Seed Swaps

Autumn Fern

Purchased 1 from Hyam’s and 2 from Lowes.


Dryopteris erythrosora is an herbaceous perennial fern noted for the coppery-red and green triangular bi-pinnate fronds. Although the fronds turn solid green as summer progresses, a steady supply of new fronds renders the plants a visual tapestry of dark green interwoven with pink to bronzy tones. At maturity, the fronds arch from the center of the clump to form a graceful vase shape. Autumn fern is evergreen in frost-free areas and is semi-evergreen to deciduous in other areas depending on the severity of winter temperatures.”

“For best growth, give autumn fern a rich, highly organic, moist but well drained, acid soil. While autumn fern is becoming established, keep it evenly moist. After it is well established, it becomes more drought tolerant and performs satisfactorily in the dry shade beneath large trees. The foliage changes color when it becomes water-stressed, signaling to the observant gardener that it needs a drink. Like most ferns, autumn fern does best in full to partial shade. Plant about 18 inches apart for complete ground coverage. Keep your autumn fern growing at a steady pace by applying a balanced fertilizer at the rate of one pound per 100 square feet in spring before new growth begins. Keep it well watered until it is thoroughly established, and then back off. Remove dead fronds each spring to keep the planting looking neat. Pests and diseases rarely bother autumn fern. Clumps of autumn fern increase in diameter very slowly since the rhizomes are short. Propagation is easily accomplished by division of mature clumps.”

“Autumn fern is most at home in shaded woodland gardens where it is allowed to make a solid mass, but it also holds its own in selected areas as an accent plant. Frequently it is used as a backdrop for flowering shade plants. Sometimes it is chosen as a foundation plant in a shady spot.”

At a Glance:
Scientific name: Dryopteris erythrosora (dry-OP-ter-ris air-rith-roh-SOR-ruh)
Other names: Copper shield fern, shaggy shield fern, Japanese red shield fern, Japanese wood fern
Origin: Japan, China, Korea, Taiwan
Hardiness: USDA Zones 5-9
Light: Shade to part (morning or dappled) sun
Water use zone: Moderate after establishment
Size: 18 to 24 inches tall and wide
Soil: Moist (until well established), humus rich, well-drained, slightly acid

This planting is in the Non-Edible Perennials garden .

Latest Milestone Growing

Quantity: 3

Plant Autumn fern Dryopteris erythrosora 52


Linked Plantings & Stash Items

Name Garden Gardener Location Planted Archived



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