The sago palm is one of the marvels from the time when dinosaurs ruled the globe. These prehistoric plants from the Mesozoic era have been discovered petrified. They are known for their durability and adaptability to various growing situations, even though they are cycads and not palms.
A few problems emerge when cultivating this plant, including drooping leaves. Discover why sago palm leaves droop and what you can do to prevent further damage to your plant.
Why Do Sago Palm Leaves Start Drooping?
As a result of their original tropical habitat, sago palms favor warm, muggy conditions. This is why they are cultivated as indoor plants outside these regions.
Indoor-raised sago palms should be shielded from draughts and airflow from HVAC systems since the sharp temperature changes might be harmful.
Every year, these sluggish plants develop a fresh set of leaves. When these new leaves initially emerge, they are exceedingly delicate. However, as they grow older, they become tough and essentially impervious to most of their environment’s difficulties.
The young leaflets naturally curl as they emerge from the main stem before progressively straightening out to produce appropriate fronds. A few reasons can affect the Sago palm, causing the leave to start drooping.
Rot is the first and most apparent reason Sago’s palm leaves droop. You could lose your plant if the caudex has soft, mushy patches and the foliage is limping and browning. If the entire caudex is unaffected, you could try removing the leaves and bad parts with a clean, sharp knife.
Put fungicide on the plant, and then use the melted wax to close any open wounds. After replanting the caudex in sand or pumice, keep a close eye on it for up to six months.
Check the heart every week for fresh indications of rot, as treating a sick sago palm caudex for rot may be necessary several times throughout this procedure.
Water plants once a week in the summer but less in winter. Furthermore, avoid planting the cycad in soggy soil. The caudex, the plant’s center, may decay and make the leaves sickly if cultivated in extremely damp soil, which is what sagos enjoy.
Sagos can withstand places with full to partial sun. Once established, they can endure brief periods of drought. It’s critical to keep the soil moist as new leaves are growing to prevent wilting and possible death of the leaves.
Nutrient deficiencies are another primary reason why Sago palm leaves start to droop. Manganese insufficiency is one of the more prevalent dietary deficits in cycads and genuine palms.
Manganese deficiency is the root cause of the disorder of frizzle top. The signs of fading and yellowing leaves are weak and frizzy.
As soon as you notice these symptoms, apply manganese sulfate according to the manufacturer’s directions for technique and dosage.
A pH test on outdoor soils can also be required, and high-pH soil may need to be amended to improve the plant’s capacity to absorb manganese. During the plant’s growing season, fertilize it two to three times.
Check out, Why Is My Sago Palm Dying?
Caring for a Sago Palm with Drooping Leaves
The sago palm is neither delicate nor wispy (Cycas revoluta). This plant’s armor-like skin is very thick. A trunk with more needles and rough detritus is covered in the middle, where enormous crowns of stiff, needle-covered spears emerge.
The younger ones are not any better. Removing those little puppies that grow at the base of their trunk takes a lot of work.
This luxuriant, resilient plant isn’t truly a palm despite foliage resembling palm fronds. The cycad family includes sagos, which are indigenous to southern Japan. Cycads date back to the Jurassic Period and considering all of their armor, it is simple to understand how they have endured for so long.
That being said, Sago Palms aren’t indestructible. Like other plants, the Sago Palm has its share, such as drooping leaves. When that happens, you need to know what to do about it before it’s too late.
Reduce the Amount of Fertilizer
Although the sago palm is a fattening plant, heavy or heavy fertilizer should not be used on it. It is simple to make the leaves sag and become yellow if fertilizer is administered to the leaves during fertilization or if too much fertilizer is applied. Fertilization needs to halt at this point.
However, if you find out that there is significant root rot causing the Sago Palm’s leaves to droop, you will need to stop using fertilizer altogether. During the Sago palm’s growth period, fertilization must cease since too much fertilizer will result in root rot.
As a result, it is preferable to discontinue fertilizing throughout the curing process. When the plant’s roots begin to develop again, it is possible to administer a small amount of fertilizer.
The best times to fertilize are in the spring and fall when growth is active, and you should stop fertilizing during the other seasons. Learn more about Sago Palm cultivation and maintenance.
Make sure the Soil is Moist
In wet soil, the sago palm does best. The branches and leaves will become yellow if it is frequently not watered throughout the growing stage or if the air humidity is low when the temperature is high.
To boost the humidity at this time, it is essential to timely sprinkle water on the leaves. Again, you must do the opposite if you find significant root decay.
Typically, it is simple to detect the occurrence of rotted roots. After curing in the pot, sufficient watering is required. The “dry and wet” approach allows for the timely replenishment of water.
Give it Lots of Light
The sago palm is a light-loving plant that can tolerate a little bit of shade. It is simple for the branches to grow and the leaves to droop if the plant is maintained in a shaded area for a prolonged period when it grows and develops.
The plant should be relocated to a bright, well-ventilated area for the time being; however, throughout the summer, it should be kept shaded and well-ventilated to prevent sunburn.
The root system of the sago palm will not be able to expand if the soil is too dense. Thus, it is preferable to replace it with loose and porous humus.
Sago palms are highly flexible. New roots can form in as little as five months after the soil quality has been altered and the plant has been carefully maintained.
Get Rid of Rotting Roots
Sago palms are highly resistant to disease; however, diverse fungi can still infect them often. The Phytophthora pathogen is the most frequent cause of root rot issues.
Any component of the plant might be harmed by it. The disease’s initial signs include yellowing of the leaves, which progressively progresses to cause the leaves to curl.
The decaying roots of the Sago’s palm must be removed as it begins to deteriorate. Pruning should only be done to unhealthy roots.
Apply a disinfecting treatment after a 30-minute soak in carbendazim. After that, they are left in a cold area to cool.
The sago palm dislikes being repeatedly disturbed. Your plants may experience shock if you often shift your palms from one location to another.
The palm’s growth is halted due to repeated injury to the roots. Because it takes time to adjust to a new environment, the current leaves may start to turn yellow. The leaves could also have physical signs like bruises or color fading.
The most frequent disease to infect the sago palm is the Phytophthora fungus, as was already noted before. When there is enough moisture, this dark fungus assaults the bark. It often strikes when the humidity is elevated above usual, and the temperature is cold.
The plant’s bark begins to split as the fungus takes hold, oozing away the priceless sap. Eventually, the bark becomes dark and separates from the plant.
The damage results in leaf shedding and stunted development. The palm can swiftly lose its beauty and health if it is not managed early.
Pruning and Trimming the Sago Palm
If your Sago is an overgrown mess, you must start pruning and trimming the plant. Begin by cutting the leaves as close to the truck as you can. It is also important to remember that all species of Sago Palm are poisonous, which is why most dog breeds tend to stay away from them.
That being said, always wear gloves when working with the Sago Palm, and don’t forget to wash your hands once you are finished.
Hi! I’m Sophia, and I love plants – especially an expert in growing house plants. I stay in Chicago, United States of America, and through my blog and social media platforms, provide tips and tricks on how to grow healthy, vibrant plants indoors. Check out more here.