GLT's Grow: Playing The Zone In Your Yard | WGLT

GLT's Grow: Playing The Zone In Your Yard

Mar 31, 2017

Pushing the boundaries of hardiness zones can work -- if you're realistic about end results.
Credit Danielle Elder / Flickr via Creative Commons

If you want your yard to thrive, you need to add plants that are hardy for your particular zone.  But can you actually fudge the rules of the zones?

  • In a word, yes.  But you have to be realistic about it.
  • The USDA has a plant hardiness map that can help you decide what plants will work in your yard.  All plants at the garden center come with a tag that indicates what zones they'll work in.
  • Sometimes, a yard has a sweet spot that can defy zone planting -- a bit.  If you have a yard that gets full winter sun, you can plant something from the next zone.  Central Illinois is zone 5A.  You could get away with a 5B zone plant, if the conditions are right in your yard.
  • Let's say you want something that would only survive in a amore tropical zone.  You can plant that in zone 5A -- as an annual.  Yep, you can have the plant, but don't expect it to make it to next year. If you're willing to experiment and not get too attached, you can try plants out of your zone.

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