Visit our Sponsors and win.
Visit our Sponsors and win.

USDA Hardiness Zones Explained

Anne K Moore
Photographs by Anne K Moore

 

If a plant is listed as hardy in USDA Zones 5-8, how can you tell if it will survive in your garden?

The USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) has adopted a map, which shows the expected high and low temperatures for a given area. The zones are divided on this map and numbered. It is based on the coldest climate in which a plant will survive. 

If a plant is listed as hardy in zones 5-8, it means that it will withstand the cold temperatures up to zone 5 but will most likely freeze out in lower zones such as 2, 3, and 4. It also shows that it will withstand the heat up to zone 8 but will probably die out in a hotter climate of 9, 10, and 11. The best growing conditions for this plant would be between and including zones 5-8.

It isn't a perfect system but it does give gardeners an idea of where a plant will grow and thrive. For instance, you can leave the canna (pictured here) in the ground in zones 7-11 but you need to dig the rhizomes and store them indoors in the colder zones of 3-6. It would be listed as hardy in USDA Zones 7-11.

With the climate change we are experiencing, you might be surprised to learn that you now garden in a new, warmer USDA Zone. The new USDA Zone map is here:  http://www.usna.usda.gov/Hardzone/ushzmap.html

This site shows the differing plants in the different zones:  http://www.usna.usda.gov/Hardzone/hrdzon4.html

You can find your zone here by entering your zip code:  http://www.gardenweb.com/zones/zip.cgi

Follow Anne K Moore as she blogs along with Linda Weiss at Diggin’ It at the Christian Science Monitor website.
and at their website: The Gardener and the Chef.


All articles are copyrighted and remain the property of the author.

Article URL:
http://www.GardenSMART.com/?p=articles&title=USDA_Hardiness_Zones_Explained


Back to Articles List                               

 
FEATURED ARTICLE
GardenSMART Featured Article
FALL IS A GREAT TIME TO PLANT

By Stacey Hirvela, Spring Meadow Nursery
Photograph courtesy of Proven Winners ColorChoice Shrubs

Many folks are surprised to learn that autumn runs a close second to spring as an ideal planting time, but it's true: cool temperatures, reliable rainfall, and short, bright days help plants make a quick and easy transition to your landscape. Read more...


Click here to sign up for our monthly NEWSLETTER packed with great articles and helpful tips for your home, garden and pets!

GardenSMART Article Image
 
   
   
   
 
   
   
   
Copyright © 1998-2012 GSPC. All Rights Reserved.