What is a Sago Palm and why would you want to purchase one? How much would you have to spend for it? The Sago Palm is a beautiful, unique plant that is not a palm tree but resembles them. The cost will depend on where you purchase it and the size. Read on to find out the answers to these questions.
What is a Sago Palm
The Sago palm can be grown in a cooler garden or containers. Although not a sago palm, it does have a palm’s thick, hairy trunk and feathery leaves at the top. It grows best in hardy zone 7 or anywhere it is warm. It is also able to take a little snow.
The Sago palm is part of a group of ancient subtropical and tropical plants that produce seeds and grows from a trunk that does not branch out. It does not fruit or flower. The Sago palm is a very slow-growing plant and generally puts out only one new fond a year.
At maturity, they can reach three to ten feet tall and wide. They are native to Japan. When growing this palm, you need to make sure that they have a warm, bright environment because their foliage can be damaged by harsh sunlight.
They like humidity so when you are growing them indoors, you should mist them regularly. If you decide to water the palm, be sure that the soil has dried out between watering to help prevent root rot. The container also needs to have drainage holes.
Light: They prefer to have indirect, bright light as direct sunlight, especially in the summer, can burn and wilt the foliage. If it is kept in the shade too much, it can cause sparse foliage and an unhealthy plant.
Soil: The ideal soil should have a slightly acidic to neutral soil pH and be rich in organic matter and is sandy. You can also use a potting mix that is made especially for palms
Water: The Sago palm has some drought tolerance but they do prefer a moderate amount of moisture. Never overwater to where the soil feels soggy. When the plant is not actively growing in the winter, reduce watering slightly.
Humidity and temperature: They like warm, humid conditions. The foliage can be damaged if the temperature is below 20 degrees Fahrenheit and may kill the plant. Indoors, you have to protect it from drafts and airflow from air-conditioning and heat vents.
Toxicity: All parts of the Sago palm, when ingested, are toxic to animals and humans. The seeds are the most toxic part. If you have small children or pets, you may want to reconsider having this plant in your yard or home.
Sizes of Sago Palms
The Sago palms generally grow one to two inches a year but the exact growth will depend on the growing practices and local climate.
Small: When talking about a small Sago palm, they are talking about from a seedling to one that will fill a five-inch pot. When it fills this size pot, it is generally about two years old.
Medium: This is the right size for three to five-gallon containers. They will give your patio a tropical look. This is the ideal size if you just want a houseplant.
Flowering-size: This size is generally only reached when it is planted in the ground and not in a container. The drawback to this size is that they will not bloom for the first time until they are 15-20 years old. The leaves will cover about a six-foot area.
They do not flower every year and produce a cone generally every two to three years. To bloom, the female and male plants have to bloom at the same time.
Specimen: To become this size, it will take about 50 years and it will be 10-12 feet tall. The leaf spread will be about the same, 10-12 feet.
What Does a Sago Palm Cost
All through the Sago palm is easy to grow, it does grow slowly. This makes it at times a palm that is limited in supplies. Because of this, some places where you can purchase a Sago palm will be expensive to get one while others are less expensive. It also depends on where you purchase the Sago Palm.
There are only one variety and species of the plant family called Cycad of the genus Cycas that is available to purchase and that is called the Cycas Revoluta, aka, the Sago Palm. This is the only one from its genus that is sold in garden shops. In the Cycas genus, there are approximately 40 known species that are grown in the United States but the most common one is the Sago palm.
If you purchase the Sago Palm from a registered nursery they will be more expensive than purchasing them from an individual or local nursery. On average, the Sago palm will cost:
- $20 for a 12inch plant
- $104 for 24-inch plant
- $200 for 36-inch plant that is older than seven years.
The Sago palm is a slow-growing plant. It can take 100 years to reach 20 feet in height. Being slow growing is the main reason that they are so expensive. If you purchase a Sago plant from someone who just raises them for enjoyment, you may be able to get them cheaper.
In addition to what it costs to purchase them, if you grow them outdoors, they may need to be trimmed, which you could do when they are smaller. As they grow taller, you will have to get a professional landscaper to do the job. To be trimmed professionally, it can cost $60-$150 per tree so that is another added expense. Before purchasing a Sago palm, do your research to find the best place to buy one.
The one that most purchase is the King Sago palm, which is the male species as it is smaller than the Queen Sago palm and can be grown as a houseplant. The Queen Sago palm needs an outdoor environment.