5 Best Fertilizer for Sago Palms: The Ideal Solution to Slow-growth


Sago palms like ferns have been around for a long time. In fact, they haven’t changed much even though they’ve been here since the Mesozoic Era. The dark green foliage is sure to bring around the atmosphere of any garden. 

Indeed, these plants don’t require excessive maintenance. But to maintain those sturdy green foliages, you need the best fertilizer for sago palms. 

For that reason, we did our homework and came up with a list of fertilizers capable of making any sago plant flourish. After going through the entire article, you’ll have a good idea about the products and plant’s needs.

So, let’s dive in without wasting any more time- 

Photo of a Sago Palm
Photo by Aung Myint Myat

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Comparison of Our 5 Best Fertilizer for Sago Plants 

Miracle-Gro Shake ‘N Feed Palm Plant Food
N-P-K Ratio : 12-4-8

Type : Granular

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Jobe’s Organics Palm Granular Plant Food
N-P-K Ratio : 4-2-4

Type : Granular

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Jobe’s Fern & Palm Fertilizer Spikes
N-P-K Ratio : 16-2-6

Type : Spikes

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Miracle-Gro 8Lb Mg Palm Plant Food
N-P-K Ratio : 12-4-8

Type : Granular

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Palmgain Palm Tree Fertilizer
N-P-K Ratio : 8-2-12

Type : Granular

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How to Choose the Right Fertilizer for Sago Palms?

Despite having an appearance like palms, sago palms don’t belong to that species. These are ferry plants called cycads. 

The exciting part is these plants can live up to 100 years. But the problem is they don’t go through a speedy growth cycle. However, to keep the plant healthy, you need the right fertilizers. 

Ideally, the perfect fertilizer would have a lot of fertilizer and potassium. In fact, look for slow-release fertilizers that have an NPK ratio of 12-4-12.

These two elements can do a lot for this plant’s growth. But you can’t depend on it for everything. 

That’s why make sure the fertilizer has micronutrients such as iron and manganese. While these aren’t the primary nutrients, you can rest assured that these two will boost up the slow-growing process. 

How to Use Fertilizer for Sago Palms?

The usage gets a bit different depending on where you put the plant. For instance, you’d have to use extra fertilizer if the plants are in a sunny spot with sandy soil.

Similarly, the opposite goes for shady areas with heavy clay. You’d have to use 0.75 pounds of fertilizer for every 100 square feet. Double this amount, and you get what you’ll need for sandy soil.

However, the story’s more interesting for organic fertilizers. These fertilizers usually come with lower amounts of nutrients. That’s why you need to double the usage of organic fertilizers. 

Nonetheless, the perfect right time to apply your fertilizers is before a rainfall. That way, fertilizers get deep into the plant’s roots. But you can’t always depend on luck. 

For those ‘rain-less’ situations, simply use a sprinkler to wash the fertilizers into the soil.  

1. Miracle-Gro 3002910 Shake ‘N Feed Palm Plant Food

The Shake ‘N Feed palm plant food from Miracle-Gro is what every palm plant wants. It has everything a palm plant needs for adequate growth, from compost to other micronutrients such as magnesium and iron. 

If you didn’t already know, compost is an excellent organic material for all kinds of plants. It helps the microorganisms in the soil to nourish the plant. Apart from that, it maintains the moisture and temperature of the soil. 

To make things even better, it comes with the 3 micronutrients vital for all palm plants; iron, magnesium, and manganese. Even though these don’t play the primary role in the growth process, they’re sure to boost it. 

As it’s a slow-release fertilizer, you only need to apply it every 3 months. Speaking of that, the application couldn’t get more comfortable. 

Simply open the applicator cap and apply some of the granules. However, it’s recommended you don’t mix it with water. After you apply the fertilizer, use a gardening fork to mix it with soil. And you’ll be good to go for the next 3 months. 

2. Jobe’s Organics 09126 Palm Granular Plant Food

Next up, we have Jobe’s Organics 09126. This one’s kind of similar to our first product, except it comes with Jobe’s own Biozome formula. 

While this might sound like a marketing gimmick at first but this formula does wonders for palm plants. It’s a mixture of beneficial bacteria, fungi, and Archaea. 

It starts by improving the soil quality and slowly adds up the necessary nutrients. 

The best part is not only it adds nutrients, it also helps to hold on to those. Other than that, it has gained quite a reputation in building up the plant’s metabolism against diseases and insects. 

The bottom line- these beneficial microorganisms can improve the soil quality in the long run. Once you start applying it, you can expect it to increase the root mass and boost up the growth process. 

Other than that, the application is like any other granular fertilizer. Apply it once and you don’t worry about it for another 3 months. 

However, it’s better if you could use it before the plant gets in the soil. That way, the plant will get the most benefits. 

3. Jobe’s 05101 Fern & Palm Fertilizer Spikes

Guess what? We have another fertilizer from Jobe’s. But don’t get too excited. This one is nothing like the rest of the products on this list. As you’ve already figured out it’s a spike fertilizer. 

Many people don’t like granular fertilizers as they tend to wash off with rainwater. But with Jobe’s 05101, there’s no chance of that happening. 

With this package, you get 30 spikes that’ll last your palm plant throughout the year. The best part is these don’t have any terrible smell. This also means they’re not health hazards for your pets. 

Anyway, the application doesn’t need that much help from you. All you have to do is plant the spikes around the plant and it’ll take care of the rest. 

However, you do have to keep in mind that spike fertilizers require plenty of watering to mix with the soil properly. But don’t go overboard by putting too much water. 

Nonetheless, it’s not rare when people overuse spikes. A lot of people think more spikes means more nutrients for plants. But we all know how overusing fertilizers can potentially kill a plant. 

4. Miracle-Gro 3003010 8Lb Mg Palm Plant Food

You’re already familiar with this product. Remember the first product on our list? Well, this one’s the bigger version of that exact same product. 

When we’re suggesting two products from the very same manufacturer, you get an idea of how much customers like them. Being an avid gardener myself, I’ve always loved Miracle-Gro fertilizers

In fact, I have a little story about this particular product. You see, I have had a palm tree in my living room for around 8 years. 

But a few years back, that plant suffered from yellow leaves, and I still don’t know the reason behind it. Maybe it was malnutrition, maybe it was a disease; the reason is still unknown. 

However, this fertilizer was a lifesaver. I don’t know what it did but it managed to eliminate the yellowing of my palm plant. I know this was supposed to be an unbiased review but I couldn’t help but share the story. 

Nonetheless, this fertilizer is proven to work on palm trees. But make sure you don’t overuse it. Overusing it will burn your plant in no time. So, stick to the instructions given in the package. 

5. Palmgain Palm Tree Fertilizer

Despite being in the last place, Palmgain Palm Tree Fertilizer is no less than other fertilizers on this list. This fertilizer from BGI Fertilizers is packed with all kinds of micronutrients or minor nutrients needed for a palm plant. 

Apart from boosting the plant’s overall health, it’ll make sure the plant doesn’t suffer from any disease. It does that by improving disease resistance.  

Even if your plant is suffering from yellowing, we suggest using this fertilizer. While it may take some time but the plant will slowly nourish back to its full health. 

How to Make the Perfect Growing Condition for Sago Plants?

Sago palms being slow-growing plants, don’t require constant care. But you need to create the perfect growing condition to ensure those healthy greens. 

Organic Fertilizers 

This one goes for all plants and trees. Organic fertilizers are a must. They ensure the plant gets nutritions for a long time. Moreover, they help in neutralizing the soil if it has issues like that. 

Add some compost material and manure for the nutrients. And then, mulch those with a leaf mold. This will make sure the temperature and moisture stay at the right level. 

Moreover, organic materials can help the microorganisms of the plant. But whatever you do, make sure you don’t use fresh manure. That can damage the coralloid roots of the plant, making it hard to absorb nitrogen. 

Let’s talk a bit about the coralloid roots. Sagos have algae it uses to gather nitrogen on its own. The problem is, this is kind of like their only source of nitrogen in their natural habitat. 

For this reason, they’ve become a slow-growing plant. Sagos can gather the nitrogen they need to survive, but that won’t boost their growth. That’s why organic fertilizers help in the growth process. 

With proper care and other necessities, any sago plant can become a lush and healthy plant. 

Slow-release Fertilizers 

Besides traditional slow-release fertilizers, bone meals and blood meals are two fertilizers you don’t want to miss. As the name suggests slow-release fertilizers will nourish the plant for a long time. 

Simply apply it once or twice a year and it’ll continue to feed the plant throughout the year. However, the usage frequency mostly depends on the brand you’re using. 

Some tell you to use once a month while others suggest using once a quarter. Whatever the case is make sure you don’t overfeed the plant with excess fertilizer. That can be deadly for the plant. 

Nonetheless, don’t forget to use slow-release fertilizers in the spring when the temperature reaches 70-degrees Fahrenheit. The other time is when the year ends. However, ensure that it doesn’t go against the usage frequency set by the manufacturer. 

Soil pH

Sago plants like slightly acidic soil. It’s better to keep the pH between 5.0 and 7.0. In fact, this is the perfect soil condition so it can convert the nitrogen into plant nutrients. 

However, it’s not unlikely to see soil with imbalanced pH. If that’s the case consider using organic fertilizers to neutralize it. 

Other than that, these plants don’t require that many fertilizers. Just make sure the soil’s filled with nutrients before you plant. And then there are the occasional slow-release fertilizers to boost the process. 

To Summarize

So, that’s been it, folks. We hope this guide could help you find the best fertilizer for sago palms. Regardless of the fertilizer, you must take care of this plant every step of the way. 

Before we go, we want to share one last piece of advice. During the active growth season(February-October), put down a half cup of Epsom salt every two months. The plant will thank you for the magnesium it’s getting. 

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Celina Nance

It’s been a life-long wish of Celina Nance to have a lawn full of colorful flower beds. But living in Arizona city, that seems kind of impossible. But Celina Nance didn’t stop and created a full-form balcony garden instead. And he often shares stuff that he does/solves/innovates throughout the journey.

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