Sago Palm Problem

Asked July 29, 2013, 2:25 PM EDT

I have a sago palm that has developed yellow spots on the leaves and several of the leaves are getting pale yellow, too. It gets direct sun for about 2-3 hours a day. Any suggestions as to what is wrong with it and how I can treat the problem?

Travis County Texas

4 Responses

I can't quite tell from the photo, but the spots could be a disease. So I'm going to toss this to a plant pathologist and see if he knows of anything.

Those bleached spots are usually caused by an abiotic situation: either nutritional or misapplication of some product. They can also be caused by hot or cold water droplets on the plants (ie. watering in the middle of the day).
Can you describe if you have been using anything in the vicinity or on the plant, such as fertilizers, pesticides or any cleaners (fence stain etc) used in the last 4-6 weeks.

I've not used anything near the plant that I can think of. The sago got these a bit last year but they seemed to go away so I thought maybe it was a watering situation. Could it be getting too much sun. My neighbor's sago palm is in shade and is a deep green with no spots.

What you have mentioned is possible. I have notice that these stress spots have occurred on situation where there have been sudden extremes, such as rapid temperature change (cold - hot), light changes (taking shaded plant and exposing to sunlight).
The observation made on your specimen is based on the photo and it does not appear to be pathogenic in nature. If there is a suspicion of a pathogenic agent, I would suggest considering submitting a physical sample to a diagnostic clinic for analysis.