Cycas Revoltua (Sago Palm)
Very slow-growing and long-lived, award-winning Cycas revoluta (Sago Palm) is a palm-like evergreen perennial with a very attractive rosette of shiny, arching, pinnate leaves, up to 2-5 ft. long (60-150 cm), atop a rugged upright trunk. Each leaf is divided into many narrow, leathery, spiny-tipped, deep green leaets adorned with revolute edges.
Resistant to salt and drought, it can survive short periods at 15ºF (-9ºC). Popular as an ornamental plant throughout the world, it makes an eye-catching specimen and looks superb in a container.
Origin: Tropical Asia
Height: Up to 6 ft (1.8 m) indoors. Can be kept dwarfed by growing it in a small pot. Sago Palm is also popularly grown as a bonsai tree.
Light: Bright light with some direct sun. Turn the pot a quarter turn at least once a week during the growing season. Otherwise, the plant will lean toward the light source.
Water: Take care to water the soil, not the crown of the plant which can lead to crown rot and may kill the plant. Water thoroughly and allow the soil to dry out a bit between waterings, but don't allow it to dry out completely. Water less in winter when growth is slower. Provide good drainage.
Humidity: This tropical native prefers relative humidity above 50%. You can set it on a tray of wet pebbles to raise the humidity around it. If your home is really dry, use a room humidifier for best results.
Temperature: Normal room temperatures 65-75°F/18-24°C
Soil: Cactus potting mix works well for fast drainage. Or combine 2 parts peat-moss based potting mix and 1 part horticultural sand or perlite.
Fertilizer: Feed monthly spring through fall with a liquid fertilizer (such as 18-6-18) diluted by half. Only fertilize when watering to avoid fertilizer burn. A slow-release fertilizer also works well, but I only use half the amount recommended on the package. The leaves will shrivel and dry up when it has been over-fed.
Propagation: Seeds take months to germinate and years to grow into a tree. Everything about this plant is s-l-o-w. Mature plants grow offsets -- called pups -- that can be separated and planted into their own containers.