Plant Care: Sago Palms


Sago palms are considered one of the easiest palms to grow and maintain. They grow well indoors or out, and with some basic steps, can grow to become very large, up to 12 feet in diameter. They can withstand temperatures from 15 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit and grow in full sun or indoor window light. Sago palms will even thrive if neglected.


According to, sago palms are very long-lived and have been known to survive for many years. There is a 220-year-old palm on display at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, England. Make sure to position or plant a sago palm in a location with lots of room. Sago palms thrive best in dappled light, with well-drained soil. The sago palm will tolerate light frost and extreme heat, but it is a good idea to position the palm in a spot protected from both.


Sago palms actively grow from March through September, so feed palms a balanced and gentle fertilizer three times during this period. A balanced fertilizer includes essential nutrients for the plant, including iron, magnesium, nitrogen and potassium. Over-fertilizing can damage the roots, so make sure to use proper amounts as suggested on the fertilizer packaging. Sago palms may tend to have a manganese deficiency, which causes their leaves to shrivel and turn yellow. Spray the leaves with manganese sulfate to solve this common problem.


Although sago palms grow well in almost any conditions, over-watering can be extremely detrimental to the plant. A sago palm should be planted in well-drained, preferably sandy, soil, so that water will not settle in the roots. suggests treating the palms like cactus and only watering when the soil is dry. The amount of sun and the location will help determine how often to water. Palms located in full sun will need water more often as soil dries, potentially once weekly. Palms located in shade or indoors may only need water every few weeks. Over-watering can cause roots to rot, which causes the leaves to yellow.

About this Author

Sarah Lipoff has been writing since 2008. She has been published through BabyZone, Parents, Funderstanding and Lipoff has worked as a K-12 art teacher, museum educator and preschool teacher. She holds a Bachelor of Science in K-12 art education from St. Cloud State University.

Article provided by eHow Home & Garden | Plant Care: Sago Palms