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Celebrate shade! Having a colorful garden can be a challenge if you’ve got shade, but the Apple Court Painted Fern turns shade into an asset, making sun-challenged spaces sing. This sweet Spirit features jade-green foliage dusted with silver and accented with garnet-red and purple markings. It closely resembles the beloved Japanese Painted Fern, but Apple Court has something extra—the ends of its fronds have a fringe that’s ruffled and twisted. Plant this fancy but easy-to-grow fern in a border on the north or east side of your home, in a woodland garden, or in a container on a shady patio for carefree, season-long color.
- Hardiness Zone: 5-8
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Ferns are ancient Spirits that date back to before the dinosaurs. These primitive plants lend a feeling of serenity to the garden, providing interest with simple greenery rather than fussy flowers. The Painted Fern is more colorful than most, with frosty green, silver, and burgundy pigments naturally present in wild populations. It’s native to Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and northern China. An especially brilliant form from Japan has long been favored by gardeners, the Japanese Painted Fern. In 2003, Plant Delights Nursery in North Carolina introduced this frilly variant of the Japanese Painted Fern. It originated at Apple Court Nursery in the U.K.
When happy, Apple Court Painted Fern slowly spreads to form a lacy, multicolored groundcover. Give it regular water and watch it fill in over time. It provides the perfect accompaniment to garden trees, helping to bring color to all layers of your outdoor living space.
How to Grow
Site Apple Court Painted Fern in a location where it will be sheltered from the hot afternoon sun. Gentle morning and evening light is fine and will help to draw out the best colors. The soil should be moist but free-draining. Mulch with bark, wood chips, compost, or leaf mold to keep the root zone cool and moist. Little fertilizer will be necessary, as ferns are light feeders. Apple Court Painted Fern goes completely dormant in winter. You may want to mark its location, as it is late to emerge in spring.
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