The Q&A Archives: container question

Question: I bought one of your

Answer: Lady in Red Fern (Athyrium augustum forma rubellum) grows in zones 3-8 and is a hardy, deciduous ferns which forms a clump. 30-36" tall, vibrant burgundy color runs through the stem, creating a sharp contrast with the green fronds. Do not fertilize with nitrogen for brightest color. This fern must undergo a winter dormancy for bright color. Full color doesn't occur until the 2nd dormancy. Your new plant can go into a container. I'd plant it in fresh potting soil in a pot that's the next size larger than the nursery pot. As your plant matures, you can repot in gradually larger and larger pots. If you have a large decorative pot you want to use, fill the bottom with plastic jugs or plastic bags filled with styrofoam peanuts to take up space, then set your smaller pot on top, filling in the gaps with spaghnum moss. It will look as though your Lady in Red is growing directly in the large container. Best wishes with your new plant!

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