Welcome to the our guide to blue star fern care and propagation. The key to caring for a blue star fern is to be careful of heavy wet soil as this plant is an epiphyte…
Blue Star Fern Summary
|Light needs:||Medium to bright indirect sunlight.|
|Watering needs:||Water when the top half of the soil is dry, check it once a week.|
|Fertilizer:||Use a balanced fertilizer once a month in summer.|
|Soil:||Very well draining soil with 25% perlite.|
|Where to buy:||Try one of these Rare Plant Shops.|
|Common issues:||Root rot.|
The phlebodium blue star a.k.a. the blue star fern. It is known for it’s blue-ish almost silver leaves.
Blue Star Fern Light Needs
Medium to bright indirect sunlight is ideal. They tend to be happy anywhere, except in indirect sun.
How Often to Water
Water when the top half of the soil is dry, check it once a week. They must not sit in waterlogged soil, they can get root rot relatively easily as they do not live in heavy soil in their natural habitat.
Tip: you want to keep the soil moist but not soaking wet, so check the soil weekly (or twice weekly in hot weather) and water it if the top 50% of soil is dry. Make sure you tip out any excess water afterwards and don’t let the plant stand in it.
Blue Star Fern Fertilizer
Use a balanced fertilizer once a month in the summer to encourage growth.
A standard potting will be too heavy, you need to make sure you have some really good drainage in it, like perlite and orchid bark. At the very least, add 25% perlite to the mix to ensure that the roots do not get water logged. The plant is an epiphyte naturally which means it grows in bark up in trees, not in the soil on the ground, so normal soil is likely to be too heavy for it and cause root rot.
When To Repot A Blue Star Fern
Repot once a year in Spring to renew the nutrients in the potting mix and pot it up a bigger size if the roots are crowded.
50-60% humidity is ideal, spray them occasionally, or put a pebble tray of water underneath them.
They do best in the range 18-26ºC (64-79ºF), so they’ll be fine in most houses.
Blue Star Fern Propagation
To propagate a blue star fern, divide it at the roots. Follow these steps:
- Empty the plant from it’s pot
- Take as much of the soil as possible away from the roots, you can do this by dunking the roots in a bowl of water to loosen them.
- Separate the plants out at the base. It is important that you take some of the roots and rhizome with each plant. You may need to break the roots or rhizome at times, but try to minimize the damage as much as possible.
- Let the new plants callous over for a couple of hours
- Pot them plants back up separately and water them.
Is It Toxic To Cats?
They are not considered to be toxic to cats and dogs.
Mounted Blue Star Fern
You can mount them on wood by taking the plant out of its pot and shaking excess soil from roots. Then you can cover the root system in sphagnum moss, including the top of them. Then fasten it to the wood with fishing line or really thin twine. You keep it moist but not wet and it should take well. Cedar wood is a good wood to use as it rots less than many other wood types.
Blue Star Fern Propagation In Water
You really want to divide the plant, it won’t propagate with stem cuttings in water.
Blue Star Fern Vs Kangaroo Paw Fern
They are really similar, but the blue star has greeney-gray, almost blue leaves, the kangaroo fen has green leaves. For more on the kangaroo paw fern see our guide: Kangaroo Paw Fern
They can grow to be a meter (just over 3 feet) tall when mature, but many will only half that.
Where To Buy
Try your local plant store, if not try Etsy.
Phlebodium blue star.
FAQs and Common Problems
Root rot can be an issue, especially if the soil or pot is not well-draining enough, the plant must be in a really well draining medium.
Blue Star Fern Fuzzy Roots
So, what are the fuzzy roots all about then? If you can see the fuzzy roots at the top of the pot what you are actually seeing is the rhizome, which is like a bulb that the plant shoots leaves upwards from and roots downwards.