enter image description here

I’ve had this sago palm for just over a week. When I bought it, the new growths were already a little bit sad looking, and they’ve since deteriorated. The older parts are healthy and green, and have no problems.

I’ve only watered it once so far, when the soil was dry, as I’ve learned my lesson with overwatering in the past. I’ve heard that this might be the result of a magnesium deficiency, or lack of other nutrients, but suggestions and ideas would be welcome, because I’m not quite sure where to start with fixing that, and I really would like this plant to thrive :) thanks so much!!

3 Answers 3


Manganese deficiency – If new fronds are yellow or display yellow splotches, the tree may be lacking manganese. This often occurs when the tree is planted in manganese-poor soil, which is common in tropical climates. This deficiency is easily treated by applying manganese sulfate (not magnesium sulfate, which is completely different).

Read more at Gardening Know How: Sago Palm Problems: Tips On Treating Sago Palm Diseases https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/trees/sago-palm/sago-palm-diseases.htm


It doesn't bode well that you noticed there was a slight problem with the new growth when you bought it - check the whole plant closely to see if there is an existing insect or fungal problem. Otherwise, unless its suddenly been exposed to cold air, or damaged in some way, it might be shortage of water which has caused this - it will always affect newer growth first. The rules of successful watering are fairly simple - the plant must be in a pot with drainage holes; water when the surface of the soil in the pot feels dry to the touch, but not so dry it's shrunken from the sides, water well, using enough to ensure it runs out the bottom of the pot. After 30 minutes, empty out any outer tray or outer pot so the plant is not left sitting in water.

  • The Sagos in my yard tolerate fairly wet conditions . Like occasionally I can't push the mower around them because it would sink in the mud although I have very sandy soil. Admittedly plants in pots are less tolerant of poor conditions Aug 28, 2019 at 19:34

It appears you might be running a grow light. Sago palm new forming fronds are very sensitive to bright light. I burned a set of leaves with my grow light, then the sun burned the replacement set. They can grow in bright light, but it has to be gradual introduction. Small intervals. It was probably growing in low light before you bought it. If the plant is growing in full on sun all the time, the new frond will be better adapted at forming under bright light. In nature it is more of an under-story plant.

The other thing it might be is if it is too dry. The fronds will not fully finish opening if it is to dry. They are very sensitive to being over-watered, but new forming fronds need moisture.

The good thing is it naturally wants to replace those burnt fronds. If given the best of care a second set will shortly follow. I was lucky to get a third set after burning two.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.