Know Your Planting Zones

Have you ever thought about your planting zones?

A zone map is chock full of general guidelines you'll need for your garden plans.

When you know the planting zones in which you live, you can base your yard care and choice of flowers and plants on smart decisions.

Match your zone with tips from our
flower guide to pick the plants that fit your gardening zones. Generally, the last freeze of spring determines when you can plant, and the first one in the fall brings an end to most flower and vegetable growth.

What Are Planting Zones?

The planting zones, also called hardiness zones, divide the United States, Mexico and Canada into 11 areas. Each of the gardening zones is based on a 10 degree Fahrenheit difference in the average annual minimum temperature.

Planting Zones 1 and 2a, the coldest, represent Canada. The United States falls within zones 2 through 10. Hawaii and Mexico are represented by zone 11, the hottest zone.

Zone Fahrenheit Celsius Example Cities
1 Below -50 Below -45.6 Fairbanks, Alaska; Northwest Territories (Canada)
2a -50 to -45 -42.8 to -45.5 Prudhoe Bay, Alaska; Flin Fon, Menitoba (Canada)
2b -45 to -40 -40.0 to -42.7 Unalakleet, Alaska; Pinecreek Minnesota
3a -40 to -35 -37.3 to -39.9 International Falls, Minnesota; St. Michael, Alaska
3b -35 to -30 -34.5 to -37.2 Tomahawk, Wisconsin; Sidney, Montana
4a -30 to -25 -31.7 to -34.4 St. Paul, Minnesota; Lewistown, Montana
4b -25 to -20 -28.9 to -31.6 Northwood, Iowa; Nebraska
5a -20 to -15 -26.2 to -28.8 Des Moines, Iowa; Illinois
5b -15 to -10 -23.4 to -26.1 Columbia, Missouri; Mansfield, Pennsylvania
6a -10 to -5 -20.6 to -23.3 St. Louis, Missouri; Lebanon, Pennsylvania
6b -5 to 0 -17.8 to -20.5 McMinnville, Tennessee; Branson, Missouri
7a 0 to 5 -15.0 to -17.7 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; South Boston, Virginia
7b 5 to 10 -12.3 to -14.9 Little Rock, Arkansas; Griffin, Georgia
8a 10 to 15 -9.5 to -12.2 Tifton, Georgia; Dallas, Texas
8b 15 to 20 -6.7 to -9.4 Austin, Texas; Gainesville, Florida
9a 20 to 25 -3.9 to -6.6 Houston, Texas; St. Augustine, Florida
9b 25 to 30 -1.2 to -3.8 Brownsville, Texas; Fort Pierce, Florida
10a 30 to 35 1.6 to -1.1 Naples, Florida; Victorville, California
10b 35 to 40 4.4 to 1.7 Miami, Florida; Coral Gables, Florida
11 Above 40 Above 4.5 Honolulu, Hawaii; Mazatlan, Mexico

The 2003 US National Arboretum USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map
USDA Miscellaneous Publication No. 1475, Issued January 1990
Last Updated February 23, 2004

Take a look at the above zone chart. You'll see the lowest average temperature in Zone 2 is -50 to -40 degrees Fahrenheit, while the lowest average temperature in zone 10 is +30 to +40 degrees Fahrenheit.


Suitable hardiness means a plant can be expected to 
grow in the zone's temperature extremes,
as determined by the lowest average annual temperature.


Here's an example: If your plant is recommended for a range of gardening zones, the plant is said to be "hardy" in those zones. Let's say zones 5 - 9 are suggested for your perennial. Then you know this plant is suitable for growing in zones 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9.

For complete information about every area of the United States, go to the USDA official planting zones map (a new window will open). Once there, either click on your region on the map, or click on your state's abbreviation. You'll go right to specific regional information about your zone.

New Planting Zone Map On The Way!

The USDA zone map will change within the next year... their current map is based on statistics that are over 20 years old. We've all noticed our climate has warmed during that time, and our zones will likely be reclassified. Be assured that we will stay up to date with the most current official zone map!

Don't Forget Your Local Features...

Local conditions may also affect the life and health of your plants and lawn. So consider your zones together with your location's own features such as humidity, moisture, drainage, soil, fertility, and winds.

Do you know the zones for most rosebushes? Actually, most roses are hardy in zones 4-9, with some hardy in zones 5-9. You'll discover this and so many more essential rose-growing facts when you learn rose gardening with us!

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