One of our neighbours harvested some sugarcane last week and shared it around. When we got our armful of it, we dilly-dallied a bit too long and it started drying up to the point where we decided it was too hard to try to consume. It would have been a different story if we had one of those nice roller-squeeze machines that they have at the hawker centres to extract the juice, though.
Naturally, I decided not to let the sugarcane go to waste. I had noticed several buds along the stems, so I cut them so there was just one bud per piece of stem. From experience, I know that roots will grow from below the bud, along the circumference of the growth ring, so where I was able to, I cut the stem as close to the bottom of the bud as I could. It wasn’t easy, because the exterior of the stems was already rather hard and woody, like bamboo. For those that I could, I cut close to the growth ring. I’ll be able to just push the stem straight into soil, and they will be able to start growing. For those stems that were too hard to cut, I’ll lay them sideways to grow. Plants are very adaptable and will do what they need to to grow!
The last time I tried growing sugarcane, I had mixed success. The plants need a good supply of water, and some of them died off in the drier months. I particularly liked the one growing in a pot because with the dark red stems, it looked very pretty, like an ornamental bamboo plant. However, it has a tendency to topple over as the plants get bigger. This shows me that sugarcane needs to be planted out in the garden rather than in a container.