Being a tricker plant due to its look and features, Sago Palm goes forward along the way to be an irreplaceable houseplant. Having plenty of varieties, This plant’s prototype dates back to the Mesozoic era on earth. Also, it has a few local names such as king sago, comb palm, and sago cycad. Besides, its scientific name is Cycas Revoluta. That palm-like plant is native to the southern regions of Japan, which is why it displays any subtropic plant’s character. For that reason, it can grow under similar conditions with such plants as Broadleaf Lady Palm.
1) General information for Sago Palm Plant
Sago Palm usually features plenty of thin stems with a palmate compound leaf emerging from a brown cone trunk. Although this houseplant seems like a palm, it is not that so. It is a cycad plant producing seeds. As for its flowering, the flower’s gender changes according to the plant’s varieties. If the plant produces red seeds, it means this Sago Palm is a female. But regardless of its gender, the plant blooms once every three years. Also, Sago Palm is a slow-growing plant. For that reason, its length can reach up to 2 ft (60 cm) indoors at most. Besides, it is an evergreen perennial plant just like Arrowhead Plant. It is a toxic plant that is why you should be careful about pets wandering around the plant.
2) How to Care for Sago Palm (Cycas Revoluta) Plant
Sunlight: Sago Palm prefers sheltered locations and semi-shade spots. Because all day long direct sunlight makes leaves’ tips and edges brown. For that reason, such plants should take scattered sunlight. Also, rotating the potted plant weekly prevents single-direction growing.
Watering: This palm-like plant needs weekly watering when the top three inches of soil get dry. Specifically, its soil should be moist but not soggy. Apart from this, due to the plant’s dormancy, it demands sparingly watering in winter.
Humidity: As long as its growing conditions are mimicked, Sago Palm develops rapidly. So there are a few ways of producing the humidity which it needs. Here are wet pebble trays, humidifiers, and water sprays (for misting) respectively.
Temperature: The range 65°F (18°C) – 75°F (24°C) is optimal for this houseplant. But the downwards of 55°F (13°C) temperatures may give harm to this houseplant. Also, sudden weather fluctuations and drafts wreck havoc on this palm-like plant. However, according to the USDA plant hardiness map, Sago Palm grows better in zones 9-10.
Soil Type: About the soil type, this houseplant isn’t picky. But well-draining sandy soils are better. Except this, potting mixes such as perlites, peats, vermiculates, and so forth could also be used for preparing homemade soil.
Fertilizer: Water-soluble fertilizers help such plants develop fast. Particularly, this houseplant needs monthly fertilizing in its growing season. Therefore, the plant should be watered before applying fertilizer. Outside of this, it doesn’t need fertilizer in winter because of the dormancy.
Propagation: There are two ways to propagate Sago Palm. Here are either dividing pups from the mother plant or starting from seeds.
Repotting: This houseplant needs repotting once three years in spring. This way, some problems such as root-bound, getting larger than the existing pot would be solved in advance. So water the plant a day before for the plant’s root sake, Because the transplant shock may occur.
3) Keep in Mind: Common Problems
Yellowing fronds: Generally, it is a serious sign of nutrient deficiency. Specifically, it stems from a lack of magnesium, potassium, and nitrogen.
Pathologic diseases: Sago Palm sometimes can be infected by pathogens like fungi, viruses, and bacteria. Usually, this stems from pollutions and poor conditions.
Bug infestation: Mealybugs, mites, aphids, scales, and so forth can get big trouble to this houseplant. Particularly, poor conditions such as dry soil, lack of humid can lead to this problem.
Suggestions for problems: First of all, to prevent yellowing fronds, add organic matter into the plant’s soil. For example, adding composted manure will work. To prevent pathologic diseases, some chemicals are quite effective. On the other hand, bug infestation is a big problem. To overcome it, neem oils, alcohol-based wipes, and pesticide soaps will be effective.