Type your question here!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Sago Palms Damaged in December

Q. Do white fronds indicate my sago palm has frost damage? Can my sago be saved? Should sagos be wrapped and, if so, do I just cover them when the temperatures drop down to the 20's but then remove the wraps once the weather warms up?

A. Judging from your picture, yes, it appears to be frost damage. Not to worry. The brown fronds are permanently damaged. As long as the central crown is alive (you will know in the spring when you see new growth) then leave it. 

I am guessing that it was just warm enough near the rock surface to provide heat to keep the bottom fronds from damage. The center was protected by the fronds around it. The central fronds probably got some cold and wind damage combined.
            As the central fronds become older, expand and become more horizontal they will grow above the damaged area. The damaged fronds can be removed by cutting its support as close to the trunk as possible. I would not do this until you see the newer fronds coming in and getting established.
Cold damage to sago palm in a previous year from another reader
            Of course this leaves the older fronds at the bottom still green. If this looks too funny to you, remove them too after you see solid new growth from the center.
            Normally we don't wrap sagos. You can, but we normally don't. It looks like yours might be in a tough spot for cold wind and this got those fronds, probably the December 5 and 6 extended cold we had. That extended cold is unusual for us. Maybe every 5 to 10 years.
            The timing of the cold, the length of time below freezing combined with some cold winds probably did it. Those are hard to predict. The choices I would say might include moving it to a more protected location, living with that kind of damage every few years, wrapping it, using some plant paint to cover the damaged parts or prune them out. 

If you cover it then yes, cover it when temperatures are threatening and remove the cover the next day.

No comments:

Post a Comment