Phlebodium aureum - Blue Star Fern

Phlebodium aureum - Blue Star Fern

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The blue star fern has fabulous blue-green foliage that adds beautiful colours and texture to your indoor plant collection. It can grow up to 1 metre high and is a very low maintenance plant.

Grow in an area that is brightly lit. I find if the area is too dark that the foliage gets brown spots.  Bright indirect light will keep it very happy!

When choosing a potting mix, bear in mind the plant’s epiphyte habit, growing on other plants in its natural habitat, and choose a very loose, free- draining medium. Bark, grit and pumice or an orchid mix work well. When repotting, it’s crucial not to bury the hairy rhizomes below the surface of the soil. They have trichomes (tiny hairs), which capture water from the air, that also send out roots and shoots.

Water generously once you notice the pot drying out, continuing until water runs out of drainage holes at the bottom. Alternatively submerge the plant in a sink or bucket of water until all the air bubbles (old oxygen) have been forced out from the soil and allow it to drain. Take care not to over water, Phlebodium do not like to be constantly soggy.

Repot when you notice the rhizomes and roots are becoming crowded and pot bound but generally, epiphytes can be left for a while. Try to repot in spring or summer if required and if root damage is inevitable, water well afterwards.

Feed during the growing season at a low dosage. There is no need to feed during the winter at all, as these aren’t hungry plants and you could risk damage.

While repotting, gently tease out roots from the root ball. The number of divisions depends on the size of the parent plant and you can create as many sections as there are sufficient roots, rhizomes and leaves to support. Pot up each section in a free-draining mix and water in well. If the plant goes into shock remove any dying leaves and keep the plant in a warm, humid and light location. Wrapping the potted division in a clear plastic bag tied at the top with string creates humidity, reducing critical water loss. Remove the bag after a few days. Alternatively, don’t be afraid to remove a few healthy leaves to balance out the loss of roots – again this lowers the amount of water lost.

Pictured here in a 13cm pot, it will be posted potted. 


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