Cold hardiness of a Sago Palm?

andyandy(6bMI)April 13, 2006

What is the lowest minimum temperature I can safely leave my Sago palm out in? High 30s-50. I would appreciate anyone's insight.



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doniki(z5/6 NE Ohio)

Hey Andy-
I put mine out every year usually around April 1. It's in fairly large pot and as long as it stays above 25F I do not cover it... If it's gonna get colder I've got blankets and boxes that work well...

    Bookmark   April 13, 2006 at 1:19PM
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the_virginian(Zone 7 NoVA)

Sagos can tolerate temperatures lower than that. I started leaving mine out in February and they saw temps overnight in the 20s with no ill effects. In my post about Sagos I am curious about how successful a Zone 7 outside planting in a good south facing setting near the house would be with protection in the ground. There is one guy around here that leaves his Sagos out almost all winter in pots and only takes them in if it looks like it will get colder than 15F. I am not that bold for potted Sagos, but he has had success. Generally mine in pots stay outside from February through late November or early December. That is 10 months of the year outside on average. I doubt you could rely on that in the icy, cold and snowy motor city, but 6-7 months of the year outside is realistic.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2006 at 1:21PM
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Mine is potted and we're only supposed to drop into the 40s for I would think the rest of spring. It sounds like I can keep it outside.

thanx, Andy

    Bookmark   April 13, 2006 at 2:39PM
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cycadjungle(z9b Cent FL)

Oh yes, you should be fine now, but for future reference...
Cycads are typically more cold hardy than frost hardy. Plants growing under tree cover (even in pots) can keep their leaves on at much lower temperatures than if the same plants are out in the open. A good frost on the leaves and about 28F can burn some leaves, where the same plant under a tree would keep its leaves at about 18F or so. I saw a few containerized sagos die at 17F, but only a few out of 1000s. It is estimated that the stems will start to die at about 10F to 12F and can't handle much lower than that.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2006 at 11:25PM
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palmpunk(z6b SE MI)

You should look into some of the more cold-hardy sagos, such as the Prince Sago. It's supposed to be a faster grower than Revoluta. I've just started to research them myself, and it might be worth a try here in SE MI. Given plenty of protection, and if defoliation arises, it should recover if these things truly have the growth speed that I've been reading about. I'm not sure if the spelling is correct, but I think it's Cycas Taitungensis. By the way, I also have my sago out. I'm trying to get it to grow out some of those ugly low-light fronds it has grown while indoors.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2006 at 7:02PM
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weatherguy(z6 Illinois)

Yes, try Cycas taitungensis, I'm going to buy a few from: They are supposed grow much faster than the Sago (multiple flushes per season) and the caudex (trunk) can withstand short boughts to the single digits. But if you protected it, you would never let it get that cold to begin with.

Here is a link that might be useful: Chumley Cycads Pricelist

    Bookmark   April 16, 2006 at 11:41AM
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So this is wild: I have a Sago palm that is in a 1.5 to 2 quart size pot (a little fella) and the temp has already dropped to just below 30 degrees several times. It seems to be happy as a lark! The new book, 'Palms Won't Grow Here and Other Myths: Warm-climate plants for cooler areas" by David A. Francko of Miami Univ. in Ohio, talks about how many palms have a sort of built-in antifreeze element all their own. I'm starting to believe it.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2006 at 10:42AM
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wingo_43(z7b GA)


I concur with Tiffany 6 and especially cycadjungle. Cold doesn't seem to be so much a danger as frost. Mine is in a 3-gallon pot and has done fine with temps in the low 30's/upper 20's. The one time I nearly lost the sago was after frost got it one night. Almost completely defoliated but it bounced back, thankfully.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2006 at 12:04AM
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I am begining to like this prince sago. I have a a nice sized cycad revolut. but with the prince sago growing faster and able to withstand lower temps this just might work (with protection of course) Where can i find some of these at to purchase? I have checked ebay and there is none up for auction.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2006 at 12:13PM
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spataro51; Tom at cycadjungle might have some Cycas taitungensis. By the way, another even hardier cycad might be Cycas panzhihuaensis. I've seen talk about it being maybe the hardiest cycad. Einar

    Bookmark   November 23, 2006 at 7:46AM
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I brought mine in about a month ago. It's in my living room window facing north. It gets a little morning sun. the only time I've seen noticeable growth was last summer when it had its first flush since I got it last fall. It really looks good.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2006 at 10:53AM
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I keep my 7 gallon outside unless the weather gets in the teens.
I did leave it out once and it got burnt a little but thats about it... they are very hardy ! they realy do like the sun!

    Bookmark   December 13, 2006 at 10:11PM
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I live in Columbia SC and the temps have recently dropped into the 20's for several nights. In the beginning my potted Sago did fine, but today I went out and it was faded, not brown....but had lost its green color. However, the stems on the palm are green and still sturdy....Is it toast, or is there anything I can do to bring it back???

    Bookmark   December 16, 2006 at 12:43PM
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cycadjungle(z9b Cent FL)

Yea, I have C. taitungensis in anything from a 6 inch stem to 2 foot of trunk. They get a lot bigger than the revoluta, so if you let it get large, it will have up to an 11 foot spread.
I have formulated a soil mix that will kill asian scale in the soil,as well as mealy bugs in the soil. Also, I have made a mulch that you can cover you soil with and it will kill the scales that way. It is all natural too. I found a seed that if you grind it up and mix with the soil or other materials, it will kill most harmful insects. I can now grow more cycas now, because I can get this to my customers (once I perfect the method) and they won't have to worry about Asian scale any more. I have cured 3 cycas plants now for up to 6 months without the scale coming back, just by using the mulch on the soil. Now people can have a forest of Cycas debaoensis out in the yard without having to worry about getting Asian scale.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2006 at 2:49PM
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Cycas revoluta is quite hardy. I once had one survivea cold winter in Siuth Jersey in which it reached -6f! The mulched Sago flushed a new set of leaves to replace the leaves it lost in the bitterly cold winter. The plant was growing in a sheltered location near the southeast side of the house.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2006 at 10:18PM
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If there is still green on the fronds next to the center
and no brown it should recover... just give it plenty of sunshine.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2006 at 10:58PM
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