Athyrithum Niponicum - "Pictum"
Common Name: Japanese Painted Fern
Height: 10 Inches - 4 Feet (20cm-1.5 meters)
Exposure: Light to Full Shade
Soil: Rich, Moist and Well Drained. Added Compost is Suggested.
Hardiness: Zones 2-5
Foliage Colour: A Wide Variety of Greens and Some Purple, Red and/or Grey Hints of Colour.
Bloom Time: Although They Do Not “Bloom”, Fronds Begin to Unfurl in Mid Spring.
Hardy ferns are a wonderful way to fill dark spaces with exotic textures and eclectic shades of green. Although
these shade beauties look frail and dainty, they can actually hold their own in the tough Ontario garden. Whether
you are looking for a specimen jewel in your shade bed or to fill large areas where nothing else will grow, this is
the right plant to start with. Keeping your ferns out of afternoon sun will help avoid crispy tips and discoloration.
Shade and moisture will keep ferns looking their best. Morning and evening sun is okay because the suns rays
are much weaker and will not cause any damage to your plants. The varieties of ferns that are hardy in our colder
climates are quite vast and now more available than ever before.
Just the names of some of these make you want to snatch them up for your own personal shaded oasis. Heart'
Tongue, Ghost, Burgundy Lace, Japanese Painted, Ostrich and my personal favorite, the Hairy Lip. These are
just a few of the varieties that are available in our local nurseries these days. Deciding which one is right for you
is simple; whichever one you like. Size may be the only thing you really need to worry about. If you are looking
to hide an air conditioner or gas meter, then perhaps a taller variety such as Matteuccia, Osmunda or Pteridium
would do the trick. If you wanted to soften a mass planting then a few colorful specimens such as Lady in Red,
Burgundy Lace, Japanese Silver Painted or the new Osmunda reg. 'Purpurescens' will complete that task.
Every property has shade whether it's a little or a lot, which makes this plant a must-have-with-no-excuse.
Whether located on the north facing side of the house to under a tree or shrub on the south facing side of your
yard, you can make ferns an intrical part of your landscape. Simply keep soil moist and give them lots of
compost then stand back and let them impress!