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It covers 70 percent of the world's sugar requirements and impresses with a magnificent appearance. The sugar cane plant combines benefits and beauty in such an impressive way that cultivating the ornamental garden is a fascinating project. Although the following description characterizes sugarcane as a tropical plant, growing it in your own garden is quite possible, provided that you respect some fundamental guidelines. You will find out here what these are and how the cultivation of the exotic jewelery succeeds.
- Plant family of grasses (Poaceae)
- Scientific name of the sugar cane plant: Saccharum officinarum
- It is native to the tropics and subtropics
- Perennial and herbaceous in growth
- Minimum temperature: 3 to 5 degrees Celsius
- Growth height in culture from 150 to 300 cm
- Diameter of the stalks from 20 to 50 mm
- Panicle blossom from 40 to 60 cm in length in autumn
- Root system: Subterranean shoot axes (rhizomes)
- Worldwide use for the production of table sugar
Cultivation from seeds
Those who want to experience their growth from the ground up, decide to breed from seed. Qualitatively perfect seeds are kept by the specialized trade for a balance of less than 2 euros throughout the year. If equipment is available that provides the seeds with a tropical warm environment, sowing takes place in the following steps:
- Fill a thermos with lukewarm water and soak the seeds in it overnight
- Fill pots with lean seed soil, peat sand or unit soil and spray with water
- Place a seed on the substrate for each seed vessel to only press the light germ
- Cover the plastic wrap, place a glass plate or spend in the heated miniature greenhouse
Cultivation from cuttings
Easier than sowing and with a higher success rate is the production of sugar cane from cuttings. To do this you will need one or more mature stalks, which are cut into pieces with 2 to 4 eyes, also called knots. In order for the plant to grow vertically in the course of cultivation, the cuttings are to be positioned horizontally on the substrate. How to do it right:
- Fill pots of at least 5 liters in volume with cultivating or pique soil
- Place one seedling in the substrate for each culture container and cover a maximum of 15 cm high with soil
- Place in a room greenhouse that maintains a temperature level of 25 to 28 degrees
Cultivation in the garden
Since the sugar cane plant is a tropical plant, cultivation in the pail is the primary consideration in the Central European climate. If temperatures fall below 5 degrees Celsius, the plant dies. Grown in the bucket, the imposing ornamental grass lingers the summer on the balcony, the terrace or the seat, in order to be granted in time for the winter. The planting season begins in the middle of May.
- Place the root ball of the preferred sugar cane plants in low-calcium water
- Meanwhile, fill a large bucket of 20-40 liters volume with potting soil or garden soil compost mixture
- The substrate enrich with sand, polystyrene or lava granules to improve permeability
- Prior to this, create a drainage over the floor opening using pebbles, gravel or potsherds
- Pot the water-soaked young plant and plant it in the new pot just as deep as before
- Release a pouring rim of 5 centimeters and pour generously
Place the bucket in a sunny to partially shaded, warm and sheltered location in the garden. Within a few weeks, the sugarcane has reached its final size. After 4 months, the stalks are mature for a first harvest.
Tip: Plant sugar cane in a large pot with handles and place it in the ground at the appropriate location in the garden. In the fall, just pull the tub out of the ground to give the plant.
In derfachgerechten care of sugarcane, it depends on a balanced water and nutrient balance. Water the plant regularly with collected rainwater or decalcified tap water. The sunnier the location, the higher the degree of evaporation due to the powerful biomass. Therefore, daily check the moisture requirement by a thumb test. From June to September you administer a liquid organic fertilizer weekly. Alternatively, guano sticks or organic fertilizer cones are used for nutrient supply, especially when the straws for sugar production are grown for consumption. If the sugar cane plant is the only adornment, the administration of long-term mineral fertilizer is also possible, with established specimens in March, May and July.
Harvest and cut
When the summer comes to an end, the stalks are ripe for harvest about 4 months after planting. Before placing, cut off individual stalks or the entire plant near the ground. Pressed on average, you gain 1 glass of sugar cane juice from 1 meter half length. This juice is already suitable for consumption. Optionally, the molasses is filtered and heated until finally the sugar crystals are left. If no crop is desired, the stalks remain on the plant throughout the winter.
Tip: If a sugar cane plant is getting old, use a healthy straw for harvesting cuttings. In this way you multiply the tropical grass in time before it loses its beauty.
If temperatures drop permanently below 10 degrees Celsius, the time has come for the move from the garden to winter quarters. Choose a bright room that ensures a constant heat of at least 15 degrees Celsius. In a cooler environment, the stalks die if not harvested. In early spring, all withered plant parts are cut out to make room for the young budding. Care during the cold season is limited to the following measures:
- Keep the substrate slightly damp, adapted to the reduced water requirement
- Do not give fertilizer from October to February
- To prevent spider mites, spray the sugar cane off and on with lime-free water
The pronounced vigor of sugarcane requires the annual change to a larger bucket. The best time for this care measure is the early spring. At the latest when the rhizomes push through the substrate or grow out of the bottom opening, a repot should be tackled. That is how it goes:
- The new bucket is at least 10 centimeters larger in diameter
- Drain over the water drain from inorganic, coarse materials
- As a substrate we recommend a mix of potting soil, expanded clay and sand
The cultivation of sugarcane is by no means limited to tropical regions. Taking into account the special requirements for adequate light and temperature conditions, the exotic sweet grass also thrives in the Central European climate. It is important to observe a minimum temperature of 5 degrees and to provide a bright, warm winter quarters. Then there is nothing against cultivating the imposing plant in the garden.