How to Grow Lady Fern

Lady Fern image by Fireflies604:


Lady ferns, also known as Athyrium filix-femina, are hardy ferns common to U.S. Department of Agriculture Hardiness Zones 3 to 8. Several varieties of lady ferns exist that can grow up to 5 wide and high, but more commonly they grow about 2 to 3 feet in height and width. They can generally grow without much care.

Step 1

Select an area that is in partial shade and with soil that is both well draining and slightly acidic. Add humus to your soil before planting to help with drainage and improve acidity.

Step 2

Plant in the spring, after the last frost. Dig a hole that is just as deep as the container, but twice as wide. If transplanting rhizomes (the plant's bulb-like root), dig a hole that is just deep enough for the rhizome but wide enough to fan out its roots.

Step 3

Space multiple plants at least 2 feet apart. Since there are several varieties of lady ferns, follow label instructions. You will most likely thin out the plants in later years, so the closer together you plant them, the sooner you will need to thin them out.

Step 4

Keep the soil moist throughout the spring and summer months. Some lady ferns can tolerate dry soil, so read the label for watering instructions specifically for your plant.

Things You'll Need

  • Trowel
  • Humus
  • Water


  • North Creek Nursery
Keywords: Athyrium filix-femina, plant lady fern, grow Athyrium filix-femina

About this Author

Melissa Lewis is a former elementary classroom teacher and media specialist. She has also written for various online publications. Lewis holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of Maryland Baltimore County.

Photo by: Fireflies604: