The harvesting of Sago seed in South Texas starts about mid February and extends into early March. The best time of day is early morning when it is still cool yet pleasant.
We are armed with buckets, gloves, long sleeves and a long stick, the latter is for snakes, and there can be some deadly one’s at that!
Last summer Jana, Irene and myself pollinated the female plants with pollen from the male cones which were removed and each pollinated female was then tagged with a pink ribbon, making it easier to locate the plants during harvest.
After all the seeds have been picked, they are placed in soaking tubs for two days and finally cleaned.
Removing and planting the pups or suckers that appear on and around the mother plant, is really quite easy.
- Remove pup by cutting or sawing from main trunk, some can even be pulled off. This will not hurt the cycad, unless trunk has been sawed into, then it becomes a matter of cosmetics. I let my pups set out for a couple days before planting.
- Use small pots, as larger one will be hard to water correctly and it will be a while before roots and plant are seasoned and established.
- Using a mixture of one part garden sand to one part Peat moss, fill each container to about 3/4 to the top of the pot.
- Push pup into pot so that about 1/3 of the bulb is into the soil.
- Water and place in a warm well lighted area. Do not keep pups water logged, as they will rot, let pots dry to about 1/3 down before watering.
- Roots form from a few weeks to six months or more.
Looking for More Information?
Check out Robert Riffle’s book: The Tropical Look. Over 500 pages packed with information and photos dedicated to gardeners like you. This is definitely a must-have book for any serious gardener.