What Plant Hardiness Zones DON'T Tell You…

Hardiness zones are helpful, but for beginner gardeners, they can often confuse you more than they clarify. They’re based on the average annual minimum temperature, which gives you SOME info but not ALL the info you need to know what to plant and when to plant it in your garden.

Click here to find your zone: https://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/

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50 Comments

  1. Bolshevik Cosmonaut on March 10, 2021 at 10:47 pm

    The Canadian Hardiness Zones are better as they are determined via an equation that takes into account the average minimum temperature of the coldest month, the average number of frost-free days, the average total precipitation between the months of June and November (switch that to December and May for the Southern Hemisphere), the average maximum temperature of the warmest month, the average snow depth at its deepest and the strongest gust of the last thirty years.

  2. Carlos Barajas on March 10, 2021 at 10:52 pm

    I’m in the Coachella valley , and the hardiness zone is 9 B, well this doesn’t take into consideration how hot it gets, here during the summer the temperatures go from 110 to 120 degrees so it gets very confusing

  3. Danielle Andrews on March 10, 2021 at 10:52 pm

    For my Georgia peeps, UGA has great articles about gardening in GA. Here is an article about our growing season; ie when to plant, etc: https://extension.uga.edu/publications/detail.html?number=C943&title=Vegetable%20Garden%20Calendar#:~:text=You%20can%20plant%20or%20harvest,harvested%20from%20October%20to%20December.

  4. Jess The Chula Vista plant lady on March 10, 2021 at 10:53 pm

    Yes! I wish humidity and rainfall was apart of the hardiness zone. Because if you don’t know about this and you purchase from an online nursery that says you have the right hardiness zone for something like Cacao, but we all know our dry 10b zone here in San Diego can not sustain cacao lol
    Great points in this video! I’m growing subtropicales on my hillside and it’s a good and bad situation 😊

  5. John Gault on March 10, 2021 at 10:53 pm

    In my experience, the hardiness zone does not give the average annual low temp, rather it give the absolute lowest temp I can expect to see; there are many winter where I don’t see temps nearly as low as in the 20’s in my 9a zone (Jacksonville, Fl). The chart fail completely in accounting for micro-climates, at least in my area, especially the effect of the Atlantic ocean, which keeps zone 9a much warmer nighttime temps near the ocean vs. just 20-miles inland in the same zone.

  6. Hannah Rush on March 10, 2021 at 10:56 pm

    Will you marry me?! Lol in all seriousness, I truly appreciate your videos and the knowledge that you share! Likes and subscribes 🙂

  7. BahamianLily on March 10, 2021 at 10:57 pm

    I suspect that the changes came as a result of coming to grips with climate change.

  8. K Fetter on March 10, 2021 at 10:58 pm

    Great explanation – thank you! I tried the link for the usda plant hardiness zones, however there must be something wrong with their site. My computer said it was a dangerous site because their web certification expired 100 days ago (probably thanks to the pandemic). My phone also would not link to that page. So frustrating when I would love to know exactly what zone 94002 (in CA) is. Guess I will have to wait until they realize that they need to renew/update their certification. Phooey!

  9. Dwain on March 10, 2021 at 10:58 pm

    Humidity adds the tropical plant factor for many plant categories. For example, you’re more likely to have success with orchids in Florida than California. In any case, most people don’t need a chart for most plants except for when you live in a place that frosts over. One year, it did get really cold in California and my plant died. That was the only time it happened.

  10. Jimmy Howard on March 10, 2021 at 10:58 pm

    I love your channel! I’m going to stay with you, but any chance you have a friend to recommend growing food in Zone 7?

  11. Steve on March 10, 2021 at 10:58 pm

    Yea, this is a huge important topic, great explanation!

  12. MrLeonightis on March 10, 2021 at 11:01 pm

    I live in the mid Atlantic , while my actual zone is not that cold , the long term lack of sunlight in the winter and low temps keep any exotic stuff off the table.

  13. Jam&Tea on March 10, 2021 at 11:01 pm

    Hello from Canada! Thanks for this video. My wife and I know we want a large garden or small farm when we find our forever home, and this is a good reminder to check hardiness zones when considering locations.

    Good tips on raising zone!

  14. LadyRunefarmer on March 10, 2021 at 11:03 pm

    I so enjoy your content. You not only answer questions I didn’t know I had, but you also are precise and to the point. It really helps my monkey brain out.

  15. riley young on March 10, 2021 at 11:06 pm

    zones 7 and 8 get far too cold for tropical plants, down to 0-10°f even zone 9 is most likely too cold, but possible to push it warmer, zone 10 is when you actually start having a good shot at it

  16. Robbin Sawyer on March 10, 2021 at 11:06 pm

    Great topic. The Sunset magazine breaks down the growing zones even further. Thank you for this video!

  17. Cagy McCorgeson on March 10, 2021 at 11:07 pm

    Start of this video was 100% accurate of my hardiness zone understanding

  18. Epic Gardening on March 10, 2021 at 11:11 pm

    Click here to find your zone: https://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/ – BOOK LINKS:
    → Signed Copy of My Book: http://bit.ly/epicgardenbook
    → My book on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2xf4cqv

  19. Aaron Miller on March 10, 2021 at 11:12 pm

    You make great gardening videos! Although you are a bit confused about how elevation affects temperature.

  20. S RC on March 10, 2021 at 11:12 pm

    I’m so mad. I spent tons of money on hibiscus bushes that were sold at my local Lowes as perennials… they are so big now that I didn’t cover them this winter in south Georgia….I think they are dead. It got down to the 20s at night this winter a few times and we had frost a few times.

  21. Cindy Huynh on March 10, 2021 at 11:12 pm

    I am in SF, I think I am in zone 10a. I love to grow tropical fruit trees, what kind of fruit trees are suitable for this zone? I also worry that summer here is not hot enough.

  22. Sean Sam on March 10, 2021 at 11:13 pm

    Jus bought your signed book . Amazon had a cheap paperback version . No thanks. Go YouTube algorithm. Your videos are great 👍

  23. Deborah Robertson Cartwright on March 10, 2021 at 11:13 pm

    This is so true in California..out here in Menifee I have been growing tomatoes all winter but my friends in Hemet had a hard freeze that killed everytjing…its hard to know when to grow anything by the charts

  24. Georgi Kolev on March 10, 2021 at 11:13 pm

    Those zones are created for the purpose of growing perennials, for example, to tell you that you can’t grow oranges in Montana. For annuals, it’s not really useful. There are areas with a very long growing period and relatively high heath index but they are like zone 5 or 6 cause they have one extremely cold snap during the winter.

  25. Eric Scavetta on March 10, 2021 at 11:19 pm

    Amazing that San Francisco and San Diego are both in USDA zone 10b. SD feels sunnier, warmer, drier, less windy and more condusive to warmer climate plants. I find the sunset Western gardening zones are more helpful here (zone 17 here!) since they address microclimate effects, humidity, etc.

  26. Steve on March 10, 2021 at 11:19 pm

    Haha, Im in zone 10 as well but on the other side of the country…in Miami.

  27. Ben on March 10, 2021 at 11:19 pm

    Why do we still have charts that imply one temperature can be in two zones? (example: 45° is in both A and B)

  28. Iz Yuro on March 10, 2021 at 11:19 pm

    Hello Kevin, I also live in San Diego. Is it possible for us to grow zone 8 crops like a honeyberry haskap?

  29. Rocky C on March 10, 2021 at 11:24 pm

    Thank you for this! I am also on zone 10b and a fellow San Diegan. I recently purchase a Crimson Queen Japanese Maple ad quite stress now that everywhere I read says it is for zone 5-8! Asking for advise here please! Our house is facing East so our backyard gets the afternoon sun, is it better to plant my tree on my front yard rather than backyard based on the zone recommendation for this particular Japanese Maple? Thank you in advance!

  30. Noah Teeter on March 10, 2021 at 11:24 pm

    If you see this God loves you and will always love you and will never forget you

  31. loren stribling on March 10, 2021 at 11:24 pm

    I live in Mississippi zone 8..The average minimum temp doesn’t even touch hurricane season.

  32. jrizzorn on March 10, 2021 at 11:25 pm

    Firstly, Thank you for your clear and scholarly explantation of your topics. Help me ! I live in the Smoky Mountains and I only have filtered sunlight . Everything I plant needs life support except for weeds and poison ivy. What are your recommendations, except for moving? 🤔

  33. L B on March 10, 2021 at 11:26 pm

    I’ve watched so many of your videos that I dreamt of you last night 😳😂 LMAO!! I have so much to learn 😅 I truly appreciate all the content! Loving this new journey to a greener thumb 💚

  34. Kara Curran on March 10, 2021 at 11:26 pm

    awesome video, thanks!!

  35. Alexandra Leischner on March 10, 2021 at 11:28 pm

    Thank you so much for this!!!

  36. Wyatt Smith on March 10, 2021 at 11:28 pm

    I live in a small valley… Does that mean it will be warmer in the winter slightly?

  37. Azer Simple on March 10, 2021 at 11:29 pm

    Coldest minimum temperature of a season only tells a small part about a region’s climate. There are so many other factors related to climate alone that play a role. For example, places like Southern California, Florida and Texas will be in Zones 9 and 10, but are so is much of Britain and Ireland. That obviously DOESN’T mean that plants you can grow in Los Angeles or Miami can also be grown in Dublin or London.

  38. Rachael on March 10, 2021 at 11:29 pm

    I feel like this video is talking about actual, useful hacks. Not the lame tricks other channels have been pushing.

  39. Kevin Wong on March 10, 2021 at 11:30 pm

    It would be nice to get you and UC Davis to refine the hardiness zones based on the additional criteria that you mentioned and expand and/or recategorize the zones.

  40. Victoria on March 10, 2021 at 11:33 pm

    Thanks so much for this! I’m in zone 6a, but love me some citrus and tropical fruits.. I may try and push it a little and see what happens!

  41. Ashwini Kulkarni on March 10, 2021 at 11:37 pm

    Yay am from SD too , no wonder i love your videos , i have never had success growing cilantro and ginger. Am going to check if you have videos on those two

  42. Inspector William Presents on March 10, 2021 at 11:38 pm

    I just purchased my first semi dwarf nagami kumquat tree and basically my first tree ever purchased so I’m very new to growing anything. I really do appreciate your video definitely very informational and just opens my mind up to different possibilities of growing as well as manipulating microclimates for the benefit of the plant . Thank you so much I really appreciate the information

  43. Keyboardje on March 10, 2021 at 11:38 pm

    I’m trying to get info on how to get shrubs, plants and flowers in my garden from seed, so I hate people calling growing food "gardening" in these video’s all the time, so I click on them thinking it’s actually about gardening. 🙁

  44. Some random GUY on March 10, 2021 at 11:41 pm

    Hey I’m in zone 9 so when a tree has growing zones 4-8 can it grow in zone 9?

  45. Jes Das on March 10, 2021 at 11:42 pm

    Do you know of any great YouTube gardeners like yourself that are in the northeast? Most of what I watch here (is GREAT and) transfers but I’m a little lost on what to do with my beds over the winter. (This will be our first gardening winter. Edited to add we’re in zone 6b/7a, not way upstate.)

  46. CMack Scott on March 10, 2021 at 11:44 pm

    I’m in zone 7, North Georgia. Fortunately, I have a sunny yard. It definitely has hot and cold spots. Feb 10, it’s about 56 in the shade. On the south side of my house a thermometer read 100 F.

  47. skylar grey on March 10, 2021 at 11:44 pm

    Me in a 5b zone 😑 get like no time may to October

  48. Pam B on March 10, 2021 at 11:45 pm

    Spot on. I accidentally created a microclimate this Summer by planting on the north side of my home. The sun was just scorching my plants everywhere else. I live in Central Florida and none of the “rules” apply! Great video!

  49. re ma on March 10, 2021 at 11:46 pm

    I’m in zone 10 as well in Egypt
    But I’m struggling since it’s my first year of trying gardening and the extreamly hot weather along with the direct sun burned off some of my plants which is depressing
    The other day I found the tips of my gazania flowers were burned off by the sun
    And my feverfew and lavender plants are refusing to bloom
    Haha the gardening life is so stressful and I thought it would be relaxing turned out I’m wrong all along xD

  50. Isaac Rojas on March 10, 2021 at 11:46 pm

    No need to apologize for the nerdiness. That’s why we’re all here. Those rollercoaster levels of complication. Nerd “hardiness zone”, if you will.

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