The Q&A Archives: Sago Palm

Question: We have three large mature sago palms. We live in the Jacksonville, FL area. Our Sago Palms are covered with scales. What can we do to clear up the scales and have healthy plants. If we must replace them what would be a good replacement. These Sago Palms are grouped together. They are placed in the front center of our lawn, and make a beautiful curb side appearance.

Answer: All around Florida and now other states as well, sago palms are turning completely white and dying. The culprit is an accidentally introduced (1994) cycad scale insect. There have been various (changing) recommendations on what to do from authorities such as the University of Florida. Previously, various typically used (on scale insects) chemical insecticides have been recommended with various combinations and application frequencies. The latest recommendation is to spray a highly refined horticultural oil spray. The recommendation is to spray at 10-day intervals and spray at least four times

Doing so you will find the scale does not fall off your sago. Your sago will remain white with the bodies of the scale insects. The suggestion, therefore, is to use a power spray of water 7-10 days after the 4th (last) oil spraying to help wash away the scale bodies. Hope this works for you!

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