The sago palm is an ornamental evergreen resembling a palm tree. In spite of its appearance, the sago is not a palm and belongs to the cycadaceae family. This is an ancient plant group which was around before the dinosaurs, over 200 million years ago. The sago palm can be deadly, especially to pets who chew on its leaves or pits. Although lethal, edible flour can be made from parts of the plant. Originally from Japan, the sago palm is easy to grow, prefers well-draining soil and tolerates temperatures from 15 to 110 degrees F.
Place the sago palm in full sunlight or partial shade.
Apply water to the soil to irrigate, after allowing the soil to become practically dry. If new leaves are developing on the sago palm plant, don’t allow the soil to completely dry out.
Remove leaves that become brown or yellow to encourage new growth. Use clean gardening shears.
Fertilize the sago palm using a slow-release fertilizer, or blood or bone meal. Follow the instructions on the fertilizer label and don’t begin fertilization until after the plant has been established for at least four months.
Allow the cone that develops in the center of the sago palm plant to break away naturally. Some gardeners remove the cone for aesthetic purpose. While removal won’t harm the plant, the process can cause accidental injury.
Cover the crown of the plant with a frost blanket during severe winter weather.