Ploidy-increasing cell cycles drive tissue growth in many developing organs. Such cycles, including endocycles, are increasingly appreciated to drive tissue growth following injury or activated growth signaling in mature organs. In these organs, the regulation and distinct roles of different cell cycles remains unclear. Here, we uncover a programmed switch between cell cycles in the Drosophila hindgut pylorus. Using an acute injury model, we identify mitosis as the response in larval pyloric cells, whereas endocycles occur in adult pyloric cells. By developing a novel genetic method, DEMISE (Dual-Expression-Method-for-Induced-Site-specific-Eradication), we show the cell cycle regulator Fizzy-related dictates the decision between mitosis and endocycles. After injury, both cycles accurately restore tissue mass and genome content. However, in response to sustained growth signaling, only endocycles preserve epithelial architecture. Our data reveal distinct cell cycle programming in response to similar stimuli in mature vs. developmental states and reveal a tissue-protective role of endocycles.