Sugarcane is a coarse textured slowly spreading clump forming grass with pithy segmented culms up to 2 inch in diameter that become nearly woody by season's end. Two to 4 ft long strap-like dark green leaves arch alternately from the culms. Culms are sometimes varieaged purple or yellow along with the usual green on ornamental selections. The strong coarse texuture and historical significance of this species add interest to summer gardens. This species makes an effective summer annual ornamental grass in USDA zones 8 and colder, becoming a marginal perennial in 8b, a herbaceous perennial in 9 and an evergren in the warmest portions of 9b to 11. This species is a major source of commercial sugar. It can form nearly impenetrable thickets in the tropics.
Plant Habit or Use:
warm season annual, perennial, grasses, tropical
sun, partial sun
Not ornamental, only in subtropcial climates.
Not often formed outside the subtropics.
6 ft to 8 ft as an annual, 15 ft to 20 ft in the tropics.
indefinite where perennial, 4 ft to 6 ft as an annual.
Explanation of the Earth–Kind® Index breakdown
- Heat Tolerance: Non-Defined Heat Tolerance
- Water Requirements: Non-Defined Water Use
- Soil Requirements: Non-Defined Soil Requirements
- Pest Tolerance: Non-Defined Pest Resistance
- Fertility Requirements: Non-Defined Fertility Requirements
USDA Hardiness Zones:
9, 10, 11
Regions that intersect these hardiness zones:
Click image for enlarged map of USDA Hardiness Zones
Region E - Upper Rio Grande• Region F - Hill Country and Central Coast• Region G - Southeast Texas• Region H - Rio Grande Valley
Interesting as a novelty to stimulate conversation. Culture and harvest of this species can be backbreaking work.