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Knowing your growing zone is probably one of the most important pieces of gardening information, especially when it comes to buying plants online. Plants are often called zonal tolerant. This means they can survive the region's lowest winter temperatures. You always want to choose plants that are recommended for your growing area. This is a great way to start your journey to success!
What Growing Zone Is Chicago
We make it easy! We automatically detect your location and show you a notification if you're ready to grow or if you're out of your growing zone. Look for these indicators on the surface of every tree, shrub or plant.
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The USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map was created by the United States Department of Agriculture to help gardeners, landscapers, and growers determine the best plants for their region. Growth zones are based on average annual minimum winter temperatures and are separated by a margin of 10 degrees Fahrenheit. There are USDA growing zones 1 through 13, but only 3 through 10 in the continental United States. The official USDA zoning map is now divided into subclasses a and b with a margin of 5 degrees. Growing zones are sometimes called planting zones or USDA hardiness zones. They all refer to a map of the same area of the United States. So growing zones are numbers that indicate how cold our winters are. Recommendations are given for the growing area of the plants. So if you know your growing zone, you can determine if a particular plant will grow well in your area.
The USDA zone map is based on average annual minimum winter temperatures from 1976-2005. Average low temperatures in Zone 1 -60 to -50, Zone 2 -50 to -40, Zone 3 -40 to -30, Zone 4 -30 to -20, -20 to -10 Zone 5, -10 to 0 Zone 6, 0-10 for zone 7, 10 for zone 8-20, zone 9. 20 to 30, 30 to 40 for zone 10, 40 to 50 for zone 11, 50 to 60 for zone 12 and 60 for zone 13 to 70. A successful garden depends only on the quality of the soil or how often you water it. A lot depends on the plants you choose and whether they are suitable for your environment and which outdoor plants you can't easily kill.
Learning the basics of planting zones, or plant hardiness, is essential to picking perennial flowers, trees, shrubs, and herbs that will thrive in your garden. Here's what you need to know, whether you live in Alaska or Arkansas.
Hardiness zones/garden zones refer to the USDA's plant hardiness zone map (pictured above), which shows growers which plants are likely to thrive in their area based on how cold it gets in the winter.
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The regional map is based on the average annual minimum winter temperature of the entire country. The USDA released the current map in 2012. It uses winter temperature data collected from several US weather stations between 1976 and 2005.
USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) created the map with the help of Oregon State University's (OSU) PRISM climate team. In addition to data from weather stations, the 2012 map is based on algorithms that take into account other climatic factors that may affect the classification of vegetation zones, such as altitude and proximity to water bodies.
The United States has 13 hardiness zones based on average annual minimum winter temperatures. Each main zone covers a temperature range of 10 degrees Fahrenheit.
The 13 zones are further divided into sub-zones A/B, covering a temperature range of 5 degrees Fahrenheit. Partial zones help farmers limit the plants that grow in their area.
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Plants that do well in zone 1 include yarrow, goldenrod, dwarf birch, tomatoes and peas.
Plants that grow well in zone 2 include Icelandic poppies, American cranberry bushes, carrots, onions and Swiss chard.
Plants that do well in zone 5 include black-eyed susans, lavender, spinach and honeycress, and pink lady apples.
Plants that do well in zone 7 include butterfly weed, clematis, peonies, arugula, bean cherries, and Fuji and Granny Smith apples.
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Plants that do well in zone 8 include Asiatic lilies, hardy geraniums, watermelons, hot peppers, okra, Meyer lemons, rosemary and sage.
Plants that grow well in zone 10 include agave, African lilies, aloe, geranium, ginger, peanuts, bananas, and jicama.
Plants that grow well in zone 12 include Musaceae, Heliconia, Marantaceae, African breadfruit, coriander, black pepper and tropical almonds.
Plants that grow well in zone 13 include tropical flowers and plants that grow well in zone 12.
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1. Find your state's hardiness zone below. Click on the link in the header to see a complete hardiness zone map for your state.
2. Buy perennials using these zones as a guide. Plants often grow in several zones, even with a large temperature range. For example, blueberries work in zones 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9. However, some varieties do better in warmer climates, so it's important to know which variety you're buying.
3. Buy annual plants by zone. Although USDA zones primarily help growers decide which perennials to buy, some annuals include zone information. This will help you decide when to plant annuals. For example, gardeners in zone 8 can plant spinach, a plant that grows well in the cold, if they plant in winter. Others may be better off tending the garden in early spring.
4. When in doubt, choose native plants. Plants in your area not only grow where you live, but also attract local pollinators.
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See which tolerance zones your state or territory falls into. Click on a title to view a full-size map of your state/territory, including cities.
Fun fact: Alaska has the largest selection of full and partial zones (16), followed by California (13).
The current USDA plant hardiness zone map was published in 2012 and may seem outdated at first glance. However, with nearly 30 years of data, the USDA has been able to better understand climate conditions across the United States and how they are changing.
The previous USDA plant hardiness zone map was published in 1990 and was based on 13 years of data collected only from 1974-1986. The first official USDA map was published in 1960 and then again in 1965.
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It's important to note that these sporadic updates did not take into account the various data points needed to understand the growing regions of the United States, as the latest map does, and neither will future iterations. With all of this in mind, we probably won't get an updated map of the United States for several decades. The USDA has released a new plant hardiness zone map. This is a much needed update that uses a 30 year period from 1976-2005 compared to the old USDA map that used 1974-1986.
One of the notable features of the new map is the northward shift of hardiness zones in Illinois. For example, the border between zones 5 and 6 has moved about 60 miles north. Region 4 left Illinois for a new map. Additionally, the new map shows much more detail, including the warming effects of the Chicago metropolitan area (see map below).
In the second number, the temperature of each year of the scale is shown in the expression of the scale-Urbana. The old USDA plant hardiness zone map used an unusually short period of one of the coldest periods on record (1974-1986). The general trend in the data shows an increase in minimum winter temperatures from the late 1800s to around the 1950s, followed by a cooling trend until the 1980s and a warming trend until 2005. Interestingly, recent years have shown a cooling trend. – except this year, when the coldest temperature was 4°F.
Another important feature in the second picture is that even though the area varies from area to area, there is still a lot of annual variation in the minimum winter temperatures. For example, although Champaign-Urbana is classified as Zone 6 on the new map, Champaign-Urbana has been in Zone 4 (-20°F or less) several times over the past 30 years. In fact, as a gardener, I would say that the period from the 1930s to the early 1970s was much better and more severe in terms of winter temperatures than the 1980s and 1990s. Summer conditions would be a different story, as the 1930s and 1950s saw severe drought. Christina is from Florida and a real estate agent by profession. He likes to write about travel, real estate and other interesting topics.
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Learn about USDA plant hardiness zones, also known as hardiness zones. Explore diversity
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