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Learn Your Hardiness Zone to Find the Best Plants

A flower bed with yellow coreopsis, pink echinacea and white and yellow Shasta daisy blooms.

Published August 11, 2021

Marc M.

By Marc M.

Set yourself up for success before you even bring a flower, tree or shrub home by knowing and understanding your plant hardiness zone. Learn your zone to find plants that can thrive in your landscape.

What Are Hardiness Zones?

A United States map showing colored zones indicating different cold hardiness zones.

A plant's hardiness is its ability to survive cold temperatures. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Plant Hardiness Zone Map defines 13 hardiness zones based on each geographic area's average annual minimum temperature.


Learn your hardiness zone to help find plants that tolerate the winters in your area — plants that are considered to be hardy for your zone.

A chart showing the average annual extreme minimum temperatures of the different hardiness zones.

Zone 1 in the northern part of Alaska is the coldest region, with average annual minimum temperatures averaging between -60 and -50 degrees Fahrenheit. The warmest region is Zone 13 in Puerto Rico, with average annual minimum temperatures averaging between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit.


To determine your zone, find your location on the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map and match that zone color to the color in the chart above. This indicates your zone as well as the historical average extreme minimum temperatures for your area.


Once you know which hardiness zone you live in, you can find plants that'll do well in your area. Shop the right cold hardiness zone for where you’re planting to ensure your flowers and plants will thrive.

Find the Perfect Plants for Your Zone:

 

Zone 2 Plants
Zone 3 Plants
Zone 4 Plants
Zone 5 Plants
Zone 6 Plants
Zone 7 Plants
Zone 8 Plants
Zone 9 Plants
Zone 10 Plants
Zone 11 Plants

You can also shop plants for all Zones to 40 degrees Fahrenheit, plants for all Zones to 32 degrees Fahrenheit and frost-tolerant plants.

Your local Lowe's stocks plants selected to thrive in your area. Some plants listed for a zone that's warmer than your area can still make beautiful seasonal additions to your landscape as annuals.

Tip

Find out more about cold hardiness zones, and learn about thousands of plants in the Lowe's Plant Guide.

Use Your Hardiness Zone to Shop for Plants

A garden bed with lemon sedum and blossoms of pink armeria and purple salvia.

As you're shopping for plants, check the plant tags. If a plant is listed for a hardiness zone equal to or lower than your zone, it's suitable for your location — hardy for your zone — and will typically survive cold temperatures in your area. If the plant tag indicates a hardiness zone higher than your zone, it likely won't survive the coldest temperatures in your area.


The hardiness zone you see on a tag is based on the plant being planted in the ground. The soil for plants in pots and planters won't be as warm as the ground. If you're looking for container plants that'll survive cold temperatures in your area, shop for plants that are suited for two zones lower than yours.

Tip

In addition to a plant's hardiness zone, Lowe's plant tags give you tips on planting and display our Grow Together codes to help you identify plants and flowers that can grow side by side to create an eye-catching landscape design. How to Read a Plant Tag explains what you can learn about your plants.

Other Considerations When Shopping for Plants

Red and yellow achillea blooms among a flower bed with other yellow and purple flowers.

While the USDA hardiness zones are great guides for finding the best plants, there are a few things to keep in mind. The zones are general. Cold spells may drop temperatures below the annual minimums, and microclimates may differ from the surrounding zone. Other factors may affect the way a plant performs even within its hardiness zone. Soil that retains a lot of moisture may make plants less hardy than they would be in well-drained soil. On the other hand, a good layer of mulch can help a plant tolerate cold better than its hardiness zone indicates. Other factors, such as exposure to wind and sun or even how close the plant is to a building, can affect how a plant will perform.

Ready to Plant?

A concrete planter with green asparagus fern, red and green coleus and red dahlia blooms.

Once you choose your plants, it's time to start planting. Add a planting bed to your landscape, build your own raised planting bed or start a container garden. We can also show you how to plant a tree or start your own rose garden.

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