Basic Care of a Sago Palm Tree

Updated April 13, 2018

Sago palm trees, also known as King palms, are one of the easiest plants to maintain. They grow in temperatures ranging from -9.44 to 43.3 degrees Celsius, and require little maintenance. Sago palms grow well outdoors, or indoors in a container as long as they have room to spread out. Established sago palms are drought resistance, so the plants are a good choice for dry climates.

Plant your sago palm in a pot that is at least 16 inches in diameter. Sago palms are slow-growing, so using a large pot means you won't have to change containers for several years.

Place your potted sago palm tree close to a light source. If placed too far from natural sunlight, a sago palm will distort its growth pattern trying to reach the light.

Let the soil in your potted sago palm tree become almost dry between waterings. A tree placed in a warm, bright window will need water about once a week. If you see yellowing leaves, you are watering it too much.

Plant your sago palm tree in a spot with plenty of sunlight and good soil drainage. Do not place the plant in a deep hole where water can collect. Sago palms don't like wet roots. Mix hummus with the dirt, if you like. Sago palms like a high proportion of hummus in the soil, but they will also thrive without it.

Let the soil around your sago palm dry out between waterings.

Prune away frost-damaged leaves if temperatures drop into the mid-teens or lower. Pruning the damaged leaves will help encourage new growth in the spring.


Turn your indoor potted sago palm one-quarter turn every few days so that all sides get equal sunlight. This will help it maintain its shape.


Sago palms are poisonous to both humans and animals.

Things You'll Need

  • Plant
  • Pot, 16 inches or larger
  • Water
  • Pruning shears
  • Humus (optional)
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About the Author

Emmy-award nominated screenwriter Brynne Chandler is a single mother of three who divides her time between professional research and varied cooking, fitness and home & gardening enterprises. A running enthusiast who regularly participates in San Francisco's Bay to Breakers run, Chandler works as an independent caterer, preparing healthy, nutritious meals for Phoenix area residents.