On the left, the player is looking down at a sugar cane farm from above and on the right is a patch of sand by some water with growing sugar cane at various heights.

Minecraft: How to Grow Sugar Cane

Written by:
Avatar photo
Reyadh is a writer of fantasy, horror, and science fiction who loves to play video games full of monsters and magic. When he's not scribing unique and unrelenting speculative fiction or slaying demons in virtual worlds, he is writing strategy guides to help others reach their gaming goals.

Reviewed by:
Avatar photo
Marshall is a seasoned writer and gaming enthusiast based in Tokyo. He's a prolific wordsmith with hundreds of articles featured on top-tier sites like Business Insider, How-To Geek, PCWorld, and Zapier. His writing has reached a massive audience with over 70 million readers!

You can easily grow Sugar Cane in Minecraft if you have access to water. This plant is easy to farm, which is good because you’ll need a lot of it for various crafting recipes, like for making Paper.

Table Of Contents

    How to Plant Sugar Cane

    Sugar cane growing on both sand and dirt. There are stacks ranging from 1 to 4 blocks high on both sand and dirt.

    You can technically plant Sugar Cane on any block of sand or dirt, however, it will only grow when touching a water tile. Sugar Cane begins growing as a 1-block tall series of shoots and will grow until it reaches 3 blocks tall.

    Where Sugar Cane Spawns

    Sugar Cane can spawn in any overworld biome, albeit only directly next to the water. This plant will always spawn to be between 2 to 4 blocks tall, despite only being able to naturally grow to be 3 blocks tall. The reason for these strange 4-block-tall shoots of Sugar Cane is due to the game loading a couple of 2-block-tall shoots on top of one another.

    This plant will try to spawn into most chunks 10 times overall, although will try to spawn 20 times in Swamp biomes and 60 times in Desert biomes. While the latter sounds like a promising place to find a ton of Sugar Cane, remember that it needs water to spawn, which is something that is lacking in most Desert biomes. With that said, the few lakes and ponds that appear in Desert biomes will likely be loaded with Sugar Cane.

    On average, your highest chances of finding Sugar Cane will be when you’re exploring a Swamp biome.

    How Sugar Cane Spawns

    You have a 61% chance of finding 2-block tall spawns of Sugar Cane in places that meet its spawning criteria. Shoots that are 3 blocks all spawn at around 28% while the rare 4-block-tall spawns occur at about 11%.

    Note that Sugar Cane can’t spawn in caves, even ones with water, dirt, and sand.

    How to Make the Most Efficient Sugar Cane Farm

    High angle view of the player looking down at their sugar cane farm. The farm is a grid of dirt with water holes every other block with sugar cane growing around all of these holes.

    The best way to quickly grow a lot of Sugar Cane is to create a simple grid of dirt or sand with water in every other space. You can use this formation in as big or as small a farm as you want, just keep in mind that you’ll need a lot of water.

    An easy way to think about the proportions of this farm is as if it’s a waffle. You want it to have little holes for water every other block, but you also want each block of water to be surrounded by dirt or sand. Around each tile of water, you will want to plant Sugar Cane on all 4 sides.

    When and How to Harvest Sugar Cane

    Sugar Cane will only grow to 3 blocks tall, so this is when you should harvest it. However, when harvesting Sugar Cane, don’t break the bottom block! The bottom block has a continuous growth rate, which will get reset if you break it. Resetting this process will result in Sugar Cane taking longer to grow.

    When you harvest your Sugar Cane farm, break the middle blocks and collect the top 2 Sugar Cane from each 3-block-high series of shoots while leaving the bottom block alone. This will allow the top 2 blocks to regrow faster, which means more Sugar Cane in the long run.