The Q&A Archives: Sago Palm brown palms

Question: I recently purchased a Sago palm. However, after being in the backyard exposed to sunlight for >6 h (as required) the tops of the palms are brown. I have watered regularly since the purchase. Seems to me the plant is sunburned?? Is this possible? Have not planted yet in final destination.

Answer: Sunscald is a definite possibility. Sago palms grow best in full sunshine (minimum 6 hours a day) but I suspect your sago was grown in a greenhouse or under a shade cloth at the garden center and is not used to direct sunshine. The plant will adjust and any new fronds will be adapted to the current light intensity. So, plant it where it will get direct sunshine but expect the older fronds to exhibit sunscald. If you plant it in a shadier area it will grow but the fronds will be a paler green and the plant will not be as compact. Best wishes with your sago.

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