Sugar cane is one of the most popular crops around the world. It provides food, fiber, fuel and many other valuable products. However, sugarcane production requires large amounts of water and energy which are not always available in some areas. Therefore, it’s important to grow plants that use less water and produce fewer greenhouse gases than their non-crop counterparts.
One such crop is sugarcane or sorrel (genus Solanum) flowers. These plants are native to South America and have been cultivated for centuries. They’re often used in sweets like candy canes, but they also make excellent ornamental plants.
The best way to grow sugarcanes is with artificial light. Artificial lights provide more sunlight at any given time so your plants will thrive better than those grown under natural lighting conditions. Artificial lights also tend to last longer because they don’t need frequent maintenance.
Optimal Temperature and Humidity
Sugar canes need a temperature between 16 to 30 degrees Celsius to grow well. They enjoy a humidity of 40 to 60 percent. If the humidity is too low, the plants tend to dry out and drop their leaves. If it’s too high, the plants develop mold and fungus issues.
Use a humidifier or vaporizer to increase the humidity if necessary.
Optimal Soil and Watering
Sugarcane plants need soil that drains well. They can’t grow in wet, muddy soil or the roots will become waterlogged and rot. To test your soil type, take a handful of soil and squeeze it into a ball. If it forms a ball that you can pick up, your soil drains well and is good for growing sugarcanes.
Sugarcane plants need a lot of water. Water them every day and make sure the soil is always wet. This also means that you’ll need to empty out any water that collects in the tray beneath the pots. Check the tray every day and dump out the water.
Fertilizer and Plant Food
Sugarcane plants thrive in nutrient-rich soil. Fertilize them with a high-nitrogen mix (10-20-10) at the start of each growing season. Mix the fertilizer into the soil at a ratio of 1 part fertilizer to 10 parts soil.
Increase the dose of fertilizer when you plant your sugarcanes. For instance, mix in 2 parts fertilizer to 10 parts soil and continue mixing until the soil is light and fluffy.
Plant food should also be added to the soil at a rate of 1 tsp per gallon of water. This helps the plants to grow strong and healthy.
Water the plants with the mixed fertilizer at a rate of 1 oz per gallon of water. This will help to make the plants grow faster and stronger.
Optimal Air Circulation
Sugarcane plants need plenty of air circulation. Most commercially sold sugarcanes are grown in greenhouses equipped with large fans. These fans constantly blow air through the greenhouse, ensuring that there are no stagnant or hot spots.
If you don’t have a greenhouse, place a fan in the corner of the room to blow air through the space. Alternatively, sit in front of a fan blowing air in your direction.
You can grow new sugarcanes from cuttings. All you need is a 5 to 10 inch cutting from a healthy plant. Cuttings from flowering plants produce female flowers, while cuttings from non-flowering plants produce male flowers. Take the cutting and dip its base in a rooting hormone.
Then, place the cutting in a pot of moistened potting soil. Roots should develop in 2 to 3 weeks. Transplant the new plant into a space at least 2 feet apart from other plants.
Pests and Diseases
Oxalis plants are prone to fungal infections, especially when grown in high-humidity environments. To prevent this, never water the plant from above. Always water at the base of the plant to prevent fungus from developing.
Cutworms are a common pest of sugarcane. They hide during the day and come out at night to eat the stems of your plants. To prevent this, place a small piece of cardboard, like a toilet paper roll, in your pot. The cutworms will hide inside during the day and come out at night to eat the cardboard.
Taping pieces of cardboard around the pot’s edges will prevent cutworms from crawling in and dining on your baby plants.
Wait until your plant is at least 3 feet tall before harvesting. The sugarcanes should be young and soft, with a diameter of at least an inch. Cut the top portion off the cane. Peel away the outer shell and eat the soft inside of the sugarcane.
Add a small amount of bleach to your water to prevent contamination. This will keep your water free of algae and the other harmful pathogens that come with it.
Do not refrigerate your water. This will cause the water to freeze, expanding and cracking the container.
Sources & references used in this article:
Josie’s story: a mother’s inspiring crusade to make medical care safe by S King – 2010 – books.google.com
Old-fashioned Flowers: Classic Blossoms to Grow in Your Garden by JH Dick – 1917 – AT De La Mare Company …
The bulb expert by T Martin – 2000 – books.google.com
Floriculture and the Environment: growing flowers without methyl bromide by DG Hessayon – 1995 – books.google.com
Flower growing by MP de Márquez – 2001 – books.google.com
The edible flower garden by K Whiteside – 1999 – Workman Publishing