Poked by Sago Palm: What Should I Do Now?

Poked by sago palm

Hey there, fellow gardening enthusiasts. I’m here to share a little mishap I recently had with one of my beloved sago palms. Yep, you guessed it right, I got poked by Sago Palm. 

I immediately removed any embedded spines and washed the area with soap and water. Also, I applied antiseptic and covered it with a clean bandage to prevent infection.

Now, I’m not saying this to scare you off, but I want to give you the lowdown on how you can avoid a spiky situation like mine. So, stay sharp till the end. 

What To Do If I Get Poked by a Sago Palm?

If you happen to get poked by a Sago Palm, don’t panic. These seemingly innocuous plants can have sharp surprises. First, remove any embedded spine with tweezers, being gentle. 

Then, clean the area thoroughly with soap and water to prevent infection. Apply an antiseptic ointment and cover the wound with a clean bandage. You should watch for symptoms like increasing redness, swelling, or signs of infection, although these reactions are rare. 

To prevent future pokes, always wear thick gardening gloves when handling your Sago Palm, especially during pruning. You should be careful and deliberate when trimming. Also, you must use sharp, clean tools to minimize frond damage. 

Lastly, you must try to maintain a safe distance while working around your Sago Palm, particularly if you’re new to handling them. With these precautions, you can enjoy your Sago Palm without any spiky surprises.

Are Sago Palm Thorns Poisonous to Humans?

Sago palm poisonous or not! Sago palm thorns, while not poisonous, can be harmful to humans. The real danger lies in the toxins contained within the plant, primarily in its seeds, not the thorns themselves. 

Ingesting any part of the sago palm, especially the seeds, can lead to severe gastrointestinal distress, liver damage, and seizures. In some extreme cases, it can cause coma or death. The thorns, however, can cause painful skin irritation and rashes if touched. 

Therefore, it’s key to handle sago cycad palms with care. You must wear protective gear like gloves and take precautions to prevent contact with both thorns and any kind of sago palm toxicity from plant parts.

Sago Palm Poisoning


Symptoms and Effects of  

Sago palm (Cycas revoluta) poisoning can have severe and potentially life-threatening effects, especially if ingested. Are Sago Palm Thorns Poisonous to Humans? Sago palm toxicity can become very serious in some cases. 

Here’s an elaboration in bullet points on the symptoms and effects of sago palm poisoning:

Ingestion of Sago Palm Parts

  • Gastrointestinal Distress: Consuming any part of the sago cycad palm, especially the seeds or nuts, can lead to immediate gastrointestinal symptoms. These symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.
  • Neurological Symptoms: Sago palm toxins can affect the nervous system, leading to symptoms like confusion, dizziness, and weakness.
  • Liver Damage: Sago palm toxins can cause liver damage, leading to jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), and potential liver failure.
  • Seizures: In severe cases of sago palm poisoning, individuals may experience seizures, which can be life-threatening.
  • Coma: The most severe cases can progress to a coma, which is a state of unconsciousness from which a person cannot be awakened.

Symptoms of Skin Contact (Dermatitis)

  • Skin Irritation: Handling sago palms without gloves can lead to skin irritation because of the needle-like spines or thorns found on the plant’s fronds. This can cause redness, itching, and rashes.

Symptoms of Eye Contact

  • Eye Irritation: If sago palm sap or plant parts come into contact with the eyes, it can cause irritation, redness, and discomfort.

How to Treat After Sago Palm Poisoning

Treating sago palm poisoning requires immediate medical attention because of the potentially severe effects. Here’s what you should do:

Step 1: Call for Emergency Help

Dial your local emergency number or poison control center immediately. Provide them with all relevant information, including the type of exposure (ingestion, skin contact, etc.) and any symptoms experienced.

Step 2: Step Do Not Wait for Symptoms

Even if symptoms haven’t appeared yet, seeking medical help promptly is fundamental as sago palm poisoning can have delayed effects.

Step 3: If Ingested

  • Do Not Induce Vomiting: Unlike some other types of poisoning, inducing vomiting is not recommended for sago palm plant ingestion as it can worsen the situation.
  • Provide Information: If possible, you should inform medical professionals of the quantity ingested and the time of ingestion.
  • Supportive Care: In the hospital, treatment may include IV fluids, medications to control symptoms, and monitoring of serious signs. If severe, more advanced interventions may be required.

Or, If There’s Skin Contact

  • Wash the Area: If skin comes into contact with sago palm sap or plant parts, wash the affected area thoroughly with soap and water.
  • Apply Topical Treatments: Over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion may help reduce skin irritation and itching.
  • Seek Medical Advice: If the skin reaction is severe or persists, you must consult a healthcare professional.

Or, If There’s Eye Contact

  • Flush with Water: You should rinse the affected eye with cool, clean water for at least 15 minutes. If wearing contact lenses, remove them after the first 5 minutes.
  • Seek Immediate Medical Attention: Even if the eye seems to recover, it’s important to have a professional evaluate the eye for any potential damage.

Remember, there is no specific antidote for sago palm poisoning. Treatment primarily focuses on managing symptoms and providing supportive care. 

Sago Palm plant


The prognosis can vary depending on the amount ingested and how quickly medical care is provided. Sago palm toxicity treatment should be decided by a healthcare professional. Always consult a healthcare professional for the best course of action.

You might also have orchids in your garden, right? We often face a common dilemma on whether it’s an Orchid Keiki or Flower Spike. I have your back on this problem. Don’t forget to check out the article.

Can Sago Palms Cause a Rash?

Yes, sago palms can potentially cause a rash, but it’s relatively rare. The primary culprits behind this skin irritation are the needle-like structures known as spines or thorns that line the edges of sago palm fronds.

When the skin comes into contact with these spines, it can lead to skin irritation, redness, and, in some cases, a rash. Individual reactions to sago palm spines can vary widely. Some people may be more sensitive and prone to skin irritation, while others may not experience any adverse effects at all. 

It’s essential to note that the sago palm rash is usually not severe and can be treated with standard first-aid measures. If you suspect you’ve been exposed to sago palm spines and develop a rash or skin irritation, wash the affected area with soap and water. Also, you should apply an antiseptic, and monitor it for any signs of infection.

To minimize the risk of a rash from sago palms, always wear protective gloves when handling them.

How To Protect Yourself While Handling The Sago Palm

Handling sago palms requires precautions to protect yourself from potential harm. Here’s how to do it:

Wear Protective Gear

  • Gloves: Always wear thick, sturdy gardening gloves when handling sago palms. These gloves provide a barrier between your hands and the sharp spines or thorns on the plant.
  • Eye Protection: You should consider wearing safety goggles or protective glasses to shield your eyes from sago palm sap or debris while trimming or pruning.
  • Long Sleeves and Pants: You can cover your arms and legs with long sleeves and pants to minimize skin exposure.

Use the Right Tools

  • Sharp, Clean Tools: You can use sharp and well-maintained pruning shears or loppers to cut sago palm fronds cleanly. Dull tools can cause ragged cuts, leading to sharp edges.
  • Avoid Tearing: When trimming, you should cut fronds cleanly rather than tearing them, as torn fronds can have sharp, exposed edges.

Work Carefully and Mindfully

  • Slow and Steady: You should take your time when working around sago palms. Rushing can lead to accidental contact with spines.
  • Be Aware of Spines: You must pay close attention to the location of spines on the fronds. Handle the plant with care and avoid touching the spines.
  • Maintain Distance: You can keep a safe distance from the plant to reduce the risk of accidental contact.

Dispose of Trimmings Safely

  • Use Containers: You must place trimmed fronds and plant debris directly into containers or bags, ensuring that the sharp ends are not exposed.
  • Secure Disposal: You can seal the containers tightly before disposing of them to prevent injuries to waste handlers.

Wash Hands and Tools

  • After Handling: After working with sago palms, wash your hands and any tools used with soap and water to remove any plant residue or sap.

Know the Plant

  • Identify Sago Palms: You must familiarize yourself with the appearance of sago palms to avoid accidental contact with other potentially harmful plants.

Keep Children and Pets Away

  • Restrict Access: If you have sago palms in your garden, ensure that children and pets are kept away from them to prevent accidental exposure. Sago palm dog free areas and try to monitor regularly. 

You should keep in mind that Japanese sago plant and sago palm plant can be dangerous because of their attractive appearance.


Is it safe to keep sago palms around children and pets?

Sago palms are toxic if ingested, so it’s best to keep them out of reach of children and pets. Even contact with the spines can cause discomfort, making supervision important when they are present.

Are all parts of the sago palm equally dangerous?

No, the most dangerous parts are the seeds or nuts. Ingesting any part of the sago palm can cause gastrointestinal distress, but the seeds contain the highest concentration of toxins.

How long does it take for sago palm skin irritation to go away?

Skin irritation from sago palm contact typically resolves within a few days. Using topical treatments like hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion can help alleviate discomfort and itching. If irritation persists, you must consult a healthcare professional.

Have you checked out my last article yet? If not then go through the article called Easy ways to get rid of Vine Weevil.

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About Author


Hello, I’m Khandaker Mursalin, a writer and researcher in the field of English Literature and blog writing. In 2014, I met my wife for the first time in my class. We found out that we two have a great passion for plants and gardening. Our hopes, aims, and interests were quite similar. So, we decided to marry. Finally, we married in 2015. Back then we were younger and had no money to make a huge garden as both were students.

But our passion for plants never decreased. We believed that making a garden at home requires your passion rather than money. So, we kept collecting plants by any means. And now, we have a huge balcony garden with more than a few hundred specifies. Most of them are indoor plants and good for balconies. So, we decided to help and encourage people to keep plants in their homes. And Gardenmysteries is a part of our work.