The Sago Palm
One of my favorite plants in our yard is our sago palm. It’s beautiful; rich green palm leaves, sturdy roots and trunk, and vigorous under the hot summers and cold freezes of Southeast NC. The key to a sago palm’s success is pruning. It won’t go many years producing without rigorous cutback.
Last summer was a tough one for our family; the death of my beloved Papa, my grandmother having a tumor in her heart, my mom having a stay in the hospital. Needless to say, the sago palm got the cold shoulder.
With the stress of the summer starting to overwhelm me, I took to the yard work and garden to clear my mind. It’s where I learn the most about God and hear most clearly from Him. Through this sago palm, God brought to life the words on the page of John 15:2,
“Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.”
So, here are 3 THINGS MY SAGO PALM TAUGHT ME ABOUT PRUNING:
1. Ruthless pruning can make the plant look dead.
When I was pruning that poor, neglected sago palm, I was pretty ruthless. It was overgrown with several years of dead branches and I cut every single one off. My aunt pulled up as I was finishing and our eyes met with slight panic because- yep, you guessed it, it looked dead. I was so nervous it would never come back. But, guess what. It did come back. And it came back with the most beautiful, huge, deep green branches we hadn’t seen it produce in years. Pruning may leave you looking dead, but just wait for what’s about to bloom.
2. Branches that have bad fruit keep the good branches from bearing great fruit.
This sago palm had years of growth and a full season of neglect. We hadn’t pruned it from last year’s growth…or the year before…or the year before that. Oops. It had produced, but it wasn’t very pretty. The branches were short, shallow, and even a yellow color. Those other branches weren’t even producing, but were sucking nutrients away from the fresh, good growth. When we prune the half producing branches, we make room for more nutrients for the branches producing great fruit.
3. Pruning doesn’t only provide growth, but multiplication.
This year, the first thing I did when I got home (after eating Chick-Fil-A lol) was prune that sago palm. After seeing how beautiful it was last year, I wasn’t going to let it slide this year. When I finally got through the old branches, I realized there were baby sagos growing from the base! Not only had pruning helped this sago to bloom beautifully, it allowed for tremendous multiplication! There were S E V E N pups at the base of that palm that we were able to pot and spread out around the yard. Cutting back to produce great fruit in certain areas of your life makes room for that fruit to multiply.
Pruning isn’t easy by any means, but the way God moves and works when we submit to the pruning is incredible. Don’t resist what God is asking you to cut out of your life. You might be surprised what emerges from what looks dead through beautiful new growth and multiplication.