Sago palms are a beautiful plant that requires a large time commitment but not too much work to keep them looking great. If you purchase a young Sago palm it could be up to 13 years before it’s first flower blooms and 70-100 years before reaching it’s full height!
Many gardeners keep their Sagos in pots for convenience but this creates it’s own set of problems. Potted trees often have problems draining which can allow mold and disease to develop. Because of this it is important to be careful of overwatering. Only water your Sago if the soil is starting to become dry. When selecting your pot, make sure your pot has a drainage hole in the bottom and that the hole is unobstructed at all times. If your Sago is planted in your yard, water long enough to make the soil is still damp after 5 minutes.
Sagos need fertilizer treatments twice a year with a palm specific mix to build up defenses against weather, insects and disease. The best times to fertilize are the beginning of the summer and winter season.
Thankfully, this palm is fairly hearty and can survive Florida’s mild winters. Sagos can withstand brief periods of temperatures as low as 15 degree F. (-9 C.), but are killed at 23 F. (-5 C.) or below. This means you need to provide sago palm winter protection in most areas outside of Florida. Homeowners in The Villages and Central Florida should not have to worry about protecting their Sagos unless we get an unusually cold and sustained winter.