Japanese Painted Fern adds a fine texture to the mix. It also offers a new color; the silvery-green fonds are flushed with burgundy-purple, adding depth and dimension. Happily, Japanese painted fern is slow-growing, so it won't take over the garden in the way some old-fashioned ferns can. Name: Athyrium niponicum pictum Growing Conditions: Shade and moist, well-drained soil rich in organic matter Plant Size: To 1 foot tall and wide Zones: 5-8
Japanese Painted Fern has a short, spreading habit that looks great planted in a low trough set in a bright, but not hot and sunny window. Silvery-blue fronds adds a bit of light to indoor plantings. Like it’s red-hued cousin, a bit of a challenge, but a wow, too. Zone: 5 – 8
From a blog post with tips on underplanting trees -- Select a palette that relies on several key plants, with a few others as punctuation. The late-spring-to-fall palette under my oldest magnolia is glossy European ginger, yellow Hakonechola macra ‘All Gold,’ Japanese painted ferns and Hosta ‘June,’ with a couple of young ‘Lime Rickey’ heucheras picking up the gold grass.