Why Is Asparagus So Expensive? 4 Common Reasons

Do you enjoy using asparagus in your recipes? We do too! Asparagus is the favorite vegetable of many, but here is a downside; their price.

Depending on where you live, asparagus might be one of the most expensive vegetables in your grocery store. This is caused by a couple of reasons, found below.

    1. Asparagus are labor-intensive

    farmer in peru cutting his asparagus crops
    A farmer in Peru cutting his asparagus crops by hand.

    The biggest reason that asparagus are expensive, is because they need to be cut by hand. This creates extra costs for the labor, which results in an increase in price, as farmers wouldn’t be able to generate any profits otherwise.

    2. Low amount of asparagus per plant

    produced asparagus from a single plant
    The produced asparagus from a single plant.

    A second reason is the low amount of asparagus that each plant, called the asparagus officinalis, can deliver per season. On average, each plant can produce around 10 to 15 asparagus per plant, which is not a lot.

    Next to the low amount of asparagus per plant, the first crops also take up to three years to grow, which is a long wait if you’re a farmer who also needs to make a profit somehow.

    3. Importing from Mexico and Peru

    big batch of harvested asparagus, ready to be imported
    Big batch of harvested asparagus, ready to be imported.

    Mexico and Peru are some of the countries that grow many asparagus plants, because of their proper climate for this luxurious vegetable. If you live far away from such countries, it might be a reason that asparagus is so expensive where you live, as they’ll have to travel very far. This is also the reason why they’re often cheaper when bought in bigger batches, which is not a problem as you can store asparagus for about a year.

    4. Damaged crops

    A damaged asparagus crop due to frost
    A damaged asparagus crop due to frost. (image source)

    A problem that many farmers have to deal with, is damaged crops. This vegetable is very sensitive to light and water, which is why its growth fluctuates a lot. Therefore, asparagus must be kept under surveillance, which generates even more work for the farmers.

    Other reasons how asparagus plants can be damaged are:

    • Frost, at the wrong time.
    • Overwatering new crowns (also caused by rain).

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