Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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

Care for non-native tropical Hibiscus rosa sinensis in Clinton Township MI
October 18, 2010 - Do I have to bring a painted lady hibiscus tree in for the winter? We planted it in the ground and it did great this summer, but I do not know if we have to put it in a pot and bring it in for the wi...
view the full question and answer

When (and whether) to plant non-native red-tip photinia in Austin
October 30, 2011 - With the current and forecast drought I'm wondering if the usual rules about when to plant might change. I'd like to plant red-tip photinia.
view the full question and answer

Non-native creeping fig and non-native nutgrass in Carmichael CA
September 28, 2009 - Will creeping fig choke out nut grass?
view the full question and answer

Will non-native poisonous oleander grow through non-native invasive bermudagrass in Ft. Worth?
February 20, 2011 - I was wondering if you knew which flowering plants would grow through grass. I have bermuda, have tried raised beds but due to uneven yard with lots of rock it would be too expensive to do properly. ...
view the full question and answer

Native climbing rose for Austin
April 25, 2010 - Is there such a thing as a native climbing rose that would do well in Austin?
view the full question and answer

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