What is sugarcane good for? This cultivated grass is most often grown on a commercial scale, but you can grow it in your garden too. Enjoy a pretty, decorative grass, a natural screen and privacy border, and the sweet juice and fiber that you can get when you harvest the cane in the fall.
Is Sugarcane Good for You?
Sugar gets a bad rap these days, and certainly there is such a thing as too much sugar. However, if you are interested in more natural, unprocessed sugar to supplement a healthy diet, why not grow your own sugarcane. The types of sugarcane most useful in home gardens are syrup and chewing canes. Syrup sugarcane can be processed to make syrup, as it doesn’t crystallize easily. Chewing canes have a soft, fibrous center that you can simply peel and eat or enjoy in recipes. One of the potential health benefits of sugarcane is actually weight management. Researchers are currently studying the possibility that eating sugarcane fiber can help people maintain a healthy weight, lose weight, and reduce the risk of developing diabetes. This may work because fiber tends to offset the detrimental health effects of sugar, including slowing the rise in blood glucose you experience after eating sugar. Other health benefits of sugarcane include getting more nutrients than you would with processed sugar. Unprocessed sugarcane has plant polyphenols, antioxidants, protein, manganese, iron, calcium, potassium, and B vitamins. Sugarcane may be useful in reducing skin inflammation, lowering cholesterol and blood pressure, and improving bad breath.
How to Use Sugarcane
In order to get sugarcane benefits, you will need to harvest and enjoy the canes from your garden. It isn’t difficult to do; simply cut the cane back at the base and peel away the outer layer. The interior is edible and contains sugar, fiber, and other nutrients. You can press it to make a sugarcane juice, which you can add to anything, or you can simply chew on the interior of the cane. Chop up the cane into sticks to use for food skewers or drink stirrers and sweeteners. You can even ferment the cane to make rum. Sugar should always be limited in the diet, but forgoing processed sugar for natural cane from your own garden is a great option.
Gardening tips, videos, info and more delivered right to your inbox!
Sign up for the Gardening Know How newsletter today and receive a free download of our most popular eBook "How to Grow Delicious Tomatoes."
Mary Ellen Ellis has been gardening for over 20 years. With degrees in Chemistry and Biology, Mary Ellen's specialties are flowers, native plants, and herbs.
5 Budget-Friendly Ways To Reinvigorate Garden Soil – To Grow Better, Healthier Plants
Improve and condition your soil with these clever solutions that are simple, sustainable, and cost almost nothing. You will soon reap the rewards with lush foliage, abundant flowers, and delicious crops.
By Melanie Griffiths
Which Types Of Wood To Use For Growing Fungi
Wondering about the best logs for mushroom plugs? Match the mushroom type to the tree variety for a great crop of delicious mushrooms.
By Bonnie L. Grant
Sugarcane Insect Control – How To Deal With Sugarcane Plant Pests
Like any commercial crop, sugarcane does have its share of pests that can sometimes cause significant crop loss in sugarcane fields. And if you grow sugarcane plants in the home garden, they may affect yours too. Click here to learn about common pests of sugarcane.
By Darcy Larum
Cold Hardy Sugarcane Plants: Can You Grow Sugarcane In Winter
Sugarcane is an incredibly useful crop. Native to tropical and subtropical climates, it does not usually fare well in cold temperatures. So what’s a gardener to do when growing sugarcane in a temperate zone? Learn about sugarcane for cool climates here.
By Liz Baessler
Sugarcane Water Needs – How To Water Sugarcane Plants
You may have tried growing sugarcane, and probably realized it can be a water hog. Sugarcane water requirements is an important aspect of meeting the proper growth and care of your plants. Click here to learn how to water sugarcane plants efficiently.
By Darcy Larum
Common Sugarcane Diseases: What’s Wrong With My Sugarcane
Although sugarcane is a hardy, prolific plant, it can be plagued by a number of sugarcane diseases. Click on the following article to learn how to identify several of the most common. If you know what to look for, then treating the problem will be easier.
By Mary H. Dyer
Common Sugarcane Varieties: Learn About Different Sugarcane Plants
Growing sugarcane is most often a commercial affair, but home gardeners can also enjoy this sweet ornamental grass. If you live in a warm climate, you can grow sugarcane varieties in your garden beds. Learn about the differences between sugarcanes in this article.
By Mary Ellen Ellis
Cutting Back Sugarcane: Do You Need To Prune Sugarcane
Growing sugarcane can be fun in the home garden. There are some great varieties for good decorative landscaping, but these plants also produce actual sugar. To enjoy a pretty plant and a sweet treat, know when and how to cut and prune your sugarcane. Learn more here.
By Mary Ellen Ellis
How To Fertilize Sugarcane – Tips For Feeding Sugarcane Plants
If you are lucky enough to live in a zone that is warm year-round, sugarcane can be fun to grow and produce an amazing source of sweetness. Along with site selection and general care, you will need to know how to fertilize sugarcane. This article will help with that.
By Bonnie L. Grant
Sugarcane Harvest Guide: Learn When To Harvest Sugarcane Plants
If you are lucky enough to live in a warm enough zone, you may be trying your hand at growing sugarcane. If all is going well, the next questions are when and how do you harvest sugarcane? Click here to find out about harvesting sugarcane plants.
By Amy Grant