Sago Palm Trees
Q.

Can sago be dead and still sprout pups

Zone Charleston , SC 29492 | Hagill added on July 19, 2018 | Answered

We had a colder winter than normal in SC and both my Sago palms turned brown. I trimmed both and one came back nicely while the other is not sprouting at all. The one that appears dead has sprouted pups from it's base though. Is it dead? Should I dig it up and just plant one of the pups in it's place?

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BushDoctor
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on July 21, 2018

Typically, taking all fronds from a sago is a death sentence. They do not tolerate this, and almost always die, unless there is some new growth. It is very fortunate that they made it through.

They will send out pups in response to a dead or dying plant. These can be left to take over the original. Moving them will likely kill them.

When you have colder weather, it will be best to leave dying fronds until it has enough new growth to gather energy. Cutting them before this, while the tree is still trying to pull nutrients back into the stalk, will leave it with no way to gather energy for new growth.

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