cycad - Knowledgebase Question

Chicago, Il
Avatar for artifact_guy
Question by artifact_guy
August 28, 2010
I have owned a cycad for 20 years and it is a happy plant insofar as it has been extremely hearty and sends out several new fronds on a regular basis, but it does not grow vertically very much. I think it has grown 6 inches vertically in 20 years and is in an ample pot (not too big or too small) it is the 2nd pot. It is inside for 7 months in west facing light and outside for 5 months full sun.

Answer from NGA
August 28, 2010
Cycads are extremely slow growing and because of this are slow to develop a trunk. I have one that has still not developed a trunk and it's 16 years old so I don't think what you describe with yours is at all unusual, especially because it is growing in a pot where root growth is restricted. As long as it is healthy and is putting out new growth each year, there's not much you can do to increase its size or encourage it to develop a trunk. As you clip off the oldest leaves, the lower part will become bare which is what we define as a trunk. It won't elongate until it develops lots of new topgrowth and you've pruned off hundreds of leaves. That's just the nature of a cycad.

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