To keep the sago palms healthy and green, choosing and applying the best fertilizer for sago palms is a necessary task. Meeting the nutrient needs of palms does help to keep the plant strong and healthy.
To ease you in finding the best sago palm fertilizer, I built this guide on sago palm fertilization.
The best part of this guide is that I am going to show you all the best fertilizers and the techniques that are working right now to make the sago palms healthy.
Additionally, things like their nutritional needs, when to fertilize and how to fertilize the palms are also discussed in this article.
So let’s get started.
What are sago palms and why do they need fertilizers?
Sago palms (Cycas revoluta) are also known as King sago palms. Actually sago palms are not palms, they are conifers/ferry plants that are called cycads.
They are slow-growing plants with a life span of more than 100 years. No fertilizer can speed up their slow growth habit. So now you are thinking then why we apply fertilizer to them.
Answer to that question is that fertilizer keeps the plants healthy and strong. As they can be grown both indoors and outdoors but the fertilization is necessary for both conditions.
Sago palms fertilization
Fertilization of palms becomes a headache if you don’t know the nutrient requirements of sago palms. Sago palms need slow releasing fertilizer such as 12-4-12-4 fertilizer.
Any fertilizer that is rich in nitrogen and potassium is best for fertilizing the sago palms. Furthermore, it will be great if micronutrients like manganese are also present in the fertilizer.
Slow releasing fertilizers like 18-6-8 or 24-7-8 are also good for palms fertilization. Moreover, the addition of minor nutrients like boron, manganese and iron improves the value of the product, as well it’s functioning.
Nitrogen and potassium are the main nutrients required for normal and healthy growth, but iron too has the main role in maintaining the growth cycle of sago palms.
Reviews: Sago palm fertilizers
1. Miracle-Gro 1602210 Palm Tree Food – Cycad fertilizer
Miracle-Gro palm food is the premium class food for palms to keep them thriving and healthy.
It does not only supply the nutrients to the plants but also supports by timely releasing of nutrients from the granules.
The shiny feature of this plant food is that it is featured with slow nitrogen releasing that helps to protect the plants from overfeeding and burning.
It is a great product that relieves you from worrying about feeding palms and helps the plants to grow faster and more green and protect from the curling and yellowing of leaves.
How to use
- Scatter the palm food on the soil surface evenly
- Apply the plant food on all surface under the plant coverage/within the drip line
- Mix it thoroughly in top 1-3” of soil
- Feeds palm for 6 weeks
- Produce healthy and green palm foliage
- A single bag can be fed 15 times! Based on 10ft canopy
- Slow nitrogen release protect the plant from burning and overfeeding
- Also consists of iron, magnesium, and manganese for better growth
- No cons yet found and work great on palms in every condition
2. Jobe’s 100046747 Outdoor, Palm Tree Spikes 10-5-10 Time Release Fertilizer
This time releasing palm tree spike food is specially formulated palm fertilizer by Jobe’s. It is an outdoor palm fertilizer that works great by nourishing the roots of the palm.
It is applied twice a year during March and October to get better results.
The premium feature of this fertilizer is that it is slow releasing food, which means that it ensures the presence of nutrients at the root zone each time.
It is easy to use palm food and relieves the user from the wastage like runoff. Additionally, it doesn’t have any mess, hazards and smell.
How to use
- Simple inserting near the drip line of palm plants is enough.
- One time inserted spike will feed the palm for months.
- Supply Calcium, Magnesium and sulfur along with NPK
- Pre-measured spike food for palm
- Nourishes the palm roots
- No waste in the form of runoff
- Slow releasing fertilizer
- Use accordingly to the directions on package otherwise, you will get your plants to burn
3. Sunniland Palm Fertilizer 6-1-8 Granules 20 Lb
It is an organic, slow-releasing, granular palm fertilizer by Sunniland. It is mainly a palm food fertilizer that also works for Cicadas and Ixoras.
The slow-releasing feature of this plant food makes it a valuable product as it keeps the plants nourished with nutrients for a longer time.
The wastage of nutrients in the form of leaching and volatilization is also lowered by applying this fertilizer.
The premium feature of food is that it also improves the fertility of the soil with time due to its organic nature composition.
How to use
- Sprinkle the granular plant food evenly on the soil surface
- Mix the food in the topsoil thoroughly
- Water the plant immediately after fertilization
- One time application will nourish plant for 4 weeks
- Organic in nature
- Improves the soil structure and fertility
- Slow-release plant food
- NPK 6-1-8 completely resembles the palm need
- Nourish plant for 4 weeks
- Some people may not like its smell as it is organic food
4. Miracle-Gro Shake ‘N Feed Palm Plant Food
It is easy to apply palm food by Miracle-Gro that is ready to go by just shaking the pack. It works too as a miracle for palm trees as it has micronutrients like iron, manganese and magnesium too along with NPK.
The addition of micros in the formulation of this plant food enhances the growth of palms, cycads and other tropical plants and protects them from the curling and yellowing of leaves.
The great thing about this product is that it works the same for both ground and container plants.
One time application keeps the plant nutrified for 3 months.
How to use
- Remove the applicator cap from the pack and apply the dry form food on soil without any mixing of water.
- Make sure to avoid the contact of food with branches and truck and evenly spread the food within the drip line
- Now mix the food into the top 1-3 inches of soil and water the soil
- Again apply after 3 months
- Contains Fe, Mg and Mn along with NPK
- Nourish the plant above and below the soil
- Special food for palms
- Protects the palm from curling and yellowing
- Continuous releasing food
- Feed up to 3 months
- No cons found
5. Jobe’s 05101 Fern & Palm Fertilizer Spikes
It is another spike food palm fertilizer by Jobe’s that helps in keeping the palms lush green and healthier.
It is a continuous releasing fertilizer source for keeping the roots of palm nourishing all the time so that they never get stress from deficiency of any nutrients at any time.
Spikes release the nutrients in the soil in that direction where the roots are growing actively so the wastage and bounding of nutrients are almost none.
How to use
- Insert the spikes in the soil away from the trunk
- Use 1 or 2 spikes per plant as directed on package
- Water the soil after spike inserting
- Insert them along the drip line
- Continuous release palm food
- Release nutrients to active growing roots
- Easy to use
- No smell or hazards to plants
- Time releasing fertilizer
- Insert the number of spikes as directed otherwise disturb the plants
6. Palm Food 12-4-12 4 Lbs
A well-balanced palm food manufactured by Carl Pool is best for all types of palms. It is the most used palm food in the USA, due to its wonderful features.
It contains the exact ratio of NPK 12-4-12, which completely resembles the palm needs.
The premium feature of this plant food is the presence of extra levels of magnesium and manganese, which is the primary requirement of palms.
The micros present in this food are derived from the Grabusol sucrates, and these sourcing nutrients are leaching free and last longer.
How to use
- Add the plant food on the soil surface
- Mix it in the topsoil with rakes or hands
- Water the soil
- Professional palm food
- Contains 12-4-12 NPK that resembles palm need
- Well balanced food for all type of palms
- Includes Mg and Mn
- Last longer
- Mix it thoroughly in soil otherwise, the granules will be left on the surface
7. Jobe’s Organics 09126 Palm Tree Granular Plant Food
Jobe’s Organic palm food is a specially formulated food to keep the palm healthier by increasing roots biomass and foliage.
The premium feature of this palm food is Jobe’s Biozome that is a combination of healthy bacteria, fungi and Archaea. The biozome helps to promote the growth and root mass, additionally, increases the resistance to diseases, drought and insects.
It is a renewable, biodegradable and sustainable source of plant food that helps in creating a healthy ecosystem for plants and the environment.
How to use
- Sprinkle the granules around the palm tree
- Spread them all over the soil under the plant canopy
- Avoid the contact of food with tree trunk
- Mix the granules in topsoil
- Water the soil after fertilization
- Organic fertilizer
- Improves soil quality
- Jobe’s biozome promotes foliage and root mass
- Creates resistance to diseases and pests
- Sustainable food source
- Works great for all type of palms
- Some people may find it smelly due to organic nature
Palms grow best in well-drained, rich or slightly acidic soils having a pH between 5.5 to 6.5.
If palms grow in other than required conditions then they will face magnesium deficiency showing the symptom of yellowing of older leaves.
The other problem palms face by growing in other than slightly acid soil is manganese deficiency. It dominates in the form of yellowing and shriveling of younger leaves.
Try to keep the sago palms away from the lawn fertilizers as it adversely affects the nutritional balance in palms. To keep the palms safe from this problem, refrain from feeding the lawn within 30 feet of plants.
When to Feed Sago Palms
Sago palms need frequent fertilization with evenly spaced days throughout the growing season that runs from April to early September.
The most suitable time to feed sago palms is three times per year, as once in April, once in June and again fertilization in early August.
In the case of early planted sago palm plants, avoid feeding them in early days as they are in stress condition and they could get damaged by fertilization. They should be fertilized after two to three months until they get well established and put new growth.
How to Fertilize Sago Palm Plants
It completely depends on the type of soil in which the sago palms are growing. How to and how much fertilizer to the sago palms are fertilizer nature dependent things.
- If the palms are growing in sandy soil with partial sunlight, then feed them with 1½ pounds of sago palm fertilizer for every 100 square feet area.
- In the case of heavy clay soil, then use the ¾ pounds of fertilizer per 100 square feet area.
- If applying organic palm fertilizer then the amount of fertilizer will be doubled due to lower nutrient ratio in organic fertilizers, as the amount will be 3 pounds for sandy soil.
- For sandy soil, 1½ pounds of organic fertilizer will be enough for feeding sago palms.
The application of fertilizer to palms will work great if applied just before the rainfall.
Now comes how to apply it.
- Simply spreading/scattering the fertilizer evenly on the surface under the canopy of the palm tree works great.
- Rainfall/precipitation water will mix the granules into the soil completely.
- In case the rainfall does not forecast, then sprinkle water on the soil surface with help of watering can.
Sago palm care
Sago palms are easy to care and do not have any special requirements. They don’t need the bright light for growth as they can grow in lightly shaded places too.
These are some points to remember for better care of sago palms:
- Sago palms do not tolerate too much moisture.
- It grows better in well-drained soils and does not respond to overwatering.
- If you overwater the palms, they will lead to root rot and death of the plant. Therefore it is better to give dry out the time between watering.
- Sago palms need regular fertilization on a monthly basis during the whole active growing season for vigorous growth and blooming.
- Blooming stage of sago palms most often takes more than 15 years to come in container growing plants and palms bloom every third year at that stage.
Is Epsom salt good for sago palms?
Yes, Epsom salt is more than any miracle food for sago palms. As Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate and palms are magnesium lovers. So, cycads and palms love the Epsom salt.
Apply a half cup of Epsom salt to palms every two months during the active growing season from February to mid-October.
Are coffee grounds good for sago palms?
Yes, coffee grounds are good for sago palms and many other plants. The presence of alkaloids in coffee helps in preventing insect attacks in sago palms. Spraying is the better option for treating insect attacked leaves and roots. It can also be used as a mulch layer.
Why are my sago palm leaves turning yellow?
Leaves of sago palms turn yellow for two reasons; due to nitrogen deficiency and excessive supply of water. Excessive watering causes root rot that leads to the yellowing of leaves.
What do I do when my sago palm turns yellow?
First of all, find the reason for the yellowing of leaves. If it is due to nitrogen deficiency then apply nitrogen otherwise maintain water supply and give dry out the time between watering.
Is Baking Soda Good for palm trees?
No, it is not considered to be good for applying the baking soda to sago palms. It does only need adequate water and sunshine. The browning of fronds might be due to windburn, salt buildup or water stress.
Sago palms are slow and actively growing ferns that need regular fertilization to keep them thriving, otherwise, their leaves start curling and yellowing.
I hope that after reading this guide, choosing the right and best fertilizer for sago palms has become an easy task for you.All the products added in the list are high profile and excellent working fertilizers, so you don’t need to worry about choosing any product.If you find this article informational and helpful, then kindly share it with your colleagues and friends on Twitter, Facebook and email.
Hi i am Waqar Zafar, a passionate plant pathologist. I have done graduation Plant pathology and animal science. My research papers on pest control and plant health phenomenon published in many journals. Research is not limited to some papers as agriculture and farming is a wide field so looking for suggestions from readers.