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Growing Cycads in the Landscape

Well, I post about this site also being about cycads, but I think this will be the first post I have made regarding them. My fascination started with these about ten years ago, when my brother and I decided to grow cycads from seed as a future cash crop (along with thousands of palms and numerous bamboo).

Anyways, while some of that dream has died, my fascination has not. Quite frankly, it has grown, with me adding more varieties of cycads to my collection as the years have passed. Having started out with Cycas revoluta, I now also have Dioon edule, Dioon spinulosum, Cycas taitungensis, Cycas panzhihuaensis, Ceratozamia hildae and Ceratozamia microstrabila.

Growing cycads as a landscape specimen can add a very unique and interesting item to the scenery. While some say the look like palm trees, they are not and thus can be treated entirely differently. But just like palms and other plants, the cold hardiness of the species depends greatly on the type. However, there are very few pests that cycads have, with the most common being scale that thanks to some great research is easily treated organically with an item that is readily available and in most places free.

So go ahead, grow a cycad in your landscape. If not in the yard, grow one in a pot. I know many of the big retailers sell them as bonsai, and it certainly would be a great conversation piece around the office. I’ve got a more posts in the works on cycads, including hand pollinating cycads, cycad pollen collection, and cycad propagation. The pollen articles are especially interesting to me as it will be the first time I’ve tried to hand pollinate a cycad to develop a cross breed.