Crested Surf Japanese Painted Fern (Athyrium niponicum 'Crested Surf')
ah-THEER-ee-um nih-PON-ih-kum 'Crested Surf'

Deciduous Perennial in the Athyriaceae Family
Buy Crested Surf Japanese Painted Fern
Size Notes Price Availability
#1 gallon Field

Best of ...

$17.71 Likely available
5/30 - 6/2
6/13 - 6/16
7/4 - 7/7
Tray of 6 #1 gallons Field

Full Foliage

$107.01 Likely available
5/30 - 6/2
6/13 - 6/16
7/4 - 7/7


About Lady Ferns

Also known as “Lady Fern,” Athyrium is a delicate, feathery fern that loves shade and consistent moisture and will dry out quickly in sunny, dry, hot conditions. This plant will thrive when planted in the right place and brings an almost magical glow to the darker corners of the garden.

Athyrium niponicum var. pictum, commonly called Japanese Painted Fern, is an absolutely stunning addition to any shade garden. Metallic silver/white frames green fading into deep burgundy centers on each frond to create a truly unique.

Athyrium ‘Ghost’ sports silvery gray/green ‘ghostly’ fronds with burgundy centers, and tends to fare better than other Athyrium in dry conditions (though still prefers to be consistently moist).


  • Beautiful contrasting foliage
  • Shade and moisture lover
  • Cold-hardy
  • Very low maintenance
  • Deer and rabbit resistant


  • Will not tolerate full sun
  • Not drought tolerant (needs consistent moisture)

Plant Data

Sun Exposure Full Shade - Partial Shade
Tags Colorful Foliage, Container, Deciduous, Deer Resistant, Filler, Formal Garden, Full Shade, Good for Accents, Good for Asian Garden, Good for Borders, Good for Butterfly Garden, Good for Mass Planting, Good for Rock Garden, Grown For Attractive Foliage, Low Maintenance, Most Popular, Naturalizing, Normal Soil, Partial Shade, Perennial, Rabbit Resistant, Shade Tolerant, Tolerant of Clay Soil, Tolerant of Moist Soil, Tolerant of Poor Soil, Tolerant of Sandy Soil, Well-Drained Soil, Woodland Garden
Foliage Color

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Pricing and Availability History

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Limited Availability

We try very hard to source exactly what you’d like, but sometimes growers run out of plants! While this variety is a great deal at the price shown, we know that it has limited availability. If you want the plant even if it might be more expensive, or in a different size or quantity -- after you place your order, just send us a quick note at Then, we’ll try to get you some version of this from one of our growers. And if we can’t get it from anywhere, of course, we’ll send a refund!

Field-Grown vs. Greenhouse-Grown Plants

Plants which are well-adapted to our local climate are most often field-grown (outside). Field-grown plants are generally cheaper and have the advantage of already somewhat acclimated to our cold winters, but that means they’re not artificially far along in the spring and tend to bloom at the normal time in our area.

Spring annuals and tender perennials are typically grown in Greenhouses so they can be ready and luxurious exactly when customers want them. Some perennials are also “forced” into early bloom in greenhouses. In May, there can be a very big difference between field-grown and greenhouse-grown plants of the same type. The latter typically look good right away (so they’re a great choice where that’s important), but we typically pay a premium for it.

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About Ordering From The Plant Club

To secure the best prices for club members and make sure we know the current plants available from each nursery, we take orders only a couple of times a month.

The next order is coming up soon. Here's a link to our ordering calendar. Shoot us an email at, and we'll be happy to talk about plants or let you know when it's time to buy them!

No Pricing or Availability Right Now

We order from a rotating cast of the best nurseries in the Great Lakes region. It looks like we've offered this plant in the past, but the nurseries we're working with this week don't appear to have it in stock at the moment.

Our goal is to bring as many plants together under "one roof" as possible, so we'll try hard to make it available again in the future!