Q: I’m thinking of planting eight or ten Sago Palms around the outside of my in-ground pool fence. Is this a good palm tree for the Clayton County area? I’m looking for a palm that does not grow too high and that requires little maintenance.
A: Just to start out on the right foot, the sago palms you are contemplating are not palms at all. Though the leaves are palm-like, they are scientifically classed as Cycads and are more kin to pines and ginkgo trees than to palms. Sago palm can be severely damaged by temperatures lower than fifteen degrees in the winter. They also grow so slowly that few are seen in the northern half of Georgia. That said, if your pool site is sheltered from the wind and you have a hankering for a tropical atmosphere, the Sago palm is worth a try. Before you plant, read this information about their care. If you’re worried about spending so much money on these plants, why not try a hardy palm such as windmill palm, needle palm or dwarf palmetto?
You can find lots of good information on palms at The Southeastern Palm Society..