Identifying your plant hardiness zone is essential to your garden growing success. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Plant Hardiness Zone Map provides an informative view of average temperature trends across The United States and Canada. Zone Hardiness maps are based on the average yearly extremes for minimum temperatures in a given area.
These maps do not account for average peak temperatures in a particular zone. Understanding your gardening zone for plant hardiness can help you decide which plants to select for your garden and can mean the difference between a successful crop and a failing garden.
Your geographic location and climate will affect how successful your flowers or plants will grow in your gardening areas. If you select plants that are only somewhat cold hardy for your particular zone, a harsh winter with well below average temperatures could lead to the demise of the plants.
It is important to note that USDA Plant Hardiness Zones are not entirely foolproof. Frequently, planting zones have micro-climates that occur within each geographical area. Unprotected areas of open land or areas of the ground that slope down into valleys can be more prone to frost and colder temperatures than higher elevations. On the opposite end of the spectrum, sometimes temperatures can also soar higher than what the map claims they should be.
What is My Planting Zone?
Find out what your USDA Plant Hardiness Grow Zone is, and you will uncover what plants are likely to thrive in your location of the United States and Canada. The USDA Zone Hardiness Map is divided up into 13 planting zones. They are sectioned off by a 10-degree Fahrenheit differential for the average annual minimum temperatures. The larger the number is, the warmer the temperature is in the corresponding garden zone. For added clarity, zones are broken down into subsets of a and b, which represents a 5-degree differential in which a is colder than b is.
Look at the map and pinpoint your geographical location. The majority of the United States falls under USDA Planting Zones 4 through 8. Most garden centers label their plants with markers that signify a plant’s grow zone. If you are planning on purchasing a plant, tree, or shrub, you should cross-reference the plant with the zone for your region on the map to determine if it is a suitable growing environment where that plant will thrive.
In addition to identifying your hardiness zone, it can be helpful to reach out to your local garden center for additional guidance. They are experts in your community and your planting zone and can help you troubleshoot any further questions that you may have.
Other Factors that Affect Plant Growth
Purchasing seeds, dry root plants, and potted plants that are determined to be hardy for your zone will not guarantee that the plants will thrive in your garden. Plant Zones are not the only factors that determine plant hardiness and growth of plants. Sunlight, soil structure and pH, nutrient levels, water, and plant spacing also significantly impact the viability of plants.
When planting, consider the amount of sunlight that your garden receives each day. Some plants thrive well with a minimum of 6-8 hours of sunlight per day. While others prefer partial or full shade for its optimal growing conditions.
Soil Structure and pH
Soil structure and pH are crucial components to healthy plants. Soil consistency can vary from geographical region to region. It can even vary significantly within the bounds of your property. Different plants have different soil structure requirements and thrive best within a specific pH range. In addition to planting plants specific to your grow zone, it is essential to test your soil and amend it according to plant needs.
It is important to consider a plant’s water requirements before adding it to your garden. All plants require water to help them grow, but some plants are more drought-tolerant, while others require more regular watering to help them thrive. Know your plant’s requirements in conjunction with its USDA Grow Zone to ensure a successful crop.
All plants have different spacing requirements that can help ensure sufficient airflow. Such airflow helps to keep leaves dry and free from disease and allows plants to spread out to reach their full potential. If plants are too crowded together, their growth can be stunted due to nutrient drain, shadowing from other plants, and the development of fungus.
79 CommentsLeave a Reply
Thank you for a great resource
We’re happy to help!
I bought 8 bags of the All Natural Garden Soil for Flowers & Vegetables last weekend, planted some seeds and they are already sprouting!!! I will be getting more!!
That is wonderful to hear Janice, thank you for sharing! If you haven’t already make sure to grab some organic fertilizer. Your plants will lots of nutrients and minerals as they grow.
I live in the most southern part of TX (usually very hot) I have been trying to garden for the past 3 yrs, with little success. I have raised beds, with good gardening soil ( so the bag says). My raised beds are dark in color, was wondering if maybe I should paint them white? Dorothy K.
Hi Dorothy! There could be a number of reasons you’re having some difficulties growing. Making sure what you want to grow is suitable to grow in your area, planting during the correct season, proper watering, sun exposure, and nutrients are essential. Feeding your soil is the step that most people miss in the growing process. Plants eat up a lot of nutrients from the soil so regularly adding those nutrients back in for the plants and the life in the soil is important. The color of your beds may not be the issue. We have a guide here https://www.kellogggarden.com/monthly-organic-gardening-ebook/ that walks you through what to plant and when. When you get access to that guide there are two more, one that walks you through companion planting and another that discusses container gardening. We have also have a getting started video series here that may help https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLblqvIbSXvLUUam8T2F5EbFHmZCgKPiBO
So excited! Can’t wait to get started.
Thank you ?
I am about to plant my patio vegetable garden in plastic containers about 12′ High. Should I line the bottom with stone for drainage control or just fill the containers with soil?? I will be using organic soil.
Also, I will be entertaining an Asian friend for the Summer and Fall months. What vegetables would you suggest I grow to complement Asian quisine?
Hi Joseph! Well draining soil is beneficial to almost every plant, so adding in stones or twigs and sticks is great for the bottom of your pot. One of the reasons we add aged wood fines to our soil to help create pockets for good water and airflow. As far as vegetables for Asian cuisine, there are a lot that you could plant. Baby Pak Choi, radishes (there is a watermelon radish that is great), eggplant, peas, chives, Rosette Tatsoi Greens, Napa cabbage, cucumber. The list is long. Let us know if this helps. 😀
I need help with determining when to plant my leggy seedlings. I live in rochester ny and I may have started the seeds a little early. I’m growing a variety of sunflowers, zinnias, a variety of tomatoes, cucumbers beans etc. I have a raised garden and planning on also planting in some pots mplease help, some of the young plants are dying.
Hi Kevin, seedlings get leggy when they are trying to reach the light. If you have a grow light you just need to bring them closer to the light, if you are growing next to a window then you might want to take them outside for a bit if it is warm enough. Tomatoes need a minimum soil temperature of 60°F, Beans 70°F, and cucumbers 65°F though they don’t germinate until the soil gets warmer. If your starts seem to be struggling more light and including some organic liquid fertilizer in your watering may help until the soil temperatures are ready for them.
Spring lettuce is looking great. Have never had any luck with cabbage or Brussel Spouts, but I am trying again this year! Do you have any tips for me?
Hi Anita! What planting zone are you in? Are you growing in the ground, in a raised bed, or another type of container? And finally, What happens when you try to grow cabbage or Brussel sprouts? Do they start to grow and then wilt and die, are they overrun with pests, do the leaves show signs of disease or discoloration?
I like the garden help however it would be nice if it could be narrowed down by your zone.
Hi Sandy, we have a guide here that walks you through each month zone by zone. https://www.kellogggarden.com/monthly-organic-gardening-ebook/
Greetings from Turkey,
I have been following your information and recomendations for a while. I am very new for planting. Thank you for sharing your valuable knowledge. This helps me to be more organized.
Hi İlknur, we’re so pleased to hear that you’re enjoying our blog posts and find them helpful. Happy gardening!
This is a wonderful resource and forum- thank you. I have a question, I am in zone 10b and I transplanted healthy winter seedlings grown from seed (broccoli,chard, kohlrabi, cauliflower, beans, cabbages, salad greens, etc several weeks ago and they seem to have stalled in my garden bed. They aren’t really growing. What could be the problem? I planted them with fresh compost and remulched the entire raised bed with broken down cypress juniper clippings.
Hi Susan, we are sorry to hear about your transplants. Adding the fresh compost for your transplants is great, they may also need a little boost of liquid fertilizer, using a seaweed, kelp, and molasses organic fertilizer can help get them past transplant shock and give them a nutrient kick. Watering and sun exposure can also play a factor, though you are growing cool-season vegetables that do not require as much sun as spring vegetables the more sun they get the faster and stronger they will grow.
I live in Las Vegas Nevada, will I be able to use bale for my raise bed garden. it sound very interesting.
Hi Lee, if you’re referring to growing in straw bales then yes, you can utilize them in Las Vegas, Nevada. If you’re interested in learning more about planting and growing in straw bales check out this article, https://www.kellogggarden.com/blog/gardening/planting-and-growing-in-straw-bales/. Happy gardening!
Hello, I have a polycarbonate clear greenhouse with raised beds. Right after I filled the beds with Kellogg’s raised bed soil, after a month, I developed mites, millions of them. It looked like the soil was moving. What could they be and how do I rig my beds of them. Right now, the beds are empty and I am turning the soil every so often and letting it bake in the winter sun.
Hi Richard, we hope you were able to get control of the mites. What you were doing is the first step and in most cases takes care of mites and gnats. If the sun exposure didn’t work we recommend reducing your watering and letting the top layer dry out between 1.0 to 2.0 inches. If bugs persist after 3 weeks, then supplementing it with diatomaceous earth can help. Both methods are organic.
Unable to go to the ‘official’ hardiness zone map. My phone said it was not secure; expired certificate.
Hi Stormy, we’re so sorry you’re experiencing issues using the zone map. If the popup is stopping you from using the map, please click in the black area and the popup will go away. If you’re still experiencing issues, please provide us with your zip code or city and state, and we’d be happy to help you determine your planting zone.
I have recently moved from California, to Florida. Being a native of Northern California I have never had a problem with my garden. However……..Florida is very different, plants, soil, sun…….
Would you please help me with finding my new zone?
Palm Harbor, (Clearwater, St. Pete) On the peninsula near Tampa.
Is it zone 13?
Thanking you in advance,
Hi Nancy, it appears that Palm Harbor, Florida is in Zone 9b. However, we recommend inputting your zip code into the zone finder in order to be certain: https://www.kellogggarden.com/blog/gardening/how-to-find-your-planting-zone.
Hi Nancy, I’ve never had any luck growing carrots maybe because the seeds are so small. Is soil depth critical? Am in zone 5
Hi Doug, growing carrots can be tricky, however, there are a few things that can help ensure your carrot seeds sprout and grow successfully. Plant seeds 1/2″ deep and in rows that are 1″ apart. Carrot seeds need consistent moisture to germinate, therefore, we recommend planting them into pre-moistened, nutrient-rich soil that has been amended with lots of organic materials such as compost. After sowing, cover your seeds with a thin, 1/4″ layer of sifted soil. For more tips on growing and planting carrots check out this article: https://www.kellogggarden.com/blog/growing/how-to-grow-carrots/. Happy gardening!
Thank you for the guides,as I am new to gardening this year! I need all the help I can get.
Hi Debra, we’re so pleased to hear you’re enjoying our guides! We hope you have a fantastic season, happy gardening!
Thank you! Can’t wait for the growing season here!
Just bought some bags of your planting mix as I plan my daughter’s garden here in the USA. The zone, the plants that thrive here and your products are all new to me, but the seeds are all germinating and the newly purchased and transplanted plants are absolutely loving it.
Hi Yvette, we’re so pleased to hear that your garden is off to a great start. If you’re interested in learning more, we think you may find our New Gardener page helpful: https://www.kellogggarden.com/gardening-for-beginners/. If you have any questions as you continue along on your gardening journey, we’re more than happy to help. We hope you have a fantastic season, happy gardening!
That’s really a fabulous idea ? Thanks! We live in a downstairs apartment and have a dirt/pebble patio outdoors. This looks perfect to do!
Hi Bea, we’re so pleased to hear you enjoyed our blog post. For more information on creating a patio garden, check out this blog post: https://www.kellogggarden.com/blog/gardening/container-gardening/garden-patio-ideas/. We hope you have a wonderful season, happy gardening!
Great information I like gardening but it is a lot of work and you can get tired of doing it by yourself.
Hi BJ, we’re so pleased to hear that you found this blog helpful. Community gardens are a great way to share your love of gardening with others. There is certainly something special about the camaraderie that comes with hanging out with other gardeners you know, sharing tips and advice, or swapping seeds. We think you may find this post on community gardens interesting and insightful: https://www.kellogggarden.com/blog/community/benefits-of-a-community-garden/. If there is not a community garden near you, we also recommend joining the Facebook group Organic Garden Nation, https://www.facebook.com/groups/organicgardennation/. It’s a great community where beginning to advanced gardeners share tips, ask questions, and help one another with their gardens. You may also be able to find local gardening groups on Facebook by searching. We hope you have a fantastic season, happy gardening!
I am not able to find my planting zone….
Hi Susan, we’re so sorry to hear that you haven’t been able to determine your planting zone. To do so, please visit this article, https://www.kellogggarden.com/blog/gardening/how-to-find-your-planting-zone/ and scroll down to the Interactive U.S. Planting Zone Map for 2019 and input your zip code. If you need any assistance, we’re happy to help.
Hello we moved from Southern NV to Northern NV Reno and am looking forward to raised and container garden ! I see we are in zone 7A so will look for plants for the climate. Bit bummed out that Rosemary is not too happy up in Northern NV.
Thank you I enjoy your emails !
Hi Kay, we’re so pleased to hear that you have been enjoying our emails. You may still be able to grow rosemary in your new, colder climate by growing it in a container and bringing it inside during the colder months. You could also start an indoor herb garden. To read more about growing herbs indoors, including rosemary, check out this blog post: https://www.kellogggarden.com/blog/gardening/herb-gardening/best-ways-to-plant-an-indoor-herb-garden/. We hope you have a great season, happy gardening!
Can you please help me find my zone? I live in Calera, AL
Hi Miriam, much of Calera, AL is in growing zone 8a. We hope you have a great season, happy gardening!
Please direct me to a USDA ZONE 7a and 7b. Planting chart for gardening
Hi Virginia, you should have received an email today, April 16th, with a link to download the planting charts. On the download page, you will find vegetable, herb, and flower planting charts for zone 7. If you did not receive an email or have any questions, we’re more than happy to help.
What zone is Southwest Virginia? Raised beds so I use regular potting soil or does it need to be mixed with something?
Hi Sheila, Virginia growing zones range from 5a to 8a. To determine your exact zone using your zip code, please use the tool in this article: https://www.kellogggarden.com/blog/growing/how-to-find-your-planting-zone/. When gardening in a raised bed, you can utilize potting mix or raised bed soil. It is always a great idea to amend your soil with organic materials like compost, composted manure, and worm castings, it isn’t required but it will help cultivate nutrient and mineral-rich soil. Adding an organic granular fertilizer can also help provide your plants with slow-release nutrients. You will also want to mulch your soil and for that, you can use woodchips, grass clippings, compost, and/or straw.
To read more about soil amendments, please check out this blog post: https://www.kellogggarden.com/blog/gardening/gardeners-guide-to-soil-amendments/.
We also have some videos on amending your garden beds:
Best Soil for Container Gardening https://youtu.be/wQ7Ct0HbW3M
Layering Soil in a Raised Garden Bed https://youtu.be/0t5TNZ8NqeM
We hope you have a great season!
I have deer in my yard every day n rabbits. What can I plant
Hi Gaile, dealing with critters in your yard and garden can be quite frustrating. We recommend planting deer-resistant plants such as Boxwood, Russian sage, ornamental grasses, black-eyed Susan, bellflower, catmint, ferns, iris, lamb’s ear, lupine, and salvia. Some great rabbit-resistant plants included allium, anise hyssop, bee balm, begonia, black-eyed Susan, catmint, chives, foxgloves, and oregano. We also recommend installing a deer fence and implementing other methods that can help deter deer and rabbits. Check out this blog post for tips on dealing with deer and keeping them out of your garden: https://www.kellogggarden.com/blog/insect-pest-control/top-5-best-ways-to-stop-deer-from-eating-plants/.
Where can I buy Kellogg products in Green Bay or Appleton Wisconsin
Hi Sue, unfortunately, our product will not be available in your area this year, but we are hopeful and looking forward to being available in your regional Home Depots next year. Thank you so much for your interest in our soil, we hope you have a great season!
Every time I tried to input my zipcode to find my zone a pop-up kept coming up and blocking me from using the form. I was NOT able to determine
my growing zone due to this annoying pop-up. Do you suppose you could fix that, please?
Hi, we’re so sorry you’re experiencing issues using the zone map. If the popup is stopping you from using the map, please click in the black area, and the popup will go away. If you’re still experiencing issues, please provide us with your zip code or city and state, and we’d be happy to help you determine your planting zone.
This is a wonderful resource. Thank you for sharing it. I have referred to it many times.
Hi Chirs, we’re so pleased to hear you enjoyed the article! We hope you have a fantastic season, happy gardening!
Hello, I am a newbie to your site. I live in Ontario, Canada, and would like to know what my zone is. Can you help me, please?
Hi Mike, we’re so happy you found our site! Canada has its own hardiness zones that are separate from the ones here in the U.S. To determine your Canadian hardiness zone, we recommend searching “Find my hardiness zone Canada.” You’ll find many excellent resources that will help you locate your zone and learn more about it. Happy Gardening!
I live in Alaska, what would my zone be? I’m considered interior, cut 90 miles from Canada.
Hi Lisa, interior Alaska is generally zones 1 and 2. To determine your exact growing zone, we recommend inputting your zip code into the tool in this blog post. If you have any questions, we’re happy to help!
Hi I just watched an ad that showed how to make a Cucumber Trellis. But I can’t find it here on the website. Maybe I am looking in wrong place. It was a Super tutorial on how to make this trellis, which could be used for cucumbers or other plants. It was very well done and was extremely very well explained. Oh and you could use it on raised beds. If you could send me a link, I would be so grateful. My Son uses raised beds and I am so excited to share this with him. Please and thank you! Have a blessed day!
Hi Angela, thank you so much for commenting. We believe the video you’re looking for is: How To Build a Cucumber Trellis for Raised Beds. You can watch the full video on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0IPSNqvCJR4.
For even more information on growing cucumbers vertically, check out this blog post: https://www.kellogggarden.com/blog/gardening/best-way-to-plant-cucumbers-in-a-vertical-garden/. We hope you have a fantastic season, happy gardening!
Hi. I’m in zone 8b and so far NOTHING is growing in my vegetable garden. Of course, my corn got knocked over by a heavy rain… I never have luck with tomatoes or beans, And my jalapenos, bell peppers and poblanos are doing nothing this year. Last year I got 4 tomatoes off of 3 plants! The only things that did well last year were jalapenos and sweet potatoes. Something is eating my strawberries and I can’t figure out what it could be. Even morning glories that usually grow like weeds are not blooming. My hydrangeas look ok for 1st year plants and my boxwoods are doing well.
Not sure what I’m doing wrong. I have a fortune invested in raised planters and soil.
Hi Christine, we’re so sorry to hear about your garden. Putting up tarps for your corn or moving plants into shelter if you’re able to is a good way to protect them, but sometimes nature is unavoidable.
For your vegetables; tomatoes, beans, jalapenos, and bell peppers are all heavy feeders. They should be fertilized every three to four weeks, even after their first fruits appear. These vegetables also need plenty of sunlight, at least six hours per day to thrive.
To protect your strawberries, try using shade cloth to help keep away smaller pests and insects, also try spraying your plant regularly with neem oil. For larger pests, such as rabbits or birds, try using a protective cage or screen to keep them out. You may find these two videos to be helpful, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3e9-VcZKPTI and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_S-l_jAbsUg
Morning glories are usually incredibly easy to grow. However, they don’t do well in rich soil. Avoid manure, compost and fertilizer. If you’ve changed your soil this year, it’s possible that these flowers have too many nutrients. Deeply water them once a week.
We hope this information is helpful. Please let us know if you have more questions.
Thank you very much!
How do I determine that it is time to pick my cantaloupe and spaghetti squash?
Hi Gail, to determine when to pick your cantaloupe, look for a slight softening of the fruit, a change of skin color, shriveling of the leaf closest to the stem, and shrinking where the stem connects to the fruit. For more tips on growing and harvesting melons, check out this article: https://www.kellogggarden.com/blog/growing/tips-for-growing-successful-melons/.
Pick spaghetti squash when the skin has turned a golden or dark yellow color. Once the fruit reaches maturity, the skin should be very hard, and your squash should be ready to harvest. We hope you achieve a bountiful harvest!
Planted Squash and zucchini with plants from a nursery. Nothing grew!
Hi Bernice, we’re so sorry to hear about your plants. There are quite a few reasons why your transplants may not have been successful. Below we’ve outlined a few common issues and how to avoid them:
– Sunlight & Time of Day: We suggest transplanting starts in the evening when possible so that they can acclimate to their new space throughout the night and begin establishing themselves before the heat of the day. If you transplanted them recently in the summer heat, shade cloth can help keep them cool and protect them from the summer sun.
– Soil Temperature: Squash plants prefer to be planted in soil that is around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Soil that is too cold or hot will inhibit root development. A layer of mulch can help regulate soil temperature and keep moisture in during hot summer days.
– Soil Density: Once transplanted, starts will begin trying to establish roots. If the soil around them is too dense or compacted, they will have trouble doing so. Be sure to loosen up the soil around your plant and give it adequate space to spread out and grow.
– Soil Nutrients & Drainage: Squash plants thrive best in nutrient-rich, well-draining soil with a pH of between 6.5 and 7. Waterlogged soil can lead to root rot, making it impossible for plants to become established after transplanting. Soil that is not nutrient-rich will be unable to provide plants with the nutrients they need. Consider amending your soil with organic matter if needed to increase drainage and nutrient levels. Applying a liquid organic fertilizer such as fish emulsion at the time of transplanting can also give your plants an extra boost, aiding in growth.
– Watering: It’s important to plant into moist soil and water in your plants well after transplanting. Transplanting puts a lot of stress on a plant, and ensuring that it is thoroughly watered in its first week can increase success rates. However, be sure not to drown the plant or keep the soil soaking wet as that can lead to root rot.
The nursery that you purchased the starts from may also be able to provide additional transplanting and care recommendations. Below are a few articles and a video that offer additional information on transplanting and growing squash and zucchini. We hope this helps!
– When To Transplant Seedlings Into The Garden Video
– Growing Squash in Containers & Pots
– How to Grow Squash
– Growing Zucchini
Thank you. Your products are always my go too. They are best.
Thank you, Shelia! We’re so pleased to hear you’re loving our products. We hope you have a great season, happy gardening!
Can you suggest for Hawaii?
Hi Gail, Hawaii contains growing Zones 9a to 13a. If you’re in zones 9 or 10, you may find our monthly garden checklists helpful: https://www.kellogggarden.com/tag/zone-9/. Unfortunately, we do not have resources on Zones 11-13 at this time, but we will make a note of it. There are lots of great online resources for these zones. We also recommend contacting your local county extension office for gardening information specific to your region.
I’m having trouble locating my zone. I’ve clicked on each link that say find your zone & it just takes me to another page. What to Do?
Hi Shirleen, we’re so sorry to hear that you haven’t been able to determine your planting zone. To do so, please visit this article, https://www.kellogggarden.com/blog/gardening/how-to-find-your-planting-zone/ and scroll down to the Interactive U.S. Planting Zone Map for 2019 and input your zip code. If you’re still experiencing issues, please provide us with your zip code or city and state, and we’d be happy to help you determine your planting zone.
Can’t find Texas 77084 zone.
Hi Wanda, based on your zip code, you’re in planting zone 9a. To read more about gardening in your zone, check out our zone 9 monthly gardening checklists here: https://www.kellogggarden.com/tag/zone-9/.
Can’t find Muskegon, Mi 49441
Hi Mary, we apologize for the inconvenience. Based on your zip code, you’re in growing zone 6b. You can find monthly checklists for your zone here: https://www.kellogggarden.com/tag/zone-6/. We hope you have a great day!