Tolerates dry conditions better than most Ferns!


Ghost Lady Fern

1-Quart
Item # 48349
$14.95
Buy 3+ at $13.95 ea
Buy 6+ at $12.95 ea

Athyrium 'Ghost'

Related to Japanese Silver-Painted Fern but even showier in the shadows!

Illuminate the shade garden with this stunning new American hybrid! 'Ghost' is a terrifically versatile fern, outstandingly lovely in its own right as well as being the perfect foil for surrounding green- and blue-leaved plants. One of the most distinctive and original new cultivars in recent years, it is the result of fine breeding that will show to splendid advantage in your partially to fully shaded garden.

A cross between Lady Fern and Japanese Silver-Painted Fern, 'Ghost' improves on these two favorites by combining finely divided foliage, excellent upright habit, and silvery-gray fronds so luminous they appear to glow. If you have been tempted to grow a fern garden in the past but have been discouraged by the lack of color range, 'Ghost' is the accent planting you need to highlight the more subtle changes in color and texture among other ferns. Also dramatic among blue-leaved Hostas and Epidemiums, 'Ghost' is distinctive enough to stand on its own as a specimen planting or as a luminous ribbon of "light" in the shade.

Developed by Nancy Swell of Virginia, 'Ghost' is happily indifferent to soil type, and tolerates more dryness than most of its family. It grows at a moderate rate, forming an attractive clump 2 to 3 feet tall and 18 to 24 inches wide after several years. If planting multiple 'Ghosts', space them about a foot apart in partial to full shade. A wonderful groundcover or container choice, too! Zones 4-8.

Genus Athyrium
Variety 'Ghost'
ItemForm 1-Quart
Zone 4 - 8
Habit Mound-shaped
PlantHeight 24 in - 3 ft
PlantWidth 18 in - 24 in
FoliageColor Silver/Gray
LightRequirements Part Shade, Shade
MoistureRequirements Moist,  well-drained
Resistance Heat Tolerant
SoilTolerance Normal,  loamy
Uses Border, Containers, Foliage Interest, Ground Cover, Ornamental, Outdoor, Fall Color
Restrictions Canada, Guam, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands
Overall Rating: 5 Stars
Average Based on 3 Reviews Write a Review
Ghost Fern
Natural El from PA wrote (July 25, 2013):
I live in the mountains and ferns are everywhere, but this fern stands out to everyone. In the Spring, it is the lightest of light colors and as the season progresses, it has developed more color, but still stands out in the shade. It also has filled out quite nicely. Have had no problems with it whatsoever.
Impressed!
mom who loves gardening from MA wrote (June 01, 2013):
I have ordered plants online several times from other companies. I was amazed with how large the plants were from waysides and how well they were packed. I will order all my online plants here in the future.
New customer
from wrote (February 27, 2013):
First time ordering and like the selections.
Hardy Ferns are such individualists. You'd think that planting different varieties from the same family all together in a group would make for a rather dull, if intense, planting. But no — each manages a distinctive look, and I for one would be hard pressed to tell you which was my favorite! No wonder the great Victorian gardener Gertrude Jekyll dreamed of a rock garden devoted entirely to Ferns, a "restful delight of cool and beautiful foliage."

Even if your garden space is limited, find a place in the shade for Ferns. They ask for very little care, and repay you with ease of growth and breathtaking beauty. Most are easily divided after two or three years in your garden, increasing your garden beauty without costing you a dime. Best of all, they add texture like no other perennial — graceful and airy, despite their hardiness and willingness to grow.

In this article, I describe the very best Ferns for your garden this spring. And if you're looking for a particular variety to plant in mass or to dot among your shade landscape, I've got some fine recommendations. Remember, all of these Hardy Ferns are guaranteed to succeed in your garden, and if you divide them regularly, they'll "live forever"! Enjoy the ease and beauty of Hardy Ferns in every shady spot.

Among the most popular and widely-grown in American gardens, Hardy Ferns have come by their reputation honestly. An easier, more dependable, and lovelier Fern would be hard to imagine. The native North American species (A. felix-femina) is an absolute must for beginning gardeners, nearly growing itself. And the Asian species (A. nipponicum) contains the magnificent Painted Fern family, with some of the most beautiful frond colors in the world. The two species complement each other nicely, thriving in very moist to wet soil (waterside plantings are stunning!) and normal to alkaline soil.

Caring For Your Hardy Ferns

In the wild, Ferns thrive in the dappled shade of the woodland, finding their feet in rotted leaves and other rich soil ingredients. Very few (Brilliant Fern is one exception) can tolerate dry soils, and all prefer a good pampering their first two years — lots of water and humus!

Work the soil well and deep before you plant your Fern, raising the bed at least 3 inches above the soil level. If you have heavy soil, lighten it with rotted leaves or coarse bark.

Ferns need both moisture and excellent drainage, which can be a balancing act — a good, rich mulch works wonders. If rot is a problem, make the mulch gravel or other coarse, well-draining material.

Plant your Fern very shallowly, with the crown flush with the surrounding soil.

Keep garden debris away from the base of your Ferns if you can. Rot can be a problem when the crown of the fern sits in stagnant water — though some, such as the Tatting Fern, will happily rest in an inch or so of water on the bank of a stream or pond. If you see signs of Rot, apply a fungicide and chances are your Fern will shake it off!

If possible, water the roots and not the fronds.

If your Fern is evergreen, you might want to thin the old fronds in spring as the new ones appear. At the same time, apply a new layer of mulch for the new growing year.

Every 2 or 3 years, you can dig up and divide your Fern into several new plants to share with admiring friends or to increase your own garden's beauty!

Shop All Hardy Ferns

Hosta
Shade Lily, Plantain Lily

Planting:

Set plants 15 to 30 inches apart, depending on the ultimate size of the cultivar or species. (Set very dwarf kinds 9 to 12 inches apart.) Hostas are among the best of plants for shaded situations, but some also succeed in full sun, as they become larger and more mature. The hotter the summers, the more shade will be necessary to prevent scorching the foliage. A high shade canopy providing dappled light is ideal.

Those with blue foliage are outstanding in the shade, while the yellow/gold types will effectively light up dark areas, but prosper, too, in considerable sun. Individual cultivars of green-gold or variegated patterns vary appreciably in the amount of sun they can tolerate. While widely tolerant of soils, hostas do best in a well-drained soil that still affords ample moisture – the sunnier the location, the moister the soil should be. Incorporate generous amounts of humus in the soil, particularly those on the limy or alkaline side.


Maintenance:

A winter mulch is extremely important the first winter, to prevent heaving of unestablished plants as a result of alternating freezes and thaws. Once established, hostas can be left undisturbed for many years, but as landscaping needs dictate, can be moved at almost any time during the year, except midsummer.


Zones:

Zones 3-9

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Tips for gardening in particularly hot, dry climates:


1. Water with a drip system whenever possible – soak the bed slowly and thoroughly to a depth of 10" to 12".

2. Watering deeply every 3 to 5 days is preferable to a shallow daily watering.

3. Water in the early morning, so foliage has time to dry.

4. Add a 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch or similar material to aid in water retention and help keep the roots cool during hot weather.