If you’re looking for a standard by which you can determine what plants are most likely to do well in your area, the USDA plant hardiness zone map is the key. Both professional gardeners and amateur growers in the USA use the plant zone map to plan out their gardens for balconies, windowsills, and larger lawns. From your fall container garden to your springtime container garden, this map can help you decide what to plant for any time of year. Learn more about the map and how it can ensure your garden thrives today.

How It Works

Traditionally, the USDA plant hardiness zone map is based on the minimum winter temperature averages each year. Then, the map is divided into 10-degree zones based on the Farenheight scale. If you visit the USDA website for the USA plant zone map, you’ll see that there’s an interactive option that can help you find your location based on your ZIP code. Whether you zoom in on your state and city or type in your neighborhood ZIP for more accurate results, you’ll see the hardiness rating for your area.

You can find national, regional, and state images of the USDA plant hardiness zone map to print in whatever size or resolution you want for a permanent reminder of this year’s zone results.

Understanding Your Zone

When it comes to gardening, you can control many of the factors that affect your plants, including soil quality, shade, water drainage, and more. Unfortunately, unless you’re gardening indoors, temperature and weather are things that you can’t control. To ensure the plants you want to grow can tolerate the climate in your region, you’ll need to compare the plant hardiness zone map results to the needs of the plants you want to cultivate and determine whether they would survive winter.

Visit Your Hardware Store

Once you’re armed with the knowledge of your climate zone as determined by the USDA plant hardiness zone map, you can head to your local hardware store, garden center, or nursery with confidence. If a plant falls out of the typical regional requirements in your area, you’ll need to take extra care when planting it. Some extra steps you should be prepared to take:

  • Bringing a plant indoors during winter or heavy rains
  • Automating watering for hot days when plant soil dries out more quickly
  • Providing a mesh awning to create shade for plants that aren’t heat resistant

Ready to get planting? Check out this map to confirm if your plants are ready too!