Phlebodium (Blue star fern) - Expert tips

How to Care for Blue Star Fern (Phlebodium) - Expert Tips for Thriving Plants

There aren't too many indoor ferns like Phlebodium! This unique looking fern has blue-green fronds that emerge from creeping rhizomes and create beautiful foliage. They come from tropical regions of Central and South America and naturally grow on other tropical trees as an epiphyte.

Phlebodium plants are also called by names Blue Star Fern and Golden Polypody. This beauty is easy to handle, you can be sure that your plant will live happily beside you until the end of time! What makes this beauty even more special? Phlebodium has an excellent ability to purify the air. This plant won the first prize among all houseplants at the Royal Floraholland Award ceremony in 2020. Add a Blue Star Fern to your home and let it work its air-purifying magic!

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Blue Star Fern Care: 10 expert tips for growing it successfully

  1. Find a spot with medium-shade or bright natural light. Avoid placing it directly under the sun, as the leaves may get burnt and become brown and crispy.
  2. Blue Star Fern is sensitive to overwatering. Always check the soil before watering it again. Wait until half of the topsoil has dried before watering it again.
  3. Make sure your Blue Star Fern's soil doesn't dry out completely. In such a case, there may be many dry leaves, and the plant will appear thinner as a whole.
  4. They enjoy high humidity. If your Blue Star Fern leaves start to turn brown at the edges, they might not get enough humidity.
  5. Fertilise regularly. Once a month during the growing season, from spring to summer, is enough to promote its healthy growth.
  6. Keep it away from cold drafts or sudden temperature changes. This can cause stress and damage to your green fern bestie.
  7. Brown, dry fronds are often one of the first visible signs that your Blue Star Fern is experiencing issues with its care routine. Try to adjust your care routine a little and see if something changes.
  8. If your Blue Star Fern isn't growing, it might be because it's not getting enough light. These ferns prefer filtered natural light, and if they don't receive enough light, they may grow slowly or not at all.
  9. Regularly prune your Phlebodium to keep it looking good. It is a good idea to cut off any damaged and yellowed leaves to encourage new healthy growth.
  10. Check your plant regularly for pests such as spider mites, mealybugs, and scale insects. If you see anything suspicious, act fast!

Phlebodium care

Light requirements

Give your Blue Star Fern plenty of natural light. They can tolerate some direct morning or late afternoon sunlight but avoid placing them in the harsh midday sun as it can scorch their delicate fronds.

Expert tip! If your Blue Star Fern starts losing its blue-green colour, it's probably because of poor lighting conditions.

While it is tolerant of shadier locations, its lush foliage won't be as full and vibrant as when grown in lots of natural light. The fronds may also become elongated and weak, and growth may be slower.

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Your Blue Star Fern loves consistently moist soil but does not like to sit in too wet conditions. While it may sound difficult, it's not! It's best to water the fern when the top half of the soil feels dry to the touch. Generally, Phlebodium likes to be watered twice a week in the warm season. In the winter, once a week is sufficient. You'll get there with a little practice!

**Expert tip!**Make sure your Phlebodium does not dry out completely or for too long, as it will turn its beautiful leaves brown and crispy.


Fertilise your Blue Star Fern once every 4-6 weeks with PLNTS Nutrition liquid houseplant food. But only do this in the summer. In winter, your beauty doesn't need more food as she will enter a resting period and consume less energy to survive those dark shorter days.

Temperature & humidity

Your Blue Star Fern loves it warm and humid. If you keep the temperature between 18 and 25°C and the air humidity between 50-70%, it will enjoy living with you. While they can handle humidity as low as 30%, they might not grow well or look as beautiful. If the air gets too dry, the fern's leaves could turn dry and break easily. Check out tips on how to raise humidity for your leafy friends.

Expert tip! Do not place them by the open window. They are skittish and do not want to catch a cold. Draughty places are not for these beautiful ferns!

Soil & repotting

Plan to repot your fern buddy every 2-3 years or when it looks like it's outgrown its current pot. As Blue Star Fern is epiphytic by nature, it really enjoys Epiphytes potting mix, which is airy and porous. It is important for epiphytic plants to have good air circulation around their roots.

Expert tip! The plant will thrive in regular houseplant soil as well, but we recommend adding chunky parts like tree bark and perlite to create a more airy environment.

Phlebodium propagation

If you love your Phlebodium so much and want a little baby sibling, you can create a new plant from your existing one! The simplest method is to divide its rhizomes.

Just follow these easy steps:

  1. Gently separate the root ball into two parts using your fingers, then plant each section in a properly sized pot.
  2. Water your new fern baby thoroughly, but hold off on adding any nutrients just yet. The baby is still recovering from the shock of being separated from the original plant.

Give your baby some time to recover from propagation. As soon as it's established and has shown signs of new growth, treat it as you would its mother plant!

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Most common pests on Phlebodium

Normally ferns do not suffer so easily from pests as they are really strong plants. However, the Phlebodium can suffer from spider mites. If it does happen that your Phlebodium gets problems with spider mites, it is important to combat this as soon as possible to prevent your plant from being too damaged.

Check our PLNTSdoctor page to recognise and eliminate your plant pests! If you are interested in biological pest control, look at our blog: Which natural and biological pest control against which pest?

Are Phlebodium poisonous for your pets or children?

Great news! Phlebodium is safe for your furry friends and children, so you don't have to worry. To be safe, it's a good idea to keep the plant out of their reach to prevent any accidents. After all, we want our plants to stay healthy too!

Buy your new Phlebodium online at

At we have the beautiful Phlebodium Davana and her pretty curly grey/blue leaves! If you're looking to add a new green (or should we say grey-blue) addition to your plant family - Buy your new Phlebodium online at

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Hi, I'm Emma, your guide!

Hi, I’m Emma, your guide!