Right Temperature For Your Plants
The Right Temperature For Your Plants
Besides knowing whether a plant is sun or shade-loving, it is helpful to know the range in which plants thrive in order to decide whether you can successfully grow it in your garden.
There are many places that you can find the temperature zones for Canada and the United States. These countries are divided into 11 regions based on the lowest average temperature, starting from zone 1 (sub arctic) to zone 11 (subtropical).
Cold is not the only factor to be considered in plant selection. There is also rainfall, snowfall, and the number of hours of light. However, since cold easily kills some plants, it becomes the most important factor.
How much cold a plant can stand determines its hardiness. Climates tend to overlap so the lines of separation are not always clear. Many plants that are recommended for one zone will do well in the southern part of an adjoining colder zone and likewise in the colder portion of the next warmer zone. Many gardeners call this ‘pushing the envelope’.
Using the plant hardiness zone map as a guide, gardeners can determine when to plant tender plants outdoors in the spring with reasonable assurance that they will not be killed by frost. Usually by June 1st, the North American continent is frost-free , except at high elevations and latitudes, and by December most of the continent is susceptible to freezing weather, except for the warmer parts of Florida, Texas, Pacific Coast and Hawaii.
Even if a plant is hardy in a particular zone, it may not grow as expected if summer temperatures are too high or rainfall is much less than usual in that zone.
By observing the plants that flourish and the weather that is designated normal in a given area, gardeners can get a good idea of which plants can be counted on to do well and those that will be stretched to their limit to perform or even survive. Wise gardeners use those plants that thrive in their hardiness zone as it saves disappointment and cost.
Finally, consider the native plants that grow (or used to grow) in your area. By reintroducing them, you not only help native species recover, you know they will thrive because they are designed for your local climate and soil.