Blue star fern care | Phlebodium aureum

Phlebodium aureum, commonly known as blue star fern, is an interesting fern with elongated fronds and a pleasant green-blue color. Its ability to tolerate lower-light conditions and relatively easy care make it a great choice for beginning and more experienced fern lovers alike!

Keep reading for everything you need to know about blue star fern care.

Name(s) (common, scientific) Blue star fern, hare foot fern, golden polypody, Phlebodium aureum
Difficulty level Easy
Recommended lighting Indirect light
Water Keep moist
Soil type Epiphyte soil

Blue star fern care

As with all houseplants, the best way to figure out how to care for your blue star fern is to have a look at the way it naturally grows.

Phlebodium aureum is mostly found in tropical forests in South-America, although its natural range also extends into North America. Here, it doesn’t grow in the soil like most other plants. Instead, it sports a creeping rhizome that allows it to grow on trees in a non-parasitic way. This allows it to reach higher than many plants that grow on the ground, right into the canopies.

The aforementioned makes this plant an epiphyte. If we’re going to try and grow this species indoors it’s a good idea to keep this natural growth pattern in mind, as it’s going to determine much of the way we should care for the plant.

Phlebodium aureum fern - blue star fern care and info

Blue star fern light, temperature & humidity

Light

Because the blue star fern naturally grows attached to trees and other plants in forests where a lot of light is blocked out by the tree canopies, it doesn’t require a lot of light, although it does appreciate it.

Anything short of direct scorching sun should work well. This is one of the many characteristics that sets this species apart from other ferns, which really don’t tend to deal well with any sun.

Temperature

When it comes to temperature, blue star ferns aren’t too demanding. Room temperature should usually be fine. During wintertime, take care not to let things get too chilly.

Frost is definitely a no-go, so take the plant indoors if you live in a cooler climate and like to grow your plants outdoors during the summer months.

Humidity

As Phlebodium aureum grows in (semi-)tropical forest areas, it likes plenty of moisture. This makes it a great plant for locations with relatively high humidity, such as north-facing bathrooms or kitchens.

No nice and humid spot to offer your plant? Running a humidifier or placing your blue star fern in a group of other plants can be helpful.

Blue star fern (Phlebodium aureum) foliage

Planting blue star fern

Soil

As discussed above, the blue star fern is actually an epiphyte and not terrestrial like many other ferns. This means potting soil is definitely not the best medium to plant it in and you should be looking for something looser. Because these ferns like a moist environment but don’t appreciate waterlogged soil at all, a well-draining medium should be used.

I opted for large and smaller pieces of crushed wood to plant my blue star fern in. If you don’t have any wood available you can also use a loose orchid mix like this one, as orchids are also epiphytic.

Tip: Not sure how to mix soil for your blue star fern? The article on repotting a blue star fern can be found here and contains everything you need to know.

Planting

You should be using a pot or container with a drainage hole for your blue star fern to prevent standing water, as this plant doesn’t respond well to its roots being soaked. This can be a standing pot; if you prefer your fern a bit higher up, you can also consider a hanging planter.

Like many other epiphytes, such as the Phalaenopsis orchid, blue star ferns don’t have to be repotted all that often. You can repot yours during Springtime if it seems to be getting too large for its pot.

Definitely repot with some fresh soil if you find your fern’s leaves are yellowing after being in the same pot for a long time! Its roots might be lacking the space they need.

Blue star fern (Phlebodium aureum) foliage close-up

Watering blue star fern

Because blue star ferns naturally occur in tropical areas, they need a humid environment and constantly moist soil. However, they will still suffer if water is allowed to stand in the pot for too long. Remember, moist doesn’t mean wet!

  • As with most plants, there is no set watering schedule that will work for all blue star ferns. How much you should water always depends on various factors like light, season and potting.
  • Once a week is a good place to start. Just water a little more during the growing season and a little less when the fern is not growing during the cool winter months.
  • Keep a close eye on the soil to make sure it’s neither soaked nor dry.

Note: Blue star ferns don’t seem to appreciate water being poured directly into the heart (rhizome) of the plant. Watering from the sides might be a better idea and can help prevent root rot from endangering your fern.

Feeding blue star fern

Blue star ferns don’t require a lot of additional fertilizer, although you can add some diluted regular plant fertilizer during the growing season.

Be careful not to overfeed, as this can damage the plant!

Blue star fern (Phlebodium aureum) foliage

Propagating blue star fern

Like other fern species, blue star ferns aren’t commonly grown from scratch. A mature plant does produce spores (brown dots on the undersides of the leaves), but growing new ferns from those would be a huge hassle compared to normal propagation.

If you’d like to multiply your Phlebodium aureum, the easiest way to do so is if you were going to repot it anyway. Take the fern out of its planter and have a look at what you’ve got. Sometimes, pieces break away by themselves at this point! You can pot those up as you would normally.

If the root ball doesn’t fall apart by itself, you can separate it using a sharp, clean knife. Just make sure each section has at least a few healthy fronds and roots and you should be golden. Just pop the cuttings in normal blue star fern soil and keep caring for them as usual.

Buying blue star fern

You should be able to find this fern in the houseplant section of some garden centers and stores. Another good place to look if you can’t seem to find the species is your local pet store: this is a relatively popular terrarium plant. As such, you might encounter it in the terrarium section.

Be sure to keep in mind that there are multiple varieties available, as the plant has been selectively cultivated for different leaf shapes and hues. The ‘blue star’ variety with its rounded, paw-shaped foliage is only one of them. ‘Regular’ Phlebodium aureum ferns have thinner leaves that more closely resemble other ferns, but care is the same. This also goes for the three other ferns in the tiny Phlebodium genus.

You can buy Phlebodium pseudoaureum, which has very similar care requirements, online on Amazon.

Is the blue star fern toxic to cats and dogs?

Nope! Phlebodium aureum, like many related fern species, is not toxic. This makes it a great option if you’re worried your pets might take a bite out of your plant.

Fronds of blue star fern with light shining through.

Problems with Phlebodium aureum

Although there are definitely ferns out there that are more challenging to grow (maidenhair fern, anyone?), there is still always the possibility you’ll run into issues with your blue star fern.

Let’s have a look at the most common ailments that might affect your fern and what you can do about it.

  • Brown tips on blue star fern leaves: could you be underwatering? Additionally, could the air in your home be on the dry side? You can check using a cheap humidity meter.

    These ferns do like some humidity, so a humidifier might prove helpful. Don’t water on a schedule but learn to recognize when your houseplants are dry.
  • Yellow leaves on blue star fern: this can have many causes. Is it possible you might be applying too much fertilizer? This fern only needs very light feeding. Overwatering as well as underwatering are also prime causes of yellowing leaves, as is a build-up of salts from tap water (which can be fixed by flushing out the soil).
  • Blue star fern losing leaves: did you just buy, move or repot the plant, by any chance? It might need some time to adjust. Cold exposure can also cause rapid leaf death.
  • Blue star fern leaves dying in the crown of the plant: as mentioned before, this species is sensitive to crown rot. Be sure to water from the sides! You might need to check the roots for rot if this is happening to your blue star fern.
  • Pests on blue star fern: if your blue star just seems overall ‘blah’ (browning, leaf spots, leaf death, leaf curl), grab your magnifying glass. Pests like spider mites, thrips or fungus gnats could be gnawing away at the plant. You can wage war on them using a neem oil spray, a water and dish soap mixture or a houseplant pesticide.

Tip: Unfortunately, leaves that are already damaged won’t recover. After fixing the issue, you’ll just have to be patient and wait until new foliage has grown in on your blue star fern.

Close-up of frond on blue star fern (Phlebodium aureum) showing brown tips.
This blue star fern is having some humidity-related issues.

If you have any more questions about blue star fern care or want to share your own experiences with this lovely blue-green fern, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below.

Tip: If you love ferns, don’t forget to have a look at the list of easy ferns as well to find more species to add to your collection.


66 thoughts on “Blue star fern care | Phlebodium aureum”

  1. Hi there, this article is so helpful but I do have a query about my beautiful blue fern that I’ve had for 4 years. I have some lovely new, healthy shoots with leaves but I have noticed small, brown fuzzy bits on the underside of one of the leaves. They aren’t round and are a long sort of shape. On one of the other leaves are the same shape bits but they are almost clear/white in colour. I haven’t noticed any bugs or webbing on the plant or anything. I also noticed one very yellowing leaf today which the plant has never had before, so thought that this was odd. I wondered if you have any advice please?

    Reply
    • Hi! This is super difficult to tell you anything about without seeing the plant. To clarify, it’s not fern spores? Can you please Google those to rule them out? If that’s not what it is, you can post a photo in the Houseplant Central FB group or let me know and I’ll shoot you an email at the address you’ve provided so you can reply with a photo. Sorry I can’t be of more help right now!

      Reply
  2. Hi! We just bought a new fern, and the ends of some leaves have quickly become a little dry, shrivelled and a touch blackened (but not brown or yellow). Any ideas?

    Reply
    • It’s very hard to tell – especially if you just got it, because that means any damage can be related to the situation at the nursery or shop, in addition to all plants disliking being moved. Unless you suspect root rot, I’d just place it in a spot that matches what’s described here in terms of light and the like and just take good care of it. You’ll see in a few weeks-months whether it’s recovering well. Good luck!

      Reply
  3. My very mature blue star fern somehow thrives in my bright, low humidity house. Some of the rhizomes are so long they’re entangling the decorative pot and surrounding plants. Can I cut these back? I haven’t noticed any new growth on them for a long time.

    Reply
  4. Hello, I live in the UK and have a beautiful blue star fern in the bathroom and bought one for my son too, he keeps his in his kitchen.
    Both of our plants (his more than mine) have been suffering from loads of tiny flies around them, almost like a plague. Could you advise why and what to do about it please?
    Many thanks

    Reply
    • Yes, those are fungus gnats and they can be a sign of overwatering, but since this plant likes it relatively moist the risk is a bit larger even with normal care. Folks in my houseplant group swear by a product called mosquito bits, I don’t know if that’s sold where you are. Otherwise, another method is to water with water with one fifth 3% hydrogen peroxide added. Also let the plant dry out as much as you can without it starting to suffer. Good luck!

      Reply
  5. My sweet fern has lost most of its leaves but has slowly began to grow some little ones, although many of the leaves continue to brown and die. How can I tell if the rhizomes are rotting?

    Reply
    • Hi! Sorry to hear your fern doesn’t seem to be doing great. It does sound like you might have to have a look at the rhizome; the only way to really do that is to remove the plant from the soil. If there’s rot, the rhizome will be squishy, blackish and/or smell bad. You’ll have to cut off all affected parts if that’s the case.

      Good luck, I hope you can figure it out!

      Reply
  6. I have a blue star fern that I purchased about 3 weeks ago. It has new growth coming in that looks healthy so far. I’ve noticed that some leaves look like they have become more pale. Not brown or yellow, just lighter in color. Any ideas what can cause this without seeing it?

    Reply
    • Hey! That’s interesting. Is it the new or old fronds that are turning lighter? There are a bunch of different possible reasons for this I’m afraid – over- or underwatering, too much light, nutrient deficiency, or even just nothing to worry about in some cases. I’d review the care guide you’ve commented on if you haven’t already and if you’re following all the guidelines, I’d give things a bit more time. It’s only been 3 weeks after all, your plant likely still hasn’t even recovered from the journey to your house.

      Good luck, I hope it’s nothing!

      Reply
  7. Hi, I have a blue star fern that’s a couple years old. I’ve just repotted it since it’s roots were coming out the bottom of the pot and it looked pretty cramped. My problem is that when I took the fern out of the pot I saw that the rhizomes had grown downwards into the soil around the rim (presumably because it was too cramped) so now after repotting it the new rhizomes are buried under the soil. What do you recommend I should do? Is it possible to encourage the rhizomes to go upwards? At the moment they’re mostly pointing downwards. Or should I just remove the soil from the sides of the pot so that the rhizomes are exposed? Thanks so much for your help!

    Reply
  8. Hi, Intermari…I’m Gail, [email protected]:33am…thanks for your reply and the info about why four of my rhizomes have pretty much petered out…I’m about to take them out of their pots and dry the root ball off if it’s too wet, and then repot them in to orchid soil…I’m thinking of also putting them into zip-loc bags to keep heat/humidity in, but not put them in the sun, and periodically opening the bags for fresh air…I’ll keep my fingers crossed that this works, and your reply/information to my question will ensure that my remaining blue stars have a fighting chance as I’ll have a better idea of what to do with them and for them….Many thanks again! Gail

    Reply
  9. Hi, glad I found you! I have three blue star ferns that seem to be doing okay, and four that just died on me…they’re in individual pots, potted in regular soil with perlite mixed in, started out healthy and did okay for a while. Was keeping them in bathroom and misting with plain water. Then, the stems started turning brown at the base and I could pick out the individual leaves (or find them on the floor). Eventually, all of the leaves just left the crown bald or with remnants of brown dead stems. Do these rhizomes go dormant? any hope of reviving the rhizome somehow (i.e., putting in a plastic bag for increased humidity and warmth?) or are these now just a dead lost cause. Any advice will be welcome — Many Thanks!!

    Reply
    • Hey! sorry to hear some of your ferns have been struggling. They can go dormant, although this is related to low temperatures. I don’t assume your bathroom was very cold? Do you see any signs of rot in the rhizome?

      If your bathroom is on the chilly side maybe they’ll wake back up if you move them to a warmer environment. If not, there is a possibility that maybe your soil mix didn’t drain well enough. You could always try repotting the rhizome if this is the case, checking it for rot. I have never personally dealt with this, but if there is no clear rot going on I’d think that maybe there is a chance there’s still some life left in the rhizome.

      Sorry I can’t be of more help, hopefully the rest of your blue stars will keep doing well for you.

      Reply
  10. Hello, I am the first-time owner of a blue star fern that I keep indoors. Last week I moved it from the living room (where it was dry + indirect light and just not really growing) to a windowless bathroom for increased moisture. Overall, the leaves look much more alive and green, but some of the tips have dried out and turned brown since the move. Could that just be from shock? From what I’m reading it sounds like new growth is a better assessment of how the plant is doing. Also, should I just cut off the browning leaves? I’m not sure if I should do that at the base of the leaf or at the base of the stem. Thanks so much.

    Reply
    • Hi! Yeah, unless you have significantly changed something else about the plant’s care, it’s likely just cranky about being moved. Like you said, keep an eye on the new growth to see how that progresses. If it’s healthy, you’re in the clear!

      There is no need to cut off browning leaves, it’s a purely aesthetic matter. If they annoy you, you can remove the entire leaf. I personally always wait for the plant to shed them itself, which will happen in time since all leaves are replaced eventually. 🙂

      Good luck!

      Reply
  11. I have had my fern for a couple of years. Have never repotted it. But all the new leaves that are coming is very high. How can I make it produce shorter stem?

    Reply
    • Mine did this as well! To be honest, I think it might just be normal for a more mature fern? The only other possibility might be that it’s not getting enough light, so you could review the plant’s location in your home. Good luck!

      Reply
  12. I’ve only had my blue star fern for 10 days so it’s hard to say how it’s doing overall, but it’s not looking unhappy. It’s on a west wall about a foot and a half from a north facing window, in a bathroom. I notice all of the fronds are quite leggy, like there’s a solid 6″ or so before the leaves start and they really only have 3 “fingers” (kind of phallic looking, lol). Does this suggest it needs to be closer to the lightsource? Or is it too early to even tell, since I haven’t had it very long? Haha.

    Reply
    • Hi! After having it for such a short time there really isn’t much to be said yet, just like you mention. You can only glean information about whether the light source is adequate or not from new fronds, not really old ones. I assume you Googled what these guys look like? There being a long stem before the frond starts is quite normal with the ‘Blue Star’ cultivar. You see it on my plant at the top of this article as well, although that one is quite mature so the fronds have quite a few fingers each.

      Basically, what I’m trying to say is, don’t worry too much. Assuming it’s spring where you are, I’d maybe evaluate things after the growing season. 🙂

      Good luck!

      Reply
  13. my fern seems happy, but i was wondering how to encourage more ‘blue’ on my blue star fern? quite a few of them lost their blue when treated with a neem oil spray and so have splash marks where it shows the green underneath! this is similar to when you handle the fronds too much, and the oil from your finger tips shows through. would you know (or anyone else) how to regain this beautiful blue?

    Reply
    • Unfortunately with leaves I think usually once their original appearance is altered due to damage or something else, there isn’t that much you can do! They’ll eventually shed their older fronds as new ones grow in, though, so you won’t have to look at the non-blue leaves for ever. 🙂

      Reply
  14. I have my blue star fern about 10-12 feet from a west facing window. I’ve had a few leaves that have turned a pastel yellow through the middle bleeding out to most the leaf. These are one of my favorite plants and I’ve had this happen to a few. Can you advise what this could be from?

    Reply
    • Oof, leaf discoloring can have so many causes it’s a very difficult one to pinpoint! It being a west facing window I’m going to assume you’re positive it’s not sunburn, right?

      Some questions to consider: Have you had a look at the underside of the leaves for bugs? Is your tap water high in minerals or have you gone a long time without flushing the soil with distilled water? Do the roots look good to you? Could the plant need a little more or actually a little less fertilizer? Are you using a suitable (loose) soil type? Is the plant too wet or too dry? Does the look of the leaves match any plant illnesses or fungi?

      Since you say it has happened to multiple of the plants there must be a common factor somewhere in the environment that is working against them.

      Sorry I can’t be of more help, diagnosing a plant from afar is tricky!

      Reply
    • The blue star fern’s leaves will always tell you what the plant wants: whenever it gets too much light it loses the bluish tone and turns regular green.

      Reply
  15. Blue Star stays on an open covered porch most of the year (upstate SC). It has thrived for two years here although we did bring it inside during the very cold (again SC) months. It’s much larger now so if we move to an enclosed, unheated sun room will it survive a couple of months of 20 degree temps?

    Reply
    • 20 degrees celcius or fahrenheit? If it’s the former for sure, the latter no way. Frost is a definite no for them according to everything I’ve heard, so you’d have to find another solution.

      Good luck!

      Reply
  16. Hello! I recently added a Blue Star Fern to my in-home house collection. It’s receiving indirect sunlight and its handling the pot it came in well. However, some of its leaves are showing a white, almost powdery film on them. What do you think could be causing this and how do I help keep her healthy?

    Reply
    • Hello! Do you think it could be powdery mildew? It’s a bit hard for me to say anything useful without seeing the plant but that’s the first thing I think of when I hear ‘powdery film’.

      Reply
  17. I’ve had my blue star for almost two months now, and yesterday I noticed that a few of the leaves are turning brown at the base and dropping off. Any ideas about why this would be happening?

    Reply
    • Oof! That’s difficult to tell on my own plants, let alone one that I can’t see! Have you had a look at all the care requirements in this caresheet to see if you’re following them? Browning at the base tells me it’s likely not related to low humidity or sunlight, sounds more like rot or maybe some type of nutrient deficiency. Do you think it’s possible you may have been overwatering? What do the roots look like? If they’re brown and mushy in any way your fern is unfortunately in trouble.

      Sorry I can’t be of more help, I hope the plant recovers! 🙂

      Reply
  18. I fell in love with my blue star fern when I saw it. Unfortunately, I got too sun happy and placed it in the sun with the other succulents I bought and it’s currently recovering from sun damage. I haven’t had a chance to repot it, but when I do would the succulent soil that I have work for this fern? (I have the Cactus, Palm, and Citrus Miracle Gro) Thank you in advance!

    Reply
    • Hi! Sorry to hear about the sun damage, I have been guilty of this as well haha. It’ll recover fine.

      The succulent soil will definitely be better for it than pure potting soil I’d say. If you have some orchid bark lying around mix in some of that as well! 🙂

      Reply
  19. I’ve had a blue star fern for a couple of years now and it’s triumphed through a couple of house moves and repottings and is now getting too big. The rhizome is pushing out the sides of the pot, but I don’t want to pot up to a bigger pot due to lack of space. Does anyone know how to divide a blue star? Do I simply cut the rhizome and rootball in half and then repot into 2 pots?

    Reply
    • Hi,

      Sounds like you’re definitely doing something right there! Yeah, you’re spot on. Just cut the rhizome in the easiest/thinnest part you can find and gently divide the rootball to multiply the plant.

      Hope it works out, sounds like a gorgeous fern!

      Reply
  20. Hi, I have a lovely Blue Star fern and I would like to make more, but I’m having trouble finding info on how to go about it. Can I for example split off one of the “feet” and simply plant that? Would it survive and grow?

    Any advice will be greatly appreciated 🙂

    Thanks!! Sra

    Reply
    • Hi! Yes, you can just split off part of the rhizome with a few leaves attached. You can also propagate ferns from spores but that’s more something you’d do for fun – they take ages to start growing. 🙂

      Reply
  21. Going for an orchid mix thanks to your article… for all my ferns. They’re in a loose but soily mix and they’ve always been meh, so I hope the switch to full-bark culture will encourage them. Many thanks for my ‘duh’ moment

    Reply
  22. Hi there,
    I brought home a beautiful blue star fern this summer and then almost killed it. I believe I was drowning it. It is finally coming back and has many new leaves popping up. Some of the full grown leaves are turning brown on their ends and I’m not sure why. I am being very careful with watering, and am misting it. I would really like to repot it in some orchid mix in case that’s part of the problem, but I can’t break up the chunk of soil that contains the plant. It’s all very solid. At first I thought it was regular potting soil, but now I’m not sure, and I don’t want to injure it. Do you have tips? Thank you so much.

    Reply
    • The browning tips could definitely be due to the soil being too solid and water being unable to reach the plant’s roots properly. Not good. What I do if I run into this issue (it’s happened to me with succulents that I got from low-quality sellers) is just soak the chunk in a bucket of water. Once it has absorbed some water you can usually slowly chip away at it and then repot into that orchid mix. It’ll take some time to do it without damaging the roots too much.

      Be prepared for the plant throwing a temper tantrum before recovering if you do this. They just don’t like being fiddled with and this is a pretty big change for it.

      Good luck, I hope you manage to free your fern! 🙂

      Reply
  23. The tips of the fronds on my Blue Star are tu

    The tips of the fronds on my Blue Star are suddenly turning brown since I moved it outside . It’s humid and hot here in NC now. I have it under cover on my porch and keep it moist. Could it be the move to outdoors?

    Reply
    • Hi! Sorry to hear your blue star fern seems a little upset. Yes, I think it could be the move – plants can be very fussy about being moved. If the plant isn’t exposed to direct sun and is kept lightly moist but not wet, I’d give it a little more time to see if it produces new fronds. If yes, it’s probably just in an adjustment phase 🙂

      Reply
  24. Hi! I’m super excited about my blue star fern. It’s my second purchase for our first home. Since it is an epiphyte can I just remove it from the pot and attach it to wood via staghorn mounting tutorials? It’s in an 8in pot and seems large, would you divide it?
    And because of the size I am thinking of using wood as a base and then creating a hanging support for the wood like a macrame hanger rather than wall mounted. Thoughts?
    Thanks so much love your site!

    Reply
    • Hi! Congrats on your first home, that’s awesome.

      As for mounting your blue star fern, my short answer is: no clue, haven’t tried it! And I haven’t heard of anyone else who has either since this plant is just up and coming now and not many people have one yet. If the plant is that large, you could always see if you can divide it and then mount half and keep the other half in the pot. Your idea sounds very pretty at least, and if it doesn’t work out you can also replace the fern with some type of Bromeliad or Orchid.

      Good luck, let me know how it works out 🙂

      Reply
  25. Hey Intermari, I’m struggling a bit with a blue fern and sevreral of it’s offshots. I transferred from a well drained heavy perlite potting mix to a woody soil after reading this. In the process broke the root in a few places, and transplanted a few ryzomes with stems into other pots. None are doing well, including the large parent. The leaves slowly die, mostly starting from the outside tips. A few regrowths are slowly emerging and looking strong, but a few shrivel up right out of the root. Do you think it might just be transplant shock, and might the ryzomes send another shoot even as all existing shoots are close to dead? Seems like it should be a slightly tougher plant. One more detail – it is tough to tranplant a small ryzome with a shoot into a woody mix – tends to tip over unless you go pretty deep. Lastly, if we create a wood mix, do you have a healthy general ratio between wood and potting mix with other organic matter? Thank you!

    Reply
    • Hi!

      Sorry to hear you’re having trouble with your blue star fern. It does sound like it might be throwing a temper tantrum because you repotted it. Did the location also change or did all other factors remain the same? Honestly, I don’t think there is much you can do besides wait and maybe transfer one offshoot to a vase of water to propagate it in case the rest of the plant dies. The fact that some regrowth is happening is promising.

      As for soil mix, I used large and small pieces of grape wood which is pretty porous and the plant loves it. You could try mixing 50% of something like this with 50% orchid mix or even go for 100% orchid mix, that should work too. Just stuff that doesn’t choke the roots. I can imagine it makes planting a little difficult if you’re trying to plant small shoots – maybe you can attach them to one of the wood pieces with a rubber band or something like that? In the aquarium world we actually superglue some plants to wood or rock, that might also be an idea.

      Good luck, I hope the plant makes it!

      Reply
  26. I just bought one knowing it might be affected by a bug maybe, it has little white dots around the edges of the leaves, it’s planned on soil so I’ll change that but amy thoughts on the dots?

    Reply
    • It’s very difficult to tell you anything about plant disease/infestations without seeing the plant! White flies, some type of fungus, natural coloration… could be many things!

      Good luck with the soil change and I hope the plant will be alright.

      Reply
  27. I can’t tell you how grateful I am to find your article! Normally a green thumb with happy healthy house plants, I have struggled with my Blue Star ever since I brought her home last year. I think it’s the soil mix. Browning leaves and new shoots that wither before ever fully developing. It’s this odd cross of seeming both dried out and too wet. Mysterious. I’ve played around with water and light to jo avail, and suspected it had to be something to do with the soil. I’m ordering that orchid mix ASAP and now feel like I have a better idea of how to move forward. There’s not a lot of good Blue Star information out there. Many many thanks!

    Reply
    • Sorry to hear you haven’t had much luck with your blue star so far, but glad the article was helpful! I hope the change of soil fixes the problem. Mine is doing great with an epiphyte mix so should turn out just fine!

      Reply
    • Alina did you have any luck? I repotted mine around six months ago and it’s been growing like mad ever since until recently when it’s become exactly as you describe – browning old foliage and withering new. If repotting worked for you I may try it!

      Reply
      • F.Thunders, what did you use to repot? Orchid mix? I’m thinking of using coco coir for mine but unsure how it will react. What do you think?

        Reply
        • I’m not the original poster but I feel like coco coir might be really dense for a plant like this. Especially if you ever accidentally let it dry out: solid block around the roots. I still swear by orchid mix or the large porous wood pieces I used for mine the first time around (although that was a DIY thing).

          Good luck 🙂

          Reply
  28. Hi, I was wondering if anyone could help me out with my Blue Star Fern. I got it a few weeks ago and all was looking well but now I’ve noticed the leaves are starting to turn brownish around the edges and it almost looks like they’ve been eaten. Even on some of the new shoots. Its in a decently drained pot (I could probably do better) and out of direct sunlight, and it hasn’t been left to go dry. I did re pot it but only added a little standard potting mix, and I haven’t been really misting it because it’s been rather humid here. I suspect pests but none of my other plants have been affected, I’m also thinking it might be the soil its planted in. Any suggestions?

    Reply
    • Hi! Sorry to hear you’re having problems with your blue star fern. I definitely think the standard potting mix might be (part of) the problem here, so I would work on that first. I have my own blue star fern planted in loose bits of bark and wood and it’s growing like crazy. Trying a mixture like that might help – it will also help get rid of any soil-based pests if those are present as well.

      I hope that helps!

      Reply

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.