Athyrium niponicum ‘Pictum’ – The best color is developed on this fern when it is placed in light shade, because too much sun washes out the color. Throughout the summer, the fresh fronds that are grown by the Japanese painted fern offer some extra enjoyment.
The Japanese painted fern needs well-drained, compostrich soil. A mix of 75% peat and 25% perlite works well but straight peat, coco-peat or a combination of both is possible. This is necessary because fern roots need plenty of air in the substrate to create a good root system. Excess water must also be able to drain away easily. The initial EC of the mix:0.5- 0.8 (for example a standard pre-mix) PH : 5.0-6.0. Only water the plant if it’s really dry. Rainwater is preferred.
This fern needs a well-drained, compost-rich soil and flourishes where moisture and humidity abound. The plant grows best in part- to full shade and the best frond color results in light shade. In the south, a few hours of morning sun will bring out the high colors of this fern. In the north, the ferns can be exposed to more morning sun without being burned. The colors are even more intense in spring or when the plant is exposed to cooler temperatures.
Add 2-3 inches of compost or peat moss to the beds each spring or fall. The fern’s colorful foliage should be vibrant from early spring until frost, when it will go dormant and reemerge with its excellent foliage the next spring. This plant is clump-forming and it can easy form great colonies if it’s happy. This plant is a great choice for shady borders, beds, underplanting of shrubs, cottage gardens, woodlands or along streams, ponds or water gardens. With its tricolored fronds, this is one of the most popular ferns in cultivation today. The spectacular blade is triangular, bipinnate to bipinnate-pinnatifid, with a burgundy rachis and pinna midribs and zones of gray and darker green on the pinnae.
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