When I walked in the store, I knew exactly where it was. Had watched it these last few weeks. Saw it when it first arrived, in its latte brown clay cover pot, and its lovely soft blue-grey leaves. Mesmerized, I left my grocery cart by the salads, out of the way, and went over to touch its beautiful leaves.
I was enchanted.
But, I left it there, but noted the grower. Once home, I googled what it was from the Wild Interiors website.
Dear gawd, no.
Nope. No room at the inn. Sure, it looked lovely, but nope. Nope. They always look lovely… at first.
Wow. Like, knock me down with a popsicle stick, looks like no fern I’d seen before.
Its Scientific name is Phlebodium aureum. It’s an epiphytic type fern, native to tropical eastern coasts of the Americas. Epiphytic meaning that in its native habitat it grows on things, like tree trunks, or in the forks of branches. I guess one could say they are opportunistic. However, as a houseplant, they are generally grown in a peaty based mix with extra perlite, as they like to remain somewhat moist, which is difficult to achieve in our homes.
I’ve learned it is most definitely a right hardy bugger, for a fern.
However. IT’S A [email protected]!
See, I did leave it there. Again and again. I don’t just bring plants home with me without first a thought or four of, for instance, where I’ll put it? Do I have room, how badly do I want it, will it like what I can provide, how much does it cost? And so forth… all are things I ask me self now. After my initial plant-a-holic faze, I wised up and set-up some ground rules on plant purchases; and I’ve kept to those rules.
So, yes, I left it there every… single… time… that I walked by. Week after week.
Always looked over my right shoulder as I walked into the store, or wandered by, to check on it. Was it still there? How is it doing?
And, you know, for a while it looked fantastic. Just a real trooper, as it sat there perched on the top shelf of the metal cart, just inside the sliding doors to the outside. With only its fellow plants as humidity generatering companions, the overhead fluorescent lights way up in the ceiling directing a gentle light down upon its fronds, with some dear soul taking after its watering needs quite efficiently, it did ok.
Until it didn’t.
Just last week I walked in to grab a few things, and as I did my usual walk by to admire it, I noticed some browning. Oh dear!
But, I left it there.
It gently haunted me, though.
Slid in to my thoughts, about where I could put it? Where could I make it happy? Did I want to spend the $14? Yes, I love the outer clay pot, which I would remove, leaving it in its nursery pot and set it in something else. I had it all planned.
Just, not the where. Do I want another fern? I kill ferns indoors. Every. Single. One.
So, after some repotting up of some well-rooted Syngonium cuttings and consolidating a few that needed somewhere else to be, and some moving this and that, and a new/used set of grow lights a friend gave me, it all came together.
With a nice thick canvas bag for some thermal barrier against the chilly late fall air, I walked in the sliding doors.
Turned to my right, and gently took it down off the shelf, grabbed a couple other grocery things, and brought my lovely struggling Blue Star fern home.
Every day since, I’ve gazed upon it, as it sits right there across from me. In the best light, the best humidity, in a different outer pot, with a layer of little rocks underneath it, and admire it. Noticing the gentle tones of bluey-grey-green of its fronds, its neat finger shape, its cute little golden fluffy feet.
The dear thing has paid its dues. It’s proven itself to be rather a tough little fern of strength.
As an epiphyte, it gathers as much from its roots and leaves, as from its fluffy golden bunny feet (called rhizomes) that sit on top of the soil at the base of its fronds. So… it is one fairly efficient little fern… a master at getting what it needs. Rather impressive, FOR A FOKEN FERN.
So, the first thing I did once it was home, was a good showering off, let it drain, and repeat. Then, I left it in the bathroom while I had a nice long, hot shower, and it soaked in the humidity. After it had dried off a bit, I went to work at picking away some brown, dead fronds, and actually there weren’t many… considering it’s a blawdy fern.
What the… am I thinking? A FERN!?!
But it is so adorable. So beautiful. So lovely.
*sigh* I’m in love.
It’s been home now 3 days, and I can see its fronds are plumping up and getting back their colour, it seems happy.
Geeesh… in love with a [email protected] fern.