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Zone Pretoria South Africa | thadanel added on October 18, 2016 | Answered

When the cycads give new leaves on the young plants, normally this time of the year in South Africa, do I need to cut all the old leaves off? My wife does this because she feels the stem will grow faster, but I feel the old leaves need to protect the new leaves.

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on October 18, 2016

You are correct that the plant still needs the old leaves. Old leaves that are still green are providing energy for the plant and helping it grow, and the plant will be healthiest if the old leaves are left on. The new leaves of cycads sometimes appear to grow very slowly, but this is normal and not a concern.

Any leaves that are completely dead and brown can be cut off.

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