Care Instructions Sago Palm Bonsai

Sago Palm Bonsai

Even though they are commonly called palms and appear to be, the Sago palm is not a true palm, but belongs to an ancient group of plants called cycads. Cycads are a very primitive group of seed-bearing plants more closely related to conifers than to palms. They are very slow growing, usually only producing one set of leaves per year, and taking several years to develop a “trunk” of much size.

Sago Palm Bonsai Placement:

Place in an indoor location receiving very bright light year around, preferably with three or more hours of direct or lightly filtered sunlight. Ideal temperatures are from 60° to 75°F, but higher temperatures are tolerated. The minimum night temperature should be 50°F. or above.

Your Sago bonsai may be moved outdoors in the spring when minimum temperatures exceed 50°F, and returned indoors in the fall before the first frost. Outdoors, place the bonsai in light shade in an area protected from wind. If your Sago has been in a lower light situation indoors, do not expose it to direct sunlight outdoors or the leaves will burn.


When the weather is warm, water thoroughly when the top half inch of soil has dried. Do not keep the soil to wet or soggy which can lead to root rot. During cooler months, watering may be reduced to allow the soil to become nearly dry before watering again.


The only pruning that will be required is to remove any leaf that dries out or becomes otherwise unattractive. Cut off the leaf stalk near to the trunk. If only a few leaflets on a leaf turn brown and you wish to preserve the leaf, remove the affected leaflets right at the midrib of the leaf.


Since the Sago bonsai is so slow growing, repot into a larger pot only if the roots are pushing the plant up out of the pot.


Fertilize every six weeks between spring and mid-summer, using regular houseplant food at half strength.

Insect Control:

Watch for scale insects which can appear as little brown or black raised bumps on the leaves. Mealy bugs may also attack your Sago, appearing as white cottony masses on the leaves or leaf bases. Remove the dried shells/bumps of the scale insects or the cottony mealy bug mass by firmly wiping with a cloth soaked in soapy dishwater. After the leaves have dried off, follow up by spraying the leaves with an insecticide for houseplants.


Plant material such as this product should not be eaten. While most plants are harmless, some contain toxins.