Cycas Revoluta-5PP | Sago Palm-5PP | Special Pot
Cycas revoluta, is a species of gymnosperm in the family Cycadaceae, native to southern Japan including the Ryukyu Islands. It is one of several species used for the production of sago, as well as an ornamental plant. The sago cycad can be distinguished by a thick coat of fibers on its trunk.
Despite its common name, sago palm (Cycas revoluta) isn’t technically a true palm tree. These fairly low-growing plants with long green fronds are cycads, a group of ancient tropical and subtropical plants that usually grow from a trunk that doesn’t branch out; it produces nuts but doesn’t flower or fruit. Sago palms are native to warm parts of Japan and southern China. In cooler climates, they’re often grown as houseplants. When grown in the garden, plant them in the early spring or late fall. These plants are extremely slow-growing, gaining only a few inches annually, and may only produce one new frond each year. Its feather-like foliage grows out in a symmetrical ring. Generally, they grow larger when planted in the ground versus when they’re in containers. After several years, they may reach 2 to 3 feet. Getting to its maximum of 10 feet can take as long as 50 years. The plant is toxic to humans and pets.
Sago Palm Care
Sago palms appreciate a warm and bright environment, though harsh sunlight can damage the foliage. They also like humidity, supplemented by misting them regularly with clean water from a spray bottle. You also can place the plant container on a tray filled with water and pebbles, as long as the bottom of the pot isn’t touching the water. Sitting water can cause root rot. These plants are sensitive to overwatering and poorly drained soil. So make sure the soil surface dries out in between waterings. Choose a pot with ample drainage holes for container plantings. Many gardeners prefer to use unglazed terra cotta pots because excess soil moisture can evaporate through the porous pot.
Sago palms prefer bright, indirect light. Avoid placing them in direct sunlight. The scorching afternoon sun can wilt and burn the foliage in the summertime, and too much shade can result in sparse leaves and an unhealthy plant. When grown indoors, choose a bright east-, west-, or south-facing window. Indoor plants can be moved outside in warm weather as long as the container is in dappled sunlight.
Sago palms aren’t overly picky about their soil, as long as they have good drainage. A sandy soil that’s somewhat rich in organic matter and slightly acidic to neutral soil pH is ideal. For container plants, a potting mix made for cactus or palms should be suitable.
Sago palms have some drought tolerance, but they prefer a moderate amount of moisture in the soil. Water whenever the soil feels dry to the touch, making sure never to overwater to the point of soggy soil. Slightly reduce watering in the winter when the plant is not actively growing.
Temperature and Humidity
These plants love warm, humid conditions. They can briefly tolerate cold temperatures, but frost can damage the foliage, and temperatures below 23 degrees Fahrenheit will likely kill the plant. When grown indoors, protect your sago palm from drafts and airflow from heating and air-conditioning vents; extreme temperature fluctuations can damage the plant.
Fertilize monthly throughout the growing season (spring to fall) with a liquid fertilizer, using an 18-8-18 ratio (nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium), mixed according to the package directions. You can also use slow-release fertilizer two to three times during the growing season, following package instructions. To calculate how much fertilizer you need, figure you will need about 1 1/2 pounds of sago palm fertilizer for every 100 square feet of ground. If your sago is planted in clay, a less porous medium, you will need half the amount of fertilizer. It’s best to fertilize right before a rain shower, which helps distribute the plant food.
Potting and Repotting Sago Palm
Because they grow slowly, sago palms only need repotting every three years or so. It’s a good idea to gently remove the plant from its pot every spring and replace the loose soil with fresh soil to ensure continued healthy growth. This plant grows best in a soil-based potting mix amended with sand and peat moss. Only repot or transplant new pups inground if they have formed extensive root systems. Newly planted sagos should only be moved during early spring, and mature palms can be transplanted during early spring or late fall. Sago palms do not like wet, soggy soil, so opt for an unglazed ceramic or terra cotta pot. The porous material will help absorb excess moisture from the soil. Also, choose a pot with multiple drainage holes to allow the water to drain easily.
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