The Q&A Archives: growing a sago palm in the south

Question: I love the look of the sago palms in landscaping, and I have purchased
several that I would like to plant in my front yard. The space that I would like to plant gets full sun. Not sure how to take care of or plant them in my zone 7b. Thank you

Answer: Full sunshine is a great place to plant your sago palm (officially called Cycads). they are extremely slow growing and they like good drainage. In general, a nice sandy or loamy soil is ideal. A sticky, continually wet soil would be undesirable. Cycads major enemy is rot, and rot is promoted by continually wet, poorly draining soil. If you know you have poor drainage, you must do something about it or your plants will be at risk. Elevated planter areas, downward penetration of the planting hole through the impervious layer, or lateral diversion canals can provide solutions. Or, perhaps amending the soil with coarse sand or decomposed granite might work. Make sure sprinklers are not going off too often and do not continual wet the crown of the plant. Frequent overhead watering into the crown of the cycad can lead to rot and fungal problems. Soil irrigation or bubblers are often a better choice. Aside from full sunshine, regular watering and adequate soil drainage, your sago palm won't need much care at all. Enjoy!

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