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Lady in Red Fern

Athyrium filix-femina 'Lady in Red'

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Lady in Red Fern (Athyrium filix-femina 'Lady in Red') at Gertens

Lady in Red Fern foliage

Lady in Red Fern foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Lady in Red Fern (Athyrium filix-femina 'Lady in Red') at Gertens

Lady in Red Fern

Lady in Red Fern

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Lady in Red Fern (Athyrium filix-femina 'Lady in Red') at Gertens

Lady in Red Fern

Lady in Red Fern

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  3 feet

Spread:  24 inches

Sunlight:  partial shade  full shade 

Hardiness Zone:  4a

Brand:  Gertens

Description:

Attractive dark green fronds with deep maroon-red central stems; clump-forming and dense, perfect for shady spots; beautiful in masses on the edges of ponds or streams

Ornamental Features

Lady in Red Fern is primarily valued in the garden for its cascading habit of growth. Its attractive ferny bipinnately compound leaves emerge antique red in spring, turning dark green in color throughout the season. The red stems are very colorful and add to the overall interest of the plant.

Landscape Attributes

Lady in Red Fern is a dense herbaceous fern with a shapely form and gracefully arching fronds. It brings an extremely fine and delicate texture to the garden composition and should be used to full effect.

This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and usually looks its best without pruning, although it will tolerate pruning. Deer don't particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Lady in Red Fern is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • Border Edging
  • General Garden Use
  • Groundcover
  • Naturalizing And Woodland Gardens

Planting & Growing

Lady in Red Fern will grow to be about 3 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 24 inches. Its foliage tends to remain dense right to the ground, not requiring facer plants in front. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 15 years. As an herbaceous perennial, this plant will usually die back to the crown each winter, and will regrow from the base each spring. Be careful not to disturb the crown in late winter when it may not be readily seen!

This plant does best in partial shade to shade. It prefers to grow in moist to wet soil, and will even tolerate some standing water. It is particular about its soil conditions, with a strong preference for rich, acidic soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution, and will benefit from being planted in a relatively sheltered location. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone over the growing season to conserve soil moisture. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America, and parts of it are known to be toxic to humans and animals, so care should be exercised in planting it around children and pets. It can be propagated by division; however, as a cultivated variety, be aware that it may be subject to certain restrictions or prohibitions on propagation.

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Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight Soil pH Preference
Characteristics
Massing  Edging  Garden  Groundcover  Naturalizing 
Applications
Foliage Color  Texture  Plant Form  Bark 
Ornamental Features