tabomb3214
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How to train and care for a sago palm bonsai?

Hey my name is Tanner and I am 14, and I love art and cool looking plants I have past experience with gardening and I am some what good at it but, I want ot start collecting bonsai. So far the only one I own is a sago palm I bought in walmart and I know it may not be as good as other bonsais but it was cheap.


And are there any cool ways to train a sago palm like with wire ect.? And I have found a cool bowl/pot I would like to plant it in and this would be the first ime I have ever done anything like this and I would like to know is it the right season, what is the best way to trim the roots, without killing it t ofit the pot and if you have anymore tips please post!


And I also wnat to know how often I should feed it and what kind of feed and where to get it?


AND THE FINALLLLY !!!!!!!!!! Are sago palms poisonous to cats?
Last edited by tabomb3214 on Mon Sep 14, 2009 10:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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bonsaiboy
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tabomb3214,
Welcome to the forum! Unfortunately, sago palms do not respond to wiring. You can plant it at an angle and the trunk may bend over a period of time. I also do not know where you can purchase a cheap orange tree. Sorry I couldn't be more help.
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Gnome
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tabomb3214,

Being so young you are in a position to do a lot with your interest in bonsai. There are many species that can be of interest to you, don't limit yourself to a few marginal ones.

As Bonsaiboy implied Sago Palm is not one of the best species to work with. Citrus are probably a little more appropriate but are better suited to a warmer climate. Of course you can work with tropicals if you are committed but in my opinion you should consider species that are better suited to your environment, they require less effort on your part. Temperate trees would not require that they be kept inside over the winter.

Chinese Elm is an excellent first choice. You should be able to find a decent specimen at a reasonable price and they can be managed as indoor/outdoor trees. A Juniper is also a good choice, but better to fashion your own rather than buy a ready-made specimen. There are others, If you are serious about a tropical, a Ficus or Schefflera are good choices and will be easier to locate than a Citrus

My real point is that you should keep an open mind and be aware that there are many choices available to you.

Norm

tabomb3214
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Thank you that is verry good point I just think it would be cool to have mini fruits!

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Gnome
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tabomb3214,

Bonsai techniques do not miniaturize fruits, that is genetically determined. If you wish to have small fruit you must choose a variety that produces them naturally. For instance, choose a Crab Apple over a variety that produces regular fruit. Both can be managed as bonsai but only the Crab will produce small fruit.

Norm

tabomb3214
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Thankyou I didnt know that

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bonsaiboy
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Kumquats are also have very small fruit, and they are a citrus as well. I personally do not bonsai citrus plants much because they are doomed without full exposure to sun, and most have very sharp spines.
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tabomb3214
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SO as long as I gave it alot of sunlight it would be fine?

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bonsaiboy
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It would probably work.
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tabomb3214
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Thankyou for your imput but there is one thing i have to know!!!! ARE SAGO PALMS POSIONOUS TO PETS????!

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bonsaiboy
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All cycads have traces of neurotoxic chemicals in there parts, so yes. Although each genus has a different set (I think), it would make sense to keep the plant away from all your pets and little children.
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tabomb3214
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THak you so much that is very helpful info! :D

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The ASPCA maintains a Poison Control page. They have an emergency call-in number as well as a searchable database. Here's the page for sago palms:

https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/poison-control/plants/sago-palm.html

toxic to cats, dogs, and horses.

Cynthia H.
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tabomb3214
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Thankyou so much but why would my cat eat it ??

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bonsaiboy
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The animals are unable to detect the poison in the plant.
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Matt_09
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Hey Tanner,
I'm fourteen as well and I have basically your interests too. A sago palm is a really interesting plant, one of the easiest to care for and can transform into really unique and have interesting appearances if you type in sago palm in google images you should get a really interesting piscture of one on the first page at the top right-hand corner it's really quite something, sorry I tried to put a hyperlink but it got deleted, or you can go for something a little less time consuming and elaborate like just adding another crown or leaves, I don't think you need a picture for that one. But yes, they can be wired I suppose, but basically it wouldn't do much as bonsaiboy previously stated, the palm tree species have a tendecy to just grow straight up even if there are obstructions. Orange trees are very expensive now, why I don't quite understand but, orange trees have very active growth cycles so you can plant one from a seed and have a nice sized tree by a year and a half but it was in California so maybe, but of course they must be provided with lots of sunlight and have a good watering, I suggest you establish a watering schedule if you happen across a orange tree. Palm trees do have a bit of poison but it's a small amount, not enough to be noticed by the body. And animals, have a tendency to eat plants for various reasons, sometimes as simple as the smell of it or the oil it produces, palms do produce oil by the way. There are many techniques to trim the roots of a plant, this site provides some and there are a lot of videos on YouTube about it. But anyways good luck with everything and hope you enjoy learining about bonsai. :)
Last edited by Matt_09 on Tue Sep 29, 2009 1:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

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bonsaiboy
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I would like to point out two things here. First of all, sago palms are cycads and are not related to true palm trees. Second, the toxins present in a sago palm are potent enough that, when eaten, it causes a deterioration in the animals motor skills (in south america this is called zamia staggers), and can eventually lead to death.
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