USDA Plant Hardiness/Growing Zone Map courtesy of

What are Growing Zones in the United States?

Growing zones are defined by the USDA and are based on the average minimum winter temperatures of each area. Growing zones in the United States are also known as USDA Hardiness Zones. They are divided into 13 zones, each representing a temperature range of 10°F. Zones are further divided into “a” and “b” to provide more specific information about the climate. Here is a general overview:

USDA Plant Hardiness Regions

North CentralViewIllinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota
NortheastViewConnecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia
NorthwestViewIdaho, Montana, Northern California, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming
South CentralViewArkansas, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Texas
SoutheastViewAlabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee
SouthwestViewArizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah
Note: Some states appear twice in the chart. View the map to verify which part of the state falls within the region.

For more detailed information on each region, read this article.

Zone 1:

Temperature: Below -50°F

Characteristics: Extremely cold winters

Examples: Parts of Alaska

Zone 2:

Temperature: -50 to -40°F

Characteristics: Very cold winters

Examples: Northern Alaska, parts of the continental U.S. close to the Canadian border

Zone 3:

Temperature: -40 to -30°F

Characteristics: Cold winters, shorter growing season

Examples: Parts of Alaska, northern states in the continental U.S.

Zone 4:

Temperature: -30 to -20°F

Characteristics: Cold winters but a longer growing season than Zones 1-3

Examples: Upper Midwest, northern New England

Zone 5:

Temperature: -20 to -10°F

Characteristics: Moderately cold winters

Examples: Midwest, parts of New England

Zone 6:

Temperature: -10 to 0°F

Characteristics: Milder winters

Examples: Parts of the Midwest, eastern U.S.

Zone 7:

Temperature: 0 to 10°F

Characteristics: Mild winters

Examples: Many parts of the southern U.S.

Zone 8:

Temperature: 10 to 20°F

Characteristics: Very mild winters

Examples: The southern U.S., coastal areas

Zone 9:

Temperature: 20 to 30°F

Characteristics: Warm winters

Examples: Parts of Texas, Florida, and California

Zone 10:

Temperature: 30 to 40°F

Characteristics: Minimal winter chill

Examples: Southern Florida, southern Texas, southern California

Zone 11:

Temperature: 40 to 50°F

Characteristics: Frost-free

Examples: Extremely southern Florida

Zone 12 and 13:

Temperature: Above 60°F

Characteristics: Tropical climate

Examples: These are specific to Hawaii, Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories in the tropics

Knowing the zone in which you are gardening can provide helpful guidance on which plants are most likely to thrive in your location, as it gives an indication of the minimum temperatures that can be expected and, by extension, what plants can survive those conditions.

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