Coffee Grounds, Pest Control, Landscaping and the Sago Palm

Using coffee grounds in the garden on plants can be a possible pest solution for a handsome yet rugged plant like Sago palm trees in the landscape. It may have leaves like the Aracaceae or palm tree family but in reality, it is not a palm at all but a cycad.

The Sago Palm (Cycas revoluta) can be used indoors as well. Over the last few years the Asian cycad scale has wiped out a very large percentage of the old established cycad plants in the Florida landscape. Chemical pest control has not worked very well.

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With the “green push” being made on everything from solar lighting, water use, building materials it’s sad plants do not seem to fall into the overall “green boom” or discussion.

Here are some well-known sago palms insect pests that you may encounter:

  • Red palm weevil (Rhynchoporus ferrugineus)
  • Asian cycad scale insects (Sago palms leaves yellowing)
  • South American palm weevil (Rhynchophorus palmarus)
  • Rhyzobius lophantae

I recently read an article in one of the ag magazines which intrigued me very much – plus it’s all natural.

Tom Broome in Lakeland, Florida the owner of The Cycad Jungle could not sit still and watch all these cycads decades old find their demise from the Asian scale infestation. As all good growers do he tested and played.

After some observation and reading he decided to try a favorite morning beverage to battle the scale insects and it wasn’t white milk! Tom used coffee grounds! Growing coffee is organic and has been used in gardens for decades.

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He first tried controlling some sago palm pests like mealy bugs and scale insects. Within days the results were in – death to the mealy’s and sago palm scales.

The problem is when you get on a larger scale drinking that much coffee to get enough coffee grounds is impossible. However, he found the local Starbucks as the perfect place for excess coffee supply.

Basically he mulched large Sago palm tree with coffee and the plants recovered.

I like the idea so much I decided to try it out on some neighbor’s cycads to see what happens. Maybe you should give coffee a look as a natural pest control option like neem insecticide.

One thing you may want to try is to make yourself a “coffee tea” by letting the coffee cook in the sun just like sun tea is made but do it for a few days… then try spraying some outdoor plants with it.

Great more ways to enjoy Java!