Q: I believe I can outfox you with a question about my foxtail fern. Why is one of the stems bright yellow? Makes for a pretty photo, but I’m worried that my whole plant will turn yellow.

A: You’re right: It does make for a pretty photo (makes us of think of a husked ear of corn in a field of green). But first, a bit about your foxtail fern. Known also as asparagus fern, it’s one of ArtisTree’s favorite “go to” plants for texture, hardiness and color. Stiffly upright stems can grow up to two feet, and the dense, plume-like foliage gives it a fluffy appearance not unlike the tail of its four-footed namesake. Color can range from a deep green to lighter chartreuse, and partial shade is its best friend (however, it can withstand a bit of bright light). Light freezes will kill foxtail fern to the ground, but recovery is swift once temperatures rise.

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s talk about your yellow stem. It’s just natural that a foxtail fern’s stems will eventually die. Not very often. But sometimes. Some foliage may turn brown or yellow; some may drop off. Just get your scissors and cut the stem as close to the plant’s base as possible to make way for new foliage. Don’t pull it or you could uproot the entire plant. If your entire fern turns yellow, you probably have it dark shade with no indirect light whatsoever (like inside your closet).

Bottom line: What’s happening to your foxtail fern is perfectly natural. The overall health and appearance of your plant look great, and we can assure you it will continue to thrive with very little oversight.



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