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Sago Palm

Poushali Ganguly Feb 11, 2019
If you want to know more about sago palms, their characteristics, and growth requirements, read ahead.
Sago palm is the name given to a plant, not "palm" at all. It belongs to Cycad family and scientifically called Cycas revoluta, having a rugged trunk and feathery leaves. It is symmetrical and has dark, shiny leaves on 20 cm diameter thick trunk. They are associated with conifer and Ginko trees.

Important Facts

✦ The leaves of a sago are around 50 cm to 150 cm in length, when the plants are capable of reproduction. The leaves then grow to become somewhat similar to the feather-like rosette. The leaves at the base of the plants take the shape of a spike.
✦ The petioles or stems of the plant are approximately 6 cm to 10 cm in length, and they also have small protective barbs present as a defense mechanism.

✦ The multiplication of the plant is given result either with the help of seeds or by removing the basal offsets.
✦ The pith of the plant is edible and is used to make "sago" which is the name of a powdery starch that is processed from the pith found in the trunks of the palm but it is imperative to wash out all the toxins that are present in the starch since the consumption of it can be fatal for human beings and pets.

Optimum Conditions for Growth

✦ Temperature - The plant can adapt to a wide range of temperatures around 15°F to 110°F, and if there is frost, it might damage the plant at an early age.

✦ Humidity - The humidity should range from dry to wet.

✦ Light - These trees grow well in an area where they can get enough light, though not direct, or where sunlight falls for some part of the day.
✦ Growth Rate - The growth rate is very slow with only one set of leaves every year or every two years, and remain mostly of same size.

✦ Span of Life - These  live long and their growth pattern is peculiar and specimens of multi-trunk and multi-branched sago palms have been seen.
✦ Soil - Soil requirements for this plant is that the soil should be well-drained and rich in humus, and these plants also prefer dry soil to wet soil.
✦ Water - If the plant receives sunlight the whole day then the requirement of water is twice in a week but if it is grown in shade it needs water once in a week or two weeks. The plant should be watered only when the soil is completely dry.
✦ Fertilizers - The plant needs fertilizers during spring and late summer. The fertilizers should not be put anywhere on the plant but only near the roots of the plant. The chemical fertilizers might just lead to the decay of plant parts if applied on those parts.
As mentioned earlier, the plant has toxins and it should be taken care that the children and/or pets do not gnaw at the leaves or do not eat the seeds of the plants.