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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 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.

Queen Sago Palm TreeQueen Sago Palm Tree

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 because 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 if brought indoors, but will need a sunny location and to be fed occasionally with a quality fertilizer

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 GrowthYoung Sago Palm Tree Showing New Growth
A Potted Sago Palm TreeA 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 PalmYoung 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 insect 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. They can be carefully removed and planted separately.

If you don't want new trees starting just keep the "suckers" or pups 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 TrunkOlder Sago Palm with Rotten Trunk
Sago Palm Tree SeedsSago 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 FlowerFemale Sago Palm Flower

Male Flower

Male Sago Palm FlowerMale 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!

They are readily available for purchase.

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.

More Landscaping Ideas

  • Small Palm Trees for Landscapes  Small palm trees are the perfect addition to ensure your landscape has that tropical feel. Which one will you choose for your little slice of paradise?
  • Large Palm Trees for Landscapes  There are many majestic looking large palm trees you could use in your landscape. Some are perfect as a centerpiece display, or to line laneways
  • Cold Hardy Palm Trees There are more varieties of cold hardy palm trees than you may think. There are kinds that can withstand below freezing temperatures and snow.

I'm Darla the creator of Palm Tree Passion.

I hope you have enjoyed your visit.

Creator of Palm Tree PassionDarla

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