The Q&A Archives: Sago Palm growth

Question: I have a 10 year old healthy Sgo Palm that sent up a growth this year that I've never seen before. It was about 18

Answer: SO ... you've had a pretty nice Sago Palm in your yard for years, and suddenly, one spring, it has a very weird "thing" growing in the middle of it! What's happening? It's Mother Nature's way of producing more of these beauties, however, Sagos are like people... reproduction takes two - a male and a female.

In late spring, a mature male Sago produces a golden cone, shaped like a giant pine cone which may grow over 2' tall. A female produces a huge golden flower which slowly opens when it is fertile, then closes, and begins to produce viable seed if pollination from a male sago was successful.

Mature sago palms usually only flower every second or third year. In their native habit, Cycads are pollinated by wind or insects, however, in cultivation, they usually must be hand-pollinated for viable seed production. You can simply snap (or saw) the male cone from the center of the plant, or wait for it to fall off on its own.

Best wishes with your King Sago Palm!

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