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USDA Hardiness Planting Zones

To determine if a plant is sufficiently cold-hardy, the USDA created numbered zones indicating winter low temperatures; the lower the zone number the colder the winter.

  • If the coldest winter temperature expected in your area is -15°F (zone 5) then any plants rated zones 3-5 will survive the winter temperatures in your area.
  • If you live in very warm winter areas (zones 9-11) plants with zones 3-4 ratings are not recommended. The lack of freezing winter temperatures do not provide a time for winter dormancy (rest).

Understanding Your Hardiness Zone

One of the most common questions our gardening team receives is, “Which hardiness zone am I?” This question is extremely important for many reasons; it is the first step in understanding what, and when, to plant in your area. Hardiness Zones are determined by the US Department of Agricultural and are based on average low temperatures for the area. Below is a rough guide to the different zones: Zone 2: Average Annual Lows: -40 to -50 degrees F Zone 3: Average Annual Lows: -30 to -40 degrees F Zone 4: Average Annual Lows: -20 to -30 degrees F Zone 5: Average Annual Lows: -10 to -20 degrees F Zone 6: Average Annual Lows: 0 to -10 degrees F Zone 7: Average Annual Lows: 10 to 0 degrees F Zone 8: Average Annual Lows: 20 to 10 degrees F Zone 9: Average Annual Lows: 30 to 20 degrees F Zone 10: Average Annual Lows: 40 to 30 degrees F Knowing your hardiness zone will help you to determine what will, and won’t, grow well in your area. For example, those gardening in zone 5 will need to bring their Dahlias inside for the winter. Those gardening in zone 10 do not. Peonies will not grow well in zones 9-10 and will thrive in colder zones. Hardiness Zones also determine when the best time to plant is. We base our spring shipping schedule on Hardiness Zones, starting with the warmest zones first. Those gardening in a zone 9 will most likely be ready to plant in late March – those in zone 4 will still have snow on the ground! Find your Hardiness Zone by going to our Hardiness Zones page on our website here. Enter your zip code and it will tell you which Hardiness Zone you are in. Another great tool we have on our website is being able to filter products by hardiness zone; it will remove all plants that are not recommended for your zone. Simply go to any of our Perennial, Spring Bulb, or Fall Bulb pages and this sorting tool will be visible on the left. It is surprising how many gardeners, from novice to expert, do not know their hardiness zone, or understand what it means. It is an amazing piece of information to help you succeed in planting, and growing, your dream garden! Happy Gardening!

Hardiness Zone Map

Hardiness Zone Map

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