what is wrong with my cycad?? *pic*

trace00969June 4, 2007

I only got this a couple months ago, it has been watered maybe twice, I read they like to go quite dry......it has not had any fertilizer since I had it. So why is it yellowing and dying......since it is a slow grower, I have not seen any new growth......what am I doing wrong??



Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Trace, I'm surely NO expert on Cycads but I'll try helping..It took several Sago's before I was able to keep one more than 2 yrs, that is, until one 'night' when I watered, plus the area was cold..the next day I woke to its death..
Did you repot? They do best underpotted.
Drainage is important. In fact, mandatory.
Since they're slow-growing, very little food is recommended..in fact once or twice a yr is more than enough. Fertilizer including iron may help, too.
Expect to see one to two sets of leaves per year.
If you place in a semi-shady spot in the garden, it'll do well.
They suggest humidity from average to high..STill I'd mist leaves..
I notice the tips have brown/yellow leaves. Though Sago soil needs to dry out, don't allow so much it cracks..It should feel dry when you stick a finger into soil. Then water.
Clip off brown tips, leaving about 1/8th" of brown on.
Just as an experiment, use water that's been sitting out at least 24 hours.
Sago's are pretty hardy when it comes to insects, but it's not impossible..check for mites/mealy.
And last but not least, don't water at night..(S) Toni

    Bookmark   June 5, 2007 at 12:01AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
nanw_4wi(4/SW WI)

IMHO it's lacking light....they need as much sun as they can get, and *indoors*, that's often not enough.
They're also known for yellowing from magnesium deficiency.

If it comes to the point where you have to cut off all the leaves, don't give up....they're not 'goners' yet if the base is still firm.
If you place it outdoors in direct sun during the summer, it should re-grow at least a few leaves.

Good luck with it!

    Bookmark   June 5, 2007 at 12:12PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think I will pot it down, and water it more, I was under the impression they only liked water a few times a year, definetly going to vut the brown ends off, ZI have been waiting for someone to say "DO IT" so now I will, it's going to look pathetic....lol. My DH loves these primitive looking plants and I have no idea how to care for some of them.........I try to always use water that has been sitting out for a day or so, the milk jugs of water everywhere drive me nuts, but my plants are my babies...lol.


    Bookmark   June 5, 2007 at 12:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Trace, oh you have to water more than once or twice a yr..who told u different? The soil needs to dry out, in other words, don't keep it muddy or it'll rot, but it has to be watered more than a few times a yr..

Nan, should have specified for Trace to start off by placing plant in shade, then gradually set in sunnier location, especially if it's been is a shady spot..Sorry..

Trace, do you have any Ikea's near your house? I found the nicest Cycads there..and inexpensive, too..not to mentioin heatlhy..or at least the few times I've shopped there..it's pretty far from my house so we don't go there much..Toni

    Bookmark   June 5, 2007 at 2:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
grice(z5 Michigan)

Trace I allow my sagos to dry down a bit before watering. As Toni said I don't let the soil dry to the point of cracking between waterings. I also think your sago is lacking suffiecent light. In the winter I keep mine next to an eastern window where they get plenty of morning sun. Sometimes during the harsh Michigan winters here I will see some yellowing but I usually take off the yellowing stems. Twice this last winter I simply cut off the yellowing frond entirely. In summer I place the sagos outdoors where they receive west full sun. Once they are outside they always reward me with at least three flushes of new growth. I would say give your sago a bit more light and maybe a tad more water( certainly more than a few times a year). Cut off the yellowing leaves or the whole frond if it yellows completly. Sagos are one of the easiest plants to grow not to mention they have great texture. Like Nan said as long as the base is still firm it's alive. I have read where some people have lost all of the fronds but have kept the base potted in well draining soil and gave it good light only to have new flushes several times during the growing season. Sagos are tough little things. Good luck with yours.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2007 at 8:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Well I will start watering it more, I sure had teh wrong idea...lol. Looking at it now, I will probably remove some of the tips, I dont think an entire frond has to come off, and I will move it to more light.....thanks for your help everyone


    Bookmark   June 8, 2007 at 4:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Grice, you must have a super green thumb w/cycads. I cannot keep a Sago..I did have a, what they call Cardboard Palm cycad for yrs..that was one of the plants that died last winter..but had it over 10 yrs..and it grows a lot faster than Sago..
Trace, I'm glad u only had to cut a few stems..Toni

    Bookmark   June 8, 2007 at 5:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
grice(z5 Michigan)

You know Toni it was just trial and error with the sagos. I don't do anything to the plants at all. I water when they dry. In the spring/summer I place them on the patio which faces west (full sun). They seem to love it. In the winter they sit in front of an east window. They seem happy.
"Grice, you must have a super green thumb w/cycads" I take that as a high compliment coming from you. I wish I had your green thumb and expertise when it comes to houseplants .

    Bookmark   June 9, 2007 at 7:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Grice, I think you figured out the secret growing Cycads. You ignore, no overwatering or overfeeding..
Do yours grpw in winter? What type of fertilizer?
Don't you just love pics of mature Sagos w/huge trunks?
Thanks for the compliment, but if you saw some of my plants after last winters problem you wouldn't be complimenting me..LOL..I really lost many plants..makes me feeling like crying and is depressing. oh well...
Didn't you also have brugs growing? Toni

    Bookmark   June 10, 2007 at 3:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
grice(z5 Michigan)

Toni I don't do a thing to them. I ST occasionally and fertilize sparingly. That reminds me I have to put fert on the shopping list,lol. When things are going as they should for you I know you'd never let plants get into distress. Don't beat yourself up about the lost plants you had a very good excuse. I do love the look of the mature Sago. I wish I lived somewhere like TX where I could plant them outside. On the palm/cycad forum I've seen some beauties. Oh well....
No I don't have any brugs. I'm not even sure what 'brugs'are,lol.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2007 at 6:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hey Everyone, Can you give me ideas about the following? I have a sage (indoor), with 6 leaves (when I bought it about 4 mos. ago). About 3 weeks ago it seemingly overnight, popped up 4 "sticks" out of the middle. In about 4-5 days the "sticks" unfurled into new leaves. Well, I guess they are leaves because the "needles" are spaced apart 1/8" - 1/4" along the stem unlike the original 6 leaves. Also the 4 new leaves shot up to 2 feet above the original leaves. I've seen lots of sagos, but never one like this!! Now, here's where I need help... The four new leaves are starting to fade to a straw colored yellow from the tips downward toward the root. (It is in a northeastern window) Am I possibly watering too much? I water when the soil is just dry... Thanks, Nicola

    Bookmark   October 21, 2008 at 9:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

should the ball or stem what ever you call it be up out the soil? and should i replant it to a bigger pot , its only ina pot thats about 8or9 in. round and its about18 in or so tall thanks for any help you can give me
verla canada

    Bookmark   February 9, 2011 at 5:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am with Toni and others!

I have one and it never gets that dry, although it does dry out between waterings. The last one that died was one that I barely watered since you are not storing your plant at temps lower than 50 degrees which many species can handle, such as mine.

Many friends I know actually can get away with not watering for days, as long as they are growing in very cold conditions, like an unheated garage.

In the greenhouse where I they have dozens, they water frequently in a fast draing mix along with lot's of light, not direct sun, warm temps, and they are thriving.

Withholding water far too long with a plant that is getting light, and warm temps, is going to crash quicker than you think from dehydration, then rooted roots after the first drink from days of shriveled roots..

Good luck


    Bookmark   February 10, 2011 at 3:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Verla..When you repot, keep the little trunk out..don't cover with soil.

Cycads are very slow-growing, need little fertilizer. Some Sago's put out one to two fronds per year. Potted, anyhow.

Does your plant need repotting? Are roots growing out of drainage holes? Or do you want to plant in an ornate container?
They look and do better underpotted. 'A bonsai look.' Toni

    Bookmark   February 10, 2011 at 10:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
stephenpope2000uk(Brighton, UK)

'So why is it yellowing and dying......since it is a slow grower, I have not seen any new growth......what am I doing wrong??'

Insufficient overhead light intensity (and for too few hours per day), lack of moisture, humidity too low... etc. All the usual houseplant deficiencies - we've all been there! Despite being one of the most commonly retailed houseplants, Cycas is not really worth it unless you have a suitably high-light location for it - new flushes tend to distort unevenly if the prevailing light direction is not directly overhead, such as you get only in a conservatory or sun room. They don't take well to being rotated on a narrow windowsil with only lateral lightl, unfortunately, as the soft new fronds never achieve that nice looking 360 degree symmetry.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2011 at 6:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
stephenpope2000uk(Brighton, UK)

The other side of this issue is what happens when your Cycas grows TOO WELL. Fronds that flush in the second and third year can be exponentially longer than the compact and tidy originals you brought home - the potential 'wingspan' might become a problem quicker than you think. I had a bucket-potted monster for a few seasons in Brighton (indoors under a powerful growlight) that grew so wide that I decided to 'guerilla' plant it outdoors in an otherwise desultory municipal shrubbery at the top of my road. Some greedy, amoral, anti-social person dug it up and stole it almost immediately! Headed for a car-boot sale for a lot of money, no doubt...

    Bookmark   February 15, 2011 at 11:35AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Advice needed - Frostbitten Schefflera
Hi all. Seven days ago, I moved house and took a couple...
massakyr - Zone 2b
i have been struggling with this ornery little persnickity...
Hawaiian Schefflera - 'Haircut' & Propagate
In this Forum, where I have been for only 1 week, I...
Droopy Pachira aquatica in 3:1:1
Hi, Last year I planted our 7 year old pachira aquatica...
true_blue (MTL CAN Z4)
"Heirloom" geraniums, coleus, impatiens etc.
perhaps this isn't exactly a houseplant question......
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™