I recently started a sugar cane farm, and I'm just curious as to the rate at which sugar cane grows.

4 Answers 4


I have an automatic piston-harvested farm with 16 cane plants harvested every ~10 seconds. Here are two different estimations of the rate. By "growth" I mean the event of one block being added to the top of a sugar cane plant.

  • When I watch the farm running, it seems to drop about 1 cane every 2 cycles (but this is a fuzzy memory); this would be a rate of (1 cane)/(20 seconds)/(16 plants) = 1/320 growths per plant per second.

  • When I come by to collect its drops, I usually get 6-8 canes (but this excludes the number which miss the water stream and get stuck inside the farm); if the farm has been active and the collection point untouched for a full 5 minutes = 300 seconds (item despawn time), then we get (8 canes)/(300 seconds)/(16 plants) = 1/600 growths per plant per second.

The latter figure is probably closer to correct as it does not involve an estimation of probability.

  • So between 5 to 10 minutes?
    – Resorath
    Commented Jul 20, 2011 at 22:42
  • 1
    Yes, but recognize that that's for one plant.
    – Kevin Reid
    Commented Jul 20, 2011 at 23:57
  • 1
    Dang, are you trying to corner the Sugar market? What do you need all that sugar cane for, anyway? :)
    – Cyclops
    Commented Jul 21, 2011 at 14:29
  • The occasional bookcase or cake? — The thing here is that this is running all the time, and I've arranged so that I run over the drops whenever I arrive at my base from a railway. Thus I gather materials without needing to take any action. At that amount of inattention, this much cane collection is just right. — Also, if you think this is too much, you haven't seen my cactus farm (which goes into the same collection system). If you like, check it out on my server at mc.switchb.org!
    – Kevin Reid
    Commented Jul 21, 2011 at 15:19
  • Also, sugar cane grows faster when planted on sand than on regular dirt or grass. Commented Nov 30, 2013 at 17:48

Sugar cane grows using block ticks. Every 16 block ticks it grows, and each block tick happens on average every 68 seconds, that means on average a sugar cane will grow every 1088 seconds, or 18 minutes 8 seconds. This is only with optimal conditions however. Watch all of Wubbi's video, it's really helpful and accurate.



  • 2
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    – David M
    Commented Jan 1, 2014 at 19:08

Mine grow by one block every 18 mins. I have harvested about 600 sugar cane last week so I'M the one cornering the sugar market.


It takes exacally 20.3 seconds for it to grow. However, if you do not have water around it, it takes 50.80 seconds! ○:

  • 1
    There is no exact time. It's random. Water is also irrelevant to growth rate.
    – Skylinerw
    Commented Jun 6, 2016 at 5:00

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