Japanese Sago Palm

Japanese Sago Palm (Cycas Revoluta)

 

How to Grow Sago Palms

Sago palms are not difficult to grow and maintain, but they do require some specific growing conditions. They appreciate a warm and bright environment, though harsh sunlight can damage the foliage. They also like humidity, which can be raised for indoor plants by misting them regularly with clean water from a spray bottle. You also can place the plant container on a tray filled with water and pebbles, as long as the bottom of the pot isn’t touching the water.

These plants are sensitive to overwatering and poorly drained soil. So make sure the soil surface dries out in between waterings. And choose a pot with ample drainage holes for container plantings. Many gardeners prefer to use unglazed terra cotta pots because any excess soil moisture can evaporate through the material.

Sago palms prefer bright, indirect light. Avoid placing them in direct sunlight, especially hot afternoon sun in the summertime. This can wilt and burn the foliage. However, too much shade can result in sparse foliage and an overall unhealthy plant. When grown indoors, choose a bright east-, west-, or south-facing window. Indoor plants can be moved outside in warm weather, as long as the container is placed in dappled sunlight.

Soil

Sago palms aren't overly picky about their soil, as long as it has good drainage. A sandy soil that's somewhat rich in organic matter and has a slightly acidic to neutral soil pH is ideal. For container plants, a potting mix made for palms should be suitable.

Sago palms have some drought tolerance, but they prefer a moderate amount of moisture in the soil. Water whenever the soil feels dry to the touch, making sure never to overwater to the point of soggy soil. Slightly reduce watering in the winter when the plant is not actively growing.

Temperature and Humidity

These plants love warm, humid conditions, though they can briefly tolerate cold temperatures. However, frost can damage the foliage, and temperatures below 20 degrees Fahrenheit will likely kill the plant. When grown indoors, protect your sago palm from drafts and airflow from heating and air-conditioning vents, which can cause extreme temperature fluctuations that can be damaging to the plant.