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annual

Blue Star Fern*

Phlebodium aureum 'Blue Star'

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Blue Star Fern (Phlebodium aureum 'Blue Star') at Echter's Nursery & Garden Center

Blue Star Fern foliage

Blue Star Fern foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

* This is a "special order" plant - contact store for details

Height:  3 feet

Spacing:  24 inches

Sunlight:  partial shade  full shade 

Hardiness Zone:  (annual)

Other Names:  Rabbit's Foot Fern, syn. Polypodium

Description:

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

Ornamental Features

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.

Landscape Attributes

Blue Star Fern is a dense herbaceous annual with a shapely form and gracefully arching foliage. 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;

  • Suckering

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. Although it's not a true annual, this fast-growing plant can be expected to behave as an annual in our climate if left outdoors over the winter, usually needing replacement the following year. As such, gardeners should take into consideration that it will perform differently than it would in its native habitat.

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. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

 

* This is a "special order" plant - contact store for details

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Characteristics
Massing  Garden  Container  Basket 
Applications
Foliage Color  Texture 
Ornamental Features

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