Designing a garden that still looks good in the fall requires using a palette of plants whose foliage remains clean and attractive throughout the summer. Autumn Fern, or Dryopteris erythrosora ‘Brilliance’, is on the top of our list for its durable good looks and easy care. It begins unfurling for the season in late April here in New England, with coppery pink fronds, which we could also associate with autumn tones. These fronds age to green, but new ones are continually produced all season to create a dual toned effect right into fall. When autumn temperatures prevail, the older green fronds take on warm russet shades.
Dryopteris erythrosora ‘Brilliance’ prefers to grow in evenly moist slightly acidic soil that is well drained, although we?ve found it to be forgiving of dryer situations. It can be grown in a spot that receives a half day of sun as well as a locale that is quite shady. Height is usually in the 18-24? range, but it could possibly grow taller when grown in super rich, damp soil. Autumn Fern will remain evergreen in most winters, but by late winter snow loads may have collapsed the foliage to an unattractive mat. Once spring warmth returns, remove those old leaves to allow the fresh new growth to emerge. Dryopteris erythrosora ‘Brilliance’ can be grown in zones 3-8, which includes much of the continental United Sates.