Why Is My Cycad Palm Not Growing New Leaves?

Consider adding a Cycad palm, a palm tree that grows extensively across the US as a pot and landscape species, for some tropical flair in the garden. Cycads are mostly known as Sago palms, a type of ancient plant. So, it’s not a legitimate palm.

Your Cycad palm should have a verticil of feather-like, dark green leaves on its stem. Even though it is so common and loved, people still have some issues growing it.

One question frequently asked is why is my Cycad palm not growing new leaves. There could be many reasons, from harmless ones like slow growth to dangerous ones like trunk rot. It’s time to begin Cycad palm fixing if your Cycad palm plant has no new fronds.

This post will discover why your Cycad palm tree is not growing new leaves and how we can stimulate its growth. So let us get started.

Cycad Palm - Live Plant in a 10 Inch Growers Pot - Macrozamia Moorei - Extremely Rare Ornamental Palms of Florida

Why Is My Cycad Palm Not Growing New Leaves?

The answer to the issue of no new leaves could lie in its rate of leaf regrowth. What is the rate of leaf regrowth in Cycads?

Most Cycad palms in their natural environment only occasionally develop cones and generate leaves on average once or twice a year. They could only develop fronds every two years as indoor plants and could also stay relatively the same shape for so many decades. This was a harmless explanation; however, there are still plenty of reasons for this issue.

Cycad palms can survive in the US. However, in specific areas, the plant Hardiness Zone is nine or above, according to the Department of Agriculture, but not lower.

Cycad palms should be grown in pots and brought inside the home when it gets chilly if you reside in a colder climate. If not, you could encounter several issues with Cycad palm, such as foliage failure.

If you reside in the right hardiness zones but are still experiencing issues with your regrowth of palm leaves, ensure that the soil is well-draining. These plants can’t stand moist or squishy soil. Root rot may result from inadequate drainage and overwatering.

Cycad palms suffer severe issues; as a result, they even die or have stunted growth. Your Cycad palm can be deficient in nutrients if it isn’t producing leaves.

Are you feeding your Cycad palm a fertilizer? You must give the plant a monthly fertilizer throughout the growth period to boost its vigor. Verify the calendar if you’re doing everything right, but your Cycad palm still has no new leaves.

Autumn is when Cycad palms stop growing strongly. It may be normal for you to remark that “my sago isn’t sprouting leaves” during November or October.

How To Save Cycad Palm Trees?

Growing Factors

Make sure you give a stunted Cycad palm the right growth environment if you want to save it. The soil must be well-draining and wet for these palms to flourish healthily.

They appreciate sandy soil if grown outdoors, but if you’re growing them indoors, you might try combining sand and peat to help with drainage. Root rot is a result of the soil’s excessive water retention.

Approximately four to six hours of indirect sunlight each day should be provided for these plants—Cycad palms that grow outside need full sun and shade. More giant trees may reflect sunlight and need to be cut down because these plants typically reach three to ten feet.

Cycad palms prefer warm weather, and if the temperature drops too low, they could suffer freeze damage, including fading, stunted and brown leaves. Take out any damaged or dead leaves for the plants to focus their energy on spring season development.

Fill In The Plants’ Nutritional Gaps By Fertilizing Them.

Feed the dying Cycad palms a balanced, slow-release fertilizer to help them recover.

Cycad Palm - Live Plant in a 10 Inch Growers Pot - Macrozamia Moorei - Extremely Rare Ornamental Palms of Florida

Nutritional deficits can cause fronds to die, and plants lacking in K or Mg typically have yellow leaves. Spray chelated iron on the foliage to make the fresh growth green. However, if you count on the stained leaves to return to vibrant green again, do not have hope on this; you will have to prune them.

Cycad palms that lack manganese may develop frizzle tops or yellow leaves which turn brown. As directed in the packaging instructions, mix manganese sulfate into the soil surrounding the plants to correct this.

After using the fertilizer, lightly water the area. Pruning any leaves with green growth might strain the plant, so avoid doing so unless they are entirely dead.

Save It From Root Rot

Cycads that receive too much water are susceptible to root rot, which causes the roots to decompose and turn dark brownish or, worse case, black. Root rot can harm and even kill the whole palm plant; however, if it isn’t pervasive, it may still be possible to preserve it. Remove the rotting root tissue by pruning, and give the root system a chemical root booster.

The other way is to repot the plant. To repot your Cycad plants, bind the lesions with agro tar, then pick a potting medium that won’t hold much moisture.

Cycad Palm - Live Plant in a 10 Inch Growers Pot - Macrozamia Moorei - Extremely Rare Ornamental Palms of Florida

Pests Should Be Looked For And Eliminated!

Your plants could become prey to pests such as Cycad scale species. These bugs can lead to Cycad plants dying and fading fronds. Apply horticultural oil and fish emulsion to treat and eliminate these pests.

Ensure You Cultivate The Appropriate Cycads For The Environment.

Some Cycad plant species enjoy tropical environments, while others need a dry, humid environment. Some plants, particularly Zamia Cycads, require a greenhouse to grow if you reside in a chilly or temperate climate. Investigate the best species or types to cultivate for your particular area first.

Consistently Maintain Proper Drainage.

Keep in mind that soil never gets flooded and has sufficient drainage. To encourage drainage, use gravel, sand, and pumice; stay away from very sandy soil. You can also replant the palms growing in pots and adjust the soil for proper drainage. For your Cycads, a tropical combination is an excellent choice.


The ancient Cycad palm tree may survive inside and outside your home; however, direct sunlight can destroy its leaves and overall structure.

The palm tree will get hotter within if exposed to prolonged, unfiltered sunlight. As a result, it will try to evaporate water from its leaves. The Cycad Palm will eventually become dry and develop if it loses too much water.

As a result, placing your indoor Cycad palm tree in a room or shed that gets adequate indirect light throughout the day is recommended.


The Sago Palm Tree would not have survived for 300 million years if frequent watering were one of its essential requirements. The sago palm tree, on the other hand, can live under drought-like conditions due to its unique constitution.

Therefore, you shouldn’t worry too much about the planter’s watering requirements if you have a Sago Palm Tree in a pot at home.

Set the alarm or write a reminder on a wall calendar to yourself to water your indoor Sago Palm Tree at least once every three to four days. However, if you want to go for around a month, there is no need to worry.

The soil of the potted sago palm tree should always be maintained moist. If the soil surface on top of the Cycad tree becomes very dry, quickly use a sprayer to bring some moisture back into the soil.

Additionally, take care not to overwater your indoor sago palm tree since this can harm the tree’s health.

If you accidentally overwater your Cycad palm, the extra water won’t be absorbed by the roots of the plant. Instead, it will gather and assemble inside the Cycad palm tree’s pot, where it will provide an ideal environment for the growth of fungus.

It will take a few minutes for airborne fungal spores to get to the Sago Palm Tree’s exceptionally moist soil. Your indoor Cycad palm tree in a pot eventually dries out, curls inward, and drops its thin leaves as the plant ages. You might not initially notice a difference.

Why Is My Cycad Palm Not Growing New Leaves
Why Is My Cycad Palm Not Growing New Leaves

Concluding It All

Before plants develop a bloom of new leaves, Cycad palm species commonly shed their old leaves. However, it takes at least a year for this to occur.

You might determine whether the plant is firmly planted on the earth. When did it get there? The roots will be entrenched firmly for a mature plant. To test if the leaves emerge, you could tug on their stubs. If they do, it might be decaying at the surface.

However, it’s still a little challenging to make an accurate judgment without knowing anything about the plant’s history, how it has been treated, the habitat it lives in, etc.

We hope this information about why my Cycad palms are not growing new leaves will help you as a gardener.

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