This blog is about growing tropical-looking plants in the Phoenix, Arizona area

August 3, 2013

How cycads grow

Unlike most plants, cycads don't grow all year long. So if you have one that is just sitting there, there is no need to worry. If the leaves aren't drooping or falling off, it is just waiting to flush.

A flush happens once a year. I've had cycads here at The Tropical Paradise, like this Dioon Spinulosum, and sometimes they flush twice a year, but that's rare. And they usually flush in late April, in May, and in June. Sometimes as late as July. I have no idea why this one decided to wait until August, but I'm glad to see it.

And that's one of the great joys of owning cycads. When it starts sending out its yearly flush, it grows fast. Cycad collectors are known to carefully scrutinize the center and wonder if they are really seeing a new flush. Needless to say, I've been watching this plant for months.

During this time the new leaves are very soft, so avoid the temptation to touch them. Any damage to the leaves before they harden off is permanent, so keep the kids kicking soccer balls away. These leaves should be fully mature by the end of this month.
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