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How to Plant Sugar Cane

Last Updated: November 12, 2020 References Approved

This article was co-authored by Andrew Carberry, MPH. Andrew Carberry has been working in food systems since 2008. He has a Masters in Public Health Nutrition and Public Health Planning and Administration from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.

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Sugar cane is in the same family as grass, and grows in the form of tall, narrow stalks, or canes. Sugar cane is planted in ruts on its side in the fall. It requires no maintenance over the winter, and in spring you’ll be greeted with sugar cane sprouts that will grow as tall as bamboo. Sugar cane grows in the tropics, and it can be grown in the warmer parts of the United States. Currently, sugar cane is grown commercially in Florida, Louisiana, Hawaii, and Texas. If you live in one of these states, you can grow your own sugar cane. Harvested sugar cane can be made into delicious syrup.

How to Plant Sugar Cane. Sugar cane is in the same family as grass, and grows in the form of tall, narrow stalks, or canes. Sugar cane is planted in ruts on its side in the fall. It requires no maintenance over the winter, and in spring…

Want to Propagate Sugarcane Indoors

I’m trying to propagate sugarcane to grow indoors (until it gets too large!).

I have 1 stick, about 2′ long, with 3 internodes and at least 1 good-looking shoot-bud-thing.

The last time I tried this, I followed a method I found in a book. I cut out an internode (with the ‘knuckles’ on either end) , sealed the ends with wax, put it horizontally into a pot with the shoot-bud-thingy pointing upwards and covered it with about 1/2″ of potting mix. Then I put that into a giant ziplock baggie (I do that with most of my seedlings/cuttings) for humidity.

It never actually did anything at all – just sat there and got moldy.

Can anybody give me tips/advice/instructions? Does anybody have a better method?

Comments (4)

subtropix

I think you’re trying too hard. Sugarcane shouldn’t be that hard to propagate from fresh cane. Recently, I purchased some
fresh cane (a piece about 6.5 feet high). I merely cut it into pieces about one foot in length and stuck them in a potted plant (a parlor palm). In about a month or so, I tugged at the cane and noticed they can rooted. I pulled them all out and planted them in a somewhat sandy soil. I guess bottom heat wouldn’t hurt (but I didn’t use it)–they all rooted at room temp during February. Could it be that your cane isn’t fresh enough? PS. Don’t use the zip lock bag, I bet your cane is rotting from excessive humidity and lack of adequate air circulation!

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ara133

That is good to hear, thank you! Perhaps my cane wasn’t fresh enough last time. it was during winter when I purchased it – who knows where they got it from! I’ll try again – I do have a source for bottom heat (a seedling mat), so I think I’ll put them in a pot on that, but without the ziplock bag. Thank you very much for all your suggestions!! 🙂

The only question I have left then is – how do I know which end is up? The piece doesn’t have a taper. Thanks 🙂
A

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subtropix

I’m not sure it really matters. I believe you’re supposed to plant them horizontally (I never do). I always plant them vertically and only bury about a third of the cane (when you buy a piece that’s 6-7 feet, it’s pretty obvious which end is up). The cane was then cut into sections about a foot in length. I aim for soil that is only slightly moist (I didn’t water at all for the month that it was rooting in–it was a large container with a host plant for company). A sandy, loose soil is probably best. I have found the freshest cane sold in Asian or Hispanic markets. Good luck!

I'm trying to propagate sugarcane to grow indoors (until it gets too large!). I have 1 stick, about 2' long, with 3 internodes and at least 1 good-looking shoot-bud-thing. The last time I tried this, I followed a method I found in a book. I cut out an internode (with the 'knuckles' on either end) …