How to Care for Blue Star Fern (Phlebodium Aureum)

The Blue Star Fern, often known as the Phlebodium Aureum, is a fascinating fern species easily identified by its elongated fronds and soothing green-blue coloring. Its adaptability to low-light conditions and ease of care make it a great choice for fern growers of all experience levels.

How to Care for Blue Star Fern (Phlebodium Aureum)

The blue star fern is a native plant found over much of the American east coast. Its native range includes the entire Southeast, from Georgia & Florida to the southern tip of Brazil, via the Caribbean. Blue star ferns are a type of plant that can only be found in tropical and subtropical rain forests. In these conditions, they can access the air and water they require by attaching to trees and sucking them dry.

Due to the abundance of its characteristic blue-green fronds, this epiphytic plant is perfect for filling in a gap in your indoor garden. In addition, the blue star fern requires minimal care, so even inexperienced gardeners may successfully grow it. The plant’s leaf is not only non-toxic, but it also has powerful air-purifying properties.

Blue Star Fern Foliages

Changes in the appearance of the blue star fern’s foliage are readily apparent during the plant’s life cycle. A leaf’s initial look after emerging from its rhizome is that of a sword. The leaf, however, becomes severely pinnated as it ages, with as many as 35 lobes. They might be as short as an inch or as long as two feet.

Blue Star Fern (Phlebodium Aureum) has distinctively colored leaves best described as light blue-green. They have a smooth exterior that is rough and leathery to the touch. Light shining through them reveals a subtle pattern, adding to the object’s beauty. Each leaf has a lifespan of around a year, Therefore, it’s critical to maintain its cleanliness by giving it a once-monthly wash with a soap-and-water solution.

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Blue Star Fern Foliages (Phlebodium Aureum)


The Blue Star Fern (Phlebodium Aureum) blossom you have will never open for you to see. Not a single fern variety is known to exhibit flowering behavior. In contrast, your Phlebodium aureum will produce spores in late autumn on the older leaves as it reaches full maturity. That is the closest you will ever get to a Blue Star Fern (Phlebodium Aureum) flower.

Spore spores, also called sori, are distributed regularly on the underside of the fronds, in opposite pairs throughout the length of each lobe. When initially picked, they are a bright golden yellow but become orange and brown as they ripen. The spores have about a month and a half to die out. The spores can be grown to produce more Phlebodium aureum, or you can choose to do nothing with them.

Size and Grow

When planted outdoors, the Blue Star Fern (Phlebodium Aureum) can reach a height of up to 4 feet, but when kept in a pot, it will only get to be about 2 feet tall at maturity with a spread of about the same. Phlebodium aureum matures in around 5 years, despite its modest to the moderate growth rate.

The fronds grow from the same fluffy golden rhizomes that rest on the soil’s surface. To promote uniform growth across the pot, rotate the container regularly as your Blue Star Fern (Phlebodium Aureum) matures. Over time, the fronds of your blue star fern will age and become pinnated, which will flip over. Instead of fighting this natural tendency, you should locate a position where the leaves can cascade down the wall.

Care for Blue Star Fern (Phlebodium Aureum)

As with any other houseplant, the best way to learn how to care for the blue star fern is to watch it as it grows. The blue star fern is a flora native to rainforests, which have a hot, humid temperature with a dense canopy, making it ideal for the plant.

You should make an effort to provide equivalent care for your Phlebodium aureum. Placing the blue star fern in an area with lots of indirect light, keeping it in a warm, humid setting with high temperatures, and regular watering and fertilizing it are the best ways to care for this plant.


Although the Blue Star Fern will grow in bright indirect light, it may survive in light conditions. Although they can tolerate higher quantities of direct sunlight than most other ferns, they still require protection from the sun’s rays to thrive. The plant’s glaucous light will fade if exposed to too much light, and it won’t grow if it’s not exposed to enough. The leaf of the plant contains this information.

While a north-facing window provides the most optimal conditions, they will flourish in any relatively bright setting, provided that direct sunlight is avoided. They thrive when situated no further than three feet from a window. It’s direct that opaque curtains provide too much insulation; the soft morning or late afternoon sunlight is best.


Soil preparation is critical to the survival of your Blue Star plant, so be sure to do your research before you start watering. Even when completely saturated, their mix must drain quickly and retain a high level of aeration. As a companion epiphyte, an orchid mix is recommended. If you need to, you can use a potting mix that helps water drain quickly while allowing air to reach the plant.

Water-retention capacity and pH level are two further considerations. The Blue Star Fern you have is best cared for in slightly acidic, well-drained soil. However, as peat can store too much water on its own, it should be used sparingly, even though it has the potential to enhance both of these factors.


Phlebodium aureum is a fungus native to rainforests and is used to living in humid environments with plenty of water. However, it has not adapted to living in wet soil because it grows on tree trunks. The blue star fern you’re trying to grow needs consistently moist soil, but you shouldn’t let it get soaked. If the roots of this epiphytic plant don’t get enough air, the plant could die.

You should water Phlebodium aureum after the topsoil has dried out by an inch. Because of how easily the crown rots, you should water the plant closer to the edge of the pot. Instead of setting up a regular watering schedule, you should make it a habit to monitor the soil’s moisture content and only water it when it is too dry. Phlebodium aureum requires distilled water or natural rainfall to meet its watering needs because the toxins in tap water can harm the plant’s foliage.


When it comes to the environment’s temperature, blue star ferns aren’t choosy. In most circumstances, the room’s temperature will be suitable. To keep the care from becoming too cold in the winter, you need take steps. If you reside in an area that experiences frost in the summer but still prefer to cultivate your plants outside, we must bring the plant indoors.


Phlebodium aureum thrives in moist conditions, making it a perfect fit for (semi)tropical woodlands. This makes it a great plant option for humid northern-facing rooms like kitchens and bathrooms, where the humidity is relatively strong. Do you not have a warm and moist spot for your plant? You can use a humidifier or put the blue star fern in a group of plants to increase the humidity in the room.


Because Blue Star ferns are very light feeders, it is much more common to overfeed them than to underfeed them. Since the roots are so vulnerable, it’s important to use a mild, diluted mix. Use synthetic or organic fertilizer, but dilute it to no more than half or a fourth of the recommended strength. Well-balanced combinations, such as 10-10-10 or those with higher nitrogen-to-carbon ratios, produce excellent results.

Although fish emulsion is a suggested fertilizer since it is light and supplies the right nutrient balance, its scent is a drawback that some people may not be willing to overlook. It’s not a smell anyone wants in their home. Thankfully, diluting it with water and using only a tiny bit won’t linger around for long.

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Care for Blue Star Fern (Phlebodium Aureum)

Potting & Repotting 

You will know the need to repot your blue star fern at the appropriate moment. If you keep an eye out, you can stop the rhizomes from taking over the soil. If you keep Phlebodium aureum in a plastic pot, you may notice that it changes shape over time. Phlebodium aureum should be repotted once yearly or every other year.

Use one size larger pot if you don’t intend to divide the blue star fern. If you want the soil to stay moist for as long as possible, you shouldn’t use a clay pot but something made of plastic or glazed porcelain. There must be openings for water to drain. New potting soil should be used regularly to prevent the accumulation of salts that can cause plant illness.


The blue star fern can be clipped to make it look more rounded if its spreading habit isn’t to your liking. Though it’s unnecessary unless you wish to limit the plant’s growth severely, you can remove the Phlebodium aureum’s outer leaves if you choose.

Elder bushes need to have any overgrown fronds trimmed at the start of spring. Faded or broken fronds should be thrown away during the year. They’re unsightly and can be a breeding ground for illness and a magnet for pests, which can ruin your Phlebodium aureum. Use clean, sharp scissors to trim the Phlebodium aureum fronds to a length of about half an inch or so above where they emerge from the rhizomes.

Propagation for Blue Star Fern (Phlebodium Aureum)

When propagating Phlebodium aureum, root and rhizome division during repotting is the easiest method.

The process of dividing a rhizome can be broken down into the following steps:

  • Prepare a planting container by filling it with an orchid mix or another type of medium that drains well and has enough air circulation.
  • Carefully separate the roots, then select a robust rhizome to use in the propagation process.
  • When cutting through the rhizome, it is advisable to do it in a thin region. You are free to cut off more than one area of the plant, but before you do so, check that each section has a sufficient quantity of roots and leaves to sustain it.
  • Place one segment of the rhizome at a time into the planting mix. Put pressure on it to embed it in the medium, but don’t cover it. While the rhizomes should sit on top of the soil, they should have solid contact with the soil below them.
  • You should water the soil every 2 or 3 days to maintain a slight moisture level. It’s crucial to prevent overwatering the plant because if the rhizome is kept at a moisture level that is too high, it will decompose.
  • In approximately a month, you should start to see new growth. As with the mother plant, they need the same level of care.

The alternative way of propagating blue star ferns is a more difficult process. After the spores have turned brown and become crispy, they are ready to be removed and placed on top of damp soil. If you make sure they never dry out, in around two to five months, you should be able to spot the first sprouts of the new plants.


There is no need for concern regarding the possibility of children or dogs getting into these plants. The Blue Star Fern is harmless to humans and other animals. Rhizomes from species belonging to this genus are also employed in the pharmaceutical industry.

Common Problems

Although blue star ferns are relatively resistant to health problems, no indoor fern is completely bulletproof. Most Phlebodium aureum problems, on the other hand, are best avoided by adopting healthy cultural practices and addressed by enhancing existing ones. As long as the leaves on your blue star fern keep looking nice, it should be fine.

Pests and Diseases

Constellation Blue Star Caring for a fern isn’t fully pest and disease free, but it’s more resistant to the typical suspects like thrips, aphids, mealybugs, scale, and spider mites than most ferns. One major issue is that intruders might hide in the rhizome’s fuzzy exterior. Even if you use a light treatment like insecticidal soap or horticultural oils, the pests will need to come into touch with them for the treatment to work.

Root Rot

This is by far the most prevalent dangerous condition, and all it takes is some soggy soil and a few brief hours for it to set in. When the soil is dense, the situation becomes more difficult.

Southern Blight

This potentially lethal root fungus thrives in the warm and moist environment that your Blue Star prefers. Home gardeners do not have access to any fungicides that are proven to be effective; therefore, The best preventative strategy is to maintain proper hygiene and use sterile potting supplies and equipment.

Leaves of the blue star fern (Phlebodium Aureum) have brown tips.

Could it be that you are going too deep? In addition, there’s a possibility that the air in your house is on the dry side. You can determine this with the help of an affordable humidity meter. Because these ferns prefer a certain humidity level, using a humidifier could be beneficial. Don’t water your houseplants on a set schedule; train yourself to know when they need water.


Rust & powdery mildew are two frequent deteriorating substances that are encouraged to grow by damp conditions. The most effective prevention method is to ensure that the leaves are kept dry and that proper air circulation is maintained.

Phlebodium Aureum Leaves turning yellow.

There could be several causes for this. Do you think it’s feasible that you might be using an excessive amount of fertilizer? The care requirements for this fern are light. The accumulation of salts from tap water, which can be remedied by cleaning out the soil, is another leading cause of yellowing leaves, along with overwatering, underwatering, and both extremes of watering.

Phlebodium Aureum losing leaves

Have you, by any chance, just purchased, relocated, or repotted the plant? It is possible that it will require some time to adjust. Exposure to low temperatures can also hasten the decomposition of leaves.

Leaves of the blue star fern (Phlebodium Aureum) dying

This species is extremely susceptible to crown rot, as was described earlier. Make sure to water the plant from the side! If you notice this occurring to your blue star fern, you should investigate whether or not the roots have rotted.

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