The Q&A Archives: Growing Sugar Cane

Question: My family grew sugar cane in our south Georgia garden. Burpee lists our current Oregon location as zone 8, the same as Georgia. I would like to know if I face different growing issues for sugar cane in the drier Oregon climate, and what the minimum winter temperature is for sugar cane survival.

Answer: Sugar cane is a tropical plant that is ready for cutting in 11-18 months. Based upon the following facts, sugar cane production in your zone 8 garden isn't going to be terribly successful!

Tropical climate is based on temperature, winds and air pressure, pattern and amount of precipitation, and daylength. Classical equatorial climate of constant heavy precipitation and high temperatures. Annual mean temperature is 77-80? F with little variation throughout the year. Precipitation commonly averages 70-100 inches per year, and is well distributed throughout the year with no dry season.

Tropical plants are usually short day plants, some are cold sensitive and all are frost sensitive.

Georgia and Florida have suitable climates for sugar cane production, but Oregon does not.

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