What Planting Zone is Iowa?


When it comes to gardening, one of the most important factors to consider is the planting zone. This tells you what types of plants will thrive in your area based on the climate and temperature. In Iowa, the planting zone can vary depending on where you live. Let’s take a closer look at what planting zone is Iowa and what it means for your garden.

What is a Planting Zone?

A planting zone is a geographical area that is defined by its climate and temperature. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has created a map that divides the country into 11 different planting zones. Each zone is defined by a specific temperature range that determines what plants will thrive in that area.

For example, plants that are adapted to warmer temperatures will not grow well in areas with cold winters. Similarly, plants that require a lot of moisture will not thrive in arid regions. By understanding your planting zone, you can choose plants that are best suited to your climate and increase your chances of success.

What Planting Zone is Iowa?

Iowa is located in the Midwest region of the United States and has a humid continental climate. This means that the state experiences hot summers and cold winters, with moderate precipitation throughout the year. The USDA divides Iowa into four different planting zones:

Zone 4a: This zone covers the northern part of the state, including cities like Mason City and Decorah. The average minimum temperature in this zone is -30 to -25 degrees Fahrenheit.

Zone 4b: This zone covers much of central Iowa, including the cities of Ames and Des Moines. The average minimum temperature in this zone is -25 to -20 degrees Fahrenheit.

Zone 5a: This zone covers a small part of southern Iowa, including the city of Ottumwa. The average minimum temperature in this zone is -20 to -15 degrees Fahrenheit.

Zone 5b: This zone covers the southernmost part of the state, including the city of Burlington. The average minimum temperature in this zone is -15 to -10 degrees Fahrenheit.

It’s important to note that these zones are just a guide and that microclimates can exist within each zone. This means that the temperature and climate in your specific location may be slightly different than the zone you are in. Be sure to take this into account when choosing plants for your garden.

What Plants Grow Best in Iowa?

Now that you know what planting zone is Iowa, you may be wondering what types of plants will grow best in your area. Here are a few options to consider:

Vegetables: Some of the best vegetables to grow in Iowa include tomatoes, peppers, green beans, and sweet corn. These plants thrive in the warm summers and can be grown in raised beds or containers.

Flowers: Iowa is home to a number of beautiful flowers, including coneflowers, black-eyed susans, and daylilies. These plants can be grown in garden beds or borders and will add color to your landscape.

Trees: There are a variety of trees that will grow well in Iowa, including oak, maple, and birch. These trees will provide shade and add height to your garden.


Understanding what planting zone is Iowa is an important step in creating a successful garden. By choosing plants that are well-suited to your climate and temperature range, you can increase your chances of a bountiful harvest. Whether you are looking to grow vegetables, flowers, or trees, there are plenty of options to choose from in Iowa.

Planting Zone Map IowaSource:
Iowa VegetablesSource:
Iowa FlowersSource:
Iowa TreesSource:

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