Lady Fern Overview
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Lady Fern

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Lady Fern Is The Classic Shade Garden Plant

  • Lush, Fine Green Fronds
  • Delicate Texture
  • Loves Containers
  • Easy Care
  • Full Shade to Part Sun
  • Versatile Garden Style
  • Perfect In The Shade Garden
  • Wide Range of Hardiness
  • Extreme Cold Tolerance
  • Wide Range Of Style
  • Prefers Moist Soil

The gorgeous Lady Fern, (Athyrium filix-femina), has been a staple in the shade garden for years, and for good reason! This hardy Fern has stood the test of time and remained the picturesque image of woodland beauty!

In the wild, you will find Lady Fern living happily by streambeds, in dappled forest edges, meadows, in moist woods and thickets. Because she thrives in such challenging conditions out there, can you imagine why this Lady will excel in your home garden?

The fronds are light, grassy green and unfurl in the unmistakably romantic fountain shape so beloved by gardeners. Quickly adding volume to your plantings and slowly filling any garden spot with abundant growth.

The bright green color is consistent from top to bottom and carries a delicate, lacy texture. Lady Fern gives any shady garden an instant cool, calming and relaxing esthetic!

How to Use Lady Fern In The Landscape

Lady Fern's verdant foliage will shine in your shadier garden beds. The lovely fronds are as perfectly suited to being in containers as they are as low borders.

These lush beauties compliment so many different garden styles from stylish urban beds, bountiful cottage borders, wild and informal woodland, as well as sleek, formal modern rows.

Any shadowy area in your landscape will benefit from these hardy perennials because the light green fronds almost glow in dappled shade under larger trees. The perfect understory planting, they add so much romantic airiness. Fantastic refinement along the east-facing foundation, and softens the edges of fences and rock walls.

If you have spots in your shade garden that need to be filled quickly or are just looking for some lovely green to complement your front porch, make sure to leave space for this beauty! Any gazebo, garage or garden shed will become your favorite focal point with a lacy skirting of these delicate Ferns!

When planted in drifts, the light green hue will instantly highlight any shady area with sumptuous color. Intersperse among other shade lovers such as Hosta, Astilbe and Bleeding Hearts for a truly lush garden!

Lovely as greenery and fillers for your containers and window boxes Lady Fern adds graceful movement and feathery appeal!

#ProPlantTips For Care

Lady Fern has shown up in garden sketches as early as the 18th Century, so you know that any plant that has been in gardens since then must be hardy and easy to care for!

Preferring full shade to part sun and dappled shade, Lady fern is super easy to grow and is hardy from the cold northern regions down to zone 3, to the heat & humidity in the southern states in zones 6 through 10.

These gorgeous fronds do their very best in consistently moist soil that does not dry out and rich, organic soil that is on the acidic side. Though she will also do as well in most types of soil as long as they are moist and well-drained.

Just like the Southern Lady, or Red Stem Fern, this classic plant can be divided and transplanted in spring and early summer, planting the crown at the surface.

Deer rarely bother these plants, even in the most woodland garden setting.

Cooling and calming, the romantic Lady Fern is the perfect addition to add delicate grace to your garden! Super hardy and easy to grow, you can't go wrong with these lovelies. You'll be glad you ordered your Lady Fern from Nature Hills today!

Buying Options for Plants

Nature Hills sells a large variety of plants with several options available. Plants are offered in both potted containers and as dormant bare root without soil. Here is a helpful resource to understand your options as you create a beautiful landscape with help from Nature Hills.

Ever wonder what a larger plant will mean for your landscape? Container Sizes are really all about the age of the plant!

Seasonally, Nature Hills offers hand selected, high quality bare root trees, shrubs and perennials. Bare root plants are sold by height from the top of the root system to the top of the plant. Plants may be taller than the height minimums.

  • Popular sizes of select trees are 1 foot, 2 feet, 3 feet, etc.
  • Popular sizes of select bare root plants is 1 foot, 18 inches, etc.

Nature Hills Container Size by Volume

Young Plants to 18 Months
Size Volume
2"x2"x3" Ranges from .18 to .21 dry quarts / .198 to .23 dry liters in volume
4.5" Container Equal to .65 dry quart / .72 dry liter in volume
Sprinter Pot Equal to .63 dry quart / .69 dry liter in volume
4" Container Ranges from .31 to .87 / .35 to .96 dry liter in volume
6" Container Equal to 1.4 dry quarts / 1.59 dry liters in volume
1 Quart Equal to 1 dry quart / 1.1 dry liter in volume
5.5" Container Equal to 1.89 of a dry quart / 2.08 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x5" Ranges from .8 to 1.1 dry quarts / .88 to 1.2 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x6" Ranges from 1.0 to 1.3 dry quarts / 1.1 to 1.41 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x9" Ranges from 1.1 to 2.1 dry quarts / 1.2 to 2.3 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x10" Ranges from 1.7 to 2.3 dry quart / 1.87 to 2.53 dry liters in volume
Plants 18 Months - 2.5 Years Old
Size Volume
2 Quart Equal to 2 dry quarts / 2.2 dry liters in volume
#1 Container Ranges from 2.26 to 3.73 dry quarts / 2.49 to 4.11 dry liters in volume
5"x5"x12" Equal to 3.5 to 4.3 dry quarts / 3.85 to 4.74 dry liters in volume
Plants 2 - 4 Years Old
Size Volume
#2 Container Ranges from 1.19 to 1.76 dry gallons / 5.24 to 7.75 dry liters in volume
#3 Container Ranges from 2.32 to 2.76 dry gallons / 10.22 to 12.16 dry liters in volume
Plants 3 - 5 Years Old
Size Volume
#5 Container Ranges from 2.92 to 4.62 dry gallons / 12.86 to 20.35 dry liters in volume
#7 Container Ranges from 5.98 to 6.08 dry gallons / 26.34 to 26.78 dry liters in volume

About Plant Sentry™

Plant Sentry is designed to protect both consumers and the nursery trade from invasive plant pests and diseases. Sites that display the Plant Sentry protection badge are protected from consumers buying and nurseries shipping material carrying invasive pests and diseases.

This proprietary eCommerce software prevents the shipment of a restricted plant to each state. The Plant Sentry system includes a shipment certification program. The Plant Sentry Compliance Officer works closely with and each nursery or fulfillment center to ensure only compliant plants are sold to customers.

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Plant Sentry


To obtain a more accurate shipment time-frame, simply enter your zip code in the “Find Your Growing Zone” box to the right. Our plants are grown all over the country and lead time on items may be different because of this. Once your order is placed, you will also receive the specific shipment time-frame information as part of your order confirmation. Once an item ships, you will receive shipment notification and tracking numbers, so you can follow along while your plant travels to your doorstep.

Shipping Rates

At Nature Hills we handle, package and ship the products you order with the utmost care to ensure healthy delivery. Shipping and handling charges are calculated based on the tables below. Please note that some items include an additional handling surcharge, these will be noted on the item's product page.

From To S&H
0 - 19.99 14.95
20 - 49.99 17.95
50 - 69.99 19.95
70 - 99.99 24.95
100 - 129.99 29.95
130 - 130+ Approx 25%

Click here to see our full rates


Lady Fern Is Suited to Grow in Zones 5-10
Growing Zones 5-10
More Information
Botanical Name Athyrium filix-femina
Type Perennial
Mature Height 2 - 4 feet
Mature Spread 2 - 3 feet
Sun Exposure Full Shade, Partial Shade
Soil Type Widely Adaptable
Growth Rate Medium
Flower Color Green
Foliage Color Green
Pollinator Friendly No
When To Prune Early Spring
Fragrant No