Sago Palm Bonsai Tree Care Sheet

General Description:

Although the Sago Palm Bonsai Tree from our wholesale nursery closely resembles a palm plant, it is actually not a palm at all. Imagine that. Scientists believe that these trees have been around since the beginning of time, and evidence of them have been found near dinosaur excavations. Hence, they are virtually indestructible and have proved their toughness by living through the ages as “living fossils, as some call them!

The Sago Palm is thought to be native to the southernmost islands of Japan, and make an excellent indoor/outdoor bonsai tree. The vivid green, serrated palm leaves spread out from the shaggy trunk of the tree like a dark green fan. Since this is a subtropical tree, it is able to handle a wide variety of temperatures and can be kept indoors if given adequate sunlight. The bonsai tree has a very slow growth rate and might not even be noticeable after a year, which is desirable in bonsai since the goal is to keep things “miniature”. This is almost universally considered by bonsai experts as the easiest bonsai tree to grow and maintain. Who wouldn’t love that!? Please be sure you check out our full selection of online bonsai trees for sale after you have read up on the Sago Palm Bonsai Tree.


The Sago Palm will do best if provide with full sun, but can also live in partial shade and even indoors if placed near a bright window. If this tree is not given enough natural light, it will begin to produce long leaves – which is not the purpose of bonsai. Bonsai aims to “miniaturize” everything, so you want a tree with very small, petite leaves. Providing the tree with adequate lighting will ensure that the leaves stay small.


This bonsai tree prefers to be on the “dry side” as opposed to being watered constantly. Overwatering is one of the only concerns with this durable tree. We recommend that you treat this plant as a cactus, and only water when the soil is almost completely dry. In general, you might have to water the tree once a week when the temperatures are warm, and once every couple of weeks when the temperatures are cool (this of course depends where you live!). These trees are drought tolerant, which is one of the main reasons they are so appealing to beginners and individuals that travel often.


The Sago Palm Bonsai Tree can survive and thrive in temperatures ranging from 110 degrees to 15 degrees. We told you there were tough! However, it is in the best interest of the tree to protect it from frost, as you do not want the roots to be damaged. Temperatures below freezing will stress the Sago and could possibly even cause dieback. So, if you keep your bonsai outside during the summer, we recommend that you bring it inside your home when the temperatures begin to dip near freezing. This is a tropical plant, and therefore you do not need to worry about the dormancy period, as you do with many other trees. In the Spring when the


We recommend that you fertilize your Sago Palm every 2 months, beginning in the Spring. You should fertilize at least 3-4 times per year. This tree does not need a lot, so be sure not to overfeed by giving too much too frequently as that will add stress to the root system. We recommend that you use a slow release, organic fertilizer.


Typically, the Sago Palm Bonsai Tree grows very little over the course of a year, and therefore very little trimming is needed. We recommend that you only trim when removing yellow or brown leaves, which you will most likely need to do at least once a year. Just as a normal palm tree grows, the Sago Palm’s lower leaves will yellow and die as the tree grows. By removing the dying leaves, the tree will be able to focus more energy on the green foliage. If kept in ideal conditions, it can produce up to 3 sets of new leaves every year. The new foliage will remain “tender” for the first month of new growth, and you should try to provide adequate sunlight during that time period.

Potential Pests:

Sago Palms are not generally bothered with pests, although you might run into the occasional mealy bug attacks. As a remedy, mix 1 tsp with 1 quart of warm water and thoroughly rinse your tree. You can also buy a pesticide for the specific pest you are trying to treat. Make sure that you water before applying pesticide, and do it in the coolest part of the day.


We recommend that you repot the Sago Palm everything 3 years in the spring, just as new growth is budding. When trimming the roots, only slightly trim them, and remove any unwanted or yellow leaves. After the repotting is complete, give the tree plenty of water and remember not to fertilizer for 1 month to avoid root burn. This Bonsai prefers to be root bound and should be repotted into a container only slightly larger than the root system taking care to not fully enclose the roots in the soil. When repotting, you will want to lightly trim the roots and then be sure to remove a comparable amount of lower leaves. After repotting, water thoroughly and do not fertilize for 3-4 weeks. 

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