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Athyrium niponicum 'Regal Red' (Japanese painted fern)

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Hardy fern grow sheet

Athyrium niponicum 'Regal Red'

Japanese painted fern

Handsome and ruffled, this high-color selection has been a much requested Japanese Painted Fern. The dark violet red interior of each 'Regal Red' frond is contrasted by bright silver edges making each leaflet distinct and creating an overall tapestry effect. The pinnules also twist a little giving the frond a "fluffed" up look. 'Regal Red' combines beautifully with red-purple Heuchera such as 'Plum Pudding' and blue sedges like Carex platyphylla or C. 'Blue Zinger'. The fronds work well in cut flower arrangements, providing lasting color and soft texture. Unique and beautiful!

SIZE
Athyrium niponicum 'Regal Red' LP32 - 32 per flat Availability
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Height

12-18 Inches

Spread

18-24 Inches

Spacing

12 Inches

Bloom Color

USDA Hardiness Zone 4-9

Japanese painted fern Interesting Notes

Handsome and ruffled, this high-color selection has been a much requested Japanese Painted Fern. Athyrium niponicum ‘Regal Red’ reaches 18” tall with a 18-24” spread, growing moderately by rhizome. The dark violet red interior of each 'Regal Red' frond is contrasted by bright silver edges making each leaflet distinct and creating an overall tapestry effect. The pinnules also twist a little giving the frond a "fluffed" up look. 'Regal Red' combines beautifully with red-purple Heuchera such as 'Plum Pudding' and blue sedges like Carex platyphylla or C. 'Blue Zinger'. The fronds work well in cut flower arrangements, providing lasting color and soft texture. Unlike other cultivars, ‘Regal Red’ holds well into the fall. Unique and beautiful!


Japanese painted fern flourishes in bright shade and moist, rich, organic soil. Athyrium niponicum var pictum originates in East Asia, from Japan to the Korean continent and eastern China. To maintain verdant appearance, protect from harsh winds, but provide adequate air circulation. To propagate, divide Japanese painted fern clumps every few years in the spring. It prefers evenly moist soils but will tolerate long periods of drought once established. ‘Regal Red’ colors up with a bit of sun exposure but with too much, the fronds will orient themselves vertically and coloring will be less attractive.


Like most ferns, Athyriums are deer resistant. It is a very low maintenance plant that adds a lot of aesthetic value to the landscape. The fronds of these ferns provide nesting habitat for wildlife.

Athyrium niponicum 'Regal Red' Growing and Maintenance Tips

'Regal Red' is an trouble-free landscape plant that prefers evenly moist soils, but will tolerate long periods of drought once it is established. It is best in partial or bright shade. Leaves color up more with a bit of sun exposure, but can be more vertical and less attractive if they receive too much sun.

Good Substitutions

Japanese painted fern Athyrium niponicum var. pictum
lady fern Athyrium × 'Ghost'
lady fern Athyrium angustum forma rubellum 'Lady in Red'
limelight lady fern Athyrium otophorum

Key Characteristics & Attributes

Full Shade
Full Shade
Part Sun
Part Sun
Moist
Moist
Groundcover
Groundcover
Cut Flower
Cut Flower

Additional Information

Soil Moisture Needs
Average
Green Infrastructure
Woodland
Plug Type
Landscape Plug™
Attributes
Ornamental Foliage
Propagation Type
Tissue culture