How To Trim Sago Palm Plant

Sago palms shouldn’t ever be pruned too heavily. Only entirely dead, severely harmed, or diseased foliage should be removed. The fruit and flower stalks can be be trimmed, if preferred. Cutting the green fronds can weaken the plant, slow growth, and increase susceptibility to pests and diseases.

Cut the oldest and lowest leaves as near as you can to the trunk. In certain instances, everything but the topmost fronds are cut away, although this would be going too far. Sago palm leaves that are generally between a ten and two o’clock position should also not be cut.

If cut off, will a sago palm grow back?

Sago palm leaf production is stopped when the growth points on the trunk or branch arms are cut off or damaged. Similar to pruning, sawing off a plant’s trunk or branch prevents new growth from emerging from the pruning wound. Dead leaf fronds that are yellow or brown can be removed by pruning them off at the base as close to the trunk as is practical. Healthy green fronds should not be prematurely removed since they photosynthesize light and produce food. Loss of green leaves can reduce the amount of energy stored in the trunks and roots and further limit growth. To tidy up the plant, remove any thorny stem growth from the main trunk that is preventing branching or new leaf development.

  • The sago palm gradually develops a rough, coarse stem or trunk that grows in length and girth by about 1 inch per year.
  • Sago palm leaf production is stopped when the growth points on the trunk or branch arms are cut off or damaged.

Should I remove the sago palm’s brown leaves?

Annual pruning of old Sago palms is required to remove aged, yellow-tipped leaves. In the fall, when the Sago palm isn’t growing new leaves, is the ideal time to prune it back. When the plant is actively growing, it dislikes being disturbed. Wear long sleeves and thick gardening gloves to protect your hands from the fronds’ spines during pruning. The clippers should be used to trim the lowest fronds as closely as possible to the trunk. Clear fronds extend from the trunk between 6 inches and 2 feet, depending on the size of your palm. To keep insects from invading your palm tree, remove all yellow and brown fronds. By eliminating additional fronds while pruning, you can expose the Sago palm’s trunk for aesthetic advantages.

How do you identify a male or female sago palm?

Only once every three to four years do sago palms produce male or female flowers. Given that sagos are actually cycads, the original cone-forming plants, rather than palms, the flowers resemble a cone more than a palm. Some gardeners think they’re ugly. Can a sago plant flower be removed without causing harm to the plant? For the solution, keep reading.

Sago palms are either male or female, as was previously mentioned. Females have rich, golden tones and create a flat, slightly rounded cone. The male cone, which can reach a height of 24 inches (61 cm), is more upright and resembles a pine cone. The male pollen fertilises the female sago palm flower head if they are close to one another, and in December, bright red seeds will appear on her. The “flower pieces” will naturally dissolve as a result of wind and birds dispersing them.

What occurs if palm trees aren’t pruned?

Some people may wonder why they need to prune their palm trees after observing that palm trees in the wild do not undergo routine pruning. Carelessly maintained palm trees might be a danger. Unpruned fronds will start to fall on their own, which may result in accidents or injuries. In addition to being highly ugly and detracting from the rest of your landscaping, these fronds can be a fire risk if neglected.

Can I chop my palm tree’s top off?

After the top of a palm tree is removed, it does not begin to branch or bloom; instead, it simply perishes. Your palm will become a pole-like, bare trunk if the top is chopped off, and it will decay over time.

What is the lifespan of a sago palm?

It’s common to hear people refer to the sago palm (Cycas revoluta) as a “living fossil.” The cycad family, which has persisted from among a sizable group of plants that ruled the globe more than 100 million years ago, includes this native Japanese plant. Due to its stunning foliage and appealing growth habit, this magnificent evergreen tree is popular as an ornamental plant. Despite seeming like a palm, it is actually an ancient cone-bearing plant that is more closely linked to conifers. Each plant in the dioecious species is either a male or a female. Male and female plants both produce a cone and a flower, respectively.

Sago palms grow quite slowly. Young specimens reach heights of 0.5 m and spread out to a width of 1 m, while mature specimens reach heights of 2 m and spread out to a width of 1.5 m. Sago palms are extraordinarily long-lived, with some examples living for almost 200 years despite their relatively slow growth.


Sago palms are drought-tolerant and may grow in either full sun or moderate shade. They thrive in rich soil but can grow in virtually any soil because to their hardiness. The plant must have good drainage or it may decay.

consumption of water

Once planted, sago palms require some irrigation. In general, additional watering is necessary for trees to establish themselves, particularly if they are planted after the rainy season. Irrigate twice a week during the first year with 2025 litres of water. A tree needs irrigation in the amount of 40 litres once a week throughout its second year. When trees become established in their third year, some, like the Sago Palm, require irrigation in the amount of 5060 litres once a month to achieve optimal flowering.


Although some old examples of the sago palm may grow in clusters of numerous trunks, the sago palm typically grows with a single trunk. A big rosette of arching leaves that grow in a circular arrangement is perched atop the short, sturdy trunk. The Sago Palm’s feathery, 0.6–0.9-meter-long, dark glossy green leaves are deeply divided into 10–cm-long, stiff, leathery leaflets that curl out, earning the species name revoluta. Light green spikes that create a circle around the trunk are the first signs of new leaves. As the leaves reach their full length, they slowly uncoil and settle into a fresh rosette of leaves.

The female flower is a modified leaf globe that develops into a tightly packed seed head with tiny pale leaves on top. The male cone grows to a height of 3045 cm and is yellowish. When ripe, the 3.5 cm in diameter seeds that develop in the female flower turn reddish red.

Tips for use:

Excellent container plant that gives off a tropical look and is appropriate for patios and indoor spaces. Before watering plants that are grown in pots, let the soil dry out.


Sago palms can grow from seeds or offsets (young shoots attached to the mature plant; also called “pups).


To lessen the stress on the plant and to encourage new growth, any leaves that become yellow or brown should be removed. If the tips start to turn brown, the lowest set of leaves should be removed close to the trunk.

Light fertilisation of sago palms is possible in the winter or early spring. Avoid using powerful fertilisers and fresh manure to protect the roots’ ability to fix nitrogen.


Sago Because palm leaves are spiky, it is best to plant them away from walked paths.

WEPIA (Water Efficiency and Public Information for Action), a project being carried out in partnership with the Ministry of Water and Irrigation and sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development, supports the CSBE project on water-saving landscapes (USAID).

What is the sago palm’s central cone made of?

Since the long, harsh winter, more plants have either reached a mature enough stage to fruit or we are seeing more fruiting and cone bearing with our favourite cycads than ever before. You may have noticed that there are two distinct sorts of cones: tall, slender cones that remain on the plant for 7–14 days before shrivelling and drying up, and short, fatty, round cones that endure for 10 months or longer. The fruiting cones are the only way to tell if a plant is male or female since they show the sex of the plant. You can’t tell someone’s sex by looking under the leaves!

You probably got it, the tall, thin cones on the female plants are the male, which produces pollen to fertilise the female cone. Once it reaches its height, the male cone can be cut off or removed from the plant. It lasts for 7–14 days. NOTE: To make it simpler to remove the male cone, the cones are somewhat offset from the centre of the caudex (growing tip).

The female of the plant, which produces the seeds necessary for the plant to remain alive, has short, spherical, plump cones. These plants won’t generate fronds (leaves) when they are in the coning phase since all of their energy is going into creating the cone. You might refer to the female plant as the female cones because they persist for months and sap the plant’s energy from growing the seeds “pregnant. The seeds grow to resemble grapes and are encircled by fur or hair. Now, you can cut the female cone off the plant, slicing as close to the trunk as you can get it, remove it, and throw it away if you don’t want the poisonous seeds around puppies or kids.

Every year, the winter brown and/or green fronds should be entirely removed (assuming it doesn’t freeze), since this lessens the risk of snow scale, black scale, and mealy insect infestations that can harm the plants. Complete frond removal also offers the plant a new look each season while promoting plant development and raising the trunk’s height.

So how and from where did the sago reach us? The coldest tolerant cycad from Japan’s Kuyushu Province is the Cycas revoluta, which thrives on the northernmost rock face. Over 3,000,000 plants and over 110,000 plants were sent for the nursery sector in 1993 “Palm leaf exports to the US were made for the cut flower industry.

Notably, the names CYCAS REVOLUTACYCADSAGO PALM (NOT REALLY A PALM) ARE ALL NAMES FOR THE SAME PLANT, WHICH IS HIGHLY TOXIC TO HUMAN BEINGS, PETS, AND LIVESTOCK. All plant parts are poisonous, however the seeds are the most toxic due to cyclasin. Wash your hands after handling any plant components since you never want to breathe it in or get male pollen in your eyes or cuts. I’ve heard a lot of exorbitant horror tales about hefty vet bills and puppy deaths.

How are sago palm pups trimmed?

Anyone attempting to remove the pups from a sago palm may encounter difficulties due to the plant’s extensive root system. Even the most difficult roots can be easily removed with the correct equipment. If you insert the blade of a gardening knife into the dirt halfway between the pup and the mother plant and pull the handle back and forth until the pup comes loose, some puppies will readily come out. To disclose the roots in the case of more obstinate pups, remove the dirt from in-between the puppy and mother plant. Chip away at the roots that connect the offset and mother plant with a chisel and mallet or a mattock, and then try to peel the pup free with a gardening knife or trowel. To safeguard the roots of the mother plant, after removing the pup, replace the hole where it had been growing with soil.

Why are the fronds on my sago palm yellowing?

You may wish to start fertilising your plant if you frequently lament that your sago palm is becoming yellow. Any of these deficiencies could be the cause of a sago palm’s yellow fronds: nitrogen, magnesium, or potassium.

Older sago leaves that are turning yellow indicate a nitrogen deficit in the plant. The midrib and elder fronds can become yellow when there is a potassium deficiency. Your plant may lack magnesium if the leaf develops yellow bands while the centre portion of the leaf remains green.

The fronds of this yellow sago palm will never turn green again. However, the new growth that emerges will turn green once more if you start using a general fertiliser in the proper amounts. You might want to give a fertiliser made specifically for palm trees that has three times as much potassium and nitrogen as phosphate a preventative application.

Why are my sago palm’s tips going brown?

Sago palms are not actual palms; rather, they are a type of ancient plant known as a cycad that has existed since before the time of the dinosaurs. With their huge beautiful leaves and compact structure, these resilient tiny plants can endure a lot of abuse. The most frequent causes of brown leaves on sago palms are sun scorch and insufficient hydration, but other sneaky small pests and disease problems might also be to blame.

In low light, LightSagos prefer well-drained soil. A plant’s general health may decline as a result of soggy soil and browning leaves. The tips of the foliage might become burned by too much light and turn dark and wrinkled.

nutrient shortage

Palm tips that are lacking in manganese might turn reddish brown and impede fresh growth. When fertiliser potted plants too much, too many salts are produced. Sago’s brown tips are a sign that the soil is too salty for the plant. Giving the plant a nice soil drench will fix this. Occasionally fertilising these cycads with a slow-release 8-8-8 balanced plant meal is necessary. The plant will progressively receive fertilisation from the slow release, preventing salt buildup.

A magnifying glass may be required if the tips of the leaves of a sago palm are brown. Plants of all kinds, both indoor and outdoor, are frequently attacked by spider mites. Due to the feeding activity of these tiny insects, sago palms with fanned leaves and fine spider web-like structures among the stems may show browning on the leaf.

Scale, in particular Aulacaspis scale, is another insect nuisance that you could encounter. This pest can be found on any part of the plant and is a flat, yellowish-white colour. It is a sucking bug that over time will induce the yellowing and browning of leaf tips. For both insects, horticultural oil is an effective deterrent.