With all of the yard clean up that’s been a work in progress since we moved into our new house in June we have learned about new plants that are common in this area.  Sago Palms can be found all over Charleston and our yard has 5 of them in the front and side yards of varying sizes.  When I was tackling the side bed that we share with our neighbor, Hunter decided it was time to prune up the palms – especially all the yellow and brown fronds.  The transformation was CRAZY so now I’m sharing the tips with you in case you have some pruning to do!

  • Sago palms are toxic, so wear gloves and be careful when touching the plants.  Also don’t let your animals near them or to eat them.
  • Prune from the bottom up, clearing the fronds at the trunk by 6″ to 2ft.  These are the oldest and lowest leaves and it helps increase air flow.
  • Only remove completely dead and damaged fronds. Cutting healthy fronds can weaken the plant, but you can expose the trunk of the palm for ornamental purposes by removing extra fronds.
  • Don’t trim sago palm fronds that are between 10 and 2 o’clock positions.
  • The best time to prune is autumn when it’s not producing new leaves.

Additional sources: Gardening Know How & Home Guides

Here’s the full process from the first time we cleaned up the side bed with the biggest sago palms, to the pruned version!

Much cleaner right?  Sadly, we think one of the palms in the front is dying or diseased, so we’re hoping to see some fronds grow, but it’s not doing well.  The other 2 in the front yard are smaller and were pruned up as well.

Go ahead and put this knowledge in the “something I never thought I’d need to learn about” group, but homeownership is full of lessons and learning!

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