Asparagus ‘Purple Passion’ 1 star
Flower Description and Bloom Time
Flowers are insignificant.
Foliage Interest — Color and Texture
Very fine, airy foliage of medium green. Stems were a purple-burgundy in spring fading to green. In the second and third year of the trial, plants were producing small pencil-sized thick asparagus stalks. Foliage was purplish until midsummer.
Habit and Growth Rate Observations
Plants grew quickly the first year with some reaching 35 inches tall and wide. In one site, they produced 10 stems that were 1/4 inch in diameter. In the second site, foliage only reached 12 to 16 inches tall.
Site Preference — Soil and Light
Plants were grown in full sun with average soil and mulched with leaf mould. At the second site, plants were grown in part shade with clay-loam and good drainage. Full sun, organic, weed-free soil and good drainage is needed for this perennial vegetable.
Successes and Possible Drawbacks
Asparagus is typically a long-lived perennial vegetable crop. Leafy stems (“ferns”) should be left in place until fall, when they should be removed and the ground cleared of any vegetation to prevent harboring disease or insects. Crowns can be planted 3 to 4 weeks before the last average spring frost date. Soil should be well-drained and plants placed in a site that has full sun. In low areas, where soils remain wet in winter, the plant’s crown may rot. At one site, plants suffered from frost-heaving and may have benefited from extra winter mulch.
Notes from Growers/Retailers
Parting “SHOT” — The overall evaluation results Poor
This plant was evaluated from 2013 to 2016 at two sites in Chicago’s western suburbs.
By the third year of the evaluation, only one plant survived. An extremely cold winter (2013-2014) may have contributed to their early demise. In the site where a plant survived, the plants were grown in full sun and average garden soil. Although not part of the trial, another evaluator has grown this plant with success for several years.