Crested Lady Fern

Athyrium filix femina 'Cristatum'

Delicate, finely divided fronds create a woodland effect under the canopy of tall trees. Leaflets have an ornamental crested growth at the tips. Develops a lovely crown of lacy fronds atop a short trunk. Evergreen in mild climates.
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Full shade

Water regularly to maintain evenly moist soil - weekly, or more often.

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Botanical Pronunciationa-THEE-ree-um FY-liks kris-TAY-tum
LoreWoodland ferns have long been used as basket liners by berry and mushroom gatherers. The plant's microscopic spores led the ancients to believe they could render one invisible.
Average Size at MaturityFast growing; reaches 3 to 4 ft. tall and wide.
Bloom TimePrized for foliage.
Design IdeasA magnificent fern that fills out a shade garden far better than smaller types. Mass Lady Fern under trees where it's too dark for other plants. Use in pots or in atriums where their primitive, lacy character softens other more sculptural specimens. Also ideal for disguising mechanical parts of fountains or where over spray keeps planting areas too wet. A natural in banks and slopes with seeps or springs and rocky outcroppings shaded by forest.
Deciduous/ EvergreenEvergreen
Foliage ColorGreen
Garden StyleAsian/Zen, Cottage, Rustic
Growth HabitErect
Growth RateFast
Landscape UseBorder, Container, Erosion Control, Firescaping/Firewise, Mass Planting, Specimen, Very Wet Areas, Woodland Garden, Urban Garden
Light NeedsFull shade
Soil NeedsAll-Purpose Plant Food
Special FeatureClump Forming, Easy Care, Extreme Cold Hardiness, Gift Plant, Naturalizes Well, North American Native Selection, Shade Loving, Tolerates Acidic Soil, Tolerates Wet Soils, Waterwise
Water NeedsHigh
Watering NeedsWater regularly to maintain evenly moist soil - weekly, or more often.
Companion PlantsA sizable ground fern in scale with larger shade loving plants. Group with unique Trilby Rhododendron, (Rhododendron x 'Trilby'), shade tolerant Madonna (Brooks Hybrid) Azalea, (Azalea 'Madonna') and Miniature Gardenia (Gardenia jasminoides 'Radicans'). Also works well with such shade-loving perennials as Lenten Rose (Helleborus x hybridus 'Royal HeritageTM Strain'), Lilac Beauty Lilyturf (Liriope muscari 'Lilac Beauty') and Bolivian Sunset Gloxinia (Gloxinia sylvatica 'Bolivian Sunset').

Provide organically rich, well-drained soil. Water regularly to maintain evenly moist soil; tolerates drier soils once established, but best with consistent moisture. Feed frequently during growing season with a general purpose fertilizer. Cut back old fronds after new growth begins in spring. Divide clumps every 2 to 3 years.

This Plant's Growing Zones: 4-9

Your USDA Cold Hardiness Zone:

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