The Blue Star Fern aka Phlebodium Aureum [Pol-ee-PODE-ee-um AW-re-um] is an evergreen, tender fern, which is popular as a houseplant.
This fern also known as – Polypodium aureum and Golden Polypody – is native to the tropical regions of the Caribbean, North America, and South America.
There, it typically grows as an epiphyte, meaning it starts growing on a plant’s surface and attains the nutrients and moisture it needs from water, rain, air, and any debris buildup around it.
Phlebodium Blue Star Fern Care
Size & Growth
This plant sprouts deeply lobed and large fronds that grow 12″ – 50″ inches long and around 20″ inches wide.
The fronds have about 35 pinnae, which vary in color from gray-green or green-blue to bright green in specific cultivars.
Flowering and Fragrance
This plant doesn’t produce any flower.
Light & Temperature
Blue Star Fern likes bright light. However, during the summer season, it is best to protect this fern from direct sunlight to prevent the leaves from getting burned.
If you place this plant in a sunlight-filled windowsill, it’s best to position it behind the rest of the plants or towards the side of the window, so it only gets oblique sunlight.
During winter, place this plant near the window with the most light or under bright indirect light.
This fern flourishes in temperatures between 50° – 80° degrees Fahrenheit (10°C – 27°C).
Watering and Feeding
These ferns occur naturally in tropical areas, which means they require humidity and moist soil.
However, this plant will suffer if the water stands too long in the pot.
There isn’t any set schedule for watering this plant.
It’s ideal to water it once a week, and slightly more during its growing season.
Decrease the watering if you notice the fern isn’t growing. Mist regularly if there’s low humidity.
Polypodium Aureum doesn’t like when water is poured directly into the plant’s heart (rhizome); thus, it’s ideal to water from the sides.
This plant doesn’t need extra fertilizer, but give it diluted regular fertilizer in the growing stage.
Avoid overfeeding as this can damage the fern.
Soil & Transplanting
Since this plant is an epiphyte, it isn’t very terrestrial like other ferns.
Therefore, a potting mix isn’t the ideal means of planting it.
Opt for something looser as this plant prefers a moist environment but doesn’t like waterlogged soil.
Go with a well-draining soil mixture.
Grooming and Maintenance
To attain the best possible results, place the plant in a bright spot but away from direct sunlight and in well-drained moist soil.
Make sure you keep a spray bottle for regular misting during an increase in humidity.
If the plant starts appearing tired, brittle, and dry, make sure to check the drainage, make sure the soil is moist without being waterlogged.
If your Phlebodium Aureum dries out, water it and trim off damaged and unsightly leaves.
This will help the plant with the recovering process, and you will notice an improvement soon after.
How to Propagate Polypodium Aureum
Propagate the plant at home through the process of rhizomes division during transplantation. Start by cleaning out the tool gently to cut a small fragment of the rhizome.
Make sure it has various leaf slices, which you sprinkle with powdered charcoal.
Transfer the rhizome in a separate pot but make sure the roots of the division are lying on the surface of the soil instead or entirely burying it.
As with other epiphytes, there’s no need to repot Polypodium Aureum too often.
It’s ideal to repot this fern during the spring season if it’s getting too big for its current pot.
If the leaves turn yellow, repot the plant with fresh soil.
Phlebodium Pests and Diseases
If this plant receives proper care, it won’t face any disease or pest issues.
However, if it’s exposed to too much moisture, the roots will begin rotting.
Moreover, the lack of proper light can cause the fern to start losing leaves and eventually degrade.
It might get struck by scale.
There hasn’t been any toxicity reported for these species, but some ferns may include carcinogens, caution is advised.
The majority of the ferns have thiaminase, an enzyme that steals vitamin B complex from the body.
Fortunately, the small amount of thiaminase doesn’t cause any harm to humans, especially if their diet is sufficient in vitamin B.
Suggested Polypodium Uses
There are numerous uses of this plant, including using it in as a hanging planter or standing pot.
It’s best to use a container or a pot with a drainage hole to avoid standing water.