The color and texture of Japanese Painted ferns makes it one of my favorite in the shade garden. The fronds seem to glow in the shade and attract your eye down to take in the beauty of this hardy and colorful fern. It will grow for most in zones 4-9 along with your other shade garden favorites of Hosta, Astilbe, Coral Bells, Toad Lilies, Foam Flower, and other ferns and shade plants. It is one of the first shade plants to come up here in zone 7 and spreads at a medium to fast rate. In 5 seasons I have divided the plants multiple times to spread throughout my shade beds and to share with others.
It likes a moist area but not wet and can grow in morning sun or late afternoon sun so long as it does not dry out. I have several plants on the north side of my house where they see no direct sun and then I have some in another shade bed that received dappled sun along with a spurts of direct sun in morning or later afternoon. This beauty will adapt to its environment with little care and no pest problems (from my 10 years experience propagating and growing it).
The Japanese fern spreads and allows you to divide it with ease. This beauty can be pricey at the garden centers but one plant can eventually yield you many (last count I have 12 or more plants and have shared at least a dozen or more over the last 5 years!) so I highly suggest adding this beauty to your garden this year and by next spring you should be able to divide and add 2 more more to your gardens.