are still some tips left. To raise the best asparagus in town, there are a couple of things you need to avoid. Here they are:
- Avoid picking withered or soft crowns to plant your crop. Instead, look for fresh, firm crowns that will develop into a healthy asparagus crop.
- The soil shouldn’t be wet. Maintain evenly moist soil throughout the growing season but avoid overwatering.
- Do not harvest the asparagus spears until the third year of planting the crowns. Though they may look tempting and ready to go in the pan, patience is essential to develop a well-established, healthy crop.
- Do not harvest for more than two weeks during the third year of planting the crowns. Then, after some light harvests, let the spears grow and revitalize the plant’s energies. You can enjoy the beautiful scene it creates with the light, feathery fronds that appear during this time.
- Avoid injuring the surrounding crowns that are still developing when you harvest the spears. Instead, snip them off with a sharp knife at the soil level without disturbing the neighboring ones.
How To Grow Asparagus Indoors? – In A Sealed Package
|Temp Required||65 To 85°F (About 18 To 29°C)|
|Sowing Time||6 To 8 Weeks Before The Last Spring Frost|
|Type Of Soil||Sandy Loam|
|Transplanting Time||2 To 3 Weeks After The Last Spring Frost|
|Harvesting Time||After Three Years|
|Light Duration||6 To 8 Hours|
|Watering||Maintain Even Moisture|
|Fertilization||All-purpose Fertilizer Around Mid-spring|
Homegrown asparagus is a sweet, nutty, and beautiful addition to tons of your recipes! Other than being a fresh, flavorful addition to your dishes, it also makes a stunning houseplant. Enjoy the feathery foliage by your window most of the year and fresh, mouthwatering harvests early in the spring for years ahead!
Featured image credit – iMarzi/Shutterstock.com