How to Choose the Best Sago Palm Fertilizer

Cycas revoluta, more commonly known as the Sago Palm or the king sago palm, is not a palm. They are a member of the cycad family, making it a relative of ancient pine trees.

The sago palm is a popular choice for gardeners as they are grown outside or as a potted plant. To help keep your sago healthy, you will need to maintain a regular fertilization program.

Sago Palm growing at Disney Springs, Orlando, FloridaPin
Sago Palm specimen (Cycas revoluta) growing at Disney Springs, Orlando, Florida

This article shares tips to help you pick the best sago palm fertilizer and keep your plant looking great year-round.

Best Fertilizer For The Sago Palm Tree

According to the University of Florida, sago palms are at risk for developing a manganese deficiency. This deficiency can cause new leaves to turn yellow and eventually cause the entire plant to die.

Low magnesium levels are another concern when growing sago palms. A well-balanced fertilizer addresses both manganese and magnesium deficiency.

Before turning to fertilizer, make sure your sago palm is in an area with ample sun and soil with good drainage. Overwatering can lead to rotten roots, which can create nutrient deficiencies.

Make sure the fertilizer you choose is slow release. A 12-4-12-4 ratio of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium is ideal.

Use a complete micronutrient formula to adjust for any other soil deficiencies and account for differences in soil pH levels.

Below are some excellent fertilizer options for the Sago Palm Plant.

Miracle-Gro Shake’ n Feed Palm plant food 

This fertilizer has all the nutrients your sago palm needs in an easy-to-use container. Apply the fertilizer dry every three months for the most effectiveness (don’t mix with water first). 

We love this fertilizer because it’s designed to not only feed your sago palm but to take care of the soil by encouraging healthy microbe growth.

Jobe’s Organics Palm Granular Plant Food 

If you have an organic garden or prefer to use organic treatments for your plants, Jobe’s Organics is a great option. 

With a well-balanced group of nutrients and an eye for supporting soil health to encourage maximum root growth, this fertilizer works for indoor and outdoor sago palms. For maximum efficiency, this fertilizer will need to be applied 2-3 times per year.

Carl Pool Palm Food 

When looking for a well-balanced fertilizer designed for the needs of a sago palm, look no further. This brand has an almost perfect ratio (12-4-12-5) of nutrients to help plants thrive. 

The micronutrients, engineered to be long-lasting and support plant and soil health, prevent bleaching from over fertilizing.

TreeHelp Complete Palm Fertilizer Spikes 

This product is perfect for someone who doesn’t want to have to fertilize continually. Plant these easy-to-install spikes near the roots, then forget about them until next year.

These spikes are designed mainly to help with magnesium and manganese deficiencies, so ensure your soil is adequate in all other nutrients.

You will need to use more than one spike per sago palm. The general rule is that a plant will need one for every 6″ inches of the plant’s circumference (for sago palms with a circumference of 24″ inches or greater).

Related Sago Reading:

When and How To Fertilize Your Sago Palm

Let’s go over how and when to apply your chosen fertilizer for maximum success.

If your plants are mature, your best option is a granulated (slow-release) fertilizer that you apply once a year, typically in the spring. Most gardeners will do this in April.

If your plants are younger or in a more challenging growth environment, they may benefit from a more frequent cycle. April, June, and August is a popular choice for more northern or indoor plants.

According to Clemson’s College of Agriculture, you should spread the fertilizer across the entire expanse beneath the canopy. [source]

  • Don’t spread it too close to the trunk.
  • Fertilize at least 3′-6′ feet out beyond the canopy. In a mature sago palm, the root system can extend out 30′ to 50′ feet.
  • Use at least one pound of fertilizer for every 100′ square feet of soil
  • Spread the granules before a rainstorm. If you can’t, don’t forget to sufficiently water the area after application.

When in doubt, consult the instructions on the package or ask your local garden center or landscaper.

If you’re having issues with yellowing or brown leaves, plants will need fertilizer more frequently. Once new growth appears, trim back the yellow and dead leaves. Fertilizing can’t reverse existing damage. It will only impact new growth.

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