How to Plant Sago Palm Pups

By Jim Stewart
Learn how to plant sago palm pups.

Sago palm trees make ideal indoor and outdoor plants because they require little maintenance. When starting sago palm pups, which are offshoots of existing trees, the key is to put them in containers appropriate to their size. If the containers are too big, the root systems will grow slowly. Beyond that, even if you’re lacking a green thumb, all it takes is some common gardening materials to plant sago palm pups.

Use pruning shears to cut off any roots that may have formed on the palm pups when they were attached to mature plants. If you don’t remove the roots, they harden and possibly prevent the pups from taking root when you plant them. They automatically grow new roots when they’re in the soil.

Sort your sago palm pups by size: small, medium and large.

Count the number of pups you have from each group and line up the correct number of pots. Those in the smallest group go into 4-inch pots. The medium group goes into 5-inch pots. The largest group goes into 6-inch pots.

Fill each pot halfway with soil. The ideal mixture is equal parts perlite and peat moss. Insert one sago palm pup into each pot and then continue filling the pots until there’s an inch of space left under the top edge of each pot.

Take a watering can and water each pup. It takes months for the roots to form. Water the plants only when the soil is dry.

Prepare a slightly bigger pot following Steps 4 and 5 when you see roots coming out of the bottom of a pot. Continue transferring the plants to bigger pots whenever you see the roots.

Things Needed

  • Pruning shears
  • Pots
  • Perlite
  • Peat moss
  • Watering can
  • Water

Tip

Add fertilizer after you see the second set of leaves forming on the plant. You can transfer the sago palms from pots to the ground when they’re fully grown at about 80 lbs. per palm.

Warning

Don’t overwater sago palm pups. They can become moldy and rot.

About the Author

Based in Princeton, N.J., Jim Stewart has been writing travel- and business-related articles since 1987. His work has appeared in “Inc.” and “Business 2.0” magazines and online at Wired. Stewart received the John Goldenberg Award in 2007. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from The Ohio State University in Ohio.