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How to Take Care of Sago Palm (Cycas revoluta)

Cycas revoluta, or better known as or Sago Palm is one of the many varieties of palm tree that exist, it is an indoor specimen that can also be placed outdoors and can reach up to 6.5 ft (2 m) in length. It has stiff, bright green leaves that are formed as if they were bouquets. In a pot, it can be between 20″ (50 cm) and 6.5 ft (2 m) high, depending on the environmental conditions and also on the care that you offer it. Learn all about how to take care of sago palm in this article.

In addition, its flowers are small and cone-shaped and its style is very similar to that of any palm tree.

symmetry sago palm

Is Sago Palm Poisonous?

You should know that it is poisonous. All parts, but especially the seeds, contain a toxin called cycasin, which irritates the digestive tract, and in high doses causes liver failure.

How to Care for a Sago Palm

Sago Palm is a plant that, if given minimal care, will be beautiful. So, let’s see what they are:

How to Plant Sago Palm

This variety feels better in warm climates although it can withstand temperatures as low as 12.2°F (-11ºC) and also frost if you grow it in the ground. As for the temperature limit, 107.6°F (42ºC) is the maximum recommended, since it will not be able to withstand much after that.

Soil for Sago Palm

It is advisable to use forest soil, especially if it is mixed with organic residues. It needs well-drained soil.

Watering Sago Palm

Water every 5 days during growth.

If it is planted directly outdoors and receives direct sun, water more often.

Stagnant water is very detrimental to the cyca. It needs good drainage.

sago palm care flower

Fertilizer for Sago Palm

Usually applied in spring or late summer.

Feed it only when it unfolds a new tuft of leaves.

In summer add a fertilizer rich in potassium and trace elements.

It is preferable to apply too little fertilizer rather than too much. Learn more about sago palm fertilizer.

cycas revoluta leaves

Cycas revoluta Propagation

  • By tillers:

The tillers can be harvested in early spring.

It consists of cutting the tillers that come from the base of the mother plant.

Cut as cleanly as possible with a very sharp knife and without a saw.

It is advisable to wash the wounds and apply sulfur powder or a fungicide.

Leave the young shoots in a cool, dry place for 1-3 weeks until the cut heals.

The cut area can be impregnated with rooting powder and then planted.

Seedlings can be planted in well-drained sterile soil once it has rooted it is transplanted into a pot with a suitable substrate for cycads.

  • By seeds:

They are dioecious plants, having male flowers and female flowers on separate feet.

Soak the seeds for a couple of days.

Fill a pot with perlite and water well.

Push the seeds on the surface so that they are buried just halfway into the pot.

Do not allow the perlite to dry out.

Leave the pot in a warm place, as a high temperature in the substrate stimulates germination.

Perlite dries out very quickly, so you can use two parts perlite and one part vermiculite.

The germination time lasts several months; afterwards, they will need more time to grow, they are very slow-growing plants.

Sago Palm Care Yellow Leaves

The pruning of the Sago Palm should only consist of cutting the yellow or dry leaves, every time it is necessary. There is a very common practice which is to cut all the leaves to try to make them grow faster, but I discourage it. Let’s remember that plants perform photosynthesis mainly in their leaves. If we remove them, of course, it will grow another crown quickly, but it will do it by a pure instinct of survival.

Also, if this pruning is done in spring or summer, and/or with tools that have not been disinfected, we can weaken it a lot because several potential enemies will not hesitate to harm it. For example, the red palm weevil can kill the sago palm, and this is an insect that is very attracted by the smell of the sap that is exposed as soon as it is pruned.

Pests and Diseases

  • Cochineal and fungus attacks are frequent due to excessive irrigation.
  • Leaf with brown tips: lack of ventilation. Inadequate location.
  • Loss of color in the leaves, tendency to dry out: poorly lit place, cold or excess humidity. Correct environmental conditions.
  • Yellowing of old leaves, the lower ones, may be due to excess water or fertilizer.
  • The new leaves or upper part (the last whorls emitted) turn yellow due to excess fertilizer or poor soil.
  • If it comes from a nursery with screened light and is placed in full sun, it is damaged.
  • The combination of heat, sun, and an insecticide can burn the leaves.
  • Yellow spots and dry tips may be due to potassium deficiency. Apply a fertilizer with a high percentage of potassium (K).

Where to Buy Sago Palms?

You can buy your Sago Palm at Walmart or at an online store. Here are some pictures of our Walmart nearby.

sago palm walmart
cycas revoluta

Why are the Leaves on my Sago Palm Turning Yellow?

Yellowing leaves on a Sago Palm (Cycas revoluta) can be a sign of various issues. Here are some common reasons why the leaves on your Sago Palm might be turning yellow:

  • Overwatering
  • Underwatering
  • Nutrient Deficiency
  • Poor Soil Quality
  • Pests or Diseases
  • Environmental Stress
  • Age of Leaves

To learn more about the issues causing yellowing leaves in the Sago Palm and how to address them, please read our article Sago Palm turning yellow.

About Henry Morgan

Henry Morgan is an agronomist horticulture founder of The Garden Style Company and The Garden Style Website. He previously worked for Mondelēz International as an Agronomist Engineer specializing in agricultural products management in highly populated areas. In 2000, Henry started working with farmer-producers in agricultural businesses selling wholesale fresh produce and retail plants in Van Buren, Arkansas. Nowadays, Henry lives in California, where he offers expert consulting services for organic vegetable gardening. As a science writer working with his wife, Julia, Henry shares his passion for gardening and farming, trying to reach and teach as many folks as possible.

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