Pacific Purple Asparagus Plants
The Biggest Crops of Any Purple!
It's a whole new, delightfully delicious, eating experience when you grow Pacific Purple Asparagus in the vegetable patch! This long-lived perennial sets crops for more than a decade, and you will thrill to the gourmet flavor and terrific plate appeal of these extra-thick, super-succulent spears.
Pacific Purple is a British asparagus, bred for flavor and heavy yields. It succeeds wildly on both counts: it is by far the most prolific of the purples, and the flavor is legendary. Lightly steam this asparagus or simply eat it raw: there is none of the fibrous, stringy experience of green varieties. It's tender from tip to base!
Purple asparagus has actually been around a long, long time; records exist of it being grown in France more than 150 years ago, and it was not new then. But it has only recently arrived on American tables, and we are proud to make the plant available to Park gardeners this season. Its benefits go well beyond its striking color and beauty!
Pacific Purple spears are about 6 to 7 inches long, much thicker than traditional green. Boasting 20% more sugar than green asparagus, they are mild, nutty, and sweet.
And concealed within each yummy bite is a good serving of anthocyanin, a powerful antioxidant that helps fight cancer. This asparagus is a superfood, absolutely central to a nutritious disease-prevention diet.
Pacific Purple is a large plant with fern-like foliage reaching 4 to 5 feet high and 12 to 30 inches wide. The spears ripen in mid- to late season. After harvest, let the foliage die down naturally; it feeds the plant as it matures, so you don't want to cut it back until it falls over. That's about all there is to maintaining this vigorous perennial!
Before planting these bareroots, enrich the planting site with a balanced fertilizer, and make sure the drainage is good. Raised beds work well for this perennial, but traditional rows are also fine. Bear in mind that this is a tall plant that will shade neighboring plants during the growing season. During the first two years, as the plants reach maturity, make sure they never dry out completely. Cut back the dead foliage in late autumn and keep the bed weeded to prevent insects from sheltering near the plants.
Once your purple asparagus bed is established, you will wonder how you ever got by without fresh, delicious, healthy stalks straight from the garden to your plate! Enjoy. Zones 3-9.
|Item Form||Pack of 10|
|Zone||3 - 9|
|Days To Maturity||750|
|Plant Height||4 ft - 5 ft|
|Plant Width||12 in - 2 ft 6 in|
|Foliage Color||Medium Green|
|Harvest Season||Early Summer|
|Light Requirements||Full Sun|
|Moisture Requirements||Moist, well-drained|
|Resistance||Cold Hardy, Heat Tolerant|
|Soil Tolerance||Normal, loamy|
|Uses||Border, Cuisine, Outdoor, Beds|
|Restrictions||Canada, Guam, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands|
The dry, sparse appearance of bareroot perennials can be alarming to the novice gardener, but in reality ordering bare root is often the smarter choice. Foliage and blooms can be seductive, but the health and long-term potential of a plant truly lies in its roots. Bareroot plants have several advantages over plants in containers—bare roots are less likely to be harmed in the shipping process, their timing is easier to control, and they are field-grown for larger, healthier root systems. This why Wayside Gardens has had great success with bare root plants, and you can too!
It is safer to ship plants in bareroot form because there is no risk in harming new growth, and therefore the plant actually has a better chance of making it safely into the customer’s garden.
And thanks to refrigerated storage, the timing of bareroot perennials can be precisely controlled. “(Bareroot perennials) are dormant,” explains JPPA Lead Horticulturist Benjamin Chester, “But as soon as they leave the refrigerated storage they’ll begin breaking dormancy.” And once the plant ‘wakes up’, it is ready to begin the growing season in earnest, which means it will quickly catch up to the level of container plants.
The most important benefit of bareroot perennials is that they can be field grown rather than confined to containers. The bareroot Cherry Cheesecake Hibiscus pictured hereperfectly illustrates the difference between a field-grown perennial and a containerized one. Wayside Gardens used to offer this variety in a quart container, like the Monarda next to it. But the Hibiscus was simply too cramped in that space, so Wayside switched to growing it in the earth and selling it bare root. The result is a thick, fibrous mass of roots that used to fill up several cubic feet of soil and which, even in its bare, pruned form would be too large to fit back into the 1 Quart container. What a difference a little space makes! While small and slow-growing cultivars can start well in containers, large and vigorous cultivars need more room to stretch out and develop a solid root system.