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The US is divided into 13 different hardiness zones, representing the lowest average temperature of that region, although most fall into the first 11 zones. This helps gardeners and homeowners determine what they can grow in their yard. This can help you a great deal with planning what to plant and what not to.

If you’re not sure what your hardiness zone is, then you can check it by entering your ZIP code on the USDA site. Then, read on to find out which plants are the best for your hardiness zone.

Zones 1-2

Zones 1 and 2 experience very low temperatures, so you should look for cold hardy plants when planning what to grow. Lots of vegetables are suitable for growing in these zones, such as broccoli, cabbage, lettuce, kale, and asparagus. If you also want to plant perennials, then you can look to native plants, as these are equipped to grow in that climate. Perennials like Yarrow, Columbine, and Delphinium are also good for zone 1.

Zones 3-4

Many of the zone 1 and 2 vegetables are ideal for zones 3 and 4, as well. You can add others like potatoes, winter squash, and sweet peas. Add some color to your garden, too, with plants like Bergenia, Hosta, and Siberian Bugloss that grow especially well in zone 3.

Zones 5-6

Zones 5-6 represent more medium temperatures, so plants suited to these zones don’t do well in weather that’s too hot or too cold. You’ve got a much greater range of perennials to grow in these zones thanks to the warmer temperatures. Lilies, Lavender, Poppies, and Peonies all do well in these zones. You can also plant trees like Douglas Firs, Yews, Pin Oaks, and Forsythias.

Zones 7-8

North Carolina generally falls into these hardiness zones. You’ll have a longer growing season compared to the cooler zones and fewer restrictions on what to grow. Things like artichoke, rhubarb, and strawberries are ideal. Fruit trees like apples, pears, and cherries are also suited here, as are a lot of popular herbs. You’ll also have long lists of perennials to choose from, including Hibiscus, Butterfly bush, and Lantana.

Zones 9-10

With warmer climates, some plants and vegetables aren’t suited to these zones due to the heat. Things like melons, tomatoes, peppers, and sweet peas are good for growing in the cooler months. You can add a lot of color to your yard with flowers in these zones. Try out coneflowers, dahlias, daffodils, and hydrangeas.

Zones 11-13

Not many areas of the US fall into these zones, but for those that do, the things you plant need to be able to thrive in warmer temperatures. Edible plants you can grow in this heat are quite varied, including bananas, citrus fruits, sweet potato, mangoes, and pineapple. The Old Farmer’s Almanac also lists plants such as Geraniums and Marigolds for these regions.

Informed by your hardiness zone, you can plan the perfect garden that will respond well to the temperatures of your region.


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