Blue Star Fern
Phlebodium aureum 'Blue Star'
Blue Star Fern foliage
(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)
Height: 3 feet
Spacing: 24 inches
Hardiness Zone: 8a
Other Names: Rabbit's Foot Fern, syn. Polypodium
A clumping fern variety producing irregular, arching fronds of blue-green foliage; a nice groundcover for a woodland area; great in hanging baskets or containers, for indoors or out
Blue Star Fern's attractive ferny pinnately compound leaves emerge chartreuse in spring, turning bluish-green in color the rest of the year. Neither the flowers nor the fruit are ornamentally significant.
Blue Star Fern is a dense herbaceous evergreen fern with a shapely form and gracefully arching fronds. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other garden plants with less refined foliage.
This plant will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and should not require much pruning, except when necessary, such as to remove dieback. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;
Blue Star Fern is recommended for the following landscape applications;
- Mass Planting
- General Garden Use
- Container Planting
- Hanging Baskets
Planting & Growing
Blue Star Fern will grow to be about 3 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 24 inches. When grown in masses or used as a bedding plant, individual plants should be spaced approximately 24 inches apart. Its foliage tends to remain dense right to the ground, not requiring facer plants in front. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 20 years.
This plant does best in partial shade to shade. It does best in average to evenly moist conditions, but will not tolerate standing water. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in rich soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This is a selection of a native North American species. It can be propagated by division; however, as a cultivated variety, be aware that it may be subject to certain restrictions or prohibitions on propagation.
Blue Star Fern is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor containers and hanging baskets. Because of its height, it is often used as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. It is even sizeable enough that it can be grown alone in a suitable container. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.