Plants

Male Cycas

Characteristics male cycas

One of the most important characteristics to know in order to cultivate a cycad is its dioecious nature, a term that indicates the existence of both male and female cycas. The plants, in reality, are substantially identical, what changes are the reproductive organs, formed by a bush of leaves that contain pollen or ovules. If you want to buy a male cycas you have to take an adult plant, because from young specimens it is practically impossible to understand its sex before several years pass.

In general, however, it should be known that the cones of the male cycad are longer than those of the female cycads. It goes without saying that to multiply the cycas you need both a male and a female specimen. If, on the other hand, it is not intended to propagate the plant, then the sex is irrelevant in the choice of the specimen, since, apart from the inflorescence, the plants are almost identical.

Male cycas reproduction


The wind or insects usually take care of giving birth to a new cycad plant; however, if we want to get a new plant from the couple we have in our garden, we will have to intervene personally: we have to wait for spring and then take the pollen produced by the male cycad to insert it into the cones of the female cycad. After a few months the latter will produce seeds that can then be planted, but you have to be careful and handle them with gloves, because their casing contains toxic substances for humans.

Alternatively, there is another method, the reproduction by suckers: you can operate in autumn by removing the suckers at the base of the plant or along the trunk, and then plant them up to half of their length. In a short time new leaves will appear and you will have a cycas already of considerable size, unlike the one obtained through pollination.

Male cycas cultivation


Cycads, both male and female, are easy to grow plants because they adapt to all conditions and survive well both in the ground and in pots, a widely used option. The important thing is that the soil is well drained because stagnant water could be fatal to these plants, which prefer drought. The soil should always be moist but never soggy.

When planting a young specimen, it must always be remembered that cycads have a very slow development; however, if we provide it with nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium fertilizer at regular intervals, we can help accelerate its growth. Although they resemble palm trees, cycas belong to another family, so they should never be treated like palm trees or given specific palm products, which have completely different characteristics and needs.

Male cycas cures


The cycads adapt well to all temperatures and withstand the heat up to 40 degrees and cold, as long as it is around freezing. In any case it is good to place them in sunny areas; it is not necessary to prune them heavily, it is sufficient to remove the oldest leaves, or those yellowed or damaged in order to stimulate the production of new shoots. Since the male cycas, like the female, has a very slow growth, it is sufficient to repot it once every five years and only when the roots have expanded to the point that they need more space and therefore a larger pot. Not everyone knows this, but even the cycads bloom, but they do so only if they exceed two meters in height, therefore after several years. The leaves and the trunk must be checked often to act in time in the case of pest attacks, however very rare event. If the foliage turns yellow it could be due to excessive fertilizer or water, so just reduce the doses.

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