The Ancient Cyads

Feb 28, 2018

Credit SC Public Radio

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Sago palms are the most readily available cold hardy cycads that we can grow in most of South Carolina. Well-established cycads will usually survive temperatures down to 15 degrees, but their beautiful, stiff, pinnately-compound leaves which normally stay green and live through winter are killed when we have unusually low temperatures. It’s best to let those dead leaves most of our sagos now have remain on the plants as they can give some protection to the growth points.   A recent caller to Making It Grow asked if our “palms” were going to survive. Here is when common names can be misleading – sago palms are actually cycads, a very ancient group of plants that have been on our planet for almost 300 million years, and the scientific name of sago palm, our most commonly grown individual is Cycas revoluta, and it’s a native of Japan.