TX Organic Research Center



Sago Palm


Cycas revoluta              (SIGH-cus  re-vo-LOO-ta)               

Evergreen   Full sun to light shade          Height 10+      Spacing usually used singly

HABIT:            A primitive, rugged trunk, planted with feather-looking leaves and the appearance of a palm.  It is related to conifers and ginkgo trees.  Trunks are typically 1 2 in diameter and can branch.  Stems (petioles) have small protective barbs. Slow growing.

CULTURE:      Grow in bed or deep pots with quality potting soil.  Need both male and female plants to produce seed.  Slow growing.  Plants can be started by seed or pups.  Feed with mild application of organic fertilizer 2 3 times per season.

USE:                Evergreen dramatic specimen for beds or containers and can make good bonsai plants.

PROBLEMS:   Freeze damage in extremely harsh winters.

NOTES:           Cycads have changed little during the last 200 million years.  Native to Japan.  Seeds are poisonous to dogs so Im told.

Q: Until the recent deep freeze, my huge 8-year-old in-ground sago palm had never lost a frond. Despite my best efforts to cover it, water it, and keep it warm, it still got frostbitten on several upper fronds. What's the best way to help the plant bounce back? Thanks very much. J.C., Lewisville
Jan 2010

A:  Way too far north for them to be outside. Cut the dead fronds off, drench the soil with Garrett Juice and  Bio S.I. PER label directions or a homemade aerated compost tea and cover the plants with floating row cover if more cold weather comes this way. For long term success with sago palms, move to Houston.

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