A lot of fruit trees call Louisiana their home thanks to the difference in climates from its northern to its southern parts. Yet, when it comes to apple trees, you may not be sure if these will flourish in this state’s somewhat warm weather.
This begs an important question: can apple trees grow in Louisiana?
Luckily, apple trees can grow in Louisiana and produce delicious fruits in both the northern and southern regions of the state. Some varieties that tend to grow the best include Mollie’s Delicious, Arkansas Black, and Golden Delicious.
In this article, we’ll discuss everything related to growing apple trees in Louisiana so that you’re 100% prepared for the job.
Let the fun begin!
Growing Apple Trees in Louisiana – What to Know
It’s only normal to be a little skeptical about planting apple trees in the Pelican State because those trees prefer colder climates.
Yet, that doesn’t mean that you can’t grow apples in Louisiana to enjoy their delicious, rich taste. It’s just a matter of providing those trees with optimum growing conditions, which isn’t hard to do.
Conditions Needed for Apple Trees to Thrive
Even though apple trees are hardy enough to thrive in a multitude of different climates, they still have some requirements that you should meet.
These conditions are:
- Well-drained soil that holds just a little moisture (light to medium-textured soil)
- Full and direct sun exposure (six to eight hours per day)
- Slightly acidic to neutral soil
- Cold winters and moderate summers
- 400 to 1,000 chilling hours each winter at 45°F (differs according to variety)
- Medium to high humidity
Apple Tree Growing Zones
Naturally, the ideal growing zone for apple trees can vary to a great degree based on the variety. Since there are more than 2,500 apple varieties grown in the U.S., it’s only normal for them to extend over multiple growing zones.
Generally, hardy apple tree varieties will thrive in USDA Hardiness Zones three to five. On the other hand, long-season apple trees do better in zones five to eight.
Louisiana Growing Zones
Knowing which growing zones stretch over Louisiana is the first step to identifying the right types of apple trees to plant in any given region of the state.
See, Louisiana falls under zones eight and nine, making it a perfect growing ground for apple trees that are labeled long-season. However, the state’s upper regions are more suited to this role than its lower parts.
Still, you may grow apples in southern Louisiana despite how challenging it could be.
Potential Difficulties Growing Apple Trees in Louisiana
Even though it’s not impossible, growing productive apple trees in Louisiana, especially in the southernmost parts, brings many concerns to the table.
First of all, the weather in Louisiana is mostly hot, which may interfere with the growth of several apple tree varieties because they may not be able to get as many chilling hours as they should. This is why many people grow apple trees in northern Louisiana.
Second of all, even some apple tree varieties that manage to grow in the south don’t tend to produce massive yields.
The third point you should keep in mind about growing apples in Louisiana is that they’re more susceptible to mold and blight.
Is It Possible To Grow Productive Apple Trees in Louisiana?
Despite everything, it’s not far-fetched to grow productive apple trees in Louisiana.
It’s all about knowing which varieties belong to which regions and the right time for planting them. For example, one great piece of advice to consider is to plant apple trees in the cooler months of fall and spring in Louisiana to ensure that the weather isn’t too warm.
We’ll discuss more tips to help you grow glorious apple trees in Louisiana later on, so keep reading!
Best Apple Tree Varieties for Louisiana
Your job starts with finding out which types of apples thrive in Louisiana, so here are a few suggestions you may want to go for.
1. Mollie’s Delicious
Mollie’s Delicious apples are a favorite of many thanks to their crisp yet soft bite and slightly sweet flavor with subtle acidic notes. They’re best known for their smooth and thin skin, which is yellow-green and patterned with faded red stripes.
These apples grow best in the southern parts of Louisiana.
2. Arkansas Black
Arkansas Black apples are a unique variety with their dark, wine-colored exterior and sweet, tart taste. Better still, those apples offer a crunchy bite, which a lot of people favor over the soft texture of other apple species.
To grow Arkansas Blacks in Louisiana, you’d better stick to the northern regions.
3. Dorset Gold
The Dorset Gold is another variety that thrives in the southern regions of Louisiana since it doesn’t mind low-chill climates.
This apple variety has a lovely, sweet aroma and taste along with a vibrant yellow appearance that can lighten up every garden.
Anna apples are some of the best to grow in southern Louisiana.
These delicious apples are mostly light green in color with some red blushing, and they taste sweet with some acidic notes.
Wondering where Gala apples belong in the vast state of Louisiana? Those pretty ladies thrive in milder weather, namely in the upper regions of the state.
Known for their distinctively sweet flavor, red, striped appearance, and almost no aroma, Gala apples are awesome candidates for a wide selection of recipes.
6. Pink Lady
One of the coolest things about Pink Lady apples is that they grow in zones five through nine, so you’re welcome to plant them anywhere in Louisiana!
Pink Lady trees produce reddish-pink apples, hence their interesting name. As for the taste, those apples lean toward tart, but they still have a sweet aftertaste. They’re also pretty crisp when you bite them.
7. Red Delicious
Tender and juicy with a crisp outer layer, you must be familiar with Red Delicious apples since they’re the most popular in the U.S. As the name suggests, these apples come in a cheerful red color, and they’re on the large side.
In Louisiana, Red Delicious apple trees are best grown in the northern parts.
8. Granny Smith
Granny Smith trees are also ready for planting in northern Louisiana.
They produce apples that have a unique green color and a sour taste. In addition to that, the tasty apples are firm, so prepare to crunch your way through them!
9. Golden Delicious
Last but not least, Golden Delicious apples thrive well in northern Louisiana as well.
If you admire the apples’ soft yellow color, rich flavor, and juicy texture, don’t hesitate to grow them in your garden to end up with the most wholesome mug of cider.
Tips for Success With Apple Trees in Louisiana
Now that you’re somewhat prepared to plant apple trees in your backyard, here are a few tips to help you on your mission.
- Select trees that are familiar with the climate of the state
- Choose a location with good drainage for planting your apple trees
- Make sure the planting spot is exposed to the early morning sun
- Check the trees’ roots for damage and cut any broken parts
- Till the land and get rid of weeds before planting
- Plant the trees in early spring or late fall (depends on variety)
- Water the trees on a weekly basis, and increase the watering frequency in the warmer climates of southern Louisiana
- Make sure the soil is moist for up to 4 inches in depth
- Fertilize the trees one month after planting with nitrogen
Why Do Apple Trees Need Cold Weather?
Apple trees need chilling hours to develop hormones that are essential for producing flowers and fruits later when the weather gets warm.
What Temperatures Are Too Hot for Apple Trees?
Apple trees don’t exactly handle temperatures higher than 105°F well.
Even though some trees can withstand high temperatures, their yield may not be plentiful in this case.
Hopefully, now you understand that apple trees can definitely be planted in Louisiana, despite all the challenges they might face. As long as you grow your apples in the hardiness zone that they belong to, all should be well!