Updated: Jan 16
What is a Plant Hardiness Zone?
To put it simply, plant hardiness zones refer to how cold it gets in a specific area at its very coldest temperatures. Plant hardiness zones also play into how long or short that zone's growing season is.
Why do I Need to Know my Planting Zone?
Knowing and understanding your specific growing zone is especially important to those of us in cooler growing zones, as we have a much more challenging time than the warmer areas of earth growing vegetables that produce well in our short growing season. Having a successful vegetable garden may mean needing to start plants that take longer to grow (like peppers and tomatoes) indoors early in the spring. In Alberta Canada where I live, gardening zones can range right from zone 0 to zone 4. When you purchase a perennial (it is meant to come back each year) it is important to know your gardening hardiness zone and ALWAYS check what zone it is for prior to purchasing. Many times I have been at a store and picked up a tree, shrub or perennial flower only to look at the tag and see it labeled zone 5 or 6 (I live in zone 3). If I was to purchase and plant this it would likely not live through the winter! On the other hand, perennials zoned for 0 to 2 will do just fine in zone 3 as the lesser numbers refer to areas even colder than where I live! To figure out what plant hardiness zone you are in, all you need to know is how cold it gets at its coldest where you live. Here is a breakdown of each plant hardiness zone's lowest temperatures:
Zone From To 0 - 53.9C (-65F) 1 -51.1C (-60F) - 45.6C (-50F) 2 -45.6C (-50F) - 40C (-40F) 3 -40C (-40F) - 34.4C (-30F) 4 -34.4C (-30F) - 28.9C (-20F) 5 -28.9C (-20F) -23.3C (-10F) 6 -23.3C (-10F) -17.8C (0F) 7 -17.8C (0F) -12.2C (10F) 8 -12.2C (10F) -6.7C (20F) 9 -6.7C (20F) -1.1C (30F) 10 -1.1C (30F) +4.4C (45F) 11 +4.4C (45F) +10C (50F) 12 +10C (50F)
Was this helpful to you? Leave a comment letting me know what plant hardiness zone you are in!