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What Plant Hardiness Zones DON'T Tell You…



Hardiness zones are useful, however for newbie gardeners, they’ll typically confuse you greater than they make clear. They’re based mostly on the typical annual minimal temperature, which supplies you SOME information however not ALL the information it’s essential know what to plant and when to plant it in your backyard.

Click on right here to search out your zone: https://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/

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Key: what zone is jacksonville fl

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28 comments

  • Can someone please answer this question for me please. Can you grow fruit tree that grows in a zone 7 in a zone 6? It only says it grows in zone 7

  • Your smug was showing. I should've listened to someone from zone 7 to explain the difference in zones

  • Good video. Good info. and intuition. I've been thinking on the same lines. My USDA hardiness zone is 9b. I grew up gardening in Hardiness Zone 6b. The USDA zones were good. They worked. Now that I'm here, they are useless. The city I live in is a micro-climate which does not in anyway confirm to USDA categories. Zone 9b is supposed to have hot summers. It is rare for the temperature here to exceed 63 degrees F. On the converse, the USDA Hardiness map works for the lows. Temperatures rarely drop below 36 degrees F. But, they did drop to 34 degrees two days ago, on April 16. I have began to use a combination of USDA zones with geography definitions such as "Mediterranean Climate", "Maritime Climate", "Temperate Rain Forest", and etc. This has yielded a slightly more exact approximation of my climate zone. In the past, I wouldn't have needed this information, but as our family has been seeking to create a self-sustaining, permaculture garden, within space and environmental constraints, I have been looking at unfamiliar crops. To make things more complicated, our climate seems to be changing. The temperature actually got up to 73 degrees last year. My kids were complaining about the heat…? The winter time lows dipped down to freezing more frequently, while staying above 27- 29 degrees (normal limits). And, though we supposedly live in a "Mediterranean Climate" there was no rain this winter. However, it's been raining cats and dogs this spring. It's like I'm back in Zone 6b again: totally atypical. Thanks,
    again. I thought I would offer this for food for thought.

  • This is exactly what I needed last year! I ended up placing them off intuition and being in line with this, feels good to have found this for reference even a year+ later with them doing well. Appreciate the knowledge regardless! Thanks so much

  • This was a really good video. The other thing is that zones mean different thing for different types of farmer. If you are big ag with 1000s of acres, then it is what it is… but if you are a market gardener on 1 acre, than you can use plastic row covers to easily push yourself up a zone or two and get your stuff into the ground a month before big ag can.

  • I'm in zone 5b, and our hot days days reach 99 to 100 the last 5 years… And -10 to -20 during the coldest snaps in the winter, which has lasted an entire month… I hate the extremes!

  • I live in zone 5b and was looking to get a cold hardy bamboo plant for outside. It says online it is for zones 5-9, hardy to -10°F. What happens if it gets below that temp? I have lived here my whole life and I know it can happen and it usually lasts for a couple days. When it is specified that a plant is hardy to a certain temperature, does that mean it can withstand that temperature for extended periods of time?

  • So, I live in Cape Town, South Africa and from now on will consider myself as living in zone 11. Spring is just mixed up a bit and summers get really hot and winters wet. Summer is November,December and January.

  • I live in zone 5 and it says average -5. Last winter we hit -15° which was -30° with the wind chill. We easily hit below -5 almost every winter because I live like 10 miles from Lake Erie and the storms cause huge cold fronts to come in frequently.
    I think it’s a good estimate to start with but it’s now where near as helpful as I was hoping.

  • Unfortunately, with permanent plants like trees, shrubs and perennials, that "average" cold would possibly mean that every so often, when you have a not so "average" cold blast, you may lose some plants that may be the "bones" of your garden/landscape.
    I've also been wondering, if you have some tender plants in a greenhouse, and the low temp you might get a few hours comes a few degrees below what a plant or 2 can deal with outdoors, exposed to wind or rain, would that plant be able to handle that few degrees below the recommended lowest temperature?
    It would be above freezing though. To be specific, a zone 10b hardy plant being in a greenhouse 42f.
    My greenhouse is now 42f, and I am leery of going out to put on my backup heater because it's in the teens outside, and it's gonna be icy and I don't want to fall and bust my butt going to the GH.

  • Using Florida as an opposing example really makes me skeptical of any and all advice you have to give, 'microzones' sounds nice in a temperate zone, try talking to a Midwesterner where even in shade temps are 100+ most of the growing season, don't buy this book

  • Meteorologist and plant nerd wannabe here. There is another rather large weakness of the hardiness zones. As you mentioned, it is based off the typical coldest temperature of the season. This temperature is based off a 30 year average. Take the the coldest temperature of each year over the last 30 years, add them together, and divide by 30. Nice simple math. Problem, it doesn't take into account the year to year variability. In San Diego, your annual minimum likely doesn't vary as much as it does in some other places. For most places east of the Rockies, the annual minimum typically varies quite a bit from year to year. I live in southeastern Houston. I'm simultaneously close to the urban heat core and the bay. My zone is 9B which equates to an annual minimum of 25-29F. The airport nearby averages an annual low of 28F. But in the 8 winters I have lived here 2 never froze, 3 never dipped below 30F, one dropped to 23F, and two dropped into the teens. Our annual minimum over 8 years has ranged from 15F to 36F. Another way to put it is we have had 5 winters in zone 10, 1 in zone 9, and two in zone 8. Where my mom lives in the North Carolina foothills is really similar. Her annual low average in the lower teens. But in the last decade, they have been as low as 1F while also having a winter that didn't dip below 25F.

  • Bruh Idc what anyone says but Global Warming really slapping us in the face rn. Coming from the NE in VT we haven't had a MAJOR snow storm since like 2010 and NYC flat out has seen at most two inches in the past four years. That might might need another updating ASAP

  • This is great! I’m in Texas and I’m zone 8a and I’m realizing I may not need to cover my citrus as much as I was told. Last night it was about 30 degrees and right now it’s almost 60. I’m realizing we are truly on the cusps here in dallas.

  • Wouldn’t the data used is for zoning purpose based on annuel winter temps and not entire year minium temp if we are talking about the hardiness of the plant being able to survive it’s winter?

  • A lot of the things you will learn by trial and error. Which can be frustrating but ultimately is a good thing.

  • just found your channel bc ive got a sudden interest in growing plants + food, and as a hard of hearing individual i super appreciate you taking the time to caption your videos. it's not something a lot of content creators think to do so it's always a delightful surprise to see channels where people put in that extra effort for accessibility 🧡

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