Can You Grow Asparagus From Cuttings? (Yes, You Certainly Can)

Asparagus is a vegetable with a huge range of health benefits. It is known to assist in lowering blood pressure, aid weight loss, and improve digestion, to name a few. These benefits alone have boosted the popularity of growing this wonder vegetable of late.

However, growing asparagus takes time, especially from seed. But, can you grow asparagus from cuttings to speed up the process?

Well, many gardeners have started to grow their asparagus from cuttings to speed up the initial process. The art of growing asparagus from cuttings isn’t a tough task, but you need to properly understand the process to ensure they have the best chance of thriving.

Can you grow asparagus from cuttings 

Growing this superfood will ensure you’re never short on fiber, folate, and vitamins A, C, and K for as long as you can keep them regenerating!

In this article, we’ll look at how you can grow asparagus from cuttings in a simple, step-by-step form. 

Can you grow asparagus from cuttings?

One can easily grow Asparagus from cuttings, seeds or seedlings. It’s common for the seeds to take around 21 days to germinate. Of course, this depends on if the process is done in an optimized environment.

Once germinated, the seedlings can take up to several weeks until they can be transplanted into a growing bed.

At this stage, they generally take around 3-4 years before they are mature enough to harvest. Growing from seedlings is probably the most usual way of producing asparagus.

Growing from cuttings, on the other hand, can slash a year or sometimes even more of the overall growing time. The cuttings are taken from the crown or root of the plant and planted as individual ‘new’ asparagus plants.

It’s increasingly popular to grow from cuttings these days to shave off that initial sensitive first year to save time and energy. Once established, asparagus can produce for at least 20-30 years if maintained correctly. The many health benefits of this wonder vegetable make growing it worth the wait! 

Steps for growing asparagus from cuttings

Growing asparagus from cuttings is a great method for those who want to save time and energy. Surprisingly, it’s not too difficult to do so.

All it takes is a bit of knowledge to choose the right cuttings. Let’s have a look at the whole process of growing asparagus from cuttings in step by step form.

Gathering materials

  • Pair of sterilized and sharp pruning shears or scissors 
  • Gardeners tools, including a shovel, rake, etc
  • Asparagus cutting
  • Good quality compost
  • All purpose organic fertilizer
  • Mulch – shredded leaves and/or straw

Preparing the cutting

Cuttings are parts of existing plants that can be used to grow new plants. The idea is to select a healthy part to ensure the new plant can grow without any hindrance. In the case of asparagus, it’s best to:

Preparing the cutting
  • Split the root of a flowering plant. If possible, use a cutting with roots with a couple of buds still attached. The roots essentially breathe life into the plants as they establish themselves. 
  • You need a minimum of 6 inches of cutting from root to top. 
  • Always take cuttings from fresh asparagus plants, and never use anything preserved in a freezer.
  • Make sure to give the cutting a gentle rinse to remove any dirt or debris. These can attract unwanted harmful microbes. 
  • Remove any grasses or weeds from the growing area. Asparagus doesn’t like competing for nutrients. 
  • Give the soil of your asparagus bed a decent watering without turning it soggy. 

Planting the cutting

The first step to planting your asparagus is digging a decent trench to allow for future growth. The size will depend on the amount you wish to grow. We recommend that you dig a trench or series of trenches at least 18 inches wide and 12 inches deep. Then:

Planting the cutting
  • Prepare the bottom 2-3 inches with good quality compost or another organic matter source such as manure. 
  • Plant the cuttings into the trench by spreading out the roots. Allow 15-18 inches between each cutting. 
  • Add one dose of all-purpose organic fertilizer into the trench between each cutting. 
  • Add another 2 inches of compost mixed with good quality soil and gently pack around the cuttings to stabilize them. 

Caring for the asparagus plant

  • As the asparagus grows and shoots begin to appear, slowly top up the trench with more soil and compost until it reaches the natural ground level. 
  • Add some mulch to prevent any weeds from getting too close. 
  • Don’t plant anything else with asparagus, as they don’t tolerate competition. 
  • Keep the soil moist without soaking it. You may even opt for a drip system to save time and energy.

Potential challenges and solutions for growing asparagus from cuttings

In most cases, growing anything from cuttings is usually a pretty seamless task. You simply find the right limb, set it in some soil, give it some water, and then wait.

However, doing so with asparagus can have potential challenges that must be navigated with caution. Let’s look at these issues in detail and some solutions that can help when growing asparagus from cuttings. 

Potential challenges and solutions for growing asparagus from cuttings

Low success rate

One of the major problems with growing asparagus from cuttings is the time it takes to even start seeing edible shoots. Of course, the wait is much longer when growing from seeds, though. With this wait comes the possibility of a low success rate.

For example, if you make one wrong move with your cutting and you wait out the 2-3 years it takes until they can be harvested, there is a chance that they may not even be able to be used. This wastes a lot of valuable time, energy, and resources.

A wrong move can simply be not separating the roots enough or not having enough stalk remaining to be able to form spears.

It’s a good idea to follow a guide like this carefully and get the cutting part spot on so you are confident that your long wait doesn’t disappoint.

Poor root development

Another problem that may arise is an underdeveloped or deformed root system. A lack of soil moisture generally causes this. Surprisingly, asparagus roots have the potential to grow down as deep as 10-15 feet and 5-6 feet wide in diameter.

Poor root development

No wonder they can grow for 30+ years if subject to optimal conditions and environment. So when an asparagus cutting is planted, it needs some good quality soil, including compost or rotting manure. This will ensure the roots grow strong and healthy.

Furthermore, the planting area requires decent water without flooding them out. These 2 factors will allow the roots to establish themselves and anchor each cutting extensively. 

Pest and disease issues

There are quite a few pests that asparagus can be susceptible to. However, the most common are asparagus beetles and aphids. The beetles lay their eggs in the ferns, which spawn rapidly. Both larvae and adults feed on the foliage causing extensive damage if left undiscovered.

Fortunately, they are much easier to spot and can be picked off by hand and dunked in a bucket of soapy water to end their short lives. Aphids also enjoy fasting on the ferns, but the difference with these nasty pests is their sheer numbers and struggle to locate.

They are much smaller and much faster. The best way to take them down is by using a natural insecticide such as Neem oil

Pest and disease issues

The most common disease that asparagus can suffer from is Asparagus rust. Puccinia asparagi causes this condition. It’s usually associated with high humidities and poor spacing between plants. It looks like rust spots (orange-brown blisters) on the leaves and stems.

It mainly restricts the overall yield by slowing down its production. This condition can usually be solved by pruning the affected areas during spring. It’s also more manageable when the plants are grown with larger spacing. Plants that suffer from this disease are also more susceptible to Fusarium crown and root rot.

Alternative methods for propagating asparagus

Even though using cuttings to propagate asparagus can be rewarding, other methods can help reach the same goal. Each comes with its pros and cons. Let’s look at growing from seeds and grafting to rootstocks as other ways to enjoy growing asparagus.  

Growing asparagus from seeds

One of the main keys to growing asparagus from seeds is simply being patient. In general, asparagus seeds are best started indoors or in some kind of greenhouse. The ideal starting month is around mid February to mid May.

For germination, the seeds need plenty of bright light and soil temperatures between 70-85°F (21-29 °C). Once these conditions are obtained, you can do the following:

Growing asparagus from seeds
  1. Soak each seed for a couple of hours in lukewarm water
  2. Using individual 2-inch (5 cm) pots/containers, plant each seed around ½ an inch (1 cm) deep into a good quality sterile soil mix.
  3. Give them a gentle mist with water every 2-3 days.
  4. You should notice that they start sprouting between 2 and 8 weeks. 
  5. At around 10-12 weeks, the seedlings will be strong enough to transplant. (Providing the winter frosts have passed).
  6. When preparing a transplant pot or soil base for your seedlings, ensure the soil pH is between 7.0 and 7.2 in fertile, well-draining soil.
  7. Allow each transplant at least 18 inches (46 cm) space from its neighbor. 
  8. Arrange the rows to be 3 to 6 inches (8-15 cm) apart.
  9. *Note – For thinner spears, allow 8-10 inches (20-25 cm) space between them and dig them 4 inches (10 cm) deep. For thicker spears, allow 12-14 inches (30-36 cm) space between them and dig them 6-8 inches (15-20 cm) deep.

Grafting asparagus onto a rootstock

The simplest method of grafting is by using the whip and tongue method. This can be done if you already have mature plants and want to speed up the process of younger growing plants. To do so with asparagus, you will need the following:

  • Rootstock: these can be purchased in specialist stores or grown from seeds. 
  • Scion: Young shoot or twig of a plant
  • Secateurs or pruning shears
  • A grafting or budding knife
  • Grafting tape
Grafting asparagus onto a rootstock

The process:

  1. Locate and dismember a scion around 4-8 inches (10-20 cm) long.
  2. Lob the top of the rootstock to around 8-12 inches (20-30cm) from the ground.
  3. Use a grafting knife to make a diagonal cut in the rootstock around 3 cm long (just above half of the rootstock). The aim is to cut the slant on such an angle that the scion sits on top without gliding off once attached. 
  4. Make a similar cut to the scion. 
  5. Hold both angled cuts together, so they look as if they are one plant (Both Rootstock and Scion)
  6. Use grafting tape to wrap the 2 grafted parts together, so they are tightly stuck to one another. The tape should be around half an inch above and half an inch below the lowest and highest point of each cut. This will support the graft as it binds. 
  7. Use a clean, sterilized pair of pruning shears to cut the scion back to around 2-3 buds. 
  8. The scion will start producing shoots in around 2-3 weeks. When this occurs, the graft will be successful, and you can remove the tape. 

Extra tips for all methods

  • Consider co planting your asparagus with tomatoes. Asparagus is a great defender against nematodes that love feeding on tomato plants. Whereas tomatoes help to keep asparagus beetles away. These 2 work well together! 
  • As per regular maintenance, try to keep the crown covered with soil and keep it moist. Apply around 1 inch (2.5 cm.) of gentle watering per week. 
  • Apply a good quality fertilizer during the spring. 1-2 cups (250-475ml) per 10 ft (3m) is a perfect balance when mixed into the soil. 
  • Avoid harvesting until the plant reaches at least its third year. You want to ensure that the plant’s ferns continue applying their energy to growth and regeneration.
  • Prune back the ferns to 2 inches (5 cm.) late in the fall (autumn). 
  • When the plant finally reaches its third year, it will be ready to begin harvesting. You can usually harvest for around 8-12 weeks by cutting back the spears around 1-2 inches (2.5-5 cm) below the ground. Leave at least 2 inches (5 cm) above the crown.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can you regrow asparagus from store bought asparagus?

Yes, you can achieve this by either growing from cuttings or grafting. Using these methods can speed up the process by at least a year. 

Can you grow asparagus from cuttings in water?

You can grow asparagus cuttings using hydroponics as a method of propagation. Using water alone is also possible. However, it is not recommended. Asparagus needs an abundance of nutrients which water alone cannot offer. Therefore, it’s best to grow them in soil or using a nutrient based growing method.

How long does it take to grow asparagus from cuttings?

Asparagus cuttings can produce roots in less than a week and leave within 2 weeks. However, a cutting to reach full maturity takes around 2 years. This method is at least 1 year faster than starting asparagus from seeds. 


Growing asparagus from cuttings can shave at least a year off their overall growing time. Doing so is by far the simplest and most effective method. It is possible to start with seeds, but it’s difficult to know whether or not they will survive until around a year into their growth cycle.

Another option is grafting, but even then, you need to have a mature rootstock and a healthy scion, which not all growers have access to. Asparagus can grow for at least 30 years, so saving a chunk of time in their initial stages will allow you to enjoy them much sooner.

We hope that this guide has been helpful. You can read about similar topics here on our website. Check back again soon for more.

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