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Japanese painted fern

Athyrium selections

Japanese painted fern

One of the most elegant ferns available for your garden, Japanese painted ferns are washed with gorgeous silver and burgundy markings. Lady fern is equally elegant though not quite as showy. Either will add interest and texture to your shady spots. Closely related to each other, Japanese painted fern and lady fern are sometimes crossed with each other to create attractive hybrids.

Unlike most ferns, these toughies will tolerate dry soil. And they will tolerate some sun if they have ample water.

Part Sun,Shade
Plant Type:
Plant Width:
1-2 feet wide
Landscape Uses:
Containers,Beds & Borders,Groundcover
Special Features:
Attractive Foliage,Tolerates Wet Soil,Easy to Grow
Top Varieties

(Athyrium 'Branford Beauty') is a plant with stunning upright silvery fronds with red stems. Zones 5-8
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(Athyrium niponicum 'Applecourt') bears textural, crested fronds marked with silver and burgundy. Zones 5-8
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(Athyrium niponicum pictum) is one of the best-known ferns. Its silvery fronds tinged with burgundy make an elegant container or garden accent. Zones 5-8
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(Athyrium filix-femina 'Lady in Red') has distinctive red stems. Compared to most other ferns it is relatively tolerant of dry soil. Zones 4-9
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(Athyrium 'Ghost') has silvery white fronds and an upright growth pattern. Plants reach 2 feet tall and produce new fronds all summer long. Zones 4-8
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(Athyrium niponicum 'Silver Falls') has a pinkish red stems and reddish purple veins. It is most colorful with a few hours of sun per day. Zones 5-8
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(Athyrium filix-femina 'Frizelliae') is a dwarf, 1-foot-tall plant with rounded ball-like leaflets attached to the main stem, resembling a lacy string of beads. It is a type of lady fern. Zones 4-8
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Plant It With
Lady's mantle

Contrast fern's fine-textured foliage with the bigger, rounded lady's mantle leaves.


The silver speckles on lungwort leaves are an attractive complement to the silver shades of Japanese painted fern fronds


The colors of Burgundy Glow ajuga are a perfect match for the silvers, burgundies, and greens in Japanese painted fern.