We Ship Plants, Bulbs, and Bareroots At The Best Time To Plant In Your Area
This map serves as a rough guide for the American Meadows Spring Bulb and Perennial shipping schedule. Each spring as products become available, we ship orders at the right planting time for each zone, once the threat of frost has been minimized. We start with the warmest zones (8-10) and work our way to the cooler zones as spring arrives. In the fall for perennial plants and fall bulbs, we start shipping to the cooler zones and work our way to the warmer zones as winter approaches.
How To Identify Your Gardening Season With Plant Hardiness Zones
Not all growing seasons are created equal. Plants have preferred climates and altitudes based on millions of years of diversifying and adapting to locations specifically for them. In other words, a tropical palm tree would probably not survive if it was planted in the Antarctic tundra. Makes sense, right?
On a smaller scale, certain plants might thrive in North Carolina, but not survive our winters here in the northeast. When you can identify your specific gardening season and its limitations, you can start to narrow down a plant palette for your garden that will thrive and grow every year.
Find Your Zone
Click here to find your USDA Hardiness Zone. Enter your zip code to confirm your zone.
Understanding Plant Hardiness Zones
What you will see is a scale 1 – 13 that categorizes every location in the United States based on its average annual extreme minimum temperature (the lowest temperature of the year averaged out over time).
The coldest regions further north and higher in altitude are 1 on the scale, while the hottest regions are 13.
This scale is further subdivided with 1a being colder than 1b, and 2a being colder than 2b, etc.
So now that you know what zone you live in, how is this information going to help?
How Your Zone Helps You Choose Plants for Your Garden
Every plant has been identified with the zones it will survive in. When shopping at American Meadows, you can use the filters to find plants that are suited to your zone.
For instance, if you want to buy Monarda ,or bee balm, you can simply check the product details to find that its hardiness zone is 4-8. If your garden is a 3, it will have difficulty growing there, possibly dying off in the cold winters. If you garden is a 6, then Monarda will happily thrive.
Many tropical spring-planted flower bulbs are not perennial or winter hardy in much of the United States, but you can bring these plants indoors for the winter, or dig up and store bulbs to replant the next spring.
Knowing your zone is critical before selecting plants because it allows you to purchase the ones that have adapted to thrive in your specific location. Choosing the right plants for the right spot gives you a fuller, brighter, healthier garden that typically requires less work.
Identifying Microclimates In Your Garden
Now that you’ve narrowed down your options into a plant palette that survives in your hardiness zone, we can zoom in even farther to microclimates. Your property is most-likely not a “one size fits all” in terms of planting spots. Take a moment now to visualize all of the different microclimates you have. Some examples include:
- North side of home / Under a tree (Full Shade)
- Open Field / South Side of Home (Full Sun)
- East Side of House (Part Sun / Morning Sun)
- Rocky Hill (Quick Drainage and Sun)
- Stream Bed (Clay and Wet)
- Forest Floor (Dense Shade and Dry)
There are many different microclimates that can be on one single property, or can vary from neighbor to neighbor. Identifying what these conditions are for your garden is the next step for properly selecting plants. Choosing plants that will thrive next to your pond versus on a rocky hilltop must be approached in an entirely different way.
To do this, first recognize where you want to plant.
Then analyze how much sunlight that location gets in a day, scaling from dense shade to full sun.
Next, determine how dry or wet the location is; is it in a lowland spot that fills with water after a rain, or a dry hilltop?
From there, you can narrow down the plant palette you will work from.
Make sure to look at the information provided for each plant online or contact us if you’re unsure.
Always Remember: “Right Plant, Right Place!”
Remember, plants have adapted to grow and survive over millions of years. If you select the right plant for the right place, it will thrive with very little input from you. It will give you more growth, more blooms, and less work to do in your garden. Alternatively, if you select a plant that is out of your hardiness zone level, or is planted in the shade when it wants sun, it will suffer, underperform, and eventually die.
Simply start with knowing your hardiness zone and shopping for plants that fall within that range. From there, the label and planting information will tell you everything you need to know about if that plant will thrive in your specific location. In no time at all you will become familiar with the plant palette adapted for your garden and, after planting it all out, you will be ready to sit back and watch everything grow!