Welcome to the website of the Northwest Louisiana Master Gardeners! This site is intended to provide up-to-date information on our organization including educational and gardening activities, volunteer opportunities in and around town, and the latest news of NWLAMG.
The mission of the Louisiana Master Gardener volunteer program is to support the LSU AgCenter’s Cooperative Extension Service by using research-based information to help educate the public on best management practices in consumer horticulture and environmental stewardship.
We hope you will find our site provides you with resources, inspiration, and encouragement for your gardening projects.
Call the Master Gardener Hotline at 318-408-0984.
How do I become a Master Gardener?
For more information about Louisiana Master Gardeners and statewide programs you can go to
Have you thought about becoming a Louisiana Master Gardener?
Now is the time to make your plans and apply for the next class of the Northwest Louisiana Master Gardeners held here in the Shreveport area. Deadline to return your application is November 20th, 2022 for the spring 2023 class.
Click on this link for the application.
Red River Research Station is the home of the Northwest Louisiana Master Gardeners
New is the word...
If you have not heard by now...Northwest Louisiana Master Gardeners are moving their office to the Red River Research Center. To quote our "new" President, Ed Durham, “It’s going to be new fun, new opportunities, and new results. Come out and be part of it!”
210 Research Station Drive Bossier City, LA 71112
NWLA Master Gardeners had a great March 2022 meeting! Dr. Beverly Burden, Entomologist, Associate Professor of Biological Sciences at LSU Shreveport and guest expert for occasional series What's Bugging You at Red River Radio was our speaker. Her topic OMG not GMOs! was informative and entertaining. If you have questions for Dr. Burden about her presentation, she asked that you contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to listen to some of her streaming radio shows, you can look her up at the Red River Radio station or click here.
Do You Know Where Master Gardeners Volunteer?
2022 Super Plants Announced by LSU AgCenter
A few of the Superplants
A catalog of the Louisiana Super Plants since 2010.
Each spring and fall the LSU AgCenter announces a new list of plants deemed worthy to be Louisiana Super Plants. These are reliable and beautiful plants selected for superior performance under Louisiana growing conditions. Click this link to see the list from the LSU AgCenter.
Plant for the Spring Season
The Taiwan flowering cherry tree, Prunus campanulata, blooms in February and March in Louisiana.
The attractive flowers are a vibrant, deep pink and are produced in great abundance before the leaves emerge. This is one of the few flowering cherries that grows and blooms reliably this far south.
The Okame flowering cherry is another type that will grow successfully in Louisiana and is especially recommended for north Louisiana because it blooms later and the flowers are less likely to be damaged by a freeze. Pale pink flowers appear in mid-February through early to mid-March. Call your local nursery to see if they have the trees in stock or can order you one!
By Heather Kirk-Ballard
LSU AgCenter Horticulturist
(02/12/21) Flowering cherry trees are true showstoppers. These trees can be seen blooming around Louisiana in February and March. In the southern part of the state, the first flowers appear in late January. Right now, they are in full bloom on the LSU campus in Baton Rouge, and boy are they gorgeous!
The attractive flowers are a vibrant, dark pink and are produced on bare branches just before leaves emerge to create a stunning show. These deciduous trees grow up to 20 feet in height and are equally as wide. They are well-suited for USDA plant hardiness zones 7b to 9a.
Flowering cherries make a great specimen, or accent, tree in the landscape. The tree form is upright, and its arching branching habit makes it perfect for lining a road or driveway.
The Taiwan flowering cherry (Prunus campanulata), Kwanzan flowering cherry (Prunus serrulata) and the hybrid Okame flowering cherry are popular varieties to consider. As the names suggest, the trees are native to Asia. Plants prefer a full- to part-sun location in the landscape. Well-drained soil is also needed for best performance.
In Japan, the cherry blossom is revered as the essence of life. According to the National Park Service, cherry trees were planted in Washington, D.C., in 1912. Thousands of trees were given as a gift to the United States from Japan. That gift included 12 different species.
The first Cherry Blossom Festival in the Tidal Basin in our nation’s capital was held in 1935. This year, it will be held from March 20 to April 11. As history goes on, the cherry trees continue to tie the relationship between United States and Japan. For more information, visit the National Park Service website at https://bit.ly/3rHAD7e.
In Louisiana, plant a flowering cherry in loose, fertile soil. Avoid compacted clay soils that can become too wet or too dry. Flowering cherries prefer a well-drained, acidic soil. You can improve the soil by amending with organic matter such as compost, and you can lower the pH if needed with aluminum sulfate or elemental sulfur. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s label for directions and application amounts.
For the best bloom, plant in an area that gets a great deal of sunlight with light shade in the afternoon to help reduce water stress and leaf scalding. Be sure to irrigate during extended droughts.
Flowering cherries, much like other fruits, require chilling hours for a good bloom — meaning trees typically perform better in the northern part of Louisiana. Chilling hours is defined as the amount of time spent at temperatures from about 32 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit. They’re needed to develop flowers and fruit.
Luckily, the varieties recommended above have a low chill requirement. Although cherries are better suited for cooler climates, the Taiwan cherry is the most heat-tolerant of the many species and will grow fairly well here.
Flowers make way for small red fruits that attract songbirds and other wildlife. The bark is another aesthetic feature, being grayish-brown in color with light gray horizontal lenticels. Delicate, peeling bark also lends to this tree’s beauty.
Flowering cherries have a few drawbacks. First, they are short-lived trees, typically living for only 10 to 15 years. However, that is plenty of time to enjoy the blooms of these gorgeous trees. If you are lucky, dropped fruit will provide some new seedling volunteers.
The trees are susceptible to a few diseases, such as leaf spot, leaf curl, powdery mildew and fireblight. Some insect pests include borers, aphids, scale, tent caterpillars and Japanese beetles.
For the most beautiful blooms, fertilize once a year with a low-nitrogen fertilizer in the early spring. Pruning also is recommended in the early years of the tree’s life.
Examine the tree each year, trimming as needed to keep it in the shape and size you desire. Remove suckers or shoots coming off the bottom of the tree in addition to branches from the center of the tree. Be sure to remove dead or diseased branches.
Unpruned trees may become overgrown and weak. It is best to prune immediately after the tree flowers in the early spring to help promote new growth and to improve next year’s flowering display.
Looking for gardens to visit in the Ark-LA-Tex?
Here are four that should not be missed...
The Gardens of the American Rose Center,
the Asian Gardens of Shreveport and
the R.W. Norton Art Gallery (open Monday-Tuesday, 4:00 to sundown and Wednesday - Sunday, sunup to sundown) and Botanical Gardens.
Longview Arboretum and Nature Center
For more information, click here.
Another great garden is the
Briarwood Nature Preserve
National Historic Place
Briarwood is the birthplace and home of Caroline Dormon, a world renowned naturalist, author, artist and the first woman to be hired in the United States Forest Service.
From the website-
The Caroline Dormon Nature Preserve carries on the work started by Miss Dormon by preserving wildflowers native to the south and educating the public on how natural forest ecosystems work. A mecca for high school and college students studying horticulture, Briarwood provides a complete ecosystem for them to study.
Today, people from all over the world come to Briarwood to walk down forest trails, to savor the beauty of the Louisiana iris bog, to admire the ancient longleaf pine, "Grandpappy" and enjoy the most complete botanical and wildlife sanctuary in Louisiana.
Click here for more information
Longview Arboretum and Nature Center
The Longview Arboretum and Nature Center is a privately managed arboretum garden in the heart of Longview. Like many other arboretums across our nation, a respectful partnership exists between the City of Longview and the Board of the Longview Arboretum and Nature Center regarding the sustainability of this massive endeavor. This public/private partnership allows for cultivation, development, private investment, and collaborative maintenance on 26-acres between the Longview Convention Complex and Grace Creek tributary.
Opened Saturday, November 2, 2019, the Longview Arboretum began it's role as a privately managed arboretum devoted to revealing the unique eco-system of East Texas in a beautiful and thoughtful manner. The mission to educate our community, stimulate the senses, and create a positive relationship to nature is one that the Board of Directors pursues for the future. Our executive director, Steven Chamblee directs the growth, plantings, events, and exhibits of the Longview Arboretum. Please stop by and say hello if you see him in the gardens.
This ever-growing garden is a living testament to a love of community, and the soul enriching quality of spending time in nature.
The 26 acres along Grace Creek run along the east side of Maude Cobb Convention and Activity Center, adjacent to the JR Curtis Garden for the Blind. Nestled in trees and gentle cliffs, the land sits in the heart of Longview a short car ride from Downtown. Just south of Lake Lomond, the area attracts birds, butterflies, wildlife, and indigenous flora and fauna.
Phase Two of the overall master plan has just been completed!
Please register for the e-newsletter on the home page to receive news about the arboretum’s grand opening and other upcoming events.
Northwest Louisiana Master Gardeners are ready for the 2022 Le Tour des Jardins! If you are interested in being a vendor at the Garden Bazaar at the Red River Research Station, contact Lynn Poole, Vendor Chairman at email@example.com or click on these links for the Vendor Letter and Vendor Contracts. We (and everyone attending Le Tour des Jardins 2022) will be excited to visit your booth!
Check the NWLA Master Gardeners' Calendar for interesting gardening activities taking place around North Louisiana!
Thursday, July 21 - NWLA Master Gardeners workday at the ARC Rambling Rose Project 8:30
Akins Nursery, 5901 E Kings Hwy Shreveport, LA Garden Education Series* – Free
Classes held on the last Saturday of the month at 10:00 am
Please reserve your spot: 318.868.2701 or akinsnursery.com Participants receive 10% off purchases the day of class.
(sign up for their newsletter)
June 25 —Succulents
July 30 —Potting Plants
August 27 —Success with Interior Plants
September 24 — Fall Planting
In the News
Northwest Louisiana Master Gardener LeTour des Jardins 2022
Click the links below
Thanks so much for your support of Le Tour des Jardins! It was a huge success and we are already planning for 2023!
Le Tour des Jardins 2022
Sneak Peak of 2022 Gardens
Interested in nominating a garden for Le Tour des Jardins 2023? Here is the form that you can fill out!
LSU Ag Center announces 2022 Super Plants
View the Spring 2022 Seedling
New master gardener project in conjunction with the American Rose Center--Rambling Rose Preservation Initiative
(Click here for more information)
Have a question? Email Master Gardeners for your answer!
Northwest Louisiana Master Gardeners have an opportunity to work on a project that will bring much publicity to our organization.
The Gardens of the American Rose Society will be the home of Rambling Roses that come to ARS from Anne Belovich's home in Washington state. These climbing roses come by way of Chambersville Tree Farm in Texas where they have been being propagated. Due to the tree farm closing this year, they are being moved to the Gardens of the American Rose Society.
The gates are open and waiting for you to volunteer. We need your help in making sure that over 300 varieties do not become extinct. If you are willing to assist with this project on the third Thursday of the month from about 8:30 - 11:30, please contact Larry Williams. Click here to view what will be done.
As Covid-19 and the Omicron and other variants are beginning to slow down, organizations and businesses are promoting activities and ideas to keep gardening going. As life is getting back to a new "normal" we go back to normal master gardener protocols.
For 2022, Master Gardeners must once again earn 6 education hours and 20 volunteer hours.
Mark Wilson, our LSUag Center agent has compiled a great list. Click here to see the list that is on the Educational Opportunities page.
You can check out the LSU AgCenter for past articles and videos if you want new ideas or how to correct garden problems.
Go to facebook and check out the Northwest Louisiana Master Gardeners site for information and you can also go to most universities' websites that have agriculture programs for more information.
Also, very short but informative are 10 minute Daily Dose of Hort by Dr. Gary Bachman, horticulturist/professor from MSU Extension Center (Mississippi) on facebook.
Become a friend of Allen Owings, Senior Horticulturist at Bracy's Nursery and horticulturist at Clegg's Nursery (Emeritus Professor at LSU AgCenter Hammond Research Stations and LSU Department of Horticulture) who keeps us all up to date on the gardening world!
Northwest Louisiana Master Gardeners can record volunteer hours and education hours online at the LSU AgCenter website here. Click here.
Check out these Newsletters from the LSU AgCenter
Newsletters published by the Regions
Northwest Louisiana Horticulture Newsletter Spring 2022
GNO Gardening Regional newsletter published by the Greater New Orleans Area Horticulture agents. June 2019
Get It Growing by Heather Kirk-Ballard of the LSU AgCenter
Heather Kirk-Ballard is the spokesperson for the LSU AgCenter’s Get It Growing project, a statewide educational effort in home horticulture utilizing radio, Internet, TV and newsprint.
Articles by Dr. Joe White. Check it out in the Master Gardener Knowledge Tree, Gardening Wisdom from Dr. Joe White
Articles from the NWLAMG Seedlings. Newest edition can be found at Master Gardeners Knowledge Tree - NWLAMG Publication "Seedlings"
LSU AgCenter Newsletter "Horticulture Hints" Newest edition of the quarterly newsletter highlight, Winter 2020.
GNO Gardening Magazine from the LSU AgCenter
Latest Edition can be found here
Wondering What is Wrong With Your Plant?