Search this site

Sago Palm Tree

Queen Sago Palm Tree

The sago palm tree has 2 popular varieties as the "king or queen sago". They are just a couple of the many kinds in this family. The one pictured on the right is a queen sago.

Some other plants in this group have a very similar look to them are the giant dioon and the virgin palm.

It has a different kind of leaf than a “normal” palm. Probably because it is not a true member of the palm family.

It's of the cycad plant group and aren't related at all. Some other plants in this group have a very similar look to them. They are the giant dioon and the virgin palm.

Many think of sago as a palm because of its name so I've included it for you.

Check the quick info for each the king and queen, each has slightly different growing conditions.

Important Information:

Keep in mind that all parts of any sago palm tree are toxic. 

Animals can find it actually tasty and can get into trouble.

The greatest level is found in the seed.

You may want to reconsider planting this tree if you have pets or small children around.


They are slow growers which makes them perfect for both gardens and containers.

Sago palms are just as good looking when they are young as when they get large. 

Your Ultimate Palm Tree Handbook

A favorite in landscapes-it takes along time for them to get tall.

Outdoors they will thrive with summer temps from 30-35°C and can take full sun or natural shade.

Sago palms require well drained soil and are somewhat drought tolerant.

They can survive in cooler climates if brought indoors, but will need a sunny location.

Quick info: Scientific name: cycas rumphii  (Queen Sago)

  • 10-15 ft tall 8-12 ft wide, single trunk that will branch
  • minimum temp 28°F, zones 9-11
  • full sun, regular water and food, moderate growth
  • sandy well drained soil of any type
  • this variety is larger than the King Sago relative
Sago Palm Tree - Medium
Young Sago Palm Tree Showing New Growth
A Potted Sago Palm Tree

For those who have suffered some freeze damage with brown leaves, don't be in a hurry to count the plant out. It will probably recover if left alone. Look for green in the bud area.

Sago Palm Tree Appearance

Their trunk is rough and their leaves are a feathery shape but on the picky side. Not as soft as real palms.

Their leaves also grow differently. They have many leaves come out at once all the way around.

They are similar to the traveler palm in the way they grow from just leaves out of the ground to having a very thick trunk right off the bat.

It does look a little out of proportion that way.

Young Sago Palm

Our older tree has a big chunk missing in part of the trunk that has allowed it to rot.

Because of the nature of the rough diamond shape pattern in its trunk- it is more vulnerable to insects, pests and then ultimately wood rot as the tree matures.

Sago palms reproduce either with seeds and also have new plants growing out of pockets on the trunk. These are often called pups.

If you don't want new trees starting just keep the "suckers" trimmed down.

Quick info: Scientific name Cycas revoluta (King Sago)

  • 4-8 ft tall, and wide, single trunk that does branch
  • Minimum temp 15°F    zones 8-11
  • Full sun, drought tolerant, slow growing
  • sandy well drained soil of any type
  • great in containers and does well indoors

sago palm tree
Sago Palm with Rotten Trunk
Sago palm Tree Seeds

It is not unusual for a mature sago palm tree to have multiple trunks. It can branch off itself and have multiple heads of leaves on them.

You can tell the males and females apart rather easily when they are flowering. Both sexes get flowers but they are quite distinct in appearance.

Female Flower

Female Sago Palm Flower

Male Flower

Male Sago Palm Flower

So many associate it with palm trees that I felt it deserved speaking to you about.

Did you know the sago palm tree has been around since before the dinosaurs?

A very adaptable tree that has survived for millions of years!

Don't forget every part of this tree is poisonous... If you have pets or small children it's wise to purchase a different type of palm.

You might like these

  • All Types of Palm Trees

    Planning on growing a tropical garden inside or out? Here's a list of the many types of palm trees used in landscapes so you can plan accordingly!

  • Ruffled Fan Palm

    The Ruffled fan palm is hard one to miss. It’s a super choice for containers indoors or out and in landscapes. This one is sure to attract some attention.

  • Sabal Palmetto

    The Sabal Palmetto is a beautiful fan palm with glossy green leaves. It's drought, wind, cold and salt water spray tolerant.

NOTE :  About Buying Palms

If you are looking to buy palm trees of any kind then I would highly recommend purchasing through the Real Palm Tree Store.

They are a huge nursery based in Florida with connections to many quality growers.

Whether you are ordering from inside the United States, Canada or another part of the world-- ordering one tree for your landscape or many for a commercial project-- I’m confident you won’t be disappointed.

Their customer service is second to none; all products are high quality and backed by a money back 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Make sure to visit real palm trees, ask questions and read the reviews before buying anywhere else.

Palm Tree Store

back to top

For landscaping you may also enjoy these articles: 

Small palm varieties gives you a selection popular for in containers or landscapes.

Indoor palms lists the easiest to grow in your home or office year round.

Cold hard types includes all the palms that will survive below freezing temperatures.

Large palm trees lists the names of common palms used in landscapes.

Growing explains the plant hardiness zones, soil and other terminology frequently used by gardeners.

Fertilizing teaches how to read the label, what the numbers mean, how to calculate the amount to use, what to look for in a quality product for your tropical beauties.

Palm Tree Passion is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Palm Tree Passion (

Palm Tree Passion>Types of Palm Trees>Sago Palm Tree