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Sago Palm – Care, Seeds, Problems, Propagation[Full Guide]

Sago Palm is an Ornamental plant used in various landscapes, Here Sago is a fruit name produced by this palm tree and it’s a starchy food. The structure of this palm is the same as other palm trees and it shows feathery green foliage. This palm can be grown in the ground as well as a bigger pot or container.

I have seen this palm in Lawns, gardens, School , university building area and office area etc.  It is a straight growing palm tree and foliage gives a kind of pyramid shape , also the hanging fern(fronds) looks quite gorgeous and this gives shade to many small plants which can grow in a partial shade area.

They are slow growing but understand one thing that they had a strong truck so it takes time to make this truck thick and robust.These palms can grow larger in the ground compared to containers as they can get more space in the ground than containers.

What is a sago palm is a houseplant and many have asked if it is a true palm so let me tell you it’s related to Arecaceae which is the family name of every palm tree.

Sago Palm - Care, Indoor, Seeds, Problems, Propagation , Prune , Prices

Dinesh Valke from Thane, India, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Background information

It was first discovered on Ryukyu island at the south of Japan. The Binomial or Scientific name of Sago Palm is Cycas revoluta & its a member of the Cycadaceae family. It has many names including Sago Cycad , King Sago , sago palm , Japanese Sago palm.

The Cycadaceae has more than 99 species and this palm is one of them which used to produce sago. USDA Hardiness for this palm is 9 to 10 and it doesn’t bloom or flower.This has Shiny, Green Fern which is on a thick hard trunk.

According to the University of Florida , Sago palm height can be about 15 feet tall in 50 years and the fronds(collective leaves) can be about 4-5 feet long and 7-9 inches wide. The Truck is dark brown in color and it looks shaggy.

How to Grow Sago Palm (Cycas revoluta)

There are many factors you need to know to successfully grow sago palm. Palm trees are strong and big but they need fertilizer to grow further. Here is Tips on how to grow this palm :

Humidity

These palm can tolerate average to high humidity but average can be suited for them. If your palm shows brown leaflets tips then it can be due to low humidity and moisture in the surroundings.

Light

This palm tree can grow in both light environments and can tolerate full sun and full shade. When I am Studying about this plant I have seen many wrote to give this plant bright light means they were saying give it full sunlight but again in the next line of sentence they are like don’t put this palm in too much sunlight this make people get confused with words, Here I am talking about top gardening blogs that are trending doing this mistake.

Location

You can grow these plants in gardens or even indoors easily with a big container. Make sure it gets proper sunlight there and one more thing you need to understand is don’t put smaller plants near this palm tree as it has seen that sago palm drops the fern or leaves quite often because it keeps growing and the leaves appear new by replacing the old leaves.

Temperature

The USDA Hardiness zone for this palm is 8 to 10 & It can tolerate an average temperature of 66 to 74 F and it is a tropical plant which is very evergreen by appearance. If Temperature fall from below 14°C (58 °F) than it is not good for sago palm.

Repotting

As this plant takes several years to grow a certain height meaning we can’t change the fact that it grows very slow so this palm doesn’t require much of a repotting thing but you can do it after every 3-4 years. Repotting is important in other plants , it doesn’t require it is kind of a strong palm tree.

Fertilizer

There are 2 types of fertilizer and either use the liquid based or soil based but the simplest and easiest way to give fertilizer to the palm tree is using liquid fertilizer. You can give it on April – July, august – October, it should be given every month.

You can even skip a month as this palm still grows slow but yes the nutrient helps it fulfill the foliage and trunk requirement.

Buy Sago Palm FertilizerCHECK PRICE IN AMAZON

Water

This palm loves moist soil but they don’t want soggy soil so make extra note not to give them high water, only give if the top portion of soil is dried. The issue with water is it can directly impact a plant’s root that is the heart of any plant. In waters watering can be very much limited.

Soil 

You need to give it well drained soil which means it should have those 4 things which includes nutrients, capable of moisture retaining, aeration and excellent drainage.

Potting Mix:

  • Use perlite(15%)
  • peat moss (15%)
  • vermiculite (20%)
  • Coarse Sand , Mix this well
  • and now it’s ready for palm trees.

Here is link you can easily buy from here.

Sago Palm Live Tree( FROM AMAZON)

Sago Palm Live plant( FROM ETSY)

SAGO PALM SEEDS

SAGO PALM PUPS


How to Propagate Sago Palm (Cycas revoluta)

First there is no rocket science in its propagation process, sago palm mostly has success of propagation and anyone can do that. Many have confused people on propagation methods without clearly explaining what is offsets or baby palms or pups.

So let me tell you these are the small round shaped baby palm , they grow near the base and you will notice there is not one growing but many ferns growing out of a base , that is denoted here the baby pups or plants. These we need to remove it from its parent plant. I also am attaching a video just below the steps so you can get an idea of what is offsets or baby palm or pups.

Here is the step by step on how to propagate sago palm :

1 . Use Shovel or Sharp tool to take out the baby pups or offset.

If you grow sago palm outside then you may need a shovel to tug(pull) the pups. Indoor in the container it was easy as the plant was small in size and the pups can be taken out using hands. Most of the time these pups have grown a leaf so don’t remove the leaves and just take out the pups with the leaves. It is good if the leaves have grown 3-5 inch from baby palm it will maintain itself on the new pot easily.

2 . Clean the offset with water.

Now time to clean the pups or offset but this step is actually optional , remember what i said this plant can grow easily so even if you put the offset in a soil now it will grow.

3 . If the Offset doesn’t have roots.

Sago palm can grow with or without roots on its offset, it will develop root. The only benefit of roots is it can grow much faster than without roots. As you know root is the key thing on plants when they grow , then it’s the sign of a plant that starts developing leaves and other things.

4 . Prepare well drained soil.

Read just above this portion of article on how much quantity I used for soil to make well drained soil for palm type plants.

5 . Put the baby palm or offset in potting soil.

With my experience I have seen if you put those offset or pups just 80% covered with soil and 20% is shown, they have grown much quite well. Even if you can put full cover on the soil, they still grow. To test these 2 methods you can take out 2 offset and grow them separately.

6 . Watering only when needed.

Light watering can be appreciated here because when they are in developing roots they want the water in only the pup and no excess water should be given. Once you see the roots starting to appear , now give them water deeply.

7 .  After Some development of Baby Palm.

Now repot it in a new larger pot or if you are growing it in the ground then No need. Make sure to Purchase a good pot with proper holes in it and it should be bigger in size than the root itself. Fertilizer is needed after some months so don’t forget to give them.

Instruction for Sago Palm Care (Cycas revoluta)

Sago plant care is simple and not too much complicated , what you need to do is to make sure they don’t get too much moisture. Also they don’t like to sit in water so avoid over watering because it can lead to root rot that you don’t want to see. Soil palm generally grows well in bright sunlight and its foliage is also green there.

These palms dislike bad soil so always put in well drained soil as this safe the roots from rooting and it makes the water dry perfectly. As you know they are slow growing means it will take at least 14-15 years of time to actually show blooms when the owner grows in containers.

Many people ask when these sago palms bloom every 3-4 year and the time it blooms is in the middle or end of the spring season. The fertilizer requirement is must in palm trees as this can give boost to its growth and also protect them from diseases & make it healthy.

One issue about this palm gets is yellowing of its leaves that could be because of nutrients that can not properly found in soil so you need to feed them good 6-1-8 fertilizer.The fertilizer I am using right now is Sunniland palm fertilizer –  Here is the link.

That is specially made for palm trees and can give all the nutrients it needs.Another problem is about pest name scale bugs that suck the ferns and trunks , which basically infects the plant growth.

New plant can have yellow leaves if soil is not well drained and one other reason would be the leaves are getting old and new leaves eventually take their place.

How to Prune Sago Palm (Cycas revoluta)

Pruning and finding what to prune in sago palm is easy and anyone can do that just need to instructions. You need to check for base when trimming ferns(fronds or leaves branch ) so i have given a video just below of this to give you an idea on full method pruning.

Here are the steps to follow:

1 . Find Pale , Aging , Yellow Tipped foliage.



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You need to find those leaves which are already pale and have appeared as disease one. Many leaves can be seen aging and some yellow because of nutrients deficiency, removing all of them from sago palm.

2 . Use of sharp cutting tools.

You can use a good sharp cutting tool as those who are growing it outdoors in the ground can have a tough time cutting them down. For those who grow sago indoors in a large pot they can easily cut it with normal tools.

3 . Prune the leaves.

Now you need to prune all the ferns and leaves which have either died or are not growing or have diseases that can be removed as they cannot grow again.

4 . Pruning from the base.

If you find sago palm having a lot of ferns then start trimming the leaves from the base and cut the whole frond(leaf branch). Don’t worry new fern will grow back.

5 . Clean the Surface.

Make sure to clean the dropped leaves and soil surface so your planting area of the sago plant looks good.

6 . Water it.

Time for watering but make sure not to give them heavy water when they are still young and in the growing phase.

How to Harvest Sago Palm Seeds [Guide]

You can see the flower like structure opens up in January and it’s time to harvest sago palm seeds. The time for flowering is about 18-20 years and before that you won’t find any seeds. Once you have seeds you can pull out all the seeds. That’s how you harvest sago palm seeds. 

If you purchase these from stores Make sure to check the harvest date and it shouldn’t be more than 1.5 years.

Now let’s find how to grow sago palm from seeds :

1 . Soak the seeds in water.

First you want to soak them in water for at least 3-4 days so that we can easily remove the seed coating.

2 .  Peel of the coating of seeds.

Now you need to remove the coating of seeds and what you need is a bucket of water , if you have lots of sago palm seeds. It is easily removed with the hand and no tools required here. If it is still hard then use a cutter to peel it.

2 . Prepare Potting mixture.

Please refer to the above point where I explained how to make a Well drained potting mix.

3 . Sow the Seeds.

Lay the seeds in Soil and make sure Not to deeply sow it. Seeds should be seen easily so that we can see if its roots start developing or not.

4 . Watering & germinating time of seeds.

Water it lightly and it will start developing roots in 90-250 days so keep patience, germination process is long as sago palm is a slow growing tree. 

Please refer below video to check on how to sow the seeds:


Most Search Questions

Sago Palm Prices (APPROX.)

Name Price Range
Palm Seeds $5 to 15$
Palm live plant (bonsai) $10 – $35
Palm Pups $5 to $22

All prices are vary according to the store the palm is selling. You may find low price in online and high in nurseries so it really depends as their are many who self grow these so they sell it low price but it always depends on the stores. Prices are approx. and can go up and down.

Where to Buy Sago Palm?

Here is link you can easily buy from here.

Sago Palm Live Tree( FROM AMAZON)

Sago Palm Live plant( FROM ETSY)

SAGO PALM SEEDS

SAGO PALM PUPS


Sago Palm Toxicity






Before buying this Palm you need to know whether it is Toxic, many people even asking is sago palm poisonous to cats or dogs , humans, which part and how much is it poisonous, These are some major questions people are asking.

Now to answer this, I will be using documents from UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOI, University of Florida , Texas AgriLife Extension Service – All are educational authority websites to make sure every user on my website gets authentic information.

Is sago palm poisonous to cats?

According to the University of Florida , These palms have neurotoxin that is harmful for both humans and animals like cats and dogs, if ingested. Its toxicity is powerful and can paralyze the body and even cause death.

How much sago palm is toxic to dogs?

The seeds of this palm is highly toxic and it has neurotoxic amino acid which can paralyze a body part of an animal like cattle according to Texas AgriLife Extension Service, so it must be poisonous to dogs and every other animal.

Is sago palm poisonous?

According to UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOI , it is toxic if anyone who ingested it in large quantities. Some symptoms are like diarrhea, dizziness , vomiting, and convulsions. Seeds are most poisonous among all other parts.

Sago Palm Fruit

As this plant doesn’t have any fruit and flower , when it comes to flower it has a structure like flower which cover & protects the seeds from outside things like moisture , pests , diseases. Female sago palm produces seeds while male have pollen in them.

When to Trim Sago Palm

It is easy to tell as when you see lots of ferns/fronds/ leaves on your sago palm , then its the time for sago palm to trim. Trimming can be difficult if it was grown outdoors as the base of the fern is develop hard compared to indoors.

Sago Palm turning Yellow

The issue in sago palm appears when it has deficiency in the major 3 nutrients. I will explain all 3 of them and also there is one more reason and that is normal , sago palm turning yellow means it is now old and the new green leaves are going to take their place.

The other 3 reasons are magnesium , potassium  or nitrogen deficiency. If your plant leaves are green from the center then it is the magnesium deficiency that is causing the problem.If your plant fern or fronds are turning yellow from middle and they are also old then it could be because of potassium deficiency. Lastly if you see older leaves of sago palm becoming yellow , then it must be nitrogen deficiency.

So you better prune it as those leaves or fronds that are turned into yellow cannot be recovered and revived. Pruning is the solution for your sago palm to recover from bad leaves. To get rid of deficiency of those 3 components you can use fertilizer which has 2-3 times of those 3 nutrients. It can solve your problem easily and you can enjoy your sago palm. 

Sago Palm Cycad Scale Treatment

According to the University of Florida, First you need to wash the plant and clean its leaves and fronds . After that use a specific oil generally used in scale treatment and there are now many options for this oil including SunSpray Oil, Horticultural Oil, Ultra-fine oil, or Organocide oil. This can be apply in sago palm for full month in every 6 days until the bug is removed.

I suggest using Horticultural oil made for insecticide and pesticide. Also Trimming some leaves can get rid of some Aulacaspis yasumatsui scale or crawlers. What these bugs do is infect everything in the palm tree like leaves, seeds, roots and cones , ferns. If you ever find leaves getting white power or bleached spots then it can be a sign.

Why is My Sago Palm turning Brown

According to University of Florida, This issue happens when this palm tree doesn’t get enough magnesium and what happens is these trees they first show yellow splotches and then fully turn yellow. After that Sago palm turned brown because of the lack of magnesium present in the soil. The macronutrients are important for palm trees and it encourages healthy growth in most plants.

It has been seen in Florida , generally the soil there is naturally low in manganese so any plant growing with that soil has low manganese. But don’t worry it can be solved with manganese sulfate that can be easily purchased from stores or garden centers or from independent nurseries. Here is the link to buy it online. 

One ounce if your plant is small & also used sandy soils. With Large sago palm you need 4-5 pounds and you need to spread to all over the soil & maximum at the rootball. Then last step is to water them fully.

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