Complete guide to cycad care
Bring a touch of the pre-historic tropics to your indoor or outdoor space with a cycad.
Although it might look like a palm, Helena the Japanese sago palm is actually a cycad. Cycads have been growing since the dinsoaurs walked the planet, so if they can survive a T-Rex they can survive even the blackest of thumbs. Here's how to keep a cycad happy:
- Choose a spot that gets plenty of sun throughout the day
- Watering when the top two inches of soil feel dry - they don't need much water
- Misting every few days - they love a humid environment
Cycads grow in tropical areas all over the world, including Central America, the east side of Africa and parts of Australia. They doesn’t like to be fussed about too much, so a cycad is good for areas where it won’t be brushed against a lot. It’s been around millions of years; it needs a bit of time to itself. It's slow growing and relatively easy to look after.
What's the best location for my cycad?
Choose a spot in your outdoor space or garden that is well-suited for a cycad. The area should be sunny, sheltered from strong winds, and have plenty of room for the cycad to grow. You can plant your cycad in the ground, or keep it in a pot.
What's the best soil for my cycad?
The soil should be well-draining and slightly acidic, with a pH of 5.5 to 6.5. If the soil is not ideal, you can change it up with organic matter like compost or mulch.
Planting your cycad
If you choose to plant your cycad, there's a few things to remember. Dig a hole that's twice as wide and just as deep as the root ball of the cycad. Place the cycad in the hole, backfill with soil, and tamp down gently.Then, water thoroughly.
How often should I water my cycad?
Cycads don't mind dry soil. Depending on the weather, water deeply once or twice a week depending, and allow the soil to dry out between waterings.
Should I fertilise my cycad?
You can fertilise your cycad once a month with a balanced liquid fertiliser during the spring and summer to boost its growth.
Do I need to prune my cycad?
Prune off any dead, diseased, or damaged foliage as needed, it won't hurt your cycad.
Common cycad pests and diseases
Be on the lookout for pests, such as mealybugs, scale, or aphids, or diseases, such as root rot. Treat any pests or diseases promptly with an appropriate pesticide or fungicide.
Following these simple steps can help make sure that your cycad will thrive in your garden or outside space for years to come.
Rewild your inbox
Plant tips. Special offers. No spam.