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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



1 to 3 feet


1-2 feet wide

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how to grow Japanese painted fern

more varieties for Japanese painted fern
Branford Beauty fern

Branford Beauty fern

(Athyrium 'Branford Beauty') is a plant with stunning upright silvery fronds with red stems. Zones 5-8

Crested Japanese painted fern

Crested Japanese painted fern

(Athyrium niponicum 'Applecourt') bears textural, crested fronds marked with silver and burgundy. Zones 5-8

Japanese painted fern

Japanese painted fern

(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

Lady in Red lady fern

Lady in Red lady fern

(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

Painted lady fern

Painted lady fern

(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

Silver Falls Japanese painted fern

Silver Falls Japanese painted fern

(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

Tatting fern

Tatting fern

(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

plant Japanese painted fern with
Lady's mantle

Lady's mantle looks great in the garden and in a vase. Its scalloped leaves catch rain or drewdrops, making them look dusted with jewels. The chartreuse flowers appear in playful, frothy clusters above the foliage. Lady's mantle is ideal for softening the edge of a shaded path or creating a groundcover in dappled shade.


In early spring, the brilliant blue, pink, or white flowers of lungwort bloom despite the coldest chill. The rough basal leaves, spotted or plain, always please and continue to be handsome through the season and into winter. Planted close as a weed-discouraging groundcover, or in borders as edgings or bright accent plants, lungworts are workhorses and retain their good looks. Provide high-humus soil that retains moisture. Although lungwort tolerates dry conditions, be alert for mildew.


Ajuga is one of the most indispensable groundcovers around. It has many uses and looks great much of the year.Also known as carpetweed or bugleweed, ajuga forms a 6-inch-tall mat of glossy leaves that always seem to look neat and fresh. In many cases, the leaves are colored with shades of purple, white, silver, cream, or pink. Individual plants grow as a rosette, but they intertwine to form a solid carpet that withstands some foot traffic. Blue, lavender, pink, or white flower spikes adorn plants spring to early summer.Ajuga is great in rock gardens, in the front of beds and borders, under leggy shrubs or small trees, along paths, and just about any other place in the landscape you want to cover the ground with attractive foliage and little flowers.

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