Plant spacing is based on the ultimate width of the plants. This figure is normally given as a range; for example, 3-5’. If you live in a cold climate and/or want plants to fill in more quickly, plan to space at the shorter end of the range. If you live in a warm climate, are on a limited budget, or are willing to wait longer for plants to touch, use the higher end of the range. Using the larger number is recommended when calculating distance from a building or structure. There’s really no such thing as "maximum spacing": if you don’t want your plants to touch, you can space them as far apart as you’d like. All plant spacing is calculated on center, or in other words, the centers of the plants are spaced one half of their eventual width apart:
Unless you are planting in a straight line, as you might for hedges or edging, space your plants in a staggered or zig-zag pattern for a more interesting and naturalistic look:
Hand-picked at our greenhouse
Shipped to your door
Arrives as young plant
DescriptionLady Fern (or Athyrium filix-femina) is aptly named for its elegant appearance in shade gardens! Light green fronds emerge in early spring with small and intricate leaflets, creating a lacy texture that stands out among other foliage plants. The fronds arch as they effortlessly fill in gaps under trees, between shrubs, or alongside ponds and streams.
While Lady Fern may look high maintenance, it's incredibly easy to grow in moist and well-draining soils. It's deer, rabbit, and disease resistant, which means the fronds keep their appeal all season long. It naturalizes well when grown in optimal conditions (even in clay and wet soils), making it a great choice for nearly every gardener.DetailsBotanical name: Athyrium filix-femina Common name: Lady fern, female polypody Zone: 4 - 8 Sun exposure: shade (< 4 hours sun) to part sun (4-6 hours sun) Height x width: 1-3' tall x 1.5-2.5' wide Foliage color: Green Season of interest: Spring to fall Features: Rain gardens, rabbit & deer resistant, native, heat tolerant, ground covers, cold tolerant Uses: Accents, border, container, ground cover, small spaces, specimen, underplanting, waterside. How To GrowSoil: Easily grown in organically rich, moist, well-drained soil. Light: Part-sun (4-6 hours sun) to shade (< 4 hours sun). It can handle more sun if the soil is moist, but the fronds risk burning. Water: Tolerates more soil dryness than some other ferns, but the soil must not be allowed to dry out. Spacing: 1.5 – 2.5 ft apart Fertilizing: Annual application of compost. Avoid any inorganic fertilizers, as they may burn the roots. Winterizing: Leaves should be trimmed to the ground in late fall or early spring. Maintenance & pruning: Very low maintenance. Trim leaves in the late fall or early spring. Plants can be propagated by division in spring every few years as desired.
Your Questions About Building a Rain Garden, Answered
Rain gardens have taken the horticultural industry by storm, no pun intended. Here, Great Garden Plants answers all your questions about designing, planting, and caring for rain gardens.
I have added several of these ferns to my shade garden. They are easy to grow and look beautiful with astilbe.
Lady Ferns are Tough
Lady ferns are one of a select few ferns that will grow and survive in eastern Montana harsh winters
B. (South Dakota)
When they arrived they were great. Very nice plants. Followed the planting instructions and put in my perennial shade garden. Looked great for a few weeks and then went backwards big time. We have had a lot of heat and big winds. Branches broke off and plants are dying. I really liked them so I will try again next year. Probably my gardening skills to blame. Everything else I got is doing great.
Hello! We're sorry to hear about your plants. Summer can be such a tricky time to plant new plants in the garden. Please email pictures of the plant to firstname.lastname@example.org, making sure to put your order number and name in the subject line so that we may provide the best assistance possible. Rest assured, we do have a 60-day guarantee on all of our plants. If you received your plants within that timeframe, we will be happy to apply your warranty once we receive the pictures. Happy Gardening!