How to Germinate Sago Palm Tree Seeds


You can add an element of the tropics to your backyard with a sago palm tree (Cycas revoluta). Clemson University ranks the sago as one of the most popular palm trees grown by homeowners. The plant reaches a height of up to 10 feet and is commonly used as an accent piece along driveways or garden borders. Though you can buy a started sago palm from a nursery, it's cheaper to harvest and germinate a sago palm tree seed from an existing palm.

Step 1

Harvest several sago palm tree seeds. Seeds are ready for harvesting when they're orange or red and about an inch in diameter. This typically occurs during the month of March, according to the University of Florida.

Step 2

Drop the seeds into any size container filled with water. Observe the seeds. Discard any seed that floats. Such seeds are not viable.

Step 3

Select one of the seeds that sank. Use your fingers and pull off the husk that envelops the seed. A knife can be used to help loosen the husk, but avoid scratching the seed inside.

Step 4

Fill a gallon-sized pot with potting soil. Bury the seed an inch deep into the soil. Orient it horizontally so the seed's pointed end points in a line that's level with the soil surface.

Step 5

Water the potting soil twice a day or as needed to keep it moist. The seed will germinate in one to three months.

Tips and Warnings

  • Wear gloves when handling the sago palm tree seeds. They contain sap that can irritate your skin.

Things You'll Need

  • Sago palm tree seeds
  • Container
  • Water
  • Pot
  • Potting soil
  • Gloves


  • "All About Palms"; Paul Craft; 2008
  • University of Florida: Palms
  • Clemson University: Palms and Cycads
  • Texas A&M University: Cold Hardy Palms
Keywords: germinate sago seed, grow sago palms, saga palm seeds

About this Author

Josh Duvauchelle is an editor and journalist with more than 10 years' experience. His work has appeared in various magazines, including "Honolulu Magazine," which has more paid subscribers than any other magazine in Hawaii. He graduated with honors from Trinity Western University, holding a Bachelor of Arts in professional communications, and earned a certificate in applied leadership and public affairs from the Laurentian Leadership Centre.