Rent Shop Volunteer Join

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
1 rating

Tuesday - March 27, 2007

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Diseases and Disorders
Title: Yellowing of fronds on Sago Palm
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

Our Sago Palm now has all yellow fronds from the Winter frosts. Should they be cut off? Will the plant grow new fronds from the bottom to replace the ugly looking ones that are there? And why do I see other Sago Palms in the neighborhood that still look perfect?

ANSWER:

The Sago Palm (Cycas revoluta) is not a true palm, but a primitive gymnosperm in the family Cycadaceae (commonly called Cycads). The Cycads were a major part of the vegetation on earth during the Mesozoic Era over 150 million years ago. Cycas revoluta is native to Japan, but is used extensively as a landscape plant in the southern, subtropical/temperate U.S. It is probably the most propagated cycad in the world.

There are several possibilities for the yellow fronds, but I will only mention two. Your plant may well have experienced frost damage although most cycads are fairly cold hardy. The other possibility is that the plant is preparing to throw a new set of fronds, and the older fronds are providing nutrients to the new set, thus the yellow color. The new fronds will emerge from the center of the top of the plant. Hold off on removing the older fronds until the new fronds are growing well.

The ability of plants to withstand cold stress can depend on several factors including nutrients and water in the soil, health of the plant, and the temperature the plant experiences.

Click on Cycad to learn more about the care and enjoyment of your Sago Palm

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Damage to ruellia in Monroe LA
October 26, 2009 - I have hundreds of Ruellia Brittoniana. Dwarf Katie White, Katie Blue and Katie Pink. I am finding holes in some of the leaves, Some just have notches chewed out of them. Some of the leaves have...
view the full question and answer

Plant ID from Woodcreek TX
January 27, 2012 - I would like to attach a photo of a weed in my lawn and have you identify it. How do I send a photo? I have been told it may be ground ivy. Please tell me how to kill it without damaging the lawn.
view the full question and answer

Non-native impatiens from Charlottesville VA
June 09, 2011 - Question about type of impatiens. My Alabama mother grew these and called them touch-me-not. They grow about 2 feet tall and blooms grow UNDER the leaf canopy up the stem. Colors I have are pale pink ...
view the full question and answer

Yellowing leaves on non-native Betula pendula
July 03, 2008 - I live in Puyallup, Washington. I purchased and planted a weeping birch on June 21, 2008. For the first few days all seemed well and the tree seemed to be settling in to its new home. Less than e...
view the full question and answer

Vegetable garden in Ballston Spa, NY
August 02, 2011 - I never got my veg. garden in this year. Are there any late crops I can still plant at this late date in Ballston Spa, NY? Thanks.
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.