Become a Louisiana Master Gardener


Master Gardeners are members of the local community who take an active interest in their lawns, trees, shrubs, flowers and gardens. They are enthusiastic, willing to learn and help others, and able to communicate with diverse groups of people.

What really sets Master Gardeners apart from other home gardeners is their special training in horticulture. In exchange for their training, people who become Master Gardeners contribute time as volunteers, working through their local Master Gardener Program Coordinator to provide horticulture-related information to their communities.

Any Louisiana resident with an interest in horticulture and a desire to volunteer for community service may apply to the Master Gardener Training Program. Master Gardeners moving from other states are evaluated on a case-by-case basis through discussion with the individual, local coordinator, and State Coordinator.

A volunteer in training is expected to complete 100 percent of the prescribed hours of instruction. If, for any reason, you need to miss a class, please visit with your local LMG coordinator regarding missed class material.

In order to retain the Louisiana Master Gardener title, individuals are required to complete a minimum of 20 volunteer service hours and six continuing education hours each year. Documentation requirements and validation of volunteer service and continuing education hours are under the supervision of the local Master Gardener Program Coordinator or individual designated by the coordinator.

The Louisiana Master Gardener training program provides a balanced, integrated, practical course in gardening. Special topics, based on Louisiana gardening needs, are part of the curriculum and involve a balance of lecture and hands-on activities. The training is provided by LSU AgCenter Extension faculty and other horticulture experts.

Primary topics covered in the training include:

  • Soils and Plant Nutrition
  • Basic Botany and Plant Propagation
  • Basic Plant Pathology and Entomology
  • Vegetable Gardening
  • Fruit Culture
  • Woody Ornamentals
  • Annuals and Perennials
  • Lawn Management and Weeds
  • Environmental Horticulture
  • Diagnostics/Problem Solving

Classroom participation should include 100 percent attendance during the training period. If you need to miss a class session, please visit with your local LMG coordinator to make up the missed material. Class format differs by program, but most of the programs are held for three to six hours one or two days per week, and generally conducted at a parish Extension office. Upon completion of the formal coursework, participants are required to satisfactorily pass a comprehensive examination on the materials covered.

To graduate as a Master Gardener, each trainee must pass a final examination. Examinations are prepared by the local Master Gardener Program coordinator in collaboration with class instructors.

Examinations are under the direction of the local LMG coordinator. As such, they may be open-book or closed. Final exams are designed to evaluate a trainee's ability to retrieve information from the Louisiana Master Gardener handbook and other horticultural resources.

A score of 70 percent or higher is needed to pass.

Louisiana offers 30 parish-level Master Gardener programs with volunteer participation in 58 parishes. LMG trainings are offered at various times during the year and at various parish Extension offices across the state.

To help you decide if you should apply to be a Master Gardener, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I want to learn more about the culture and maintenance of many types of plants?
  • Am I eager to participate in a practical and intense training program?
  • Do I look forward to sharing my knowledge with people in my community?
  • Do I have enough time to attend training and to complete the volunteer service?

If you answered yes to these questions, the Master Gardener program could be for you.

The base fee for participation in the Louisiana Master Gardener Program is $150.

This amount covers costs for the training manual, name badge, certificate and supporting educational materials.

Additional overhead cost may be included as determined by the local Master Gardener Program coordinator and may vary from one parish to another depending on local situations.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, a limited number of Louisiana Master Gardener classes are currently offered. Most of the classes are virtual or hybrid (mix of virtual and face-to-face), though some classes may be offered entirely face-to-face.

2023 Orleans/Jefferson Master Gardener Class

Class location TBD.

Class sessions will run May 31, 2023 through August 2nd.

Class lectures will be online, but students are required to attend in-person lab sessions each week. A morning and an evening lab session block will be available.

For more information on the Greater New Orleans Master Gardener Program, volunteer opportunities, or upcoming trainings, please contact Dr. Willis at (504-483-9471) or Mr. Dunaway at (504-736-6519).

2023 Natchitoches Master Gardener Class (for Natchitoches and Sabine Parishes)

Classes will be held at the Natchitoches Parish Extension Office (624 2nd Street).

Class meeting times still being decided, but the first class will be held February 21, 2023.

For more information, contact Natchitoches Agent, Randall Mallette, at 318-357-2224 or

2023 East Baton Rouge Master Gardener Class

Classes will be held at Burden Botanic Gardens. Class location may move, as needed.

Class will begin Wednesday, January 11, 2023, and will run from 9:00 AM to Noon.

Due to overwhelming demand, the 2023 class is at capacity. For more information or to be placed on the waiting list, please contact Bert Hammett at

2023 La-Terre Master Gardener Program (Lafourche and Terrebonne)

Classes will be held in Raceland.

Classes begin January 2023.

Classes are usually held on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

For more information, contact class coordinator, Barton Joffrion at

2023 Northwest Louisiana Master Gardener Program

Class meeting location is still TBD – either Red River Research Station or Red River Wildlife Refuge.

Classes begin January 26, 2023, and run through March 30th.

Classes are held on Thursdays from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM.

The 2023 class has reached capacity and is not taking any more applications. For more information or to sign up for the 2024 class waiting list, contact Mark Wilson at

2023 Winn Parish Master Gardener Program

Classes will be held at the Winn Parish Extension Office.

Classes begin January 16, 2023.

Classes are usually held on Mondays from 5:30 – 8:30 PM.

For more information, contact class coordinator, Donny Moon at 318-628-4528 or

2023 Beauregard Master Gardener Program

Classes will be held at the Rosepine Research Station.

Classes begin on Thursday, January 5, 2023.

Classes are held on Thursdays from 1:00 – 4:00 PM, and run January through March/early April.

For more information, contact class coordinator, Keith Hawkins at 337-284-5188 or

1/11/2022 5:30:00 PM
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