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

Problems with non-native Maytens tree in Saratoga, CA
August 05, 2010 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, My friend's Mayten tree (green spray)leaves are yellowing and we don't know if it is under-watered (surrounded by grass and fed with a time sprinkler for 20 min. maybe 2 or ...
view the full question and answer

Non-native, invasive rescue grass in meadow garden in Smithville TX
September 20, 2012 - Despite numerous efforts, a solid field of cool weather rescue grass keeps desired wildflower and grass seeds from successfully growing on my "vacant" lot in town. I plan to I put out a 6 ml plasti...
view the full question and answer

Planting petunias around base of oak tree from Houma LA
March 30, 2013 - I live in south Louisiana and I want to plant petunias. Can I plant petunias around the base of an oak tree?
view the full question and answer

Wrapping a newly planted non-native Japanese maple from Fraser MI
October 01, 2013 - Does a newly planted Japanese maple need to be wrapped in burlap for the cold and snowy winter of Macomb County, Michigan?
view the full question and answer

Blossom fall after rain on Polystachys lutea, Shrimp Lollipop
July 17, 2008 - I live in San Antonio and had previously bought shrimp lollipop plants and after the rain we had recently all the blooms fell off. So my question is did it die or should I just leave it alone?
view the full question and answer

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