TAKING CARE OF SAGO PALMS - Knowledgebase Question

Avatar for msmungin51
Question by msmungin51
June 15, 2007

Answer from NGA
June 15, 2007
The natural course of life for leaves on plants, including palms and cycads, is first green, then turning yellow, and finally brown and dry.

The yellow stage is where the frond is losing its chlorophyll as it is being re-absorbed into the plant. The final brown stage is the completion of the nutrients re-absorption process.

So... if you cut off sago fronds too soon, you are actually depriving your sago palm of its natural technique to conserve nutrients. Best is to wait until a frond is totally brown and shriveled up small.

The exception to not being worried about yellow or brown fronds on your sago palm is if they are occurring in the center "new growth" area.

If new fronds soon turn yellow and head for brown, you have a nutrition problem. You are not feeding properly. Sometimes a sago may take a year or two or more to develop the "quick yellowing" symptom. Don't let that fool you. Food is the answer.

Bugs may also be the problem, but not nearly as likely as improper feeding. Poor drainage may also be the problem, but not if your sago palm is well established in its location. Newly planted in your soil or a pot, poor drainage is a suspicion. A final suspicion for a newly planted sago is that you planted it too deep.

The fertilizer recommendation for palms is to use 8-4-12. Palm fertilizer should automatically include 3-4% of both magnesium and manganese. Apply in amounts as listed on the fertilizer package.

Good luck with your sago!

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