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 318-698-0010.
How do I become a Master Gardener?
For more information about Louisiana Master Gardeners and statewide programs you can go to https://www.lsuagcenter.com/topics/lawn_garden/master%20gardener
It is that time of year again!
APPLICATION TO BECOME A MASTER GARDENER:
Do you know someone who wants to be a Master Gardener? Classes will begin January, 2020. Application forms are may be obtained from the MG Office in the Carriage House or by calling 698.0010. Class size is limited; for consideration for the 2020 Master Gardener Class, or by going to this address: nwlamg.weebly.com. Please submit your application by December 1. Once submitted, participants will be notified of acceptance. http://nwlamg.weebly.com/forms.html
Do You Know Where Master Gardeners Volunteer?
Randle T. Moore Center is the home of the Northwest Louisiana Master Gardeners
New Superplants Announced by LSU AgCenter
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 of the Month
Plants of the Month for November
John Oswalt has discovered the Blue Potato Bush. It in the nightshade family. Allen Owings says it's rare to be able to get one. He found it in a nursery in Winnsboro.
Lycianthes rantonnetii, the blue potato bush or Paraguay nightshade is a species of flowering plant in the nightshade family Solanaceae, native to South America. Growing to about 6 ft tall and broad, it is a rounded evergreen shrub with a somewhat lax habit.
Debra Credeur also sent in a plant! The Confederate rose
Hibiscus mutabilis, also known as the Confederate rose, Dixie rosemallow, or the cotton rosemallow, is a plant noted for its showy flowers. Confederate roses tend to be shrubby or treelike in zones 9 and 10, though it behaves more like a perennial further north.
Unfortunately, our freezes the the second week in November will cause us to lose these beauties!
Red spider lilies are also called hurricane lilies because they begin blooming during the height of hurricane season in September and October, and especially after a heavy rain. They have no foliage when they sprout and start blooming.
Planting TipsSimilar to tulips, the red spider lily (Lycoris radiata) does not produce seeds to start new plants. Instead, you'll be planting bulbs, with the optimal time to plant usually being spring, although you can plant the bulbs during the summer months. The lilies are hardy in USDA zones 7 through 10.
Preferred Light ConditionsRed spider lilies grow well in sites located in partial shade to full sun. However, lilies grown in partially shady sites produce more blooms and usually earlier than those grown in sunny locations. Try planting bulbs in both sunny and shady areas to stagger the amount of plants blooming throughout the month.
Preferred Soil ConditionsThe lily grows in a wide range of soil types that drain well, but perform best in organically rich soils that retain moisture but aren't prone to sogginess. Soils need to remain on the dry side during the summer when the bulbs go into their dormant stage. If planted in soils that are constantly wet, the bulbs can rot.
Container ConsiderationsRed spider lilies grow well inside containers providing the containers are large enough to house the entire root system. When selecting a container, be sure to plant the bulbs in one that is at least 18-inches deep and has bottom drain holes. Using a large tub or barrel works well. Use an organically rich potting mix. If the container isn't deep enough, the spider lily may never bloom due to the roots being too restricted.
Kristy says it requires almost no maintenance and performs reliably in part shade with beautiful foliage and interesting blooms. It is one of her favorites at this time of year.
Plant Type: Perennial shrub
Height: 3-4 ft.
Light Requirements: Part shade to full sun
Water/Soil Requirements: Grows well in a variety of soil types, prefers well-drained soil
Propagation: Seeds and cuttings
Plant Firespike in your yard to attract butterflies and enjoy watching the butterfly life cycle!
Firespike (Odontonema strictum) is an excellent butterfly nectar plant. It is a perennial that grows to around 4 feet in height. The bright red flower spikes will attract butterflies to your yard each year.
Nora tells us this a host plant for the pipe-vine swallowtail butterfly.
The plant is also called pipe vine and is suitable for gardens in USDA zones 8 to 10. The vine is usually only 10 to 15 feet long but can get as long as 25 feet in perfect growing conditions. Growing a Dutchman’s pipe requires a trellis or vertical structure to support the twining stems and wide foliage. The large heart-shaped leaves alternate along a woody stem. The flowers appear in late spring and early summer. They are a tinged plum color with speckles. An interesting bit of Dutchman’s pipe info is its one-time use as an aid to childbirth because of its resemblance to a human fetus. This property leads to another of the vine’s names, birthwort. Dutchman’s pipe vines are also host plants for swallowtail butterflies and provide habitat for beneficial insects. How to Grow Dutchman’s Pipe Dutchman’s pipe prefers sunny to partially sunny locations where soils are moist but well drained. You may want to plant this vine downwind of your doorway. The flowers have a variety of unpleasant scents, mostly mimicking carrion. This foul odor is attractive to flies that pollinate the flowers, but you and your guests may find it offensive. You can grow a Dutchman’s pipe from seed. Harvest the seedpods after they have dried on the vine. Sow them indoors in seed flats and transplant outdoors after the soil has warmed to at least 60 F. (15 C.). A more common way of growing a Dutchman’s pipe vine, is from stem cuttings. Take them in spring when terminal growth is new and root in a glass of water. Change the water daily to prevent bacterial build-up and transplant the stem to soil when it has a thick clump of roots. Dutchman’s pipe care for young plants requires training to a vertical surface. You may try growing a Dutchman’s pipe vine in a pot for a year or two. Choose a large pot and place it in sheltered location. Caring for Pipe Vines The biggest need of Dutchman’s pipe vine care is plenty of water. Do not allow the soil to dry out completely when caring for pipe vines in containers. Plants in the ground will also need supplemental watering.
Read more at Gardening Know How: Dutchman’s Pipe Info: Learn About Growing And Caring For Pipe Vines https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/vines/dutchmans-pipe/growing-dutchmans-pipe-vine.htm
euonymus (Euonymus americanus) is a plant native to the southeastern United States and categorized in the Celastraceae family. Growing strawberry bushes are referred to by several other names including: hearts-a-busting, hearts filled with love, and brooke euonymus, with the former two a reference to its unique blossoms resembling tiny breaking hearts. What is a Strawberry Bush? Strawberry bush euonymus is a deciduous plant with a thicket-like habit of around 6 feet tall by 3 to 4 feet wide. Found in forested or woodland areas as an understory plant and often in swampy areas, strawberry bush has inconspicuous cream-hued blooms with 4-inch serrated leaves on green stems. The plant’s autumn fruit (September through October) is the real show stopper, with warty scarlet capsules that burst open to reveal orange berries while the foliage morphs into a yellowish green shade. How to Grow a Strawberry Bush Now that we have nailed down what it is, learning how to grow a strawberry bush appears to be the next order of business. Growing strawberry bushes can occur in USDA zones 6-9. The plant flourishes in partial shade, preferring conditions similar to those of its natural habitat, including moist soil. As such, this specimen works well in a mixed native planted border, as an informal hedge, as part of woodland mass plantings, as a wildlife habitat and for its showy fruit and foliage in the autumn. Propagation is attained by seed. Seeds from this Euonymus species need to be cold stratified for at least three or four months, either wrapped in a damp paper towel, then in a plastic bag in the refrigerator or naturally stratified just under the surface of the soil outside during winter months. Cuttings for growing strawberry bushes may also be rooted year round and the plant itself is easy to divide and multiply. Care of Strawberry Bush Water the young plants well and continue to water moderately thereafter. Otherwise, this slow to moderately growing bush is reasonably drought tolerant. Strawberry bush euonymus needs only light fertilization. Some resources report that this varietal is prone to the same pests (such as scale and whiteflies) as other Euonymus plants, like burning bush. What is certain is that this plant is intoxicating to deer populations and they can indeed decimate the foliage and tender shoots when browsing. The strawberry bush is also prone to suckering, which may be pruned or left to grow as in nature.
Read more at Gardening Know How: Growing Strawberry Bushes – Learn How To Grow A Strawberry Bush https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/shrubs/strawberry-bush/growing-strawberry-bushes.htm
Roses Need Summer Care
Now is the time to think about your roses. According to Dan Gill of the LSU AgCenter, June is a good month to prune roses. In this article, Dr. Gill will tell you about watering, mulching, deadheading and insect, disease and weed control. You can click on this link to read the article.
Wondering What is Wrong With Your Plant?
Northwest Louisiana Master Gardeners can record volunteer hours and education hours online at the LSU AgCenter website here. Click here.
Check the NWLA Master Gardeners' Calendar for interesting gardening activities taking place around North Louisiana!