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Texas Gardening: Sago palm

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deb789
San Antonio, TX
(Zone 8b)

June 20, 2005
11:00 PM

Post #1563243

I have a Sago palm my sago is planted outside in the ground with full7 hours of sun. Im seeing yellow on my sago leaves. What fertilzer do yall use on sagos? How much water do they need? How do i correct this yellowing on my sago leaves?
vossner
Richmond, TX
(Zone 9a)

June 20, 2005
11:08 PM

Post #1563263

I went to the plant files before I opened my mouth and was surprised to see how many people rated this plant negative. All were from FL and all complained about problems w/ scale.

I have 5 in my landscape that were here when I moved in. By choice I might have planted only 1 or two tops, but they haven't annoyed me enough to remove them. In any case, mine get yellow when I overwater and I learned that lesson early on. In fact, I pretty much ignore mine. Maybe some yellowing is to be expected due to this horrid heat.

I'm sure someone will come along w/ greater wisdom. how old is your plant? if new, could just be shock of adapting to new home. The 7 hours' sunlight should be no problem. Good luck. I know these plants can be pricey.
bettydee
La Grange, TX
(Zone 8b)

June 20, 2005
11:58 PM

Post #1563368

Deb, I too went elsewhere before answering. Sago 'palms' are not palms, but are related to conifers and ginkos. I found the following: Don't allow sago to go excessively dry when new leaves are forming or the new growth will yellow and wither. They prefer well drained soil rich in humus. They should be planted slightly higher than the surrounding soil and kept on the dry side rather than wet. They don't give any indication when they need water or fertilizer. They should be treated as a cactus and watered when almost dry. Fertilizer is applied during spring and late summer, at the recommended amount if grown in sun. Don't get any fertilizer in the crown as it could damage future leaf growth. Reasons for yellowing leaves were emphasized in caps. Old leaves may turn yellow from too much water or over fertilizing. New leaves turn yellow from over fertilizing and poor soil conditions. Remove yellow or brown leaves. If you haven't fertilized, then the yellowing is due to either poor soil conditions (heavy clay) or overwatering.

I have one Sago palm. It gets afternoon sun so the leaves are rather short. It's planted in very sandy loam. Frost nips the leaves which turn yellow. Otherwise, the leaves stay green. I hope this helps.

Veronica

deb789
San Antonio, TX
(Zone 8b)

June 21, 2005
12:43 AM

Post #1563480

So i remove the yellow leaves? How far do i remove? Will new leaves popup?
vossner
Richmond, TX
(Zone 9a)

June 21, 2005
12:47 AM

Post #1563486

I would unless it would mean having to remove all leaves. Somebody told me once that sagos only put out a "ring" of leaves around this time of year, but I don't know if this is true. Anyway, if it is true and you already got your new growth, I would say you won't see any more.

Maybe you can cut the yellow part (and be left with 1/2 leaf) or cut all the way down. I don't think you'll hurt anything.
shuggins
Houston, TX
(Zone 9b)

June 21, 2005
12:58 AM

Post #1563518

We have 4 in our yard. Three of them have put out their flush of leaves. I have read that typically, they put out one flush per year, but in really good conditions, they can put out two per year. Just as a side note on these, if you see something that looks kind of like a flower coming up in the center, that is the female plant about to put out seeds. The only reason that this really matters is because the seeds are extremely toxic to pets and small children. If you have neither, then there is no concern, but otherwise if you see that you might keep a look out. I think they are older when this happens, but just as info. We decided to put ours in the front instead of the back because one of our dogs eats the bark , so it would be too easy for her to get one of the seeds if they came up.

Part of one of our leaves has turned yellow and somewhat dry, but the rest of the plant appears to be healthy enough, so we have just left it.

deb789
San Antonio, TX
(Zone 8b)

June 21, 2005
1:02 AM

Post #1563529

How do i know when they put out a new flush? Where do i look for new flush?
vossner
Richmond, TX
(Zone 9a)

June 21, 2005
1:06 AM

Post #1563542

flush always grows on top of what is already there. can't miss it. It is very light green, and the texture is softer than the typical sago leaf. Don't worry, there is no way you wouldn't notice, no matter how new you are to this plant. But it is possible that yours is a young plant that won't put out any more leaves this year. Not the end of the world. about normal for a young sago.
bettydee
La Grange, TX
(Zone 8b)

June 21, 2005
3:42 AM

Post #1563986

Sago are very slow growers. Keep it healthy this year and it will reward you with green leaves next spring. According to this link, under the best commercial growing conditions in South Texas, growth is 3 flushes of leaves and an inch in heigth. The female won't set seeds unless it's pollinized by pollen from the male. Thing is you don't know whether you have a female or male until it produces one or the other. This link has photos of male cone, female flowers and female plant with seeds and all kinds of information.
sugarweed
Jacksonville & Okeec, FL
(Zone 9a)

June 21, 2005
1:06 PM

Post #1564503

Here's one in full bud I think.
jameso
Longview, TX

June 22, 2005
12:59 AM

Post #1566117

If sago palm lovers are ever in the Rio Grand Valley, Brownsville to be exact, the only sago palm tree forest left on the North American continent, is located there.
vossner
Richmond, TX
(Zone 9a)

June 22, 2005
3:00 AM

Post #1566473

Sugarweed, if I understand correctly, that is a male sago. I noticed that the "thing" has come off mine. I don't remember that happening before. any comments?
htop
San Antonio, TX
(Zone 8b)


June 22, 2005
7:06 AM

Post #1566858

A palm fertilizer can be used on the sagos (also, citrus trees). It has the micronutrients like manganese and magnesium that it needs. The flush of new growth should be starting to happen now or soon. The new leaves come up from the center and are a beautiful lighter green than the older leaves. It is not uncommon for the lower leaves to turn yellow and dry. Just cut them off right where the begin at the base.

Be sure that the crown (the spiny part in the middle from which the leaves emerge) is up above the dirt. My neighbor planted his with the crown buried completely and you should see what happened. The leaves became misformed and very long. I had told him to dig it up and replant it correctly, but he didn't do it. This year, he told me it wasn't a sago palm and he dug it up so he could plant another one. Guess what, he buried the crown again. After he dug up the first one, he gave it to me. I gave it to my brother who planted it properly, the new leaves have appeared and it will be a beautiful sago when the misformed leaves are removed. Maybe he will give me the new one he planted when the leaves start looking weird. :o)

bettydee, your link did not show up in your post.

This is the bloom of the female sago palm.
http://davesgarden.com/pf/showimage/10072/
Seeds:
http://davesgarden.com/pf/showimage/29446/
http://davesgarden.com/pf/showimage/29447/


This message was edited Jun 22, 2005 2:08 AM
bettydee
La Grange, TX
(Zone 8b)

June 22, 2005
3:59 PM

Post #1567599

Here's the link. This is one place I'd like to go visit. They're Corpus Christi and Port Aransas. I love the smaller palms especially Rhapis excelsa.


http://www.rhapisgardens.com/sagos/
htop
San Antonio, TX
(Zone 8b)


June 22, 2005
6:28 PM

Post #1568027

Great link, bettydee. I admire your great knowledge of plants that you so willingly share. I felt indeed fortunate meeting you in person at the San Antonio Nursery tour. :o)

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