Japanese Painted Fern (Athyrium spp.)

Japanese Painted Fern Plant Features

Japanese painted fern is one of the most beautiful fern varieties you'll find. This small-statured beauty shows off gray-green fronds highlighted in silver and often flushed with burgundy. These colors make it easy to mix this fern in the garden; Japanese painted fern is a wonderful complement to blue hostas, lungworts, variegated forms of ajuga, and burgundy-leafed heucheras. Japanese painted fern grows about 18 inches tall so it works as well in containers as it does in a woodland border. The plants are also deer resistant. Hardy from zones 3-8.

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Japanese Painted Fern Growing Instructions

Give Japanese painted fern a spot in shade or partial shade and moist, but well-drained soil that enriched with plenty of organic matter. Mulch the plants to maintain consistent soil moisture. If allowed to dry out, the leaves of Japanese painted fern will start to turn brown. 

Japanese Painted fern is not intended for human or animal consumption.
  • Water


  • Light

    Outside: Shade

  • Colors




  • Special Features

    Colorful foliage

    Deer/rabbit resistant

Complement your Japanese Painted Fern

Pair Japanese Painted fern with Heuchera. Both will add tons of color to shady corners.

Hosta, particularly blue-leaved varieties, make a spectacular companion for Japanese Painted fern.

The bright flowers and foliage of Tiarella blend beautifully with the gorgeous fronds of Japanese Painted fern.

Our favorite varieties

Ghost Fern

Ghost Fern

Athyrium 'Ghost'

Add color and interest to shady spots with ‘Ghost’ fern. It’s upright, silvery foliage is especially lovely in a woodland setting. It grows 2 feet tall.

Japanese Painted Fern

Japanese Painted Fern

Athyrium niponicum var. pictum

An award-winning variety, Japanese Painted fern grows 18 inches tall and sports gorgeous bluish-silver fronds accented with burgundy purple. Hardy from zones 5-8.