Look closely, surprises reward

I'm not quite at the point in the winter where I scrutinize every plant that's under the lights, eager for any sort of botanical excitement. That time comes after the holidays usually, although it varies from year to year. Close examination is highly recommended though, even now, as there could be something fun going on.


Take for instance my sago palm (Cycas revoluta), which is spending the winter in the warm basement. It's getting quite large but its pointy foliage is mostly out of the way here, so nobody is going to get poked in the legs this year. It's such a carefree plant that I haven't looked at it too closely after bringing it inside a month ago.


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I did the other day though, as I wanted to see if there were any signs of yellowing.


Last year I kept this out in the garage as a test, and I don't think it had enough light, or perhaps it was a bit too cold for too long, as many of the leaves turned yellow and had to be cut off in the spring. So this year it gets to live indoors again.

Looking fine so far, although I wouldn't expect any problems so early after coming indoors.


After getting lower, I noticed is that it's developing a nice trunk!


Then I noticed something even more exciting: pups!



Two of them!

I'll give this guy some additional light soon, and I'm considering putting it into an even bigger pot next year. That will make it more difficult to overwinter though, so we'll see.


The fact that I will most likely have some baby cycads to pot up makes me happy, and I'm looking forward to seeing the little guys produce some leaves! (I say "guys" even though I don't know if this is a male or female plant. I won't know until it produces a cone -- how old does it need to be before that happens?)

So it pays to obsess over your plants, looking at them closely -- even when you're not compelled to do so by a too-long winter.

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Mark and Gaz  – (December 5, 2014 at 10:54 AM)  

Pups...cool!! Tempted to suggest that you keep them where they are, adds some interest to the base of your trunked sago palm :)

Gerhard Bock (Succulents and More)  – (December 5, 2014 at 12:13 PM)  

This is so cool! Some plants seem to pup early, others may never pup (like mine, which is 17 years old). Can't wait to see how fast the pups grow.

Rock rose  – (December 5, 2014 at 7:44 PM)  

No No No! I have seen the ones where there are lots of pups and they do not look so attractive. In fact I think it is stress which makes them pup because I took a struggling one out of a pot and planted it in the ground where it promptly got a blast of winter before it had chance to settle in and now this year it is a mass of pups. It looks very untidy. Not sure how to handle it but will try to tidy it up next year. Mine always get frosted over the winter but I cut the leaves off and they come back again.

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