Athyrium ‘Ghost’

ghost fern

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

Outstanding Qualities

Bursting from the ground in early spring, the delicate, lacey fronds of Athyrium 'Ghost' glow a pale mint-white in the garden. As the fronds mature they form a handsome upright vase looking very statuesque in the garden. The ghostly foliage contrasts subtly with nearby plants and brightens the lightly shaded garden.

Quick Facts

Plant Type: vase-shaped fern

Foliage Type: deciduous

Plant Height: 3 ft. 0 in. (0.91 meters)

Plant Width/Spread: 2 ft. 0 in. (0.61 meters)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 5 to 8

Flower Color: none

Sun/Light Exposure: light to open shade

Water Requirements: regular watering

Seasonal Interest: distinictive spring and summer foliage

Resistant to: deer

Colors & Combos

Great Plant Combinations: Rhododendron ‘Vulcan’, Kalmia latifolia ‘Elf’, Campanula portenschlagiana ‘Resholdt’s Variety’, Chaerophylum hirsutum ‘Roseum’, Rodgersia pinnata

Great Color Contrasts: purple, burgundy, red

Great Color Partners: white, cream, green

Culture Notes
Athyrium 'Ghost' tolerates almost full sun to light or open shade. Keep it out of hot locations, or the foliage will burn by midsummer. It grows best in rich well-drained soil, with regular watering. Ferns generally need little fertilizer once established; too much will cause the fragile fronds to fall over as they mature. The fronds can also flop if the plant gets too dry in the summer. If this happens, water the plant well and new fronds will sprout. This fern is almost completely free of insect and diseases and is trouble free once established. The fronds can be cut to the ground in the fall once they turn yellow.