The sago palm (Cycas revoluta) is not really a palm tree. But it looks like one. This tropical looking plant hails from the Far East. It reaches 6’ (1.8 m.) in height and can spread 6-8’ (1.8 to 2.4 m.) wide. It has a straight or slightly curved narrow brown trunk that is topped with a crown of palm-like, ferny fronds.
The sago palm has a reputation of being a tough tree that can take a wide range of temperatures and soil conditions. However, providing ideal sago palm soil requirements is more important to the health of this plant than one might originally think. So what kind of soil does a sago need? Read on to learn more.
Best Soil for Sago Palms
What kind of soil does a sago need? The best type of soil for sagos is loaded with organic matter and is well-drained. Add good quality compost to the soil under your sago palm every year or even twice a year. Compost will also improve drainage if your soil is either to full of clay or too sandy.
Some experts recommend you plant the sago palm a little bit above the soil line to ensure that rain or irrigation water does not collect around the base of the trunk. Remember that the best soil for sago palms is on the dry side rather than the wet and boggy side. Don’t let your sago palms completely dry out though. Use a moisture meter and a pH meter.
Sago palm soil requirements include a pH that is nearly neutral – about 6.5 to 7.0. If your soil is either too acidic or too alkaline, apply monthly doses of the appropriate organic fertilizer to your soil. It is best to do this during the growing season.
As you can see, sago palm soil requirements are not that demanding. Sago palms are easy to grow. Just remember that the best soil for sago palms is porous and rich. Give your sago palm these conditions and it will provide you with years of landscape enjoyment.
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Karen Boness is the founder of Wild Willow Design, an Australia-based company that specializes in ecological landscape design.
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