Sago or Cycas revoluta are often called as heat tolerant plants as they grow well in extremely hot conditions. The plant is seen in all botanical gardens of both tropic and moderate temperate regions. Due to its significant properties plant can even survive in frost or cool climatic conditions. They just need little water to provide sufficient nutrients to the plants.
Sago palm is a species of Cycadaceae native to Japan. It is a symmetrical plant that has a shiny crown with dark green leaves on a thick shaggy trunk about 20 centimeters in diameter. Roots are called coralloid that contains tannins rich cells that allow nitrogen fixation that is found on either side of the layers. The plant grows to a height of 15 feet tall and may start flowering.
Sago palm varieties:
Sago palm is the common name for several plants that produce a starchy food known as sago. Sago produced from cycads must be detoxified before consumption. Here is the list of popular sago varieties and its growing regions.
|S. No||Variety||Scientific Name||Origin|
|1||True sago palm||Metroxylon sagu||South-east Asia|
|2||King sago palm||Cycas revolute||Japan|
|3||Queen sago palm||Cycas rumphii||South-east Asia|
|4||Queen sago palm||Cycas circinalis||India|
Good companions are necessary for all plants especially when you plant them outdoors. Sago palms love to grow with red yucca and bulbine plants. It helps to improve the plant health, flower blooming time, fruit setting with high yield and also to deter pests and diseases problem.
How to Grow Sago Palm from Seeds?
Sago palm is a beautiful ornamental plant in your home and garden. To grow sago palm from seeds in pots, start from sowing them in pots as they just need little care to maintain.
Pot & Soil: Choose a hybrid seed variety to grow them in pots at your home. You can actually buy the seeds from nursery store or online. Select a pot of size 6-12 inches both wide and depth and also check for soil pH before planting. Fill the pot with moderately acidic soil with pH between 5.5 and 6.5. The spacing between each plant should be 8-12 inches long when you prefer to grow sago plants at outdoors or landscape.
Water & Sunlight: Water the plant moderately when it grows actively. Prefer deep watering to keep the soil moist in summer or dry conditions and sparingly during the winter season. When root develops increase the amount of water and allow it to get sufficient light for of 8 hours a day. The plant can survive in both extreme hot temperatures 110-120F and cool conditions 15-23F. Seeds may germinate within 1-3 months and you can shift it to outdoors after 3 years from planting.
Pruning & Repotting: To prune cycas plants remove completely the dead, damaged or diseased foliage. Fruits and flower stalk can be prune if necessary. It is also done to promote growth and make it more susceptible to pests and diseases.
Re-pot the sago palm plant when the trunk covers (2/3rd) of the soil in a pot. Repotting for sago palm is done for every 2-3 years.
Pests & Diseases
|Honeydew||Fungal leaf spot|
|Spider mites||Downey mildew|
Nutrient Deficiency: Nutrient deficiency in sago plant may result in yellowing of older leaves and may even turn the brown color. If the new growth starts with yellowing of leaves then it could be a sign of nutrient deficiency.
Fertilizers: Fertilizers not only improves the plants’ health but also various other reasons like pests and diseases, nutrient deficiency issues. To overcome pests and diseases problem uses Neem oil or insecticidal soaps to deter pests and for nutrient deficiency use fertilizers such as Epsom salt, eggshells, baking soda, organic compost or manure. You can also prefer magnesium rich fertilizers to thrive young leaves quickly.
How to Propagate Sago Palm Tree from Pups?
You can propagate sago palm tree from seeds which is a lengthy process. You just need to wait until the seed matures. A study also shows that refrigerating the seeds for 60 days at 50 F before planting increases the seed germination process quickly. And takes 3-9 months time to germinate seeds though you prefer well drain soil.
Instead, you can easily grow from sago palm pup which is more convenient and easy method to propagate the sago palm plant. Pups usually found on trunks and remove from the mother plant at right time using a sharp knife or a saw.
If the pulp has roots & leaves then remove them and store the pup in a dark, dry place for a week. During this time prepare the soil by adding perlite and compost or sand. Choose a large pot to place the pup into it and water thoroughly. Now place the pot in a shady or bright location for months to develop leaves and roots. You can also apply a few fertilizers to the pup and when it matures you can transplant it to bigger pots in spring or fall season.
Can you grow sago plant from the flower?
You can regrow the cycas plant from flowers easily. For this cut the male flower to fertilize with the near ones. Store them in plastic bags for few days without any spoilage. Now tilt the male to transfer pollens on a female and do not remove the female immediately after pollination. Leave the sago palm female flower head until it is ripe and harvest the entire flower with the knife or pull the seeds from it. Flowers may bloom when it is 15-20 years old.
How to care for sago plants?
- Sago plants may die if the temperature is below 23 F.
- Fertilize the plants once in every 3 months throughout the year.
- Add mulch at the base of the palm tree to retain the soil moisture levels.
- Make sure the plant receives sunlight for a minimum of 6-8 hours a day.
- Pollination is not necessary as they don’t bloom flowers at any growing season.
- The pot has enough holes at the bottom for air circulation and proper drainage.
- Follow instructions & warning labels on seed covers and fertilizers before using them.
- Keep children and pets (dogs & cats) away from sago plants as they cause severe health problems.
Start growing these heat tolerant cycas plants in pots or outdoors that adds beauty to your garden. If you have amazing ideas about growing sago palms in your home, please share your experience with us.