Japanese Painted Fern (Athyrium nipponicum ‘Pictum’)

One of Our Favorite Plants for Shaded Gardens

  • Hardiness Range: 3 to 8
  • Height: 18”
  • Spread: 24”
  • Exposure: Partial to Full Shade
  • Leaf Color: Olive Green with Silver Variegation and Burgundy Stem

Why We Love It:

Japanese Painted Fern is a dense perennial with gracefully arching foliage that emerges burgundy in the spring and becomes olive green with silvery variegations and burgundy stems throughout the season. These colors show best when planted in the shade. This plant brings an extremely fine and delicate texture to your landscape, and contrasts well with chunky green and white shade perennials, such as hostas.

Japanese Painted Fern is a relatively low maintenance plant, and usually looks best without pruning. Deer don’t typically care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats.

Know Before You Plant:

This plant thrives best in partial to full shade and prefers to grow in moist to wet soil, and will even tolerate some standing water. Consider applying thick mulch around the root zone to conserve soil moisture. It is particular about its soil conditions and prefers rich, acidic soils.

Where It Thrives:

Woodland gardens, shade gardens or shaded border fronts. Also effective along streams or ponds.