Q: What is wrong with my sago palm?
Q: What is wrong with my sago palm? The newer fronds are brown and twisted.
A: Your sago palm appears to have a nutrient deficiency called frizzle top. The photo I took shows several seasons of fronds which have experienced this nutrient problem. The sago is lacking manganese (Mn), which can be found at your local garden center in the form of manganese sulfate. Do not confuse manganese sulfate with magnesium sulfate which is the ingredient found in Epsom salts. You will need to be sure to add manganese sulfate to your normal palm fertilizer if it does not already contain manganese. The fertilizer should be spread totally under the canopy of the fronds. Add a small amount of water to be sure the fertilizer reaches the root area. Adding Mn now will not change the look of the current fronds. However, do not be tempted to remove all the ugly fronds especially if they still have any green color. The green color tells you the fronds are still providing food to the palm and removing them will stress the palm even more. Regarding removal of palm fronds, it is best to keep all fronds on all palms until they are totally brown