Ancient Garden

Blue Hare's Foot H/B

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​​​​​​​​Blue Hare's Foot H/B

  • Common Name: Blue Hare's Foot H/B
  • Scientific Name: Phlebodium aureum
  • Family Name: Polypodiaceae
  • Origin: Tropical and subtropical eastern regions in the Americas
  • Height: 2-4 ft
  • Width: 3-6 ft
  • Growth: Medium
  • Zone: 9b-11
  • Light needs: Part shade
  • Salt tolerance: Low
  • Soil/pH/Texture: This fern is epiphytic, so it is best-suited to be planted on trees. If planted in soil, it needs loose, very well-drained soil, with a low pH (pH 5.6-6.5)
  • Moisture: Prefers a humid environment. Make sure its substrate doesn’t dry out, but don’t overwater it.
  • Drought tolerance: Low
  • Pests/Diseases: Root rot and powdery mildew may pose an issue. Root rot may occur if overwatered too much.
  • Growing conditions: Should be grown in a shady area with very little direct sunlight. It is strongly recommended to plant it on trees rather than in soil, as this plant is epiphytic and is rarely terrestrial in the wild. If planted in soil, make sure it is very well-drained, and make sure the root hairs are not covered, as they need to be exposed to air. It can be planted indoors, but special attention must be paid to the humidity and substrate moisture. This plant grows well in large terrariums.
  • Characteristics: This fern with large with an upright clumping habit. Roots are covered in characteristic golden scales, Fronds are large, deeply lobed, and blue-green, with up to 35 pinnae (leaflets). These leaflets are somewhat wavy. Sori, which contain spores, grow on the undersides of the leaflets, and are wind-dispersed.
  • Propagation: By spores, or by rhizome division
  • Wildlife: Slugs and snails may chew on its leaves. If grown in trees, birds may use it for shelter.
  • Facts: It has been used as an ingredient in Central American folk medicine, and clinical studies have shown that extracts of it protect the skin from UV light damage. Its species name, aureum, refers to its roots, which are covered in golden scales.
  • Designer considerations: This plant will add a tropical look to any garden due to its large leaf size and richly colored leaves. It looks best planted on palm trees, where it adds extra color and texture. It makes for a great porch plant when planted in a hanging basket with good drainage.