3 gallon sago palm

Frizzle Top in Cycas revoluta

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  • 1 Background:
  • 2 Cause:
  • 3 Cure:
  • 4 Suggested Treatment:
  • 5 Contributed by:
  • 6 External Links:


“Frizzletop” is a dieback disease that affects the pinnae on Cycas revoluta plants.


“Frizzletop” occurs in C. revoluta plants primarily because of the absence of (or an insufficient amount of) manganese in the soil.

“Frizzletop” is caused by an excess of lime, resulting in alkaline soil surrounding the affected plant; as a consequence of which manganese is not available to the plant. (Note: Manganese is important to healthy plant growth as it is needed to provide proteins).

“Frizzletop” often occurs in advanced C. revolutas planted in new housing estates, where concrete usage is common; and building rubble is used for fill ” thus resulting in an excess of lime in the soil in garden beds.


To restore the plant to normal, it is necessary to increase the acidity of the soil by making manganese available to the affected plant, through the application of Manganese Sulphate.

The application of Manganese Sulphate has a twofold effect:

  1. by supplying manganese for the plant, and
  2. by providing sulphur to make the soil more acidic.

Suggested Treatment:

Application, by watering-can, of Manganese Sulphate, combined with an accompanying application of a liquid fertiliser (e.g. Nitrosol). Liquid fertiliser is used as a means of assisting the plant to absorb the Manganese Sulphate.

The Manganese Sulphate/liquid fertiliser solution should be watered on to the fronds, the trunk (if applicable) and, also, on the soil immediately adjacent to the plant.

The application of Manganese Sulphate generally should not exceed the manufacturer”s recommendations. One manufacturer”s suggested treatment is to dissolve 10 grams of Manganese Sulphate in 10 litres of water; however, in serious cases of “frizzletop” with mature/trunked plants, it may be advisable to apply up to 20-30 litres of the manufacturer”s suggested mixture, plus a proportionate amount of liquid fertiliser.

Treatment is recommended as soon as the problem of “frizzletop” is noticed. The treatment should be carried out on a seasonal basis after the onset of “frizzletop” is identified, but not during winter. Treatment is suggested in early autumn, early spring and early summer – and such treatment, over a 12 month period, should correct the manganese deficiency.

Once a healthy set of fronds is produced, the cure should be permanent – but to ensure its continued health, the plant should be fertilised periodically with a slow release fertilizer, so as to ensure that a sufficient level of available manganese is maintained.

It is extremely important that the unsightly fronds are left on the plant during treatment, so that they assist in the absorption of the applied solution of Manganese Sulphate/liquid fertiliser by the affected plant.

Figure 1. Cycas revoluta with “frizzletop”.

Contributed by:

Craig Thompson and Paul Kennedy (Figure 1 by Craig Thompson)

Google, Google Images, PACSOA Forums

Manganese deficiency in vegetables


Manganese (chemical symbol Mn) deficiency occurs in a wide range of crops with onions, beetroot, parsnip, cabbage, cauliflower, tomato and pumpkin the most susceptible.

This deficiency is most common on alkaline soils (high pH), particularly if the irrigation water contains high levels of bicarbonate. It is found on soils of the Cottesloe and Karrakatta associations when high rates of phosphate fertiliser are used.

Manganese is needed for a number of plant functions including chlorophyll synthesis. It is a partially mobile element in the plant so symptoms may first appear in the youngest or oldest leaves.


In general, affected crops are pale green and growth is reduced. Specific symptoms may first appear on the youngest or oldest leaves and vary from species to species.

The most common symptom is for leaves to turn pale green between the veins, with normal coloured areas next to the veins. As the deficiency progresses, the area between the veins becomes paler, enlarges and may brown and die.

In cabbage, the interveinal chlorosis symptom is replaced by a general mottled yellowing of the leaves.

Beetroot shows triangular or spear-shaped leaves with the edges curled forward, as well as yellow mottling with small dead patches which give the leaf a typical speckled appearance. These symptoms are so distinctive in this species they are called ‘speckled yellows’.

In onions and sweetcorn, the interveinal chlorosis appears as yellow stripes on the leaves.

In tomatoes, the veins remain green, while the tissue between the veins becomes increasingly yellow as the deficiency becomes worse. This causes a net-like pattern to appear on the leaves.

Soil types

Manganese deficiencies are most often observed on well drained neutral or calcareous soils. However, other soils may cause manganese deficiencies, particularly as a result of heavy fertiliser usage. It can also be induced on these soils by heavy applications of lime.

In practice, manganese deficiency in vegetables does not occur on acid swamps except after they have been heavily limed, but is common on alkaline marl-based swamps. It is also common on sands containing limestone.


Manganese deficiency is controlled by using manganese sulphate (MnSO4 .7H2O) as a soil applicant or a foliage spray. Chelated forms of manganese can also be used as a foliar spray although this treatment is more expensive.

Soil application

Soluble manganese quickly reacts with the soil to produce less available forms. Application in a band minimises such reactions and is therefore more efficient. Rates can be lower than broadcast application.

For a broadcast application, apply 50kg/ha of manganese sulphate or 10 to 20kg/ha if applied in a furrow or band.

Sometimes it has been difficult to control manganese deficiency by soil applications, but good control has been obtained through foliage spraying.

Foliage spraying

Foliage spraying is usually the best way of correcting manganese deficiency as relatively low rates are as effective as high rates of soil application.

A 0.8% spray (8g/L) applied at 500L/ha supplies 4kg/ha manganese sulphate. Add a wetting agent for better leaf coverage. A second or third application may be needed.

The spray is most successful when plants are fairly young but good responses have been obtained when plants are more than halfway through their growing period.

Plant requirements

Deficiency symptoms in most species are associated with leaf levels less than 20mg/kg with particularly severe symptoms at less than 10mg/kg. Healthy plants normally contain 50 to 200mg/kg of manganese although levels up to 1500mg/kg have been recorded where fungicides containing manganese, such as Mancozeb®, have been applied.


The original version of this material was authored by M Hawson.

Sago Palm Tree

Year-Round, Low-Maintenance Palm

Vibrant, feather-like foliage atop a textured brown trunk defines the Sago Palm Tree. This luxe cultivar’s fronds are thick and shiny green with the typical cascading effect of other palms. Plus, it’s actually considered a ‘living fossil’ since the species has changed very little over the last two million years. And it appears so flawless, that it is often mistaken as an artificial plant.

Even better? It’s a great plant for beginners. Left unattended the specimen will continue to grow no matter what, so Sagos are essentially a mistake-proof palm. Water requirements are similar to that of a cactus, and the soil is allowed to dry between waterings.

It thrives in bright light but will adjust to moderate light levels. Hardy down to 20 degrees, it’s also a great choice for an array of climates. Low-maintenance and luxe? Check.

Best of all, it can thrive indoors or out. The Sago Palm has a marvelous presence that provides instant tropical appeal. With its low-maintenance habit and stunning appearance, the Sago is a perfect addition, whether you pot it and bring it indoors during the winter or keep it in your landscape in warmer year-round zones.

Either way, the Sago Palm provides an elegant and breezy island look that can be easily grown in any space. This tough but elegant plant brings a tropical feel with no fuss. See what the hype’s all about – order a few Sagos of your own!

Planting & Care

The Sago Palm (also known as Cycas revoluta) is an amazing tree known for its lush green, feathery fronds and virtually maintenance free care. These hardy plants make wonderful patio or indoor plants and can be grown in USDA growing zones 4-11 but are only recommended for outdoor planting in zones 8-11. They thrive best in full sunlight but can tolerate partial sunlight as long as they receive a minimum of 4 hours daily. The Sago is a fairly slow grower maturing to a height/width of 8-15 feet.

Location: Sago palms need to be in a location with well draining soil. The same applies if you are containerizing your plant. They can tolerate bright to moderate sunlight but they cannot tolerate wet soil conditions. Wherever you plant this tree the soil has to be allowed to dry out in between watering the plant.

Planting Instructions: For warm weather locations, palm trees can be planted pretty much any time of the year. For colder regions, it’s best to wait until the weather warms up a bit before planting. If there is going to be waiting period before you plant, keep the palm’s roots moist but don’t soak them.

1) Dig a hole that is 2-3 times the width and just as deep as the root ball.
2) Handle your palm tree carefully when placing it in the hole. Be especially careful of the tree’s roots and the bud (or heart) because this is where your Palm new growth will come from.
3) Place the tree in the hole making sure the top of the roots are level with the surrounding soil. Tamp down as you fill in the hole to prevent air pockets from forming.
4) Water the planting site and then mulch to retain soil moisture as well as keep competing growths at bay.

Watering: Watering for the first several months after planting is critical to the overall health and successful growth of your palm. Be sure to use water that is salt-free to avoid leaf yellowing/spotting. Keep a watchful eye on the soil, make sure there is enough moisture present to prevent it from drying out completely. That being said, you also need to make sure that you don’t over water, which could lead to root disease and limit the establishment of new roots in the surrounding soil. The typical rule of thumb with palms is to water once a week or more often as necessary, with less watering required during the dormant period in the winter.

Fertilization: Nutrients are vital for Palm trees to thrive. As a result, it is best to put your Sago Palm trees on a fertilization schedule throughout the growing season, three times yearly during the growing season. Feed your plants once in April, June and then again in September. Keep in mind Sago palms thrive best when their soil pH is between 5.5 and 6.5. In order to achieve this you can apply palm fertilizers that contain the specific nutrients most suited for Palm trees.The slow release of these nutrients will provide consistent, targeted feeding to help your tree grow strong and healthy. If you prefer, you can use a balanced fertilizer formula such as 8-8-8 or a 12-6-12 for quicker growth. To avoid yellowing and maintain a healthy shade of green coloring, feed your tree a few spoons full of Epsom salt or a fertilizer that contains nutrients like manganese which will prevent the yellowing and shriveling of the fronds.

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