The Q&A Archives: Sago Palm

Question: My sago palm was in a bonsai bowl and was dying so I took it out and put it in a pot. It is still dying. How do you care for it? I can't find info on it. I have it in the house for the winter. Sometimes it gets little brown bubble pests on it. What are they? I'm sure it's because it is in bad shape.

Answer: Sago Palms are slow growing plants and do best in moderate to bright light. They prefer ample humidity and an evenly moist yet not soggy soil. They can suffer from a variety of nutrient deficiencies so it is a good idea to fertilize them regularly according to the label instructions with a houseplant fertilizer containing micronutrients. Sago palms are very susceptible to hemispherical scale which could well be the bumps you are seeing. Although somewhat difficult to control, it can be treated in its soft stage with insecticidal soap. Usually two very thorough applications are needed 10 days apart. For a more definite diagnosis and suggested remedies you might want to consult with your local County Extension (452-1423).

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