Sago Palm

A Beginner's Guide to Sago Palm Care | All you Need to Grow!

Family: Asparagaceae
Common Name:  Sago Palm
Botanical Name:  Cycas revoluta

Be honest -- you love houseplants, but you can be a bit neglectful. If you want a plant that can thrive despite your busy schedule, then the Sago Palm is perfect for a potted plant. The pop of green, palm-like leaves (surprise -- this is not an actual palm tree!) grow atop a flask-shaped base that retains water on the Sago Palm. Be cautious. It has s pointed foliage, so be sure to handle it with care! Let it bask in indirect sunlight, and it will remain happy while you are out somewhere, remembering that you should have watered them from time to time. There is no need to re-pot these indoor plants right away. Allow the roots to start forcing their way out of the container, and then in the spring, replant them into a pot that is one or two sizes larger in diameter than the root ball.

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Light

Sago Palms thrive in bright indirect light for at least five hours a day. Without this sunlight, their health will decline, as the leaves turn yellow and drop. It’s an excellent habit to rotate your plant every week to help promote a well-proportioned, full figure. These plants are grown in the shade in the greenhouse, and they should never be placed in full sun unless they are appropriately acclimated over a few weeks!

Water

The large base of the Sago Palm will store lots of water, so always err on the side of dryness. You will only need to water these plants approximately once a month, but the ideal watering frequency is determined by pot size (the smaller the pot, the greater the frequency), soil type, and amount of light and warmth they receive. If you use potting soil that retains water, allow the soil to dry out between watering thoroughly. If you are using potting soil with significant drainage, then keep an eye on the soil -- The Sago Palms can suffer if left without water for extensive periods. If these houseplants are in bright indirect light and the temperatures are high, they will need more water than if placed in a cooler, darker spot.

Soil

The best soil mixture for Sago Palms has lots of materials that promote good drainage. You will still need a fair amount of coco coir or peat moss as those fibers absorb the water making it available for the roots to access. Combine 40% coco coir, 40% wood chips or pumice, and 20% compost when transplanting your Sago Palm.

Temperature

The ideal temperature for these plants is 65-85℉, but they can survive in temperatures as low as 40℉. 

Humidity

Sago Palms will do well in average household humidity. Still, if you find the tips of the leaves are rapidly turning brown, you should consider increasing the humidity through the use of a humidifier.

Fertilizer

Fertilizing a Sago Palm is not 100% necessary, but it will benefit from you top dressing it with worm castings early in the growing season. Be careful not to add too much; work the compost into the top inch of the soil.

Growth Rate

Don’t hold your breath as Sago Pals take their time to grow! They might grow a few inches a year, but when they mature, their leaves get huge, and with each new ring of foliage, the plant will get broader and taller!

Pet Friend or Foe

Sago Palms are toxic to pets and humans. Foe!


Pro Tips

  1. Instead of manually cutting off old leaves, let them become dry and pull them out by hand.
  2. Plant three plants in one pot for a fountain-like effect.
  3. Re-pot only when you see the roots coming out of the top or bottom of the pot. The Ponytail Palm likes to be root bound.
  4. Sago Palms are highly toxic to pets and humans, so keep them out of their reach!
  5. Sago palms can be male or female but rarely produce flowers indoors.
  6. Wear gloves when handling this plant, as the leaves are incredibly sharp at the tips!
Mature Sago Palm

 

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