HOW TO GROW JAPANESE PAINTED FERNS
The Japanese painted fern has arguably some of the best ornamental foliage of all garden ferns. Fully hardy and suitable for both partial and heavy shade this gorgeous deciduous perennial is a must for anyone with a passion for the exotic.
It is a steady growing, mound forming species that will reach a height and spread of approximately 18 inches. The deeply cut foliage is grey-green with touches of silver, burgundy, purple and even turquoise. There a number of excellent cultivars to choose from notably:
Athyrium niponicum 'Red Beauty' is a particular favourite withs yellow fronds and a bright red stem.
Athyrium niponicum 'Ursula's Red' is a rarely seen cultivar but possibly the most striking with a wide, near-black band running along the central stem surrounded by a silvery-pink margin.
Athyrium niponicum 'Pictum' has pale silvery-green fronds and a bright red stem.
Athyrium niponicum 'Pictum Cristatum' is similar to the regular 'Pictum' cultivar but with the addition of crested fronds.
Athyrium niponicum 'Metallicum' produces eye-catching, variegated silver, green and red foliage.
Japanese painted ferns will thrive in a neutral to acidic, humus-rich soil. They will like to be kept moist all year round although they will benefit from drying out slightly between waterings. Once established they can become surprisingly drought tolerant.
Plant in a damp, reasonably drained soil and add plenty of humus rich compost such as leaf mould or well-rotted pine needles before hand. Avoid mulching with fertiliser-rich manures and instead provide a spring mulch of moss peat. In cooler northern European climates you may need to provide a dry winter protection of straw or bracken.
For related article click onto the following links:
How to Grow Painted Ferns
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HOW TO GROW THE ROYAL FERN - Osmunda regalis
HOW TO GROW THE SHUTTLECOCK FERN
HOW TO GROW TREE FERNS
JAPANESE PAINTED FERNS - Athyrium niponicum
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