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Why Choose a Sago Palm?
Although not really a palm but a cycad, the palm-like King Sago Palm is like owning a piece of history, since they’ve been around since dinosaurs roamed the planet. With anything that’s been able to survive for that length of time you know you’ll be getting a hardy plant.
If you’ve ever dreamed of creating a tropical paradise in your own backyard but feel your conditions are too cold, then meet the King Sago Palm. The cold-hardy cycad is hardy growing in hardiness zones 8 through 11. It might require a bit of protection when temperatures get too cold, but its cold hardiness is much better than similar looking palms.
King Sago Palms sport their own unique but attractive looks, adding a touch of rich green no matter the season. The slow-grower produces a single, shaggy, upright trunk that can take a few years to really show itself. As it matures, pups form around the mother plant resulting in the formation of multiple trunks.
Adding to its beauty, glossy green feathery fronds form around the trunk that have an arching habit and grow anywhere from 3 to 7 feet long, depending on the sago’s age.
King Sago Palms are male or female, with males producing an upright center yellow cone filled with pollen. When fertilized, female sago’s produce a seed-filled center cone containing a wealth of red seeds. The entire plant is toxic to animals, mostly in the seeds.
The tropical palm-like cycad makes an eye-catching specimen, accent plant, used along a border or highlighting an entryway. It also grows well in containers or as a houseplant.
Is it Cold-Hardy in My Area?
Compared to many palms, King Sago Palms are cold-hardy, surviving temperatures around 15°F. It grows well planted outdoors in hardiness zones 8 through 11.
When temperatures start getting too cold it’s best to offer your King Sago Palm some protection. Water the planting site the day before freezing temperatures is expected, saturating the root system. This helps insulate the roots keeping them warm. You can also insulate the roots by adding a thick layer of mulch around the sago.
Additionally, their smaller size makes them manageable so you can even cover the cycad with a sheet. Stringing holiday lights through the canopy not only adds a bit of life to the outdoor area but also assists in keeping the canopy warm.
How Big Does It Get?
You won’t have to worry about your King Sago Palm outgrowing its space quickly as it grows at a very slow pace. Although you will typically see Sago Palms around 3 feet tall, they can grow to 15 feet tall though it takes about 50 years for them to do so. They average around 5 feet wide, with male plants usually growing wider than females.
How Much Sun Does It Require?
King Sago Palms thrive in a range of light conditions from full sun to partial shade. However, don’t grow in full shade or the plant has a tendency to become leggy.
What About Soil and Water?
The cycad grows well in a variety of well-drained soils provided they aren’t highly alkaline. For the best growth, plant the King Sago Palm in fertile soil that drains well.
King Sago Palms are relatively drought-tolerant once established. Water a newly planted sago several times weekly for the first four to six months. Thereafter, weekly water applications are sufficient, depending on your local weather conditions.
If your outdoor conditions are extremely hot and dry, your King Sago Palm will appreciate a regular deep drink of water.
Is It Easy to Maintain?
When grown in their preferred conditions King Sago Palms are a breeze to maintain. Their small size makes them easy to work around.
Their basic need is regular feedings, water and pruning off dead or damaged branches. Due to their smaller size, this is one plant you can even sit down on the job and still get it done correctly. Consider it the perfect choice for lazy gardeners.
Of course, the tips of the feathery leaflets can be a bit sharp so you might want to wear gloves and a long-sleeved shirt when working around your King Sago Palm.
What About Fertilizing?
To keep those glossy green feathery leaves looking their best and to promote good growth, it’s best to feed your King Sago Palm about three time during the growing season of spring throughout summer. Apply the first application in April, the second sometime in early June and the last feeding in September.
Use a product specific to palms and apply according to package directions on amounts. Spread evenly under the planting site and water in well, being sure to rinse off any fertilizer that got on the foliage.
Q: Do you deliver?
A: Yes, we deliver within a 30 mile radius of our Alpharetta, GA location. Click here to check your zip code. The cost for delivery is $95. For potential delivery beyond 30 miles, please call us at 770-400-9897.
Q: Do you install?
A: Yes, all the plants we sell can be installed by us. Installation cost varies by product. Once you place your products in the cart, it will display delivery and installation costs. We only install AtlantaPalms.com palm trees and plants. Installation requires delivery by us.
Q: Do you offer a warranty?
A: Yes, we guarantee that your palm tree will arrive in perfect condition. If you're not satisfied within the first five (5) days of receiving your trees and plants, give us a call at 770-400-9897 so that we can make things right.
If you have issues with your trees or plants within the first 30 days, give us a call. We will review your concerns and provide you with a one-time replacement if necessary. Replacement delivery and installation costs are at the customer’s expense.
Please note, palm trees need proper care. If you have provided less than optimal care, your purchase isn't covered by our guarantee.
Q: Do you accept returns?
A: Only palms and plants 15 Gallon or less can be returned. The plant must be returned within 2 days of pickup or delivery and must be in the original container. Once a tree has been removed from its original container, or has been planted, it cannot be returned. Delivery fees are non-refundable.
Q: What payment methods do you accept?
A: We accept all major credit cards and cash.
Q: What are your hours of operation?
A: Monday - Friday: 8:30-5:00 / Saturday: 9:00-2:00
Q: How often should I water my palms?
A: In general, palms should be watered daily with 4 to 5 gallons of water for the first two weeks until the root system is established. Ensure that the soil is wet and not soggy. Too much water may cause permanent damage. Depending on the type of palm and time of year, watering may be decreased to twice a month or less once the tree is established. Make sure you water the trees from the bottom up. Watering from the top down can cause rotting. Soil that has good drainage is important to help prevent over saturation and adding sand to the soil mixture can help with drainage. Placing mulch around the base of the tree and not against the trunk can also help with retaining water.
For cold hardy palms, watering will vary depending on the time of year and the temperature. Here is a guideline for how much to water in any given season.
Winter (60 degrees of less) no need to water, except for the first 30 days after installation. (5 gallons or till mote is full)
Spring (75 degrees or less) water palm once a week. (5 gallons or till mote is full)
Beginning of summer (90 degrees or less) 2-3 times a week
Heat of summer (90 degrees and above) 4-5 times a week
Q: When do I apply fertilizer to my palm tree?
A: Newly planted palms should not be fertilized until they put out a new spear. For palms planted from the Georgia/Tennessee border down to Atlanta, apply fertilizer in three applications. In heavy clay soils use half the recommended amount of fertilizer, and do not apply granular fertilizers after August 1. Be sure to fertilize only during the growing season (between April 1 and August 1).
Q: It is a good idea to correctly support larger, newly planted palms?
A: Larger palms will require some form of bracing to maintain stability during the first six to eight months after installation. Three equidistantly-spaced braces are used to support the palm. If Atlanta Palms installs your palm tree, we handle the bracing.
Q: When should I prune my palm tree?
A: The only time you should prune your palm tree is when the fronds are discolored, broken or pointing to the ground at more than a 90 degree angle. Palms get most of their energy from their fronds, so it’s important to be careful not to remove too many.
Q: Why are drip irrigation systems preferable to sprinklers?
A: Both drip irrigation and sprinklers are good irrigation systems for your palm trees. Drip irrigation is designed to have deeper saturation into a specific area. Sprinklers (spray irrigation) will only saturate the top 3-5 inches per watering cycle whereas Palms root balls are 2-3 feet deep and require a deeper water saturation to develop new roots. Newly planted palms can suffer root loss with a lapse in deep water saturation especially during the hotter and drier summer months.
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