USDA Louisiana Hardiness Zones: 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b and 10a
Louisiana, a state that sits mostly below sea level, may not be instantly thought of as an agricultural product-producing state. But, you might be surprised to know that Louisiana’s main crop is soybeans. Louisiana also produces an abundance of sweet potatoes, rice, and corn.
Louisiana has a unique climate. Louisiana’s climate is considered humid subtropical, which means the summers are extremely hot and humid, and the winters are relatively mild.
It’s not uncommon for Louisiana to experience tropical storms or severe thunderstorms. Louisiana’s warm, humid summers classify the state as planting zones 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b and 10a.
Louisiana Planting Zones- A Quick Overview
- You live in planting zone 8a if you live in the state’s northern area. Claiborne County and portions of Jackson County are considered growing zone 8a.
- Planting zone 8b consists of the middle section of the state. Alexandria is classified as planting zone 8b.
- Most of Beauregard County is in planting zone 8b. However, the eastern corner of the county is planting zone 9a. Much of the lower half of Louisiana is also growing zone 9a. This includes parts of Lafayette down to the coast where the zone changes to 9b along as you move closer to the coastline.
- New Orleans is in planting zone 9b, as is much of Plaquemines Parish.
- The only part of the state in 10a is the southernmost tip of the coast.
Using the Louisiana Growing Zones Map
The climate of Louisiana is warm and humid, and it is the perfect climate to grow various fruits, vegetables, and leafy greens. However, check out the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map before deciding which plants to put in your garden.
The USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map, designed in 2012, contains key information regarding the climate of each of the fifty states. To find out which of Louisiana’s hardiness zones your garden is in, simply type your address and zip code into the map’s search bar. Or you can zoom into the general area of your location on the map.
Once you’ve found your exact location, you can use the legend on the side of the map to determine your planting zone. The map’s legend is color-coded to complement each planting zone.
Using the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map, you’ll find that Louisiana is classified as planting zones 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b and 10a. Louisiana has a subtropical climate, but each planting zone will have somewhat different average temperatures.
For example, the average minimum temperature of planting zone 8a is 10 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit. At the same time, the average minimum temperate of planting zone 9b is 25 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit. These temperature differences may seem negligible, but the difference has a significant impact on the survival of certain plants.
It is critical to choose plants that flourish in your exact growing zone. It would help if you also thought about the micro-climate of your area. The micro-climate of your garden may be different than the surrounding area.
You may see different average temperatures in your garden, or your garden may receive more rain and runoff than other parts of the surrounding area. These factors will affect your micro-climate.
Louisiana: Warm, Humid, and Subtropical
Because Louisiana’s climate is humid subtropical, its growing season length is relatively long. In fact, the average length of the growing season is 210 days! It’s usually safe to begin planting outdoors at the beginning of April.
The Louisiana Nursery suggests you can check to see if the condition of your garden is suitable for planting by simply stepping in your soil. If you sink and your feet get wet, it’s not safe to plant. If your feet don’t sink at all, it’s also too hard to plant. The ground is ready for your plants if you sink just a bit.
Leafy greens, such as Swiss chard, collards, and mustard, grow relatively well in Louisiana. Add these plants to your vegetable garden to continue growing in the colder months. You might also consider growing pumpkins, peppers, and watermelons in the warmer months.
To add color to your flower garden, contemplate planting phlox, hibiscus, or azaleas. Willow oaks, dogwood trees, and crabapple trees grow well in Louisiana. Consider planting those trees if you want to improve your property’s landscape.