Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

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 Diseases and Disorders Questions

Problems with non-native zucchini in Muskogee, OK
July 23, 2011 - In the awful heat of this summer I am still getting zucchini to produce. But, once it grows about 3 inches, it gets yellow on the ends and dies. Am I watering it too much? (I have sprayed for bugs ...
view the full question and answer

Dying Pine Trees in Texas
October 05, 2009 - I live on the water front street in Kemah, Texas. We took water in the entire neighborhood during Hurricane Ike. That's been a year ago and now I have noticed our pines trees are starting to die. I s...
view the full question and answer

Black rot at center of Agave from Clovis CA
May 12, 2013 - We have some beautiful variegated "Green & Cream" Agave plants in our cactus garden. One in particular has done quite well for several years and is the largest, about 18" tall & across, it has neve...
view the full question and answer

Prickly pear doing poorly on Long Island NY
December 27, 2012 - First, thanks for your reply on 11-3-12, re.Can a prickly pear cutting from Harker Heights, TX find happiness in Long Island, NY. The plants were set before a southern window in the attic, temp. ra...
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native photinia in Austin
October 07, 2013 - Hi, I live in Cedar Park, TX (Austin Suburb)and have planted a number of Photinia shrubs in various areas of my property. All about 10 months old. The leaves are curling along their length on many...
view the full question and answer

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