All Things Gardening forum: Cycas Revoluta, sago palm - Really Sick!

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Apr 8, 2016 12:53 PM CST
I have a Cycas Revoluta (sago palm) house plant, and it is looking really sick. Before I do anything drastic, I want an experienced opinion. Here are the basic facts:

1) Purchased sometime around January 2015 and potted exactly as shown in the pictures.
2) My sago palm lived on a wall shelf, and did not get any direct sunlight, but was healthy and happy
3) Moved in November 2015. My sago palm was situated in a similar spot as before, on a wall shelf without direct sunlight. It seemed happy and did not show any signs of weakening.
4) From the original date purchased in January 2015, up until about late February 2016 (around the one year mark), my sago palm looked healthy and maintained the same health level before declining. I did not witness any leaves turn yellow or brown in this time frame.
5) I do remember over watering my sago palm before it started declining. I did put water on the root of the plant, which I had never done before. For whatever reason I thought this was a good idea...
6) Its yellowing decline was fairly quick, and probably occurred over about 1-2 weeks of time
7) The bulb still feels solid and firm, so I don't believe it is rotted
8) Should I cut back all of the leaves to the root of the plant? Should I leave them and try fertilizing?

I also realize I should re-pot my sago palm in something that has better drainage. I want an expert's opinion first before I do anything, to see if my sago palm can be revived!

Thanks in advance for any posts/help!

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Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
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Apr 9, 2016 1:25 PM CST
Hello twallace just going to tell you what I know of based on what I have experienced with my cycad. If it were my plant, I will remove it from its current media now and allow it to dry out some more. Got to change the media into a coarser, grittier mix. No fertilizer at this time, got to encourage the plant to try and regrow new roots and new leaves. You got to consider the temperature around, cooler temps much less watering. It has such high drought tolerance, so it ably survives long dry conditions.

I do not know where you are located, so if your conditions outdoors improve like temps are warm enough like overnights going stable 50F and higher, I would carefully position it in part sun. In the meantime if conditions are not yet good, put it in a warm and sunny area indoors. But really need to change the media. I would think the timing of your watering may have hastened the decline of the plant, but I will not give up on that, it just takes time, they are really rather slow growers.

I will not cut off the leaves yet, just got to wait for new ones to form again from the center. In my area it happens when temps are really getting very warm to hot, around June and July.

I made a similar mistake before, planting it too deep and using a self watering container, so there is too much water below. It also made the leaves yellow, but I repotted it and corrected the media and made it well draining. It recovered, but just got to be very, very patient. It really likes to be in a very warm temperature range and fast draining soil.

The depth of your bulb planting is okay, just got to correct the media and allow it to recover some more from the overwatering and provide warmer temps.
[Last edited by tarev - Apr 9, 2016 1:46 PM (+)]
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