Re: Dioon Edule turning brown!!
Posted by Tom Broome on 7/9/2008, 9:23 pm, in reply to "Re: Dioon Edule turning brown!!"
: Hi, Tom,
: Thanks for your quick response! It
: looks dead all right, but I'm pretty
: sure it's not. I water it about once
: a week, as it's only in a 4-inch
: pot. I try not to over-water it (or
: my other cycads) but maybe I'm being
: too cautious and not watering them
: enough. I have quite a few little
: Sagos (also in 4-inch pots) that are
: nothing but caudexes because the
: fronds all turned brown, just like
: this Dioon. Clearly I'm doing
: something horribly wrong, yet I seem
: to have really bad luck with plants
: that are supposed to "thrive on
: neglect." More water, you
: think? And maybe less sun?
: Thanks again for your help. I really
: appreciate it.
Well, you just answered the question on why you can't grow these things. Someone told you that cycads thrive on neglect, or they want to be dry between waterings. Whoever told you that, or whatever web site said that knows nothing about growing cycads. For starters, you should read my cultivation articles on my website, which is linked in the header. Start with the soil and water articles.
The thing is that cycads need to have good drainage, that is a must, but the reason people say to let them get dry is because that is what you have to do when you use soil that doesn't drain. Sure, there are certain species, like Encephalartos horridus that only gets a couple of inches a year in habitat, but sagos are grown all over the world because they are very tolerant of various growing conditions. Just to give you an example, the wholeslae growers of sagos here in Florida water their sagos every single day and use about 3/4 of an inch each time they water. Sometimes, in the summer, they also add another 1/4 inch at noon time just to cool them off. I water my cycads every other day with 3/4 of an inch.
What I would suggest is to get them out of those 4 inch pots and at least get them into something that is at least 6 inches. I would for sure pot them up in a well drained mix, and water them every other day with about 1/2 inch to 3/4 of an inch each time you water. I would also go to Home Depot and see if they have a fertilizer in a little plastic tube, called 'Dynamite' I would use the 18-6-8, which I think is in the green tube. Put a couple of tablespoons of that in the 6 or 7 inch pot and then lightly cover the fertilizer with a bit more soil and wtaer in good. You should get new growth in the next month.
I hear this same thing all the time from people growing cycads indoors. If you look through the archives, you will see that others have asked the same thing. Whoever it is that tells people this wrong information should be shot because people are having trouble growing plants that are about as easy to grow as can be, BUT, they do not thrive on neglect. Have fun with your cycads, you can now start a new part of your life where you will grow your cycads well.