Cold hardiness question for the Sago Palm

livingfossil(6a Dayton OH)April 10, 2009

I read that the cold hardiness for the Sago Palm (Cycad) is around 10F. Right now in Ohio, the lows are about in the 30s. Is it OK for me to leave my Sago Palm outside for the Spring? I keep it inside during the winter. It is in a container. Thanks!

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Should be okay, but here are some factors to consider:

1.) Your plant has been grown indoors and has not been hardened off to any degree of cold.

2.) Are your plants big or tiny? Size matters and large ones (in bigger containers) will be more cold tolerant.

3.) Is your soil excellent draining? If you get into a cold, wet period, you might have a problem as cycads may rot.

4.) Be sure to keep in a shady outdoor position once you initially put outside (maybe for a week or two) until plant is more accepting of direct sun.

5.) Keep in mind, plants in containers have much less cold tolerance than a plant or tree in the ground but the ground (especially if mulched) is MUCH
warmer than an uninsulated container of any kind.

Mine have been out for about 10 days now but they are large and have been kept cold but frost free (in the garage) since December. Generally, I get them out once temps stay above 32 F (But I don't worry if temps fall into upper 20's.) If your plants are small, I would hold off until minimums are in the upper 30's. Keep them on the dry side until it warms up (been too cold here of late!) P.S. I've had mine over 20 years! Good luck.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2009 at 9:06PM
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livingfossil(6a Dayton OH)

Njoasis, thanks so much for the info. One of my cycads has a trunk of about 10 inches high and maybe a 20" circum. The other is rather small.

I see what you mean about cold and wet being a problem and no mulch. I think I may bring them in at night but leave them out during the day. The temps are supposed to be in the upper fifties and high sixties all week and lows of mid 30s and 40s.

I wanted to make sure my two Sagos are getting enough sun because indoors they never get as much as they like. i always lose the bottom/older fronds during the winter.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2009 at 9:36PM
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They usually lose all their leaves when a frost comes unless protected, but will make a new flush of leaves if the frost is a light one. I dont know if it would be able to handle a hard freeze if it is in a pot because pots leave the roots exposed.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2009 at 10:09PM
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I have had no problems with mine down to 20F,the main issue will be letting it adjust to direct sun,break it in slowly and it will be fine.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2009 at 12:17AM
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Hey Jim,

I have a sago in the ground since June 2008. I'm wondering what's the quickest way to get it to flush this spring? Some leaves are burned up from last winter, but about 60% are green yet. I want to get it to flush so I can cut off the burned up leaves.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2009 at 12:32AM
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I got mine to flush by using high N fertilizer,(lawn fertilizer)try about a 1 tbls SPREAD OUT around the base of the palm,wait until late May at least to try this as they need warmth too,80s would be a good temp.It does not take long for the fertilizer to work either,maybe a week before you see growth,this worked for me last June.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2009 at 7:55AM
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