How to Harvest Sugar Cane


According to the University of Florida, sugar cane thrives in the warm, humid environment of the deep Southern United States where temperatures remain between 70 degrees Fahrenheit and 95 degrees Fahrenheit for most of the growing season.Of the three types of sugar cane: chewing, crystal and syrup, most home growers have chewing or syrup varieties of sugar cane that can successfully be grown on less than 2 acres.Take the fullest advantage of your sugar cane by correctly harvesting it and tasting sweet success.

Step 1

Before the first freeze of the year, and after Nov. 1, cut the canes to the ground using a sharp knife.

Step 2

Cut off the top green portion of the cane, which lacks the sugar content of the base.

Step 3

Trim the bottom portion of the sugar cane stalk into smaller lengths between the joints.

Step 4

Peel the tough, fibrous exterior from each of the sugar cane sections by setting the sugar cane piece upright on a cutting board and slicing down the length of the cane between the outer hull and the lighter-colored inner heart.

Step 5

Chew the inner portion of the sugar cane, spitting out the fiber, stir drinks with sticks cut from the sugar cane or use it in recipes requiring whole sugar cane.

Things You'll Need

  • Mature sugar cane
  • Sharp knife


  • University of Florida: Sugar Cane
  • How to Chop and Prepare Sugarcane

Who Can Help

  • Food Network: Sugar Cane Recipes
Keywords: sugarcane, harvest sugar, home sugar

About this Author

Athena Hessong began her freelance writing career in 2004. She draws upon experiences and knowledge gained from teaching all high school subjects for seven years. Hessong earned a Bachelor's in Arts in history from the University of Houston and is a current member of the Society of Professional Journalists.