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How to Germinate Sago Palm Tree Seeds

grove of sago palms image by Joann Cooper from

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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


Although sago palms are rated as hardy down to USDA zone 9, this is often too cold for them. They will experience cold damage if exposed to temperatures near the 30 degree Fahrenheit mark, according to Texas A&M University.


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

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