Cycas revoluta

Botanical Name: Cycas revoluta

Common Name(s): Sago palm



This Oriental stunner is undoubtedly one of the finest form plants available for the garden. Its shiny green leaves are neatly and symmetrically arranged around its short trunk. It is a quick grower, producing new leaves up to three times a year. As it is not indigenous, no permit is needed for this member of the cycad family.

Family: Cycadacea

Botanical Pronunciation: SY-kas re-vo-LOO-tuh

Semi Frost Hardy
Non Indigenous
Low Maintenance
Full Sun
Half Sun
Moderate Watering

Cone Bearing

Cycas revoluta is dioecious which means male and female reproductive parts are on separate plants. Orange coloured oval shaped fruits are protected by a cupper coloured light brown furry structure which is formed within the crown of female plants.

Cycas_revoluta cone

Drought Tolerance



Deep semi glossy, whorled and feathery olive green leaves are produced during the growing season.

Cycas-Revoluta foliage

Interesting Info

Edible starch called "sago" can be extracted from the stem of Cycas revoluta.

No permit is needed for this member of the cycad family as it is exotic to South Africa.


Interesting Planting Ideas

Works well in containers, provided it receives high light.



Cycas revoluta are extremely low maintenance plants.

Remove dead leaves as they appear.

Take care not to water the crown directly as this may lead to rotting and illness.

These plants should also be fertilized lightly during the growing season with a slow release fertilizer.

Planting Instructions

Planting: It prefers well-drained soil. Dig a hole 60cm square and deep. Mix two thirds of topsoil with one third compost in the bottom of the hole, add a cup of bone meal or superphosphate and mix well. Transplants well in late winter. Remove side-shoots or suckers during late winter and treat wounds with flowers of sulphur to prevent stem rot.

Watering and feeding: Water when dry and feed during spring with a general fertiliser.

Pruning: Not necessary, except to remove old or untidy fronds.

Possible Problems

The sharp leaf tips can become an irritating problem when used to close to path ways, entrances and high traffic areas of the garden.

The fruit is considered poisonous to humans, an important thing to remember when placing this plant in a garden occupied by small children.


Revolutas are the easiest of all cycas to propagate with success. Propagate from viable pollinated seed or suckers. It is advisable to seal the mother plant where the sucker was removed. Plant the seeds as well as the suckers in a sterile well drained medium and do not over water. Check for fungi and rot regularly to ensure success.


Various * Various

Soil Conditions

Tolerates a variety of well drained soils, but prefers light, pours, fertile soil with adequate drainage.


Uses in landscape design

A great focal plant. Cycas revoluta ads texture to the garden and if used correctly works extremely well around water features.


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