Mayan Garden Club Tip of the Month
The Sago is not really a true palm tree but a Cycad, these plants were around with the dinosaurs common during the Jurassic period. They are a seed plants with a crown of large compound leaves and a stout trunk. The mature plant can eventually grow to 10 feet though they are slow growing.
The Sago can grow in full sun but so better in partial shade which allows the leaves to grow larger making a more dramatic plant. The soil must be well drained or the root can rot. Sand and compost work well. They can be damaged below 30 degrees F. so here in the Yucatan, they are fine outside in the garden. Fertilize once a month when it is actively growing in the spring and when first planting it.
Water the plant when the soil begins to dry out and about every five to seven days if there is no rainfall. Once the plant is well established, it requires no additional watering than rain.
Pruning is usually not necessary unless you do it for a certain shape. Old leaves or cones usually break off as soon as new appear and need no cutting.
You will see Sago Palms used also in pots at entrances and in hotels and for landscape focuses. They can be planted in pots indoors but here it is not necessary as we never have the cool temperatures that could damage it.