Did you know that asparagus can grow up to 150 cm (59 inches) tall? But only under favorable conditions, with appropriate nutrients, pH, and temperature. It is a plant having delicate and scaly leafage with stems modified into needle-like cladodes.
While growing a plant naturally, the most important thing to calculate beforehand is the amount of sunlight or the shade it would need. Your asparagus can go straight down the dump if you don’t take care of its requirement properly.
So now the question arises, does asparagus like the sun or shade? To answer that, let us first get familiar with the correct methods to grow asparagus.
How to Grow Asparagus?
Unlike many weeds or herbs, asparagus can flourish vigorously in a saline alluvial soil because it demands an average pH of 6.5 to 7.5. This is why Asparagus is harvested in well-drained soil that absorbs enough water to avoid making it too acidic or too heavily clayed.
There are two ways to begin planting your asparagus:
Plant the Crown
If you don’t want to start from scratch, you can buy a one-year-old plant known as the crown. Dig your crown inside the soil, water it daily, and you will gradually see the spears blooming out.
Sow the Seed
In addition to the crown, you can also sow the seed underground. Wait for it to germinate, and a freshly sprouted plant will come out in no time if you water regularly.
It depends on you to choose between the two options. As long as you are keeping the ideal balance between the sunlight and shade, you are good to go.
Does Asparagus Like Sun or Shade?
So, now that we have grabbed a general idea of how to grow asparagus, let’s answer the most asked question: Does asparagus like the sun or shade?
To clear the confusion regarding the most crucial part of gardening, that is sunlight, let’s first evaluate its temperature requirements.
What’s the Ideal Temperature to Grow Asparagus?
These plants ask for an optimum temperature of about 75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit in the day time and around 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit when the sun goes down. A rise in soil temperature of about 50 degrees will help new shoots to sprout.
The higher the temperature, the more the growth. Asparagus can be grown as an outdoor and as an indoor plant. Whatever the location is, nothing will harm the seed germination as long as the temperature is under control.
Outdoor plants can even tolerate a little frost, whereas indoor plants prefer warm temperatures for excellent growth.
Keeping it in the shade for longer than the required time, or ignoring the rise in temperature above 85 degrees Fahrenheit, will lead to:
- Unprocessed, premature shoots
- Thinner and deformed spears
- Reduced germination of its seeds
- Diminished growth of the crown, with little or no outcome
How Does the Cold Affect Asparagus Growth?
Similarly, if the temperature falls below 55-degree Fahrenheit, the shoots will lose their yellowish-green color, a process known as frosting.
But beware of the temperature dropping down to 20 degrees Fahrenheit as this will trigger the plant to lose all its functions, and your plant may die eventually.
We don’t know the complete effect of cold on asparagus crops due to a lack of information and evidence. However, based on the University of Guelph’s research, low temperatures at the extreme are most likely to damage the crown.
How Much Sunlight Does Asparagus Need?
Asparagus plants are predominantly dependent upon the amount of sunlight they receive. So the plants will grow faster if you provide them with direct sunlight.
Though the sunlight requirements can vary from partial to full, they grow preferably under full sun exposure, to ensure a high yield product.
Like many other plants, it tends to turn yellow if exposed to too much sun. So to say it roughly, asparagus needs a minimum of eight hours of morning sunlight for photosynthesis.
These edible plants can grow several feet tall, giving shade to the crops around it. So, make sure to check the area before you cultivate a new patch. Your other plants may suffer if you aren’t careful while planting asparagus.
Likewise, taller plants can shade your asparagus as well. However, this won’t exactly halt the plants’ growth, given that the partial sunlight is still provided to your baby ferns.
How Much Shade Does Asparagus Need?
Choosing a site to grow asparagus can be a little tricky. It is possible to grow your plant in full shade. However, the results will be less fruitful than a plant grown in full sun exposure.
Why is Shade Important for Asparagus?
It depends on where you are growing your plant. If you are from the south, you would know that the scorching sun in hot summers damages all the crops. In such areas, asparagus prefers cooler weather to grow properly. And it needs partial shade to protect itself from the hot climate.
Are you keeping up with us? Great! Let’s go through the different types of asparagus now and decide which one you would like to plant.
Different Types of Asparagus
Asparagus grows in varieties. Here are the three basic types of asparagus, all available in spring, but grown differently.
Green asparagus is the most common type among the asparagus plants. It is highly nutritious and has a verdant taste to it.
As these plants need the maximum sun exposure to carry out photosynthesis, they are grown in sunlight with little or no shade. As a result, they produce a high amount of chlorophyll that gives the spears a green color.
Purple asparagus is a rare kind and was first developed in Italy. It has a unique characteristic feature: the presence of anthocyanins, which gives the plant its purple color.
This type of asparagus has more sugar content than the rest of the asparagus species. This is why it is very sweet and has a nutty flavor.
Coming to its sunlight requirement, these plants must be provided with partial to full sun for the proper production of its purple pigment.
White asparagus, as the name suggests, bears a thick white-colored stalk. The taste is quite bittersweet but adds delicacy to the table.
Why is it white? It is exciting to note that these plants do not produce green chlorophyll at all.
Even though these species are initially grown from the green asparagus, they don’t need sunlight at any given time.
Asparagus plants sprout tremendously in the spring season after they have successfully passed the stage of dormancy.
The Bottom Line
To sum it up, sow the seed in the spring season, check the growth regularly, and wait for a year or two to harvest it. Make sure you are fulfilling its heat and dappled shade requirements. Avoid over-watering the plant and give it some time to dry out a little.
Does asparagus Like sun or shade? Well, here is the bottom line: Asparagus will shoot up in the morning sun and in the light shade that does not halt their photosynthetic activity.
We hope this article has answered all your questions related to growing asparagus.