Ancient Cycad Plants In The Garden
The cycad plants are a small group of plants with many unique features, an ancient origin and a very long history. Cycad plants are known to have lived in the Permian era, over 200 million years ago – even before the dinosaurs roamed the earth. Although once abundant across the globe, the cycad plants are now greatly reduced in both numbers and distribution. There are now about 250 species in 11 genera, compared to possibly 300,000 species of flowering plants, the group that now dominates the world vegetation. Because cycad plants are hardy, they are relatively easy to grow. The most important requirement is good drainage. If water is stagnant, the roots will rot. Cycads do well in terra cotta pots with a cactus mix or potting soil. Don’t expect rapid growth; these plants are slow growing, and like being root-bound, so there is no need to re-pot too often. If you are planting the cycad for landscaping purposes, it is best to transplant a young plant from a container.
The cycad does not like to have its roots disturbed until a trunk is visible. It is best to transplant during the spring when the temperatures are starting to increase. Remember that the cycad needs good drainage. To care these plants, it will need full sun and your average temperature should be 70 F. (21 C.). Fertilizing four times a year will ensure proper nutrition and growth. A granular fertilizer for palms with phosphorus (N), potassium (P), and magnesium (Mg) will supply the all of the necessary nutrients.