USDA planting zones map

The USDA Planting Zones: How to Find Your Planting Zone

If you’ve ever bought plants or seeds for planting in your garden, chances are you’ve seen a small description on the package referring to the USDA hardiness zone. In fact, it relates to the planting zones for that particular shrub. But how do you find your planting zones? How do you make sure you chose the correct veggies and flowers? Don’t worry because we are here to help.

USDA planting zones map

Finding Your Perfect USDA Planting Zones

The USDA has released a map called the Hardiness Zone Map. Consequently, it divides the whole of North America into 11 planting zones. The difference between them is that one is an approximate 10 degrees F colder or warmer during an average winter time than the one situated next to it. Evidently, that’s from a geographical point of view.

The reason why you need to know the zone in which you can find yourself is the following. Particular plants, flowers, and vegetables do better in some areas than in others. Therefore, simply put, if you choose to plant something, and your geographical area does not sustain the proper conditions for it, it will not grow.

The basic idea here is that all plants that you choose to garden must tolerate the level of rainfall, sunshine, snow, cold, and so on as to thrive. You might want to plant an Idaho potato in Texas, but if the conditions are not right, there’s no telling what will come out of this.

planting zones flowers examples

The simple way to find out your personal planting zones is by visiting a map. But not just any old map. Visit the USDA plant hardiness website via this link and check out the map. Here’s how to use it.

Hover with your mouse over the map and move it left, right, up, and down until you find your state and area. You will see that every single one of the planting zones on the USDA map has a different color. On the right, you will see the cartouche of the map, in which every zone has a temperature allotted. Once you figured out your area’s temperatures, research the plants you want to garden and see if they fit. It’s as easy as that!

The version of the USDA map we are talking about was last updated in 2012. As a consequence, all the areas and their respective temperatures should still correspond to the natural conditions you find in nature today.

Instead of an ending paragraph, here’s a tip for you. We’re quite confident you will appreciate it a lot more when it comes to finding your planting zones. You can also type in your ZIP code and find your area automatically.

Image sources: 1, 2

Bonnie Enos

I spend my time in my garden trying to create the greatest outdoor space possible. My garden is my happy place and where you will always find me on a nice day. I take my experience and share it here for you to read!

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