There are thousands of plant varieties that will grow for U.S. gardeners but not all plants will thrive in all areas of our vast country.
While tropical plants may be happy in Florida gardens, they'll likely freeze and die in Chicago winters. Likewise, peonies and tulips, plants that require winter cold to flourish, will thrive in parts of the country with freezing winter temperatures but won't in the Deep South. How do you know which plants will work in your region?
Hardiness Zones were developed to support informed decisions. Each region has been assigned a zone; just use the map above to select your region or alternatively you can use our Zone Finder (click here) to determine yours.
With this information, look for plants that list your hardiness zone on the product page and after the word "Hardiness:". So, if you garden in zone 6, plants with hardiness ratings that include zone 6 (zones 3-8 or zones 6-10) should thrive in your climate year round.
Tip: Gardeners sometimes fall in love with plants that aren't hardy in their region. Must broken hearts follow? No, but the plants in question will need special attention. Suppose you love freesia but don't live in zones 9-11 where these tender beauties are hardy. To have multi-season success with freesia you'll have to over winter them in a warm place like a heated greenhouse or on your windowsill. Alternately, you may treat them as annuals; enjoying their blooms the first season and replacing them next year, like you do with petunias. This is the easiest approach and a successful way to fool Mother Nature for one season.