Why Is My Sago Palm Turning Yellow?

Like a palm tree grower, there is nothing more frustrating than finding out that your beautiful sago palm has started going yellow. These trees are often one of the most popular at nurseries and they do such an amazing job as indoor plants for offices and homes. But if they turn yellow, what can you do? Let’s find out…

Why Is My Sago Palm Turning Yellow?

Your sago palm leaves are turning yellow because the plant has been overwatered, it hasn’t received enough light, or the environment is causing stress.

Let’s now explore the most common causes of yellowing leaves on a sago palm and what you can do about them.

Yellow Sago Palm from Overwatering

If the sago palm leaves are turning yellow because they have been overwatered, then you will need to cut back on how often water your plant. The soil in a pot should be allowed to dry out before being watered again.

I tend to water my sago palm every 1-2 weeks, although they will need slightly more if the weather is hot and humid. Despite the name, sago palms are not actually palm trees, so don’t need quite as much water as you would expect.

You can test the soil by sticking your finger in the dirt, if it comes out moist then you shouldn’t water your plant. Alternatively, you can use a moisture meter to test the soil.

Too much water can often cause yellowing leaves on a sago palm as the roots start to rot. Root rot is a serious issue that will kill your plant, so you will need to fix this right away.

Start by removing the old soil and the rotten roots. You can use a pair of sterilized scissors for this, but be careful not to damage other areas of the plant. Then, plant the sago palm into new soil that is well-draining.

Yellow Sago Palm Leaves from Not Enough Light

Sago palms need at least four hours of bright, indirect sunlight every day in order to thrive. If your plant hasn’t received enough light then the leaves will start turning yellow and drop off.

You can place your sago palm by a window that gets plenty of sunlight or you might want to invest in some grow lights if this isn’t possible. Using indoor grow lights is one of the best ways to keep plants healthy on cloudy days when there’s not enough natural light available.

If you are buying new grow lamps for your home it’s important to get full-spectrum LED bulbs (Amazon link). These will ensure that all parts of the spectrum are provided for your plant and will ensure they grow as fast as possible.

Yellow Sago Palm Leaves from Stress

Sago palms are very sensitive to changes in their environment, so anything out of the ordinary can cause stress that results in yellow leaves. This includes cold drafts from windows, water that is too hot or cold, and a sudden lack of humidity.

You should make sure your sago palm stays in a room where the temperature doesn’t drop below 60°F (16°C), as this can damage its leaves. If you have recently moved house, then there might be ventilation issues around doors and windows that are causing it to go yellow.

Check for any drafty areas that need covering up with plastic sheets or insulation tape. You can also set out bowls of water near open windows to keep the air humid until you find the source of the problem.

If none of these conditions apply, then maybe something else has happened to cause your plant’s stress – finding out what could help prevent future problems!

It’s important to note that repotting a stressed sago palm can do more harm than good as this usually stresses the plant out even more!

Sago Palm Leaves FAQs

I will now discuss some of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to yellowing leaves.

Should I cut yellow leaves off my sago palm?

Yes, remove any yellow or brown leaves to keep your sago palm looking healthy. You can either do this by hand or use a pair of sterilized scissors for larger cuts.

Is it normal for my sago palm to lose some of its lower leaves?

Yes, it is normal for a sago palm to lose some of its older leaves as it gets taller. You can cut these off and use them in your compost heap, but don’t remove too many at once or the plant won’t be able to sustain itself.

What are good indoor grow lights that will help with yellowing leaves?

Full-spectrum LED bulbs are known for being some of the best kind of grow light out there! We recommend this one on Amazon.com, which offers six different color spectrums led grow light.

Will too little light cause my sago palm to turn yellow?

Yes, a lack of light can cause a sago palm to lose its color and turn yellow. Your plant needs at least four hours of indirect sunlight every day in order to grow properly, so make sure this is available when you buy one.

Will too much water cause my sago palm leaves to turn yellow?

Yes, sago palms are very sensitive to changes in their environment so too much water can cause yellow leaves quickly. It’s best to use room temperature water that is around 50°F (11°C) for this plant as cold or hot temperatures will damage your sago palm over time!

Will yellow sago palm leaves turn green again?

No, once a sago palm leaf has turned yellow it is very unlikely to turn green again. You can still maintain your plant’s health by removing any dead or brown leaves to keep the appearance clean looking, however! Also, give your plant the correct care and new foliage will emerge as green.


In conclusion, sago palms are very easy to care for and it’s unlikely that you will run into problems like this too often. If your plant is turning yellow, then check all the factors I have mentioned in order of importance so you can provide whatever they need.

I hope that by reading this blog post you will understand what’s causing the problem and how to fix it. Please do check out my other posts on this beautiful plant.

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