Tips for Care - Sago Palm (Cycas Revoluta)
Sago palm is not a palm but belongs to the Cycas family, one of the only species in the family which can be grown indoors. The feather-like fronds make it look like a palm or even like a fern tree. It requires a little bit of care to maintain, especially when young. The plant needs bright light, slightly above average humidity, and it will do well. One must avoid excessive watering.
Potting – A well-drained, aerated soil mix is best for the plant. The right potting mix can be 1 part peat, 1 part pine bark, and 1 part coarse sand.
Watering Requirement – Water only when the topsoil begins to dry out. Using well-drained soil is essential and only moistening the soil is enough. During summers giving water once every 2-3 days and once every seven days in winters is enough. Young plants need more water, while established plants hardly need watering. Also, since the plant loves humidity, misting the leaves during summers helps.
Light Requirement – Partly shaded area is best for sago palms. They need bright light but no direct sun. Under the full sun, the plants will wilt out, hence not a good idea to keep them outdoors. They can also be grown indoors.
Propagation – One can sow the seeds in a shallow container with a soil mix with lots of sand and keeping temperatures around 24 – 30 degrees Celsius. This method takes an excessive amount of time. A better and faster way is to plant the offshoots; under the right setting and suitable conditions, the plant produces offshoots, planted to grow new sago palms.
Fertilization – It is a slow-growing plant, hence needs little fertilization. Using an NPK fertilizer once a month from April – October will help.
General Tips – These are slow-growing and long-lasting palms. Pruning is required when the plant develops yellow leaves. One may want to remove the cones as else the plant begins to break apart. They are easy to care for plants, but excessive watering, too much sun, and extreme temperatures are not suitable for the plant. They hardly develop any pests or diseases.
Maximum reachable height: Up to 2 feet indoors and up to 8-10 feet outdoors, but will reach this height when quite old (at 100 years of age).
Common name(s): Cycas Revoluta (also called king sago palm), Cycas rumphii (also called queen sago palm), and Cycas Circinalis, Metroxylon Sagu.