How Long Does Sugar Cane Last?

Sugar cane, the sweet and versatile plant that has been a staple in many cultures for centuries, has an interesting lifespan. 

As someone who has used sugar cane at home for years, I’ve always been mindful of how long it lasts and tried various things to keep it fresh for longer. 

Today, I’d like t share with you what I have learned about the lifespan of sugar cane, including tips and suggestions on the proper way to store it, how to maximize its shelf life, and how to tell if it has gone bad (and that you will need some more!)

How Long Does Sugar Cane Last?

Generally, fresh sugar cane can last for up to two weeks at room temperature if stored correctly. However, if you refrigerate it, its shelf life can be extended up to a month.

In other words, longevity of sugar cane depends on various factors, such as how it’s stored and the climate in which it’s kept. 

I remember the first time I brought home a bundle of sugar cane stalks from the farmer’s market. 

I was so excited to try making my sugar cane juice that I didn’t even think about how long they would last. 

After doing some research, I discovered that proper storage is key to extending its life.

How Do You Properly Store Sugar Cane?

Proper storage not only extends the shelf life of sugar cane but also helps to maintain its quality and taste. 

Here’s what you need to know:

Keep It Cool and Dry

Sugar cane prefers a cool and dry environment.

Store it away from direct sunlight and heat sources. The ideal temperature for sugar cane storage is between 60°F and 70°F (15°C and 21°C).

Wrap It Up

To prevent the sugar cane from drying out, wrap each stalk in a plastic wrap or place it in a plastic bag.

This helps to lock in the moisture and keep the sugar cane fresh.

Use a Container or Ziplock Bag

If you prefer not to use plastic wrap, you can store the sugar cane in an airtight container or a ziplock bag.

Make sure to remove as much air as possible from the bag to minimize the risk of spoilage.

Refrigerate For Longer Shelf Life

As mentioned earlier, refrigerating sugar cane can extend its lifespan up to a month.

Place the wrapped or container-stored sugar cane in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator, where the humidity is higher.

Now that we’ve covered proper storage techniques, let’s discuss some tips for maximizing sugar cane’s duration.

How To Maximize The Time Sugar Cane Lasts

To get the most out of your sugar cane, follow these tips to prolong its life:

Buy Fresh

When purchasing sugar cane, choose stalks that are firm, heavy, and have a bright green color.

Avoid any that have visible cracks, dryness, or mold, as these are signs that the sugar cane is past its prime

Trim The Ends

Before storing the sugar cane, trim about half an inch from the ends of each stalk.

This helps to reduce the chances of spoilage and promotes better absorption of moisture.

Freeze It

If you know you won’t be using the sugar cane within a month, consider freezing it.

Cut the stalks into smaller pieces, wrap them in plastic wrap or foil, and place them in airtight freezer bags.

Frozen sugar cane can last up to six months, and you can use it directly in recipes that call for sugar cane juice.

Monitor Humidity

Keep an eye on the humidity levels in your storage area.

The sugar cane may lose moisture and freshness if it’s too dry.

If it’s too humid, it may encourage mold growth. Aim for a relative humidity of around 50-60%.

Rotate Your Stock

If you use sugar cane regularly, be sure to rotate your stock.

Use older sugar cane first and place newly purchased stalks at the back of your storage area.

Now that we’ve discussed how to maximize the time sugar cane lasts, let’s learn how to determine if it has gone bad.

How Do You Know If Sugar Cane Has Gone Bad?

It’s important to recognize the signs that sugar cane has spoiled, as using bad sugar cane can negatively affect the taste of your dishes and may pose health risks. Here are some indicators that your sugar cane has gone bad:

  • Color: Fresh sugar cane is bright green, while spoiled sugar cane may have a dull, yellowish, or brownish color.
  • Texture: Good sugar cane is firm, heavy, and slightly moist. If the sugar cane becomes soft, mushy, or slimy, it’s time to discard it.
  • Smell: Fresh sugar cane has a sweet, grassy aroma. If you notice a sour, musty, or moldy smell, it’s a sign that the sugar cane has spoiled.
  • Mold: Check for any visible mold growth on the sugar cane. Mold can appear as fuzzy patches in various colors, such as white, green, or black. If you spot mold, it’s best to discard the entire stalk, as the mold spores may have spread throughout.
  • Taste: If you’re still unsure, you can do a taste test. Cut a small piece of the sugar cane and chew it. Fresh sugar cane should taste sweet and juicy. If the taste is off or it has a fermented flavor, it’s time to throw it away.


Knowing how long sugar cane lasts is essential for making the most out of this versatile plant. 

By following proper storage methods, maximizing its shelf life, and being aware of the signs of spoilage, you can enjoy fresh and tasty sugar cane for weeks, or even months. 

As someone who has used sugar cane at home for years, I can attest to the importance of these tips, which have allowed me to make countless delicious recipes with this amazing ingredient. 


Does sugar cane have to be refrigerated?

Sugar cane doesn’t have to be refrigerated, but doing so extends its shelf life. At room temperature, it lasts up to two weeks, while refrigeration can prolong its freshness to a month.