Growing Asparagus in a container. Little baby homegrown stalks!


I bought a six pack of Asparagus crowns that were already growing. They are Mary Washington’s. There is much information on line about asparagus and how to plant but I decided to go against everyone’s advice and planted them in a pot. I just couldn’t commit to putting them in the ground in the flowerbed knowing that asparagus takes many years before they start producing good stalks so I am taking the risk! The last thing I want to do is put them in the ground and then have to dig them up if we ever move. I picked the biggest pot I had which was about 20inches across.

Who says asparagus can't grow in pots?
New asparagus plants/crowns planted in a pot.
Top View of my new asparagus planted in a container. This was the biggest pot I had. I planted all six plants together.

That was beginning of August 2010. I was out of town for a bit and my neighbour diligently watered all my green babies.

Close up ofyoung asparagus fern Aug 2010. Kind of pretty 🙂

When I got back in Sept, the fern was so long it was hanging over the side of the pot. I was amazed – I had no idea of how asparagus grows….I thought maybe it started as a young plant as fern, then when it was mature,  it would stop ferning out and instead grow out like stalks out of the dirt??!  I have seen asparagus plot in my mums allotment garden in England and it looked like a lot of dirt with a couple of stalks of asparagus sticking out as if someone had just bought them from the store and stuck them in there upright. My asparagus fern started off upright, now it was growing and over flowing down the side of the pot like big bushy hair. Amazing!

This is a part of my process of learning where food comes from! I grew up growing tomatoes with my family in our tiny yard and thought every family as some point had tomato plants growing in their garden. But America is whole different country, my assumptions hailed from England. Over here life is very different and modern techniques of food production has lead people to really have no idea of where stuff comes from. Makes me think of the Jamie Oliver in America show where he quizzed a bunch of young kids what certain vegetables were and they couldn’t even name a potato. Yes, a real potato, not cut and fried, just plain old potato.

So back to my asparagus…

Little did I know that asparagus is just fern stalks that haven’t ‘ferned-out’.

This is first asparagus I have even grown! Check it out –

Does that look like recognisable food? First asparagus I have ever witnessed growing! In a container no less 🙂
I had to snap one off to eat and it really taste like the real thing! Sept 2010

Now I can check that off my bucket list – home grown asparagus.Still a long way from a single meal worth of stalks or even enough to feed a 17lb fatty jackhuahua 🙂 I can’t wait to harvest my first full size stalk. From what I read, this may take another year or two or maybe not. I have not found any real success stories about growing them in containers besides giant bath tub size containers. I doubt my landlord would appreciate and bathtub sized pot outside my apartment 🙂

Having said that, I did notice that roots were already poking out of the bottom of the pot by September. I repotted to a new even larger pot (I can measure if anyone is interested – just leave a message) and here are the most recent pics. I only picked one skinny stalk to try as I know the growth in the first few years builds up better and healthier harvest for future years. No wonder  they need huge pots as a lot of the growth is underground. Hopefully repotting will be sufficient – next time, I may have to split my six crowns up so instead of two big pots. Although this seems like a bit of waste of space as they’re not the best looking plants PLUS I am running very low of standing room for all my containers too.

Asparagus in container Oct 2010
Top view. Mary Washington Asparagus growing in a container. Oct 2010

There are some brown bits on my plant but i cut those off and the rest of it is looking good and still green. One of the ferns look like its even flowering. More pics to come. Feel free to comment if you have any questions or anything!

These are a bit thicker than those other ones I saw in Sept. Check him out! So proud already!



44 Comments Add yours

  1. brad says:

    nice baby asparagus hope they turn out well! make sure to post more pics!

  2. Winci says:

    Thanks for commenting! I haven’t seen my green leafy babies for a couple of weeks so hopefully when I get home there will be noticeable growth. I will certainly post more pictures! Thanks for visiting 🙂

  3. Erik says:

    Hi. Thanks for the info. i am going to try in a grow box. Not sure if roots will go down into the water tray but will see. Can not wait to see what happens!

  4. Winci says:

    Good luck Erik! Mine are still doing well…into the second year now and still looking good. Getting some thicker stalks in and hoping I will be able to harvest next year. I’ll post some more pictures soon 🙂

  5. Eldee says:

    Nice presentation and pix. I live in So. California and just bought a 5 inch pot of Jersey Knight, am sure I am over my head, but I LOVE asparagus and am willing to put in the time and effort at least to give it a try, also in a container…maybe a larger one than I expected from the looks of your beauties. Keep us updated!

    1. Winci says:

      Good luck -Its so fun watching the little spears pop up 🙂 I put 6 crowns in one pot – I actually pulled out one of the weaker ones to free up some space for the others. So maybe yours will be fine 🙂

  6. Moonflower says:

    Thats amazing. Thank you for the posting. I just watched an episode of “Good Eats” on the food network about asparagus & thought I’d see if they could be grown in pots. I’ve been looking up all sorts of veggies to grow on my deck as I live in a townhouse with no yard. My quest began only yesterday when I returned home from a visit with my parents out in the country. I brought home grown tomatoes & cucumbers back with me & feasted on greenbeans, squash, leafy greens & all colors ofg peers while I was out there. So, i’m going to see what I can grow here in the city. Wish me luck… And thanks again for your example. 🙂

    1. Winci says:

      Good luck with your quest! Home grown veggies are so much more rewarding and satisfying than buying them in the store! I haven’t harvested any asparagus yet but next year, hopefully they will be big enough to eat.

  7. Susan Wilson says:

    It’s great to see the pictures of your asparagus growing in a pot just like mine. Thanks for your site.

  8. Linda Slimm says:

    How are your asparagus this year? I was just reading up on container grown asparagus, they recommend at least a 20″ x 20″ pot for one crown. I am going to go container hunting soon so I can start a crown, I have never grown them before. EXCITING!

  9. gardenswag says:

    Oh, I’m so glad to see that this is worth trying! Here I come, container asparagus!

  10. Everall Bronwyn Taljaard says:

    i am doing it in South Africa and they do grow…3 yrs now

  11. Kerry says:

    How deep does the pot need to be ?

    1. Winci says:

      Some say as big as a bath tub

      1. says:

        Pots need to be 5 gallon deep to be steady and healthy. Bu they can last up to 10 to 15yrs and prodece good food.

  12. k m h says:

    I just bought some asparagus from the store. they are in a little round biodegradeable pot. Do you have any idea if I need to spread them out, or if I just plant the whole thing in the ground? THere are about 20-30 little ferns in each pot. how do you know which part is the crown? will each little fern turn into a crown? I am so lost! this was totally an impulse buy!!

    1. Winci says:

      I’m no expert but I imagine there is one crown in each pot. Each crown will produce multiple spears which turn into ferns.

      Since the crowns are not bareroot, I imagine you can just plant them without spreading them out? Not sure though. If it were me, I would just plant them 🙂

      (The crown is the root ball under ground, in the dirt). The asparagus will sprout out of the crown and then grow into the fern.

  13. macondo says:

    Thank you for this great information.
    I just but an asparagus plant today and I going to plant them in a pot in the balcony and when the winter come, bring then inside??
    Oh this will be an adventure 🙂
    I live in Canada and the winter here is not a joke, we will see 🙂

  14. emily says:

    Thank you so much for your postings/pictures. I too live in an apartment, but. I got such a great deal on 6 asparagus crowns that I just couldn’t pass em up. I had originally planned to plant them in oiur community garden plot, but I ran out of room. Your post was extremely helpful. I’ll give thecontainer a try.

  15. Jen says:

    Great article. I really enjoyed it.
    Here is another great article on how to grow your own asparagus.
    Thanks for sharing.

  16. Lisa says:

    Hi there! I purchased 3 plants in ‘fern state’ last week and looked proudly at my good work (18 ins x 48 ins wooden planter, but only around 12 ins deep). I then did my research (I’m thinking better late than never) only to see comments about planters not necessarily being the best option! I am expecting them to take at least 2-3 years which I’m ok with, but wondering if I’m expecting too much. Based on all these lovely comments above, it looks like I could stay with the planter, but I’m not entirely sure. Any views would be great, also do I just leave the ferns to die back in the autumn, i.e. do we just leave them to do their own thing over the next 2 years or do we need to cut them back? Many thanx, Lisa (Windsor, England)

  17. larry says:

    i have 70 6year-old. crowns in my garden, all in planting bags. you can check my photos on my fb account

  18. Linda says:

    I thought I was the only gardening novice that planted asparagus crowns in pots, against the advice of the experts! In March 2012 I planted 2 crowns each in 3 different sized pots. Just today, I transferred 2 crowns (already well established) in a 4 foot long rectangular redwood planter box. This was a trial run for me. I hope it continues to thrive. I have several spears breaking the surface. Thanks for your pictures, and your encouraging words. I’m looking forward to next year’s harvest.

  19. gardenlady says:

    I have not read what the experts said. Back in March, 2012, I planted Asparagus seeds in a small styrofoam cup then transplanted the seedling in my grow box (homemade Earthbox) which is automatically watered, and, now, the ferns are sooo tall and beautiful. This has been a wonderful experience. Can’t wait to eat some, next year I suppose.

  20. Della says:

    How is your asparagus coming along now? Can you post some updates please?
    Thanks for starting the thread!

    1. Winci says:

      Hi, funny you should ask, I just checked on it yesterday. We had a cooler winter here in SD and usually the asparagus slows down but doesn’t stop growing completely here, but this winter, I haven’t seen anything for a month. Anyway, yesterday I saw signs of new shoots coming up… Only the smaller ones, no pm big ones yet. I’ll try to get some pix up soon. Hoping to harvest this year. 🙂

  21. KG says:

    When I chanced upon your blog, I was quite pleased with what I have read. As an avid gardener for 40+ years, I’d never had very good luck with asparagus in the ground…probably soil conditions or something I was doing wrong so I stayed away from planting asparagus.

    As a result of injuries from a car accident years ago, I can hardly do in-ground gardening any more…mostly everything in pots or raised planters. I’ve been wanting to give asparagus another try, so I just purchased a six-pack of Mary Washington’s to try out in either pots or planters. Glad to know it does work. Any recommendations would be appreciated.

    1. Winci says:

      Hi there, good luck with your asparagus! I started with a medium sized pot then upgraded each year until now where the pot is pretty big and unmovable. As long as you don’t plan to move them much it should work out! Or use a few plants in each pot so they’re more manageable as I put a whole six pack of Mary washingtons in one container 🙂

      1. larry says:

        i am glad that fellow gardeners are beggining to venture into container gardening. http// i hope we can share experiences about asparagus, thanks and happy gardening to all.

      2. KG says:

        Thank you, Winci. Your information is quite useful. I noticed in the directions on the package, that it suggested sandy soil. Do you use any specific type of potting soil or have your own soil blend?

      3. Winci says:

        I used regular potting mix and added some Dr earths fertiliser. I usually use whatever i have around 🙂 Seems to work but if you can get hold of sandy soil, maybe use that since its probably better to stick to its recommended medium.

      4. KG says:

        At our local garden store, we have a planting mix which has a higher sandy/loam content. Maybe what I’ll do is blend that with my regular planting mix. They carry the fertilizer you recommend as well.

        Thank you again, Winci.

  22. Lois says:

    Got a bargain pack of asparagus and as we have fairly severe winters I’ll give it a go in containers ! will have to be patient by the sounds of things !

  23. City Girl says:

    I just started asparagus this summer in pots and I’m not sure what to do with it for the winter. Leave it outside and it hibernates over the winter (same as Lois – severe winters) or move the containers inside for the winter?

    1. City Girl says:

      P.S. I wish i had found you 3 years ago, I love gardening but struggled to figure out how to garden on an apt. balcony. And now I find you when we’re finally moving into our own home.

      1. Winci says:

        You’re going to have so much fun in your own home growing stuff in the ground! Good luck! You can still grow in pots 🙂 some stuff do better in containers as you can control the growing medium and different PH levels better.

    2. Winci says:

      I’m not sure. I think they’re somewhat cold hardly? Just have a quick google I double check. I believe you can leave them outside as people who grow them in the ground don’t usually have a choice? Not sure tho 🙂 we have very mild winters here in SD 🙂

  24. bongsiatarry says:

    you should cover your pots for insulation. use mulch, plastic covers or wood. pots are extremely exposed to low temp. unlike those planted in the fields, the ground heat protects the roots

  25. Troy says:

    I placed 14 asparagus seeds in biodegradable containers roughly 3 weeks ago. I now have small sprouts; with the tallest being 2 inches. I plan on moving them into grow bags. My asparagus farming has just begun. If interested I could post pics.

  26. Dan says:

    I live in London, England and we love asparagus. We bought a large house with a huge garden in Watford, Hertfordshire last year and to our surprise, this Spring, lots of different fruits and vegies started growing that we didnt know the previous owner grew. We have maybe 7 or 8 different asparagus crowns (my mum pinched / stole 3 of them and repotted in her garden). We dont live in the house yet as we plan to remodel the whole place but move in maybe next summer.

    I’ve just ordered lots of seeds of different plant vegetables and a tilling machine for the garden and even more pots and contains for the seeds. I plan to grow them in the house first before moving them outdoors when the garden is landscaped. I have bought different pot types etc and I have a web camera which can pan and tilt so will keep the pots in the conservatory where it gets light and monitor them removely each day 🙂

    Will try and plant another 20 or so as we love this vegetable!

    Can anyone help with the following:

    1. On the existing mature asparagus plants, where the ferns are growing to we cut those off or let them keep growing?

    2. Can I eventually plant any other vegetables near the asparagus when in the ground?

    3. At what point should I transfer them from the pot to the ground assuming I am growing from seed?

    Many thanks and I will try and post some pics if I get time as I start this journey!


    1. Winci says:

      That’s pretty exciting you have existing veggies with your house! As for cutting the ferns, depends how old the crowns are. If they come out as thick asparagus then you can just eat them! I haven’t really had any successful ones so I am definitely no expert in asparagus but I think you’re supposed to let some fern out so it can make energy for the crowns. As for transferring the new plants out, I think you better get them out asap as it’s getting late in the season over there in the uk already! I transfer mine after the seedlings have a good few leaves. Take the pots outside of the greenhouse so they can climatize to weather before transplanting to ground so it’s not too many traumatic changes. Good luck! My family have an allotment in west london 🙂

  27. horta hyder says:

    how do I transplant a small asparagus from soil to container?

    1. Winci says:

      Sorry I’m not really an expert as my asparagus is not doing too well!

  28. john tokash says:

    What is up with the little berries. do they fall off and make new plants or what?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s