The Q&A Archives: Sago Palm Pups

Question: Our mature Sago Palm has a new small sago plant growing next to it. Please give us details on when and how we can remove the new plant without damaging it,or the mature plant. If we can successfully transplant it, please give details as to whether the new plant should be placed in a container, and how we should care for it. Again we want to preserve the new plant and not damage the mature Sago

Answer: Pups are a wonderful source of new plants (the other being seed) and you can harvest them at any time without harming the parent. Many are barely attached to and can be easily popped off, others can be embedded and take a little more effort to remove. You can use a hand trowel for the small ones and a shovel to help cut and dig large pups. After removing, clean the pups in a tub of water and allow to harden off for a week - just set them on newspapers in out of direct sunshine. After allowing them to harden off, plant them in potting soil in a container that is only a few inches larger than the pup itself. Fill the pot with soil and water well. Then set the pup on top and push down until half the bulb is set into the soil. If you plant it too deep with only its "nose" showing, it may rot; if you plant it too shallow, then roots may not have enough surface to develop. Allow the soil to become almost dry before watering again - do not keep it continuously wet or the bulb might rot before it roots. It won't have roots for a few months. Once it starts growing roots it will begin to grow leaves. As soon as you are sure it has rooted, you can plant it out in the garden.

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