Can an Indoor Potted Sago Palm Tree Live Outside?

Whether you live in a rented apartment, in your friend’s spare bedroom, or in your college dorm, the one way you can make your current abode feel more like home is by decorating it according to your liking.

Since people are usually not allowed to repaint a rented apartment, and getting new furniture can be quite expensive, one of the best tips to give your living space a completely new look and refreshed energy is placing a couple of indoor potted plants around.

Usually, small cactuses, succulents, a medium-sized Snake plant, or simple bamboo shoots can go on top of your work desk, kitchen counter, or bookshelf.

However, if you have purchased a planter significantly larger than most indoor house plants, adjusting it in a small rented studio apartment or college dorm can be pretty challenging.

Hence, the best advice is to replant or place that planter outside, as long as it has the resilience needed to survive indoors and outdoors.

If you are wondering which plant has the unique ability to survive and instead thrive both inside your house and outside in the garden or a balcony, it can be none other than the beautiful and tall Sago Palm Tree.

The Sago Palm Tree

Known and globally demanded its exceptional resilience and unmatchable tolerance, the Sago Palm Tree is an extremely popular house plant in various regions of China and Japan.

The Sago Palm Tree shares similar characteristics with other related palm tree varieties. Hence, its bark is dark, woody, and chunky, and its deep green leaves are feathery thin, strong, and extremely glossy.

In general, a well-kept and cared-after Sago Palm Tree will reach a total height of nearly ten feet; however, since its slow growth allows only one frond to fully develop in a whole year, it will take the mini palm nearly fifty years to reach its maximum height.

However, although the Sago Palm Tree reaches full maturity in fifty years, it is perhaps one of the few planters that can outlive you and your children.

With a remarkable ability to live for nearly two centuries, the Sago Palm Tree is the epitome of unparalleled plant immunity, resilience, tolerance, and strength. 

Hence, if you have planted a Sago Palm Tree out in your garden or on your balcony, know that you need not check on your planter every other day, as it can survive just fine without you.

Instead, you can travel and leave your home for a month, only to return to an incredibly fresh and healthy Sago Palm Tree that is just as glossy and green as it was when you left.

Moreover, apart from the undeniable visual appeal and fantastic survivability, the Sago Palm Tree is also well-respected across the plant community for its prehistoric roots.

Dating back to nearly three hundred million years ago, the Sago Palm Tree has remained surprisingly unchanged since the time of the dinosaurs. 

Although a Sago Palm Tree can survive outside, keeping it indoors is usually more advisable. The primary reason behind this is that, unlike outdoors, controlling an indoor environment to provide the mini palm with its unique requirements is much easier. 

However, even though your Sago Palm Tree will be safe indoors, growing it outdoors is possible as long as you know how to create its optimal environment.

Continue reading below to learn more about the essential care tips you need to follow when growing your Sago Palm Tree outdoors.

Let’s get started!

Top Tips to Help a Potted Sago Palm Tree Survive Outside

Usually, most plant varieties that one can find at a local nursery are best suited for indoor or outdoor environments.

Only a very few plants like the Sago Palm Tree tend to not only survive in either of the two living conditions but to adapt so that it continues to thrive and remain strong.

However, although your potted Sago Palm Tree palm is not as dependent on your care or attention as your other planters might be, providing it the right living conditions, especially during the growing years, can help the mini palm develop the resilience and immunity it needs to outlive a century.

Hence, if you have no other choice but to plant your Sago Palm Tree outdoors, follow the essential care tips listed below:

Watering Requirements

Plants that usually need to be watered frequently do not tend to survive as long as a Sago Palm Tree. Since these plants depend directly on their caretaker’s attention and availability, a period of neglect or poor care can cause the entire plant to dry out and die quickly.

Fortunately, since your Sago Palm Tree is expected to live for more than ten decades, know that this would not have been possible had the mini palm relied on an around-the-clock care routine.

Hence, if you have an outdoor planted Sago Palm Tree, you do not have to worry about watering it too frequently.

Instead, make a habit of marking your calendar or setting the alarm so you remember to water the plant at least once in seven to ten days.

However, although this watering routine is usually more fitting for an indoor potted Sago Palm Tree, the uncontrollable outdoor environments may require you to water the plant according to your better judgment.

For instance, if a regional dry spell is expected to continue throughout the month, water your Sago Palm Tree more frequently since the plant will already be transpiring out a lot more water to the environment down a concentration gradient.

Similarly, if it rained a few days ago or a heavy rainstorm is expected in the following week, you can skip that week’s watering schedule altogether.

This tip is crucial because while dry external conditions can dehydrate a plant, excess watering can also do the same.

Whenever a Sago Palm Tree is overwatered, the chances of a potential fungal infection eating away the plant’s roots increase considerably.

Since Sago Palm Trees do not have aerial roots, it is usually hard to tell when a fungal infection is causing fast root decay.

If nothing is done to prevent root rot on time, the amount of water carried up by the plant will drop drastically.

As a result, the entire outdoor potted Sago Palm Tree will dehydrate, lose its ability to stay upright and die prematurely. 

Sunlight Exposure

No matter what plant species you have potted indoors or out in your garden, they all need some sunlight in their lives.

Since sunlight is the primary catalyst needed for the photosynthesis reaction, its persistent unavailability will directly affect the plant’s ability to produce food and survive.

Similarly, a Sago Palm Tree’s century-long survivability will be impossible if it is deprived of sunlight. However, it is important to know that direct sunlight can be quite damaging to the mini palm tree’s leaves. 

When a Sago Palm Tree is left under the direct sun for an extended period, its internal body temperature increases.

As a coping mechanism, the palm tree begins to transpire water from its leaves in an attempt to cool down.

However, as successful as this strategy is, it can also severely dehydrate the planter if it is carried out too frequently.

Hence, if you have no choice but to place your potted Sago Palm Tree outdoors, you can either protect it against any long-term damage by watering it twice or thrice every week, or you can cover the plant with a shade cloth that will help reflect away the harmful direct rays from the sun.

External Humidity

As explained above, the Sago Palm Tree is well-adapted to thrive on neglect and drought-like conditions.

Hence, if you live in a coastal area or are experiencing frequent rainfalls that greatly increase atmospheric humidity, focus on watering your planter just once in ten to fifteen days.

External Temperature

Best suited to growing in warmer weather, your outdoor potted Sago Palm Tree will have no problem thriving during moderate summer conditions.

The ideal temperature range that encourages a healthy growth rate and prevents excessive transpiration is usually around 60 to 75°F.

However, if the external weather conditions get warmer than 75°F, remember to water your Sago Palm Tree more frequently and keep it partially shaded from direct sunlight.

Moreover, if the external weather conditions drop below 55°F, investing in an infrared lamp for your Sago Palm Tree can save it from experiencing a period of dormancy.

Soil PH

Whether your Sago Palm Tree is potted indoors or outdoors, a slightly acidic PH can help facilitate more efficient nutrient absorption.

King Sago Palm Tree Real Live Plant, 6" Grower's Pot Indoor Outdoor Plant

Final Thoughts

Apart from being one of the few planters that have existed for nearly three hundred million years, the Sago Palm Tree is a highly tolerant plant species that can survive indoors and outdoors.

However, while keeping it in well-controlled indoor conditions can be quite easy, the outdoor care routine varies frequently and requires additional effort. Make note of all the points we’ve mentioned in this article, and keep your Sago palm trees happy and healthy at all times!

You may also like: