Blue Star Fern (Phlebodium Aureum) Care, Problems, & Propagation Tips

Blue star fern
Image Sources #bluestarfern

Either you have brought a new plant (Blue Star Fern) home and learning to make the coziest environment for it, or looking for some suggestions to add a low maintenance houseplant to your collection, this guide will be helpful.

Today we will discuss Blue Star Fern.

Blue Star Fern:

Blue Star Fern is an Aureum that essentially means golden yellow. The thing tells us that Fern is a perfect ornament to fill your home’s corners with its bigger blue-green and smaller golden-yellow fronds.

Plant Profile:

Scientific Name: Phlebodium aureum 

Genus: Phlebodium

Plant Type:   Houseplant, Fern

Growing Season: Year-round (needs a little extra attention during winters)

Hardiness Zones: 1-13 (South West)

Famous Names:  Blue Star Fern, Golden Serpent Fern, Gold Foot Fern, Cabbage Palm Fern, Golden Polybody, Palm Boot Fern, Bear’s Paw Fern

Here is a detailed guide discussing how to welcome this plant in your home to make it a perfect fit for Blue Star Fern, with gentle care.

Blue star fern care – Pros:

  • Low maintenance plant – no strict watering routine
  • Relatively Immune to bugs & mites
  • No hard or soft fertilizers required
  • No heat needed– grows well at room temperature

We shall discuss blue star fern care tips in detail in the lines coming ahead; before this, let’s have some notes on getting your home ready for the new guest.

Readying your home for Blue Star Fern:

Do you know, plants also show tantrums like other living beings, and with standard yet simple precautions, you can make them growth-friendly?

Yes! Plants tell you if they need something but in a different way. Such as, if you observe the Majesty palm plant, it stretches itself to the brighter source that’s astonishing to people with no idea that plants tell their needs too.

All you need is to listen to their needs.

So, what you have to do when preparing your home for a new plant?

Here is a rule of thumb:

You will have to mimic the environment the plant is habitual of living in.

For example, if you bring a succulent home, check the habitat where it grows and formulate the place accordingly.

The same environment may not be viable for a plant that hates humidity and is an outdoor summer plant.

In short, understanding the sole requirements of every plant that may or may not vary is mandatory.

As you are making up the home for Blue Star Fern, and even these are low maintenance plants, here is how you will do all the management.

1. Placement:

A window where you can manage indirect sunlight from behind the curtains or a place that remains bright naturally for most of the day is perfect for keeping Polypodiaceae Aureum pot.

North Facing windows are ideal for keeping Blue Star Fern.

The native environment of the epiphyte Polypodiaceae Aureum (botanical name of Blue star fern) is America’s tropical and subtropical forests.

Polypodiaceae Aureum grows on other plants’ trunks but needs minimal nutrients to progress, so never suck out energies or all the host’s nutrients.

This epiphyte’s understory growth tells us that Blue Star Ferns need soggy soil, indirect light, and a sprinkling of water from time to time.

So, place them where all of these things are possible to do:

Once again, your plant will notify you if it is receiving the right amount of sunlight or not. How? Through its leaves.

  • If the brightness is more than required, you will see green color fading from the leaves.
  • If brightness is less than required, you will see an inhibition in growth.

It can only tolerate the delicate direct rays of early dawn or later afternoon sun.

2. Potting or Repotting Your Blue Star Fern:

You should also remember not to repot your plant immediately after receiving it. Why? Because the plant is used to the pot environment, it has come with.

Give your plant enough time to get along with the environment for a few days and take good care of your plant, the Blue Star Fern.

Blue Star Fern Care:

Details regarding how, when, where, and in what way you should take care of your blue star fern plant:

1. Watering Routine:

Blue Star Ferns hate to get drenched in the water yet don’t tolerate dryness as well. What does that mean?

It just means that you have to keep the soil damp but not wet in water as the excess fluid can irritate this plant’s growth.

Use distilled water as  Blue Star Fern cannot stand salts and chemicals.

Before irrigation, you will do the knuckle test, as discussed in the monstera Adansonii care blog.

If you find soil a little dry but cold, water it immediately, and if there is still dampness remained, wait for some more time.

It is better to sprinkle water on the soil only or around the pot than wetting the leaves and the crown.

Overwatering can cause severe issues and bring in serious diseases for your plant. Such as:

  • Root rotting
  • Mildew eruption
  • Southern stem blight

2. Humidity Management:

Which epiphyte plant doesn’t like humidity?  None! That’s true. And being an epiphyte, Blue Star Ferns also love humidity, just like Rosy Maidenhair ferns.

You will have to use different ways to raise the level of humidity around your plant.

  1. Use artificial humidity makers to steam up the fog and control pest attacks.
  2. Do not forget to mist the plant as it also helps in raising the humidity levels.
  3. You can place plants together in a group to increase humidity
  4. Place your plant pots on the water trays to enhance the steam around
  5. Seashells or eggshells filled with water can also uplift humidity

Your plant will sprout well under sufficient humid conditions; however, it can also bear household humidity.

3. Temperature Toleration:

Almost all ferns, and specifically Blue Star Ferns, are warm-weather lovers, so they hate frosting cold and can show tantrums when the thermometer dips.

If left untreated under cold weather, the shedding of leaves can start until the environment’s temperature rises.

As Blue Star Fern produces no blooms and leaves are its only beauty, you will have to take measures to save the fronds from falling.

For this;

Increase the temperature around your Fern from 57° Fahrenheit to 81° Fahrenheit.

If you have kept the blue start fern outdoor, move it in when winter starts to keep up with the temperature.

4. Soil Preps For Blue Star Fern:

Using the right soil is as necessary as watering your plant because it is the soil that helps water to nourish it thoroughly.

Hence, choosing the right ground is vital.

Soil that retains moisture and never let the plant feeling sweaty or dripping is ideal for Blue star fern.

Blue star ferns are epiphytes and, at the same time, Fern. The plant loves to remain hydrated all the time.

They also want liquid nutrients to reach all parts of the plant.

For this, you will use a soil mix with alleviated aeration and yet enriched with water retaining qualities.

A mixture of orchid, porous potting, and peat can make ideal ground for the Blue Star Fern.

Along with being aerated, the soil also should be acidic for this elegant plant’s firm growth.

Also, keep evaluating the soil nutrients from time to time to ensure the plant gets all the necessary nutrients.

Note: Repotting and pruning aren’t necessary steps for Blue star fern care because it is a slow grower and requires these two things less than often.

However, in certain conditions, you may have to prune or repot your plant; here are points to help:

5. Repotting (When & How):

Blue star ferns do not get too big and can stay in their same homes (the pot) for as long as two years, and even more than that in some cases, that’s completely healthy.

You may see some creepy rhizomes climbing over the pot’s rim, but that’s not an issue to repot the plant.

Conditions in which you Should Repot Your Plant are:

  1. If you see that plant has outgrown the container’s size, transfer it to another pot, complimenting the size.
  2. If you see that fronds are losing chloroplast and turning yellow. It happens because the soil has lost all its essence, and the plant needs a new home.

How to pot blue star fern?

Here is the method:

  1. Use Terra Cotta Pots:

Terra cotta pots come with a drainage hole at the bottom that helps strain off the excess water.

  1. Pot Size Should be 1 to 2 inches big:

The container should be only 1 to 2 inches bigger in size than the previous one.

  1. Choose Complementing Soil:

Do not change the soil’s nutrients too much from the previous one, as the plant was accustomed to staying happily there and won’t tolerate much change.

  1. Choose Spring Season:

Though blue star ferns are year-round plants, still the growth is at its pinnacle during springs. It helps the plant to get accustomed to its new home’s environment.

Precautions to take:

  1. Remain gentle
  2. Don’t repot without reason
  3. Don’t burry creepy rhizomes in the ground

6. Pruning:

Pruning will be needed, not to control your plant’s growth, as you mostly do for other indoor plants, but the sake of Blue Star Fern Care.

While pruning, you will:

  • Dead foliage
  • Dead leaves
  • Yellowing leaves

Besides this, the cutting tool should be cleaned, sharp, and made explicitly for plants pruning.

Blue Star Fern Problems:

Here are some common problems that can occur in blue start firms:

Blue Star Fern Problems From Insects and Pests:

Like other ferns, the Blue Star plant is also prone to bug attacks.

Some specific bugs that can love to invade in are:

  • Mealybugs
  • Thrips
  • Spider mites
  • Aphids
  • Scales

Also, note that these insects don’t come alone but in hordes and hide under the fuzzy rhizome coating.

There, they remain protected from being seen as well as keep on eating and damaging your plant.

How to know if your plant is under attack?

As we mentioned earlier, the plant will tell itself. If you see white spots, more than usual, on your plant, it means the plant is under pests attack.

Identifying the bug before any operation of removal is recommended. Form general to expert remedies can be required, such as:

if the plant is under severe attack, change its position and isolate it before the bugs reach to your rest of the green collection.

Blue Star Fern Problems Diseases and Issues:

The plant isn’t prone to diseases; however, a wrong routine can get you and even your healthy plant into trouble.

Such as:

  1. Root Rot: If you overwater your plant, it can face issues like Root Rot. Note that root rot doesn’t take days to occur; in fact, just a few hours of overwatering can cause it.

So, don’t overwater your plant.

  1. Southern stem blight: Blue star fern is a sensitive plant and loves to be touched by cleaned hands and tools.

So, sterilize your tools well before using them.

  1. Mildew: Powder like rust can appear on the leaves if you keep them too wet.

So, do not water leaves.

Blue star fern propagation:

Propagation is possible but needs extreme patience because the plant takes forever to grow. If you are interested in propagating or growing Blue Star Ferns at home, here are steps to follow:

Preparing Ground:

  • Get terra cotta pots and get them filled with soil
  • Ready the well-mixed soil

Taking cuttings:

  • Cut rhizomes with sufficient leaves grown over
  • Cut rhizomes by using cleaned and sharp tools

Hoeing & Sowing:

  • Place rhizomes over the soil without covering
  • Mist the water on it


  • Do not overwater
  • Have patience
  • Take good care of baby Blue Star Fern, just like the parent plant

Blue Star Fern – FAQs:

Here are some questions our readers sent to us for discussion:

1. Is Blue Star Fern Toxic To Cats?

No! The epiphyte fern is not toxic to humans or animals, and even to other plants. The plant is safe for cats, dogs, and other animals.

Besides, Blue Star Fern rhizomes are widely used in medicine making field.

2. What Are Blue Star Fern Brown Tips?

Blue Star Fern can turn brown, get holes, and stretched out due to various reasons. Such as underwatered plant, thrip attack, or root rot, etc.

To overcome this, here are some tips:

  • Prune off the damaged leaves
  • Water your plant regularly
  • Use anti-pest remedies

Bottom Line:

The discussion isn’t finished yet. There are a lot more queries we have received from you about Blue Star Ferns. Our team is conducting research, and we will update you accordingly.

Till then, if you have anything to say, feel free to use the comment box for suggestions.

Have an excellent plant day!

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