Who’s ready to go plant shopping? It’s seriously one of our favorite things to do! We’ve never met a plant lady who can resist a good plant sale or nursery visit, but the most dedicated plant ladies even shop for plants online or on vacation. Knowing about your planting zone is one of the keys to buying the right plants when you might not be shopping at your local nursery. Your local nursery will stock plants that grow in the area so planting zones aren’t something you have to consider there. Every plant label will include planting zones. Do you need more information on plant labels and how to read them? Hop over to this post about shopping for plants… we covered everything.
Planting zones, more traditionally called plant hardiness zones, are numbered on a scale of 1-13. The most important factor in determining the plant hardiness zone of an area is the average winter low temperature. Basically, the plant hardiness zone number helps to tell us if a plant will survive a typical winter in that area. You can find the hardiness zone of your area by checking out the map below from USDA or by entering your zip code on the USDA website.
When your local nursery sells plants, they should almost always be suited to survive the winter in your area (except for annuals, veggies, houseplants, and such that aren’t intended to come back next year after sitting outside). For those, you can usually get away without caring much about the planting zone listed on the label.
Things are a bit different when you buy online or while you are away from home. You could be buying from a business that is based in a different hardiness zone than where you live but most plants are suitable in a range of hardiness zones. Be sure to look at the item description online or the plant label to make sure the plant is suitable for your planting zone! If your planting zone is listed for the plant you’re choosing, you’re off to the right start! Of course, ensure that all of the other requirements for the plant match your site as well. Are you planning a plant-shopping trip? We have a full guide here: What to Do Before You Go Plant Shopping.
Plant hardiness zones are just one more way we make sure we choose the right plant for the right place! Happy shopping!