How To Care For Your Blue Star Fern (Phlebodium Aureum)

HOW TO CARE FOR YOUR PHLEBODIUM AUREUM (BLUE STAR FERN)

THE BLUE STAR FERN

Phlebodium Aureum AKA Golden Polypody / Hare-Foot Fern 

Another complete all-rounder, the frilly leaves of the Blue Star Fern can be enjoyed as part of a terrarium, or as a larger free-growing houseplant. Named for the deep blue-emerald hue of the leaves, this attractive fern is a great addition to any houseplant lover’s collection. Relatively simple to keep healthy, these luscious growers bring a touch of tropical glamour to your home. 

Where Does It Come From?

This pretty little fern is native to tropical regions of South America, North America and the Caribbean where it usually grows as an epiphyte. ‘Epiphyte’ is a fancy word for a plant that grows on another plant, such as the numerous ferns, bromeliads, air plants, and orchids that make a cosy little home on tree trunks in tropical rainforests.

Why Should I Get One?

  • Aside from how gosh darn pretty they are, a major positive is that these ferns are non-toxic – so if you’ve got a nosy pet, partial to a nibble on a potted plant, these ferns carry less risk than certain other species.
  • They are absolutely brilliant for closed terrariums and the unusual foliage will stand out against other plants

How Big Can It Grow? 

In natural conditions, a Blue Star Fern can grow to around one metre in height, with each individual frond easily reaching 40cm long. Of course, enclosed in a terrarium, these little beauties can be kept petite forever and, if you’re planning to grow your fern in a free-standing pot, the eventual size of the fern owes a lot to how large a container you choose to plant it in. 

Where Should I Keep It? 

Like most ferns, the Blue Star thrives away from direct sunlight and humid conditions, so a good place to keep it would be a well-lit bathroom where steam from the bath and the shower can help to keep the leaves nice and moist. If you’re envisioning the plant in a kitchen or lounge environment, place it somewhere with bright but indirect sunlight and keep a spray bottle handy for misting the fronds. Used to lapping up the sparse sunlight that makes it through the forest canopy, these ferns can also tolerate low-light conditions, though they may not reach their full potential this way. On the other end of the scale, too much direct and unfiltered sun will almost certainly scorch the delicate leaves. 

How Often Should I Water It? 

Water generously once every few weeks, but spray frequently in between waterings, and ensure that the pot has proper drainage. These ferns tolerate frequent tropical rainstorms in their native habitat, but being nestled high up in the branches of other trees means that the water they are drizzled with drops away from them very quickly. They HATE being soggy and will suffer from root rot and other maladies if watered too frequently or left in oversaturated soil. Feeding a balanced fertiliser once a  month in growing season (ie. not the winter) is more than enough to keep your fern healthy. 

Offering a uniquely beautiful blue-green-grey colour story, and bringing the tropical abundance of the Americas to your home with thick layers of lush foliage, these ferns are a real favourite of ours.  Whether you’re planning to include one in a terrarium, or looking for something fresh to spruce up your interior design, these plants are the perfect choice. 

 

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