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Why is My Sago Palm Turning Yellow? – How to Save it from Dying

Sago Palm is generally green and similar to pine trees with a trunk of over 9 feet height and ferns are over 2-5 feet makes it a beautiful garden attraction.

Why is My Sago Palm Turning Yellow? Leaves of Sago Palm Turning yellow due to Inadequate watering, Low in fertilizer that provides nutrients. Sago Palm Yellowing could indicate Deficiency in N-P-R or magnesium or majorly affected by the heavy rainfall or low light conditions. Sago palm yellow leaves might be a cause of Too much fertilizing or location disturbance.

These Sago Palm are slow growing perennial plant trees that live for many years and Cycas revoluta caring requirements are minimum. It adds the beauty in your garden area outdoors and they need partial shade to grow. USDA hardiness zones are 9 and 10 for our sago palms.

Actually those ferns or leaves don’t generally turn yellow , if in previous months you have changed its location then reverting the location means the light it was getting there is perfect for growing. Also Sometimes changing the watering schedule may give it a hard time to adjust as overwatering is still a concern for our sago palm trees.

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Sago Palm Turning Yellow
Dinesh Valke from Thane, India, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Sago Palm Yellow Leaves

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Sago Palm Turning yellow due to Inadequate watering, Low in fertilizer that provides nutrients. Sago Palm Yellowing could indicate Deficiency in N-P-R or magnesium or majorly affected by the heavy rainfall or low light conditions. Sago palm yellow leaves might be a cause of Too much fertilizing or location disturbance

Why is my sago palm turning yellow?

You may have the similar question on “why is my sago palm turning yellow” then take a closer look whether your sago palm yellow fronds may be suffering from fertilizer rich soil that provides nitrogen, magnesium and potassium. Each deficiency has a sign where sago leaves can be seen yellowing.

Generally Sago palm older leaves turn yellow but most likely it’s nitrogen deficiency that does change its color. If your palm tree fronds are green from the sides but the middle layer is green then it is due to magnesium deficiency. Sago palm fronds turn Yellow with most parts becoming dull and loose green pigmentation than its potassium deficiency.

Already yellow sago palm fronds are hard to recover but you can stop this problem from affecting the newer growth using well nutrient rich fertilizer specially made for palm trees. Once you start fertilizing the liquid in growing seasons your sago palm may form new fronds that are dark green and healthy. Also If you decode the problem just by looking at sago palm fronds then you can apply that particular deficiency nutrient like potassium, nitrogen or phosphorus to your palm tree. Once fertilizer begins to work and shows results new foliage will likely give green leaves.

Should I cut yellow leaves off sago palm?

Cutting Yellow leaves off from sago palm is necessary to make sure no infections and diseases are born around it. Pruning sago palm leaves that are yellow is not recommended and you should only cut those fronds that are badly damaged, infected and mostly look brown or black. Trimming lower leaves or fronds that are not developed properly can affect your sago palm that result in more pest attacks, so cutting off sago plam’s black dead leaves every year could bring new life to our palm trees.

After Cutting those dead fronds from sago palm it’s time you should fulfill your plant needs as whenever a palm tree has deficiency they definitely show symptoms like leaf yellowing, browning, curling and various other. Most of your palm trees might be suffering from manganese sulfate deficiency and to revitalize your palm you need to give them palm food or fertilizer that are rich in these nutrients.

This manganese sulfate comes in 5lbs, 10lbs and 20lbs bags and even for smaller palms you can purchase a 1lb pack according to your need depending on how big your sago palm is.

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With that you can try giving them fertilizer that has all 3 major nutrients like phosphorus, potassium and nitrogen that are basically called plant food fertilizers. It enhances and rejuvenate the sago palm deficiency compound, after providing them this type of plant food you may see some changes in your palm tree.

Consider cutting off sago palm fronds that are curling or floating downward and look old; they are just absorbing the nutrients from soil that should be reaching to new leaves. Also I would not recommend doing heavy pruning of sago palm ferns. It will impact your tree’s health. 

How do I treat yellow leaves on my palm tree?

Doing a soil test is the method possible to figure out what essential nutrients are missing in our sago palm diet. Soil test kit available to check Potash, Nitrogen, Phosphorus and pH with the easy steps that are beginner friendly.

Once you find the result of tested soil or use a local expert to guide you, Now blend the missing nutrients and use a powerful fertilizer or the particular palm food that may give a boost to your soil.

Giving proper fertilizer every year in the growing period of sago palm can benefit your plant for long term growth. Just remember the season and schedule your time to do it. It is fertilized once every 4 weeks or 3-4 times in 12 months.

Sometimes Yellow leaves on sago palm can be treated using proper watering, pruning and timely fertilizing. It doesn’t require expertise. It’s the basic thing if you see bad growth immediately remove it as this avoids any infestation of pests.

Root rot occurs because of fungal infection and can be resolved by adequate watering and if it is not solved it can impact the overall palm tree growth.






Sometimes direct sunlight can burn the leaves that may turn brown which invites pests to further damage your plant. So keeping them in a place where it is comfortable. 

How do you keep sago palms from turning yellow?

Schedule watering and fertilizing can keep the sago palm fronds from turning yellow. Yellowing occurs due to nutrient deficiency in sago palms but many trees and plants turn yellow due to overwatering and wet soil that can be a care issue or soil problem on the owner ‘s side. Notice the leaves if it turns yellow, water is too much or your soil is exhausted and there is no nutrients left so fertilize it before all leaves turn yellow in sago palm.

Fertilizer like slow release works best for palm trees and if you give it every year then you might not get this problem again. Leaves do get old so they do turn yellow then brown it’s the natural process we can’t do anything. You can test the soil also to identify the real problem in sago palm fronds.   

How do you revive a dying sago palm?

Sago is the toughest and robust palms out there and can be revived by pruning 1/3 of its fronds. Wait You may think “am i joking” No, They will grow again once you cut off half of the leaves in sago palm tree.

Cut back from the inside until you see its head pruned 1/3 and some leaves will be there to provide support to the palm tree so it can be saved. It will grow nicer and better than before and it might be healthy you never know. These are quite strong so never estimate them.

Final Words

I Hope you found all the answers in this article about “Sago Palm Turning Yellow” and one thing is sure that tough plants can be revived if care is done properly. So I am damn sure you guys will save your sago palm and make it happy again.

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Amelia Clark

I have over 10 years experience in gardening and here I try to answer every question about plants and how you as a beginner gardener can able to solve various problems. Also If you would like to check our Designed Plant T-Shirts. Please do so.

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