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Saving Cycads

Los Angeles, CA

Just not having a very good year with my cycads. I think I may be able to save a couple. Noticed that the leaves were dying and I as I removed the dirt I could see they were rotting. May be able to save a couple. I soaked them in a fungicide aand will let them dry. How have any of you found the best way to save a cycad. What medium do you like to put a sick plant in. How often shall I water? etc. etc.

noonamah, Australia

Which species of cycad is it?

Los Angeles, CA

Cycas Circinalis and Macrozamia Ridelei sp?

noonamah, Australia

Just one of your E's wandered a bit, LOL. Macrozamia riedlei comes from a dry hot summer and colder wetter winter climate, so maybe you over watered it during the summer and/or the soil isn't draining/drying fast enough. It's habitat generally has pretty sandy soil. The Cycas circinalis like a lot of Cycas species comes from the opposite type of climate, wet summers and a drier winter. And you're getting the same problem on both of them under the same conditions? So it may be the drainage that is the common problem, neither likes to sit in soggy ground.

What is actually rotting? The roots, the caudex (trunk), or the leaf/frond bases? How long have you had them in the conditions they're currently in? Are they in the ground or pots? Do you have some photos showing the plants/problem you can post?

Acton, CA(Zone 8b)

in pots or in the ground? I have rotted that species of Macrozamia from overhead watering... the other is a pretty difficult species to rot unless your soil is bad. Might want to get a lot more pumice in your soil so that it drains really really well.

Los Angeles, CA


Purcahsed anot Riedlei so I'll water it less. Actually had it for 7 years but maybe I overwatered this year. Part of my problem is that I have started planting my collection on my hillside which is at a slope of about 45 degrees. Any suggestions on planting cycads on slopes would be appreciated. Shall I plant thme plumb or perpendicular to the slope. I have planted them using the black plastic nursery pots and simply in the ground. It appeared that dirt had accumulated on the top side on the Circianalis causing rot. Also it is a large plant and and I have been told that I can actually paint a mixture of liquid and dry root hormone, bury the caudex down into the ground with this mixture on it and save it. Anybody evere do this? Soundws like I should not water all my cycads the same which I have been doing. I live near Pasadena and water twice a week in the summer. TOO MUCH WATER?

Acton, CA(Zone 8b)

I have planted a lot of cycads on a hill... sort of depends what your soil is like, but I certain would plant them perpendicular to the earth, not the hill, or you will have a hard time getting them any water at all. If planted in clay, you need to plant a drain pipe as well that allows extra water to drain off and down. Some cycads can handle daily water (Ceratozamias and Zamias for example), and some need NO extra water (like this species of Macrozamia and some Dioons)- though I personally still water mine off and on. Dioons are pretty tolerant of a lot of water and I have yet to rot one of those... but if I forget and don't water them for months they do OK, too. Some Encephalartos are touchy and some are nearly impossible to kill... it's an individual thing.

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