Male vs. Female Sago Palms

The Sago Palm is also known as the Cycad Palm. This plant is a member of the Cycadaceae family. The Sago Palm is an ancient plant. Fossils of this plant have been discovered dating back to the Mesozoic period, almost 250 million years ago.

The Sago Palm is a dioecious plant divided into males and females. It becomes sexually mature at twenty years of age. The Sago Palm male vs. female has unique characteristics.

When the Sago Palm reaches sexual maturity, both genders develop unique features. One plant produces the pollen while the other produces the seed, which is then fertilized.

The term ‘Sago Plant’ was coined as this plant was discovered in Japan’s tropical southern Islands. The Sago Palm isn’t a palm tree but resembles one. Caring for the Sago Palm is also similar to caring for other palms.

The Sago Palm thrives in warm climates and can be grown indoors and outdoors. It has impressive, dark green foliage and is a popular houseplant.

When grown in the United States, this plant thrives in zones 8 to 10. It can be found in states like Arizona and California.

In colder regions, the Sago Palm can quickly grow in containers and be kept indoors all year round.

About the Sago Palm

The Sago Palm is considered an authentic art piece in the plant kingdom. This plant resembles a small palm tree with stiff, shiny, and lush leaves resembling palm leaves.

The plant is symmetrical in shape and is relaxing and beautiful to look at. The Sago Palm is not a true palm tree because it is a Cycad. It is also called Cycus Revoluta and is one of the oldest plants.

It is also one of the oldest indoor plants. The Sago Palm is also rather aesthetically appealing both indoors and outdoors. However, care should be taken as it is poisonous qualities.

So, if you have children or pets at home, you must be extra careful. You must ensure this plant is out of reach and does not harm anyone.

Care should also be taken to keep the plant out of direct sunlight. This is because harsh sunlight can damage the plant’s leaves. The Sago Palm also tends to store water in its trunk and leaves, so you must regularly keep watering the plant. But also ensure you don’t overwater the plant, damaging it.

When the temperature lowers, the Sago Palm requires much less maintenance water. This plant also grows very slowly. Sometimes only a single leaf grows in a year. The plant is about a foot tall and sometimes can grow to two feet. 

Sago Palm Pollination

The Sago Palm reproduces only once every three or four years. This usually happens from April to June.

Since the Sago Palm is a cycad, it cannot produce flowers. But it develops cones that have seeds, just like pine trees. This is the reason that this plant’s reproduction is unique. The Sago Palm has both male and female varieties.

Male and female Sago Palms have different reproductive organs. When you see a yellow flower in the center of a frond, you can mark it as a female.

Similarly, a male plant is separated from the female by a large cone in the middle.

 Since Sago Palms mature very slowly, you see signs of sexual maturity quite late. Sago Palms sexually mature until they are about fifteen to twenty years old. Also, once they reproduce, you will see the next flower in a year or two.

As mentioned earlier, Sago Palms have both male and female varieties. When the Sago Palm sexually matures, the female plant grows a massive ball-like structure while the male produces a long thick cone.

Seeds are formed when the female plant produces a flower pollinated by the male’s cone. In the wild, winds and bugs transfer the pollen from the male to the female.

Alternatively, gardeners can remove the seeds before they fall and plant them wherever they desire.

Let’s discuss Sago Palm’s male vs. female characteristics below.

The Female Sago Plant

You can identify the female flower by its rounded shape. It contains Cycasin, a toxin that is harmful to humans and animals. This flower blooms once every three years. It stays for pollination for more than ten months. The seeds of this flower are coated orange and red.

The Male Sago Plant

The male Sago Palm has about 50 to 70 cm long cone. It is yellow and has a strong scent, just like the female flower, during the pollination period. 

It is orange to brown and does not change in color during pollination. You can also identify the male flower by its elongated shape.

It also contains Cycasin, a toxin harmful to humans and animals. The male flower or cone blooms once every two years; its life span is about seven to fourteen days.

Types of Pollination

Natural Pollination

Within Sago Palms, the wind and insects are the agents of pollination.

The wind only helps if the male and female Sago Palms are not more than two meters apart. A very strong scent from the chemical ‘Estragole’ attracts insects to this plant.

These insects can then carry the pollen from one place to another, especially when it rains.

Hand Pollination

This is usually done from April to June when the male flower produces pollen. This is when the female flower opens up.

You can cut the entire flower from its base and rub or shake the cone over it so that the pollen is sprinkled over the flower.

It’s also advised to wear gloves and a mask before carrying out this process.

Sago Palm Flowers

Let’s look at the Sago Palms flowering process in more detail below.

  • Potted Sago Palms require at least four to six hours of sunlight daily. If you are planting the Sago Palm in an area with less sunlight, you can also use a grow light.
  • When growing the Sago palm indoors, maintain a forty to fifty percent humidity level. For this, you can use an artificial humidifier. You can also place the potted plant on a tray of water.
  • It also helps the Sago Palm if you use a blooming booster when it is about to bloom. You can also apply dray manure containing some phosphorous. When the Sago Palm is in the growing period, you can also feed it a slow-release fertilizer. This will provide the plant with steady and consistent nutrition.
  • The Sago Palm is known to bloom in loamy and sandy soil. The soil should be well-drained. It should have a pH level of 5.5 to 6.5.
  • It’s best to water the Sago palm every week or every two weeks. There is no need to water this plant on rainy days.
  • The Sago Palm will grow best if kept at 15 to 110 degrees F.

How to Remove Sago Palm Flowers

When removing sago Palm flowers, always make sure you wear gloves. These flowers contain toxins that can be harmful.

Next, take a saw and ensure that it is sterilized.

Grasp the male cone in your hand and snap it. You can also cut it off with a saw. Snapping the cone will not be detrimental to the plant once the cone is old.

To remove the female Sago Palm’s cone, you must cut off that entire stalk with a saw.

Sago Palm Flowers Usage

Sago Palm flowers do not serve ornamental use. But they offer a range of other benefits.

Flowers produced by the female Sago Palm contain substances that protect against bacterial infections and fungus. These substances include extracts of chloroform and hydro-alcohol.

Sago Palm’s seeds have demonstrated usefulness in treating cancer and tumors. These results have been witnessed in several laboratory experiments.

Sago Palm Tree - Cycas Revoluta - Overall Height 16" to 22" - Tropical Plants of Florida (Plant Only)

Concluding Thoughts

The Sago Palm is a beautiful plant with dark green fronds resembling crowns. This plant is a favorite when it comes to landscaping.

It has lustrous feather-like foliage that adds a warm, tropical vibe to the space.

The Sago Palm loves warm climates as it is native to tropical areas. It also grows well in bright sunlight. However, it must be in partial shade if grown in a sunny location.

This is low maintenance, slow-growing plant. It needs to be watered occasionally and fertilized as well.

Check the Sago Palms fronds frequently for signs of discoloration or damage. The Sago Palm is ever unique due to its reproduction process. The Sago Palm male vs. female qualities can produce flower seeds that can grow new Sago Palms.

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