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If you’re looking for a more uncommon, stunning fern as a houseplant, look no further than Phlebodium aureum ‘Davana’ which is a type of Blue Star Fern. Keep reading to learn more about how to care for the unusual and gorgeous Davana fern.
At the time of writing this post, this is a newer fern in cultivation, particularly in the United States. It was previously available in Europe, but it is now available in the U.S.
What makes this fern distinct is the beautifully ruffled, bluish-green foliage. The foliage starts out a brighter green color, like in the photo below.
As the new foliage matures, it will turn into the characteristic, beautiful blue-green color.
Before I get into the care of this fern, let’s look at its natural environment and growth habit. And those ruffles are irresistible!
The plain species, Phlebodium aureum, is also commonly known as “blue star fern.” This epiphytic fern is native to the SE United States, the Caribbean and tropical South America. It often grows on trees, as well as the forest floor.
This is an evergreen plant when it grows in areas that have rainfall year round. In areas where there is a dry season, it will go semi-dormant and then bounce back when rainfall starts again.
Phlebodium aureum ‘Davana’ is a gorgeous cultivar and grows by producing rhizomes that creep along in the soil and it gradually spreads.
PHLEDOBIUM DAVANA CARE TIPS
Here are some important care tips for your Davana fern.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that ferns like dark, shady locations indoors. Place your Davana fern immediately in front of a window that gets 2-4 hours of direct sun per day for best results.
Eastern windows are amazing because morning sunlight is more gentle. Sunless windows are also OK, but make sure that you place it immediately in front.
If you place your Davana fern in a location with light that is too dim, the leaves will turn a pale color.
Like any fern, Davana likes to have consistently moist potting mix at all times. Wait until the surface of your potting mix feels dry to the touch, and then water thoroughly.
If you can help it, avoid letting your potting mix dry out completely. Doing so will result in many fronds dying, as well as brown, crispy edges on your leaves.
Consistency in watering is key to keep your fern is great shape. Don’t allow your fern to sit in excess water, however. Always discard any excess water that accumulates in the plant’s saucer or cache pot.
If you can, situate your fern in a naturally humid area of your home, as long as you can give it the appropriate light that I described above. Kitchens and bathrooms would be great spots for this plant.
Although humidity is very important for ferns, making sure that you can keep the potting mix evenly moist is more important. If you can provide the light that I described above, an evening moist potting mix, and high humidity, your plant will thank you.
Winter time can often cause painfully dry air for those of us that run forced air heat in our homes. You want want to consider getting a humidifier, both for the sake of your skin, and your plants.
Here are some great humidifier choices for your ferns and other plants.
Average home temperatures are just fine for Davana, but it is best to keep your fern at a minimum temperature of 60°F (about 16°C).
60°F to 85°F (16°C to 29°C) is a good temperature range for this fern.
5. POTTING MIX
Some people will make their mixes chunkier for this plant (equal parts potting mix, perlite and orchid bark), but keep in mind that these mixes will dry out faster, so you’ll need to keep up more with watering.
6. POT TYPES
In general, avoid terra cotta pots for ferns as these will dry out much too quickly and will be counterproductive for these plants.
The best pot types to use for ferns are typically plastic pots or glazed ceramic pots which will retain more moisture than terra cotta pots.
And whatever pot type you choose, always plant your Davana fern in a pot that has drainage holes.
The Davana fern is easier to propagate than many ferns, since it sends out creeping rhizomes, allowing you to divide the plant.
Simply take your plant out of the pot, and use your hands to gently tease any plants free from the mother plant.
If it’s too hard to tease apart with your hands, use a sterilized knife or pruner to cut through the root ball and divide the individual plants.
WHERE CAN YOU BUY DAVANA FERN?
In the United States, this fern is being offered through Proven Winners as Living Lace™ Davana fern through their Leafjoy houseplant line.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Why is my Davana fern getting pale leaves?
You may have your plant in too dim of a location. At a minimum, aim to have your plant immediately in front of a window that gets no direct sun. Ideally, a few hours of direct sun indoors (from an eastern or western window) would be preferred.
Why is my Davana fern getting brown, crispy leaves?
The most common reason this occurs is allowing your plant’s potting mix to go too dry. Aim for an evenly moist potting mix for best results. Maintaining high humidity is also beneficial, but if you can avoid dry potting mix, there should be much of an issue.
Is Davana fern toxic?
This fern is considered to be non-toxic to humans and pets.