Lady Fern (Athyrium filix-femina)

Lady Fern Plant Features

Lady fern is a soft-textured, North American native that adds a delightful texture to shaded and woodland gardens, especially when grown with plants such as heuchera, tiarella, and hosta. Over time, lady fern can slowly grow to establish large, dense clumps that make a spectacular addition to the landscape. Lady fern grows 18 to 30 inches tall and is deer resistant. This rugged fern is also a bit more sun and drought tolerant than other perennial ferns. Hardy from zones 4-8.

Lady Fern Questions?
Email us and one of our shade gardening experts will get back to you.

Lady Fern Growing Instructions

Lady fern grows best in moist, well-drained soil that's rich in organic matter. Lady fern tolerates dry conditions a little better than most other ferns and is less likely to turn brown when grown in average soil that may dry out from time to time.

Lady fern is not recommended for human or animal consumption.
  • Water


  • Light

    Outside: Part sun

    Outside: Shade

  • Colors


  • Special Features

    Colorful foliage

    Deer/rabbit resistant

Complement your Lady Fern

For an instant snap of color, plant begonia around clumps of Lady Fern.

The lacy foliage of Lady Fern is especially attractive paired with the blue flowers of Hydrangea.

Taller varieties of Hosta make great companions for Lady Fern.

Our favorite varieties

Lady in Red Fern

Lady in Red Fern

Athyrium 'Lady in Red'

Lacy, light green foliage on red stems makes ‘Lady in Red’ athyrium a colorful addition to any shady border. The plants can grow 3 feet tall. Hardy from zones 3-8.

Ghost Fern

Ghost Fern

Athyrium 'Ghost'

A particularly lovely lady fern, ‘Ghost’ sports upright, silver-green foliage. It grows about 2 feet tall.