Sugar cane is a tropical grass with a sweet inner stalk. In warm humid climates, sugar cane stalks reach heights of 12 feet or more and spread easily. Hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture planting zones 9 to 11, sugar cane will die if temperatures drop much below 50 degrees F. Plant sugar cane in pots and keep them on a sunny windowsill, when the plants reach about 3 to 4 feet you can either harvest them and enjoy the sweet juice, or transplant them into larger pots for your covered porch or favorite sunny window.
Fill a 4-inch flat seed starting tray half full with a mixture of equal parts rich well rotted compost and coarse gritty potting soil.
Cut off the top 6 inches from fresh sugar cane stalks. Sugar cane can often be found in the produce section of grocery stores.
Lay the cuttings flat on their sides in the seed starting tray about 4 inches apart. Cover the cuttings with compost and water the soil until it is damp all the way through.
Put a clear plastic bag over the tray and loosely tuck it underneath or fasten it with a string. Place the tray in a well lit window or porch. Keep the soil temperature above 68 degrees F.
Remove the plastic every three to five days, if the soil begins to feel dry, water the tray. You want to keep the soil moist but not saturated.
When the seedlings sprout, usually in about three weeks, remove the plastic and continue to keep them in the warm well sunny place.
Transplant the cuttings individually into 6- to 8-inch planting pots when they are 3 to 4 inches tall. Fill the planting pots with equal parts compost and potting soil. Water until the soil is damp all the way through.
Keep your sugarcane sprouts in a sunny spot where the temperature is consistently above 65 degrees F. Sugar cane can withstand brief periods at temperatures of 59 degrees F but it will stunt the plants growth.
You can harvest the shoots when they are 40 inches tall, or transplant them into 15- to 20-inch pots and place them in a bay window or on a heated porch.