Georgia Gardener Newsletter Cool Plant: March 8, 2007

Autumn Fern Printable Version (PDF)
Dryopteris erythrosora
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Species Native Range: Asia
Hardiness: USDA Zones 5-8(9)
Mature Size: 24 inches tall tall and wide
Exposure: Partial to full shade
Soil: Organic soil that is well-drained
Ease of Culture: Easy

Autumn fern is perhaps one of the most attractive evergreen ferns for the garden, especially in the winter where it remains upright and lush despite single digit temperatures. In the spring, the new fronds emerges a lovely orange color resembling fall foliage, but quickly change over to a bright green. Very tolerant of a wide range of conditions, it does best in partial to full shade with an organic soil that is moist, but well-drained.

Grow Autumn Fern in a shade or woodland garden and in shade containers where it makes a great substitute for Boston Ferns which have to be brought in or thrown out in the fall. It mixes great with Hostas, Hellebores, Variegated Solomon's Seal and any number of other ferns. Autumn Fern can divided in the early spring and I recommend removing all the fronds in the early spring every few years in order to rejuvenate its looks.


This fern is widely available from most retail nurseries.

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