Sago palms are a go-to option for house plants because they’re low maintenance and can tolerate neglect. These plants can be placed anywhere in the house and garden and can grow to be up to 15 feet tall!
Sago palms are beautiful landscape plants that thrive in warm to temperate climates and make excellent potted indoor specimens.
Though they’re generally easy to grow, Sago Palms have specific soil requirements in terms of pH and nutrient levels, lighting, and moisture needs. Despite requiring very little maintenance, sago palms are quite difficult to grow from seed.
The seeds must be collected fresh from the cones of mature plants and then stratified (a process of subjecting the seeds to cold, moist conditions for some time) before planting.
For this reason, it’s generally easier to propagate sago palms by division or growing them from pups (offsets that form at the base of the plant).
These ornamental plants can sometimes show signs of not doing well. Common problems with sago include yellowing, browning, and leaf drops.
These problems are often caused by incorrect growing conditions, such as too much or too little water, improper lighting, or poor drainage.
If you think your sago palm is not looking its best, check its growing conditions and ensure it’s getting the care it needs. With a little attention, these fascinating plants can thrive for many years.
Read: Sago Palm Leaves Curling
One of the most common problems that sago palms face is brown leaves. There are several reasons why this may happen:
1. Incorrect Watering
If your sago palm is getting too much or not enough water, this can cause the leaves to turn brown and eventually drop off. Sagos need to be watered regularly, but allowing the soil to dry out between watering is also important. Overwatering can lead to root rot, which will kill the plant.
2. Improper Lighting
If your sago palm isn’t getting enough light, this can cause the leaves to turn brown and fall off. Sagos need bright, indirect light in order to thrive. Placing them in a south- or west-facing window is often ideal.
3. Poor Air Circulation
If the air around your sago palm is too stagnant, this can cause the leaves to turn brown and drop off. Good air circulation is important for these plants, so be sure to place them in an area where they will get some airflow.
4. Over Fertilizing
If you’re fertilizing your sago palm too often, this might be the issue. It’s best to fertilize sagos every few months using a balanced fertilizer. Be sure to follow the directions on the fertilizer package so that you don’t apply too much.
5. Root Rot
Root rot is a common problem with sago palms, and it can cause the leaves to turn brown and fall off. This happens when the roots of the plant are sitting in water for too long, which can happen if the plant is overwatered or is poor drainage.
If you think your sago palm has root rot, it’s important to take action quickly. Remove the plant from its pot and inspect the roots. If they’re brown and mushy, you will need to remove them. Then, replant the sago palm in fresh, well-draining soil.
6. Supplement Inadequacy
Manganese inadequacy is one of the reasons for brown leaves in sago palms. The lack of this micronutrient causes chlorosis, which is when the leaves turn yellow between the veins. If you see this happening, you can try to correct it by adding some manganese to the soil. You can also try spraying the leaves with a solution of manganese sulfate.
Pests can also cause sago palms to experience brown leaves and leaf drops. Common pests that attack these plants include scale, mealybugs, and spider mites. If you see any of these pests on your sago palm, treat the plant with an insecticide.
Several diseases can cause sago palms to experience brown leaves and leaf drops. These include fungal diseases like root rot and leaf spot and bacterial diseases like crown rot. If you think your sago palm has a disease, it’s important to take action quickly and consult with a professional.
9. Transport Shock
If you’ve recently moved your sago palm to a new location, this could be causing the leaves to turn brown and drop off. This is often because the plant is not getting enough light or because the temperature is too cold or too hot. If you think this is the case, try moving your sago palm to a different location.
If you’re having problems with your plant, check its growing conditions and ensure it’s getting the care it needs. With a little attention, these fascinating plants can thrive for many years.
10. Spider Mites & Mealybugs
These tiny creatures suck the sap out of the leaves, which can cause them to turn brown and eventually drop off. Mealybugs are another type of pest that can attack sago palms.
These critters feed on the sap of the plant, which can cause the leaves to turn brown and eventually drop off. If you see any of these on your plant, treat it with an insecticide as soon as possible.
11. Humidity and Sago Palms
One of the most common reasons that sago palms experience brown leaves and leaf drops is because of the humidity. If the air around your plant is too dry, this can cause the leaves to turn brown and eventually fall off.
Sago palms need high humidity in order to thrive, so it’s important to mist them daily or place them on a pebble tray. You can also try using a humidifier near your plant.
If you live in an area with low humidity, you may need to take extra care of your sago palm. Be sure to mist it regularly and place it on a pebble tray or in a humidifier. You can also follow a simple practice.
Spray your plant with clean water every day. Doing this will help to increase the humidity around your plant and keep the leaves from turning brown.
1. Fix Your Watering Pattern
Learn the water requirement for sago palms from the internet, your local nursery, or a gardening book. Allow the potting mix to dry out between waterings, and never let your sago palm sit in the water. Water thoroughly when you do water until water flows from the bottom of the pot.
2. Give It More Light
Sagos need lots of light but not direct sunlight, which will scorch their leaves. An east- or west-facing window is ideal. If that’s not possible, supplement with growth lights.
3. Fertilize Regularly (But Not Too Much)
Fertilize your sago palm every two to three months using a balanced fertilizer such as 10-10-10. Follow the package directions carefully, so you don’t apply too much.
4. Prune Off Dead Leaves and Stems
Use sharp, clean shears to remove dead leaves or stems from your sago palm. Make your cuts just above a leaf node, where new growth will emerge.
5. Repot In Fresh Soil
If you think your sago palm’s roots are rotting, repot it in a fresh, well-draining potting mix. Be sure to choose a pot that’s only slightly larger than the current one, so the roots don’t have too much room to spread out.
6. Treat Pests and Diseases Immediately
Take action immediately if you see pests or diseases on your sago palm. Treat the plant with an appropriate pesticide or fungicide following the package directions.
7. Be Patient
If you’ve recently moved your sago palm to a new location, give it time to adjust. It may take a few weeks or even months for the plant to acclimate to its new surroundings and start growing again.
Sago palms are beautiful, low-maintenance plants that can add a touch of elegance to any home. With proper care, they can thrive for many years. If you’re having problems with your sago palm, try some of the solutions listed above.
With patience and attention, you can get your plant back to good health in no time.
Sago palms are one of the most popular houseplants because of their easy care and striking appearance. They’re also known for being very low maintenance, which is ideal for busy people or those without a lot of plant experience.
However, like all plants, sago palms need proper care to stay healthy and thrive. There are many benefits of keeping a healthy sago palm, some common includes:
- Providing Clean Air: Sago palms are great at purifying the air and removing toxins. They’re often used in office buildings or homes to help improve air quality.
- Improving Mood: Having a healthy sago palm in your home can help improve your mood and mental well-being. Studies have shown that plants can have a positive effect on mood and reduce stress levels.
- Boosting Immunity: Sago palms can also help boost your immune system. Their ability to remove toxins from the air can help you avoid getting sick, and their antioxidants can help fight off infection.
Sago palms are a beautiful and easy-to-care-for houseplant that can add some elegance to any room. They’re also known for being very low maintenance, which is ideal for busy people or those who don’t have a lot of experience with plants.
However, like all plants, sago palms need proper care to stay healthy and thrive. These plants can experience the browning of leaves.
We hope by following the above-given guidelines, you can keep your sago palm healthy and avoid any leaf browning issues.
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.