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Plain Gardening: Sago Palms

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With our unusually cold winter weather, we’re seeing a lot of brown sago palms around town.  Are they dead?

Bill Finch with Mobile Botanical Gardens says no.  Bill says the brown fronds are just leaves…live oaks, crepe myrtles, and other trees lose their leaves and survive.  Sago palm fronds are pretty hardy and don’t usually turn brown, but this was an unusually cold winter and the fronds got burned.

So what do you do?  Well, if you remember, right after the last freeze Bill said it wasn’t time yet to trim back the fronds…but that time has come.  Bill says you’ll need loppers and a suit of armor; these fronds are PRICKLY!

Cut off the burned fronds close to the bud.  And here’s the best part:  if you cut them all off, your plant should be just fine; and if you don’t cut any of them off, your plant should be just fine.  As long as the bud is healthy, new growth will win.  Bill is optimistic that most sago palms on the Gulf Coast should survive and thrive.

Learn more at mobilebotanicalgardens.org

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