Blue star fern, having its botanical name as Phlebodium aureum, is an easy to grow and care houseplant with low maintenance. It is popular for its interesting and pleasant dusky bluish green leaves. This plant can easily grow in low lights and also has air purifying qualities, which makes it the ideal plant for indoors.
Blue star fern is known as a member of Oak family. It is originated from South American forests. Being originated in tropical rain forests making this plant to becoming able to grow under low light conditions. The plant grows on the branches of the rain forest trees.
Because of this characteristics, it can easily be grown inside your house even if you don’t have direct sunlight there. It is also very easy to take care. Below, we will be sharing all important information and tips which will help you to grow your own blue star fern and taking proper care of the plant.
How do you care for Blue Star Fern?
This rain-forest plant is having some special requirements which are because of it’s originating environmental conditions. All the conditions required to grow blue star fern are mentioned here which needed to be kept in mind for proper care of the plant:
1. Temperature needed
Not to worry much about the temperature factor, normal room temperature of 15-25°C is the best temperature range to grow Phlebodium Aureum. In winters, it should be taken care of.
2. Humidity for blue star fern
As we know that this fern has originated from the tropical rain forests which has the record of getting high amount of rain water. Due to heavy and regular rainfalls, the environment is generally very humid and the flora & fauna adapts to this surroundings.
Similarly the blue star fern has also adapted to the humid environment and it has became the integral part of the suitable circumstances needed to flourish the plant. Bathroom or kitchen area without the direct sunlight is one of the best spots to locate this plant.
3. Water requirement
Phlebodium aureum require humid environment and just the sufficient water. This plant is needed to be irrigated regularly but over-watering must be avoided. It is the effect due to it’s origination. Over-watering or collection of water near the plant can harm the plant roots.
To avoid unwanted over-watering and water logging, well drained container is very helpful. Plant pot with proper drainage holes used to remove the extra water from the soil and to maintain just the sufficient amount of water in the pot which helps in the growth of the plant.
4. Soil Selection
Blue star fern is an epiphyte which grow on other trees but doesn’t depend on them for food or any nutritional values. Moist soil which is looser than the normal soil is great for the proper growth of the plant. Epiphyte orchid mix soil is the best for this fern.
Proper water control is also needed. As the plant comes from the rain-forest areas, it needs moist soil with proper water drainage so that the water logging will not be a problem in the growth of the plant.
5. Pot Selection
Any simple pot with proper drainage hole is sufficient for growing Phlebodium aureum. But a decorative container will add beauty to the plant’s appearance. It is known to be originally growing on the branches of the forest trees and no water has been holding around the plant.
Hence, retention of water around the plant may create problems for its roots. Proper water drainage in the plant container will solve this issue and keep only the required water in the pot. This thing should be kept in mind while deciding the spot of the room for placing the pot.
6. Sunlight Conditions for Blue Star Fern
It requires good light but not direct sunlight. Phlebodium aureum doesn’t require direct sunlight, that is why it is perfect for growing indoors. You don’t need to vacate the sunny place by removing other plants. This plant can be kept behind the other plant containers, no worries. Or you can place the blue star fern at that place in your room where you want to keep it but no direct sunlight is there.
This characteristic of this fern comes from its origin. As this plant comes from American forest and not grown under direct sunlight, that’s why this fauna has adapted to low sunlight circumstances. It naturally grows in the forest areas on the tree branches where the sunlight has been blocked by the trees.
7. Fertilization of Blue Star Fern
Phlebodium aureum doesn’t require fertilizers too much but a light dose will be beneficial for the growth. Fertilizer should be mixed with water and given. Warm season is the best for feeding the plant when it is growing with full force. Epsom salt also known as magnesium sulfate completes the plant’s requirement of magnesium and other minerals.
8. Trimming of the plant
Removal of dead/damaged foliage helps the plant to use it’s energy and nutrients for growing the young/new ones. This also avoid many diseases.
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How to propagate blue star fern?
After a while, when you see that the pot is getting crowded by the roots or leaves, that is the time to repot the plant. Yellowish color of the leaves also another sign for repotting. Springtime is best for propagation.
Plant to be divided into different parts depending upon the availability of roots and leaves. It should be cut through rhizome. Sufficient amount of roots and leaves will help the plant to survive and grow further.
Parts to be taken out gently and propagated into different well drained container. This newly propagated division to be covered with clear plastic sheet/bag so that a suitable humid environment can be created. And it is to be kept in a warm and humid spot where direct sunlight is not coming.
After few days, when the new plant gets strength, plastic sheets can be removed. Sufficient watering should be done along with feeding liquid fertilizer. Give it proper water from sides, keep the soil moist and let the excess water drain out.
Blue Star Fern benefits
The blue star fern is as beneficial as it is easy to grow indoors. The plant is having many quality which makes it a perfect houseplant. Some of those qualities are mentioned below:
1. Animal Safe
It is one quality of blue star fern that it is not harmful for your pets. So, that you can grow your own fern plant inside your house without caring much about your pet’s health.
2. Air Purifying Quality
Phlebodium aureum is also having air purifying qualities. So, if you are growing this in your house or office, you are getting rid of many harmful toxins in the air. Planting a blue star fern is beneficial for yourself as well as for your loved ones including pets.
3. Spread Positivity
Beautiful looks of blue star fern also adds energy and positivity in the ambiance and revitalize your mood every time when you see it.
4. Easy Care
Blue star fern demands not extra care. This quality of easy to look after make it stands out of other ferns.
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How big do Blue Star Ferns get?
Blue star fern generally grows to one foot height which makes it suitable to grow in a pot inside the house. It is the perfect height to grow and to take care of any in-house plant.
Is Blue Star Fern toxic to cats and dogs?
It is not sure to say anything about it’s toxicity for pets but as many other ferns are known as safe for pets, it is assumed that the blue star fern is also safe for cats and dogs.
Why is my Blue Star Fern turning yellow?
If the leaves of your blue star fern is tend to turn yellowish, it may have many reasons. This may happen because it’s roots might have expended enough and needs more space to grow. For that, you need a bigger container to put your plant into so that it’s roots find enough space to grow properly.
This yellow color also an indicator of over or under-watering. Feeding more than enough fertilizer is also another cause of yellow leaves. Re-potting with fresh soil is an easy remedy for most of these types of issues.
What does Epsom salt do for ferns?
Magnesium sulfate is also known as epsom salt. Epsom salt is used as a pain reliever. It is being used in bath for body relaxation as a stress buster. It is also used in beauty products. It is also used as fertilizer for many plants.
For feeding the ferns, you can mix epsom salt with water and can use this mixture as liquid fertilizer. This liquid fills the magnesium requirement of plants and can help them flourish properly. Just pour the liquid from sides or it can also be sprayed to the plant.
Just like the other plants, the blue star fern also has its own issues related with the above mentioned parameters. As a gardener, if you understands those problems, you can resolve them as soon as possible and can have a flourishing plant in your house.
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