Blue Star Fern, Phlebodium aureum, are perhaps the most versatile and easy-care plants in the fern family. Grown for their beautifully wavy, silvery, blue-green foliage, they are a stunning addition to any home or garden.
In their native habitat, these ferns can be found sprouting off of the trunks and branches of more mature trees, and they can grow upwards of 2-3 feet across. Luckily these days, you don't have to scale a tree to get hold of one as their popularity as a houseplant, means they're generally easy to find in garden centres.
How do you care for Blue Star Fern?
What lighting conditions does Blue Star Fern need?: While many ferns will tolerate low light conditions, and these certainly will, Blue Star ferns will show you their most vibrant growth in bright indirect light. If planting outside, place these ferns, or better yet, hang them, in full to dappled shade. Indoors, it will thrive close to a window but avoid direct sunlight, as this can burn the leaves.
Soil: Because Blue Star ferns are epiphytic plants, which means in nature they are usually found growing on other trees, they don’t enjoy the constantly wet soil that some of it’s terrestrial cousins enjoy. Giving them adequate drainage will give you the best results and keep dreaded root rot at bay. An orchid bark mix or a general potting mix with a lot of perlite added for drainage will give them the aeration they need.
How often do you water Blue Star Fern? Keep them damp - not necessarily moist, like others in the fern family. Using a soil as described above is going to ensure you don’t over water. Water when you notice the very top of your well-draining soil is just starting to dry out. Blue Star ferns are susceptible to rotting at the base of the plant when water does not drain away. Bottom watering is preferred, but if you're watering from the top be sure to tip away any standing water an hour or so after watering.
Should you fertilize Blue Star Fern? Ferns, in general, don’t enjoy being over fertilized and the Blue Star is no exception. Over fertilization can cause brown tips and yellowing leaves. Fertilize with a gentle organic fertilizer every 4-6 weeks during the growing season for optimal growth without harming the plant.
Should you mist Blue Star Fern? As with most houseplants, higher humidity is preferred. Browning tips and brittle looking foliage? Add a humidifier to boost your house plants health.
Can you propagate a Blue Star Fern? Those creepy furry feet (their rhizomes) are the key to successful propagation. Divide the plant or root from a rhizome cutting. Include a rhizome that has sprouted stems for best results.
How do you repot a Blue Star Fern? Blue Stars don’t mind being a bit root bound, but the tell tale signs you'll need to repot are rhizomes spilling over the pot or yellowing foliage.They are a bit sensitive when it comes to having their roots disturbed so prepare yourself for your plant to wilt, turn brown, or generally look a bit sorry for itself after planting, particularly if you have really manipulated the roots/rhizomes. Just be patient and try not to over water. It’ll bounce back!