The Cycas revoluta, commonly known as the Sago palm, is a beautiful, rare and prehistoric-looking plant. It is native to Japan and Southern Taiwan, growing in areas of full sun or light shade, amongst windy, rocky cliffs and in the undergrowth of evergreen oak forests.
As a cycad, the Cycas revoluta is one of the few living species present on earth over 200 million years ago and has remained virtually unchanged for eons. With its soft, bright green fronds arching gracefully out of a thick trunk, your Sago palm will draw many admiring looks and bring a unique presence to any room or garden.
Tips for nurturing your Cycas revoluta
Light is essential for the plant’s healthy growth and should be supplied in an area with good air circulation. The Sago Palm prefers medium to bright indirect light but can tolerate full sun.
This plant will do well in temperatures between 10-32°C (50-90°F). They appreciate the warmth and humidity of the summer but will die if exposed to freezing temperatures.
Soil type and drainage
The soil for your Cycas revoluta should seek to emulate its natural habitat and be sandy, well-drained and slightly acidic. Any general potting mix will do as long as it contains some sharp, acidic sand.
This plant is relatively tolerant of normal household humidity, so a weekly misting will usually be enough.
Water your Sago palm regularly during the growing season and reduce watering during winter. Water when the top of the soil is dry, and be sure not to let the plant stand in water, as this will cause its roots to rot.
The Sago palm is toxic if ingested, so keep it in a safe area of your home if you have curious pets or small children.
Fertilise your Cycas revoluta in the spring or summer with a blend designed explicitly for cycads. Use the feed at half the recommended strength, reducing the amount in winter.
Troubleshooting pests, diseases and common problems
Because the Sago palm is particularly hardy, it is rarely attacked by severe pests and diseases; however, like most plants, it can be vulnerable to overwatering, root rot, and mealybugs.
New plants can be propagated from seeds or by division of an established firm. Use a shallow seed tray for seed planting and sow the cycad seeds in late winter or early spring. Keep the tray barely moist and the temperature between 18-27°C (64-80°F). Transfer the seedlings to individual pots when the first true leaves appear. To divide an existing plant, remove the mother plant from its pot and gently loosen the soil before carefully prying the root mass into two or more parts.
By following the above tips, you can ensure that your Cycas revoluta is well cared for and remains healthy and beautiful for many years. With its vast historical significance and stunning appearance, this plant will become a treasured addition to any home or garden.