The USDA plant hardiness map divides North America into 11 hardiness zones. Zone 1 is the coldest; zone 11 is the warmest. When you order plants from catalogs or read general garden books, you need to know your USDA zone in order to be able to interpret references correctly.
Gardeners in the western United States are sometimes confused when confronted with these 11 Hardiness Zones created by the USDA. A more useful index is the 24-zone climate system published in the Sunset Western Garden Book in collaboration with the University of California. The Sunset climate zone map for gardening was devised in the mid-20th century for thirteen western states. It has been expanded to include areas across the U.S., providing a more useful alternative to the USDA zone system.
The greater precision of the Sunset system is evident in our local area: Chico is in Sunset zone 8, Paradise is in Sunset zone 7, and Oroville is in Sunset zone 9. Because the Sunset zone maps are more precise than the USDA's, they are considered the standard references for gardeners in the West. So, when you purchase plants for your zone, be sure you are using the right zone map! Sunset's zones 7 and 8 are much warmer than the USDA zones 7 and 8; mixing up the systems might well result in planting the wrong plant in the wrong place.
And keep in mind that even within a city, a neighborhood, or a street, microclimates can affect how plants grow. For example, planting tender citrus against a wall that absorbs daytime heat places it in a micro-climate that is warmer than a more exposed area. The zones are a guide and a good starting point, but you still need to determine for yourself what will and won't work in your garden.
Monrovia uses the USDA map to classify their plants. Pop on to the Monrovia site & type in your zip code to determine your zone & find plants that will thrive there. Such an easy way to make a garden plan that will thrive.
Most gardening books, catalogs, and seed packets refer to plant hardiness zones, climate zones, or growing zones. Temperature hardiness climate zones are based on normally expected high and low temperatures and serve as guides to help you know which plants will grow where you live.
Temperature is not the only factor in figuring out whether a plant will survive in your garden. Soil types, rainfall, day length, wind, humidity, and heat also play their roles. Even within a city, a street, or a spot protected by a warm wall in your own garden, there may be microclimates that affect how plants grow. The zones are only a guide and a good starting point, but you still need to determine for yourself what will and won't work in your garden.
The USDA plant hardiness map divides North America into 11 hardiness zones. Zone 1 is the coldest; zone 11 is the warmest. When you order plants from catalogs or read general garden books, you need to know your USDA zone in order to be able to interpret references correctly. The Arbor Day Foundation has also issued a Hardiness Zone Map.
Gardeners in the western United States sometimes are confused when confronted with the 11 Hardiness Zones created by the USDA, because we are used to a 24-zone climate system created by Sunset Magazine. The Sunset zone maps, considered the standard gardening references in the West, are more precise than the USDA's, since they factor in not only winter minimum temperatures, but also summer highs, lengths of growing seasons, humidity, and rainfall patterns.
The USDA plant hardiness map divides North America into 11 hardiness zones. Zone 1 is the coldest; zone 11 is the warmest. When you order plants from catalogs or read general garden books, you need to know your USDA zone in order to be able to interpret references correctly. The American Horticultural Society has also issued a Plant Heat Zone map .
A hardiness zone is a geographic area defined as having a certain average annual minimum temperature, a factor relevant to the survival of many plants. In some systems other statistics are included in the calculations. The original and most widely used system, developed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) as a rough guide for landscaping and gardening, defines 13 zones by long-term average annual extreme minimum temperatures. It has been adapted by and to other countries (such as Canada) in various forms.
In 2003, the American Horticultural Society (AHS) produced a draft revised map, using temperature data collected from July 1986 to March 2002. The 2003 map placed many areas approximately a half-zone higher (warmer) than the USDA's 1990 map. Reviewers noted the map zones appeared to be closer to the original USDA 1960 map in its overall zone delineations. Their map purported to show finer detail, for example, reflecting urban heat islands by showing the downtown areas of several cities (e.g., Baltimore, Maryland; Washington, D.C. and Atlantic City, New Jersey) as a full zone warmer than outlying areas. The map excluded the detailed a/b half-zones introduced in the USDA's 1990 map, an omission widely criticized by horticulturists and gardeners due to the coarseness of the resulting map. The USDA rejected the AHS 2003 draft map and created its own map in an interactive computer format, which the American Horticultural Society now uses.
In addition, the zones do not incorporate any information about duration of cold temperatures, summer temperatures, or sun intensity insolation; thus sites which may have the same mean winter minima on the few coldest nights and be in the same garden zone, but have markedly different climates. For example, zone 8 covers coastal, high latitude, cool summer locations like Seattle and London, as well as lower latitude, subtropical hot summer climates like Charleston and Madrid. Farmers, gardeners, and landscapers in the former two must plan for entirely different growing conditions from those in the latter, in terms of length of hot weather and sun intensity. Coastal Ireland and central Florida are both Zone 10, but have radically different climates 99% of the year.
Using the South Carolina USDA plant hardiness map as a guide is a good idea when choosing plants for this region. Click on the map above to enlarge it and locate your growing zone. If you have a difficult time finding your zone, you can go to the USDA site where you can input your zip code. The western part of the state is the coolest while the southeast enjoys a very temperate winter climate. South Carolina zones include 5b through 8b.
USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map, Northern California. Source: USDA USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map, Southern California. Source: USDA The USDA Plant Hardiness Map divides North America into 11 hardiness zones. Zone 1 is the coldest; zone 11 is the warmest. The USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map helps gardeners determine which plants are most likely to thrive at a location. The map is based on the average annual minimum winter temperature, divided into 10-degree F zones. The map is available as an interactive GIS-based map, users may also simply type in a ZIP Code and find the hardiness zone for that area. Find your USDA plant hardiness zone. 2b1af7f3a8