Basic Care of a Sago Palm Tree
Sago palm tree, also known by its Latin name, Cycas revoluta, is a perennial tree valued for its ease of care, compact growth habit and ornamental foliage. The tree produces small, cone-shaped flowers that originate in the center of the plant, though they are non-ornamental. Native to subtropical Asia and Africa, the sago palm tree requires consistently warm temperatures to thrive. Because of its sensitivity to the cold, gardeners in the United States typically grow the tree in a container.
Keep your sago palm tree in a location that receives four to six hours of bright sunlight each day. Maintain a constant temperature of 15 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit at all times for optimal growth. Plant in a container filled with moist, well-drained potting soil.
Clean the sago palm tree's foliage once every two to three days to remove dust and prevent pests from colonizing. Soak a clean cloth in lukewarm water, and then gently wipe away all debris from each leaf.
Water the tree thoroughly when the soil has almost dried out completely, about once every 7 to 10 days. Reduce watering frequency to once every two weeks during winter, when temperatures are lower. Soak the soil thoroughly at each application to ensure the plant receives enough moisture.
Feed your sago palm tree twice per year, once during spring and again in late summer, using an all-purpose, slow-release fertilizer. Apply according to the instructions provided on the package for the best results.
Re-pot your sago palm tree during spring or summer once every two to three years to provide additional room for growth and a fresh growing medium. Increase the size of the container by 1 to 2 inches, as the plant prefers to be kept slightly root bound.
The sago palm tree prefers to be kept outdoors during warm weather, as long as the temperature stays within the recommended range.
The sago palm tree can survive brief periods of temperatures below 15 degrees Fahrenheit if necessary, but extended low temperatures may cause permanent damage.
The sago palm tree can survive in low light, but if it is in low light it should only be fertilized at ¼ the normal rate.
All parts of the sago palm tree are toxic, and should never be ingested under any circumstances.
- Rhapis Gardens: Cycas revoluta Care & Culture
- “Nevada Gardener's Guide”; Linn Mills and Dick Post; 2005
- “The Complete Burke's Backyard”; Don Burke; 2005