How to Plant Sago Palms From Seeds


Sago palms are among the oldest plant species living today. According to Jungle Music Palms and Cycads, it is said they thrived alongside the dinosaurs. Sago palms are hardy plants that are popular in domestic and professional landscaping. They are able to withstand scorching summer temperatures and are a gendered plant species. Once pollinated, sago palms produce seeds the size of walnuts that are easily pulled off the plant when ready. Seeds have a high germination rate and take about 3 months to sprout.

Step 1

Place seeds in water to test viability. Discard any seeds that float as they are not mature and will not sprout.

Step 2

Soak seeds in a bucket of water for 2 to 3 days and change the water at least once a day.

Step 3

Peel off the orange skin of each seed. After soaking, the skin should easily pull off, but be sure to use gloves or your hands may turn orange.

Step 4

Fill a container with 50 percent perlite and 50 percent peat moss. Soil should be between 5 and 6 inches deep and thoroughly mixed together

Step 5

Lay each seed horizontally with the top, flat side facing up. Push seeds 2/3 of the way into the soil and leave 1/3 of the top exposed. If planting multiple seeds, space each 1 inch apart.

Step 6

Fully soak the seeds by gently pouring water over the dirt until it runs out of the bottom. Water again when the top 1 to 2 inches of soil is dry.

Step 7

Find a shady, protected area to leave your seedlings. The first leaves to emerge are tender and may burn in direct sunlight.

Step 8

Once sprouted, transfer seedlings to individual pots only slightly bigger than the root system. Sago palms like to stay root bound in their first 8 months of growth and should be transferred to containers with a gradual increase in size.

Tips and Warnings

  • When harvesting sago seeds from adult plants, be sure to wear protective gear as the sharp edges of leaves can cut bare skin. Never digested any part of the sago palm plant as it is poisonous to both humans and pets.

Things You'll Need

  • Shallow container
  • Peat moss
  • Perlite
  • Water
  • Seeds


  • Rhapis Gardens: Sago Palms
  • Texas Riviera: Sago Palm
  • Jungle Music Nursery: The Sago Palm
Keywords: sago palm, cycad plants, sago palm seed

About this Author

Kelsey Erin Shipman has worked as a travel writer, poet, journalist and award-winning photographer since 2004. Her work has appeared in various newspapers, magazines and journals. Shipman has also authored three collections of poetry: "Cold Days," "Bastante" and "Short Poems." She earned a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from Southwestern University.