Gardening

Cycas: an alternative to the palm tree


What maintenance for a cycad, how and when to repot it, what watering and what diseases.

In summary, what you need to know:

Last name : Cycas
Family : Cicadaceae
Type : Indoor or outdoor plant

Exposure : Bright, sunny
Ground : Soil
Foliage : Persistent

Not quite a palm tree but a formidable ornamental plant, the cycad is attractive… (Photo © New Africa)

Planting and repotting cycads

Planting or repotting for potted cycads are important steps because they condition the good recovery and growth of the cycads.

Cycas in pot or container:

The cycad calls for a good soil that you will possibly mix with 1/3 of compost if you have some.

In order to facilitate drainage, place a bed of gravel, small stones or clay balls at the bottom of the pot.
This operation prevents the roots from bathing in water, which could be fatal.

  • So install it in a good size pot filled with special soil for house plants or green plants.
  • Although it is necessary to repot in spring every 2 to 3 years, apart from that, prefer a surfacing regular which will perfectly meet the plant's need for growing support.

Cycas outdoors:

As with planting in pots, do not hesitate to lay a bed of gravel, small pebbles or clay balls in order to facilitate drainage.

  • You will then plant it in a mixture of potting soil, garden soil and sand.

Generally speaking, most cycads do not tolerate cold except the cycad revoluta which readily accepts temperatures near or below 0 °, even down to -10 °.

Exhibition for an indoor cycad

In our climates, the cycad fits inside of our houses and apartments except the cycad revoluta who willingly accepts a a certain freshness in winterr.

  • It thrives well when temperatures hover around 20-22° and requires a very good light and even the sun

So prefer the proximity of a window facing south or west in order to bathe it in the maximum amount of light and sun.

If you live in a rather dark place, avoid buying a cycad as it should not stand the absence of light too much.

Watering and fertilizer

Watering the cycad is important because it should neither be too excessive nor too limited. A happy medium is essential ...

In spring and summer:

It is usually the growth period for the cycad.
Water regularly while letting the soil dry on the surface between 2 waterings.

Watering must therefore be regular but measured so as not to suffocate the roots of the plant.
It can be said that watering every 2 to 3 days is often necessary.

  • Every 15 days, you can bring him someliquid fertilizer, taking care to moisten the soil well beforehand.

From fall and winter:

You have to start with gently reduce watering because the plant has more limited needs.
As soon as the soil becomes dry for a few centimeters, water in order to moisten all the soil.

We can say thatwatering every 15 days should be sufficient.
But it also depends on the location of your cycad, if it is in direct sunlight its needs may be greater.

  • It is necessary that stop all fertilizer input from October and until March-April.

Parasites and diseases of cycads

Quite hardy, the cycad is generally quite resistant to most diseases but some problems can nevertheless occur.

Deformed leaves:

It is without a doubt a lack of light or too much water.

  • So find a brighter location and reduce watering by following our advice above.

The leaves are turning yellow :

If the plant continues to make new leaves, this is the natural evolution of your cycad. Trees, even when they are persistent, shed their leaves to renew them.

  • You can leave them to dry on your cycad and then fall or cut them as you go.
  • If no new growth appears and your cycad is looking gray, pay attention to watering and drainage and possibly add liquid fertilizer to the plant every two weeks.

To know about the cycad

Contrary to what everyone thinks, the cycas is not a palm tree but its resemblance is confusing.

  • The maintenance it needs is often close to that of a palm tree.

At the same time aesthetic, resistant and very easy to cultivate, it is one of the most popular houseplants and the most sold.

Its foliage is particularly elegant and original while its thick trunk gives a touch of exoticism in his living room, living room or any other well-lit room in the house.

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