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Planting Instructions for Athyrium (lady ferns, Japanese painted ferns):

Light:  Part shade to full shade Moisture:  Average
Soil:  Humus-rich, moist but well-drained, woodland type soil pH:  Slightly acidic (5.5 - 6.5), but very adaptable
Planting Depth:  1/2" below soil, mulch lightly Spacing:  12 to 15" for smaller varieties, 15 to 18" for larger plants

Upon arrival:  Unpack box and check that you have everything on your packing list. Athyrium should be slightly moist but not wet when dormant. Plant everything within two or three days.

Soil/Location:  Plant your ferns in part shade to full shade in loose and airy, humus-rich, moist but well-draining soil. Add compost or peat humus to enrich and loosen the soil, if needed. Avoid areas with intense heat or strong winds as this can dry them out too quickly or break the fine fronds.

Moisture:  Lady ferns and painted ferns prefer even moisture so the soil should dry only slightly between watering yet rarely be wet.

Spacing:  12 to 15" for smaller varieties, 15 to 18" or more for larger plants

Depth:  Plant your ferns with the top of the crown about 1/2" below soil level. Some new sprouts may be visible and as long as they aren't too elongated you can bury then slightly. Avoid excessive moisture while dormant as this may damage the new fronds. After planting mulch lightly to keep them cool in the summer and to keep them from heaving in the winter.

General Instructions:  Enrich your garden with generous amounts of compost or peat humus. Ferns generally do not need fertilizer and most are fertilizer and chemical sensitive. Plant the roots at the depth listed, then water in once. Your Athyrium will start sprouting as soon as the soil warms and generally won't need extra water while dormant. Once they have sprouted they enjoy being watered a few times a week or more, allowing the soil to dry slightly between watering.

Landscape Uses:  Athyrium are wonderful plants for the woodland garden. Plant them with hostas, bleeding hearts, Pulmonaria, Hellebores, Astilbe, Tiarella, Carex, and Japanese forest grass. The smaller lady ferns work well in groups along the border, Athyrium 'Ghost' works well as a vertical accent, and the regular lady fern, Athyrium filix-femina works well in drifts or as a background plant.

Most Athyrium are slow clumping, non-invasive ferns. Divisions can be made every few years, if needed, by lifting and separating the crowns. Since they are warm season growers, roots only grow in summer so it is best to divide them in the spring.

 
 
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PO Box 220
Brooklyn, MI 49230
517-592-9450

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