What Planting Zone is PA?


If you’re an avid gardener in Pennsylvania, you may have heard the term “planting zone” before. But what exactly does that mean? In simple terms, planting zones are geographic areas that have similar climates and weather patterns. These zones are used as a guide to help gardeners determine which plants are most likely to thrive in their area.

Understanding Plant Hardiness Zones

Planting zones are typically determined by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Plant Hardiness Zone Map. This map divides the United States into 13 different zones based on the average minimum winter temperature. The zones range from 1a (coldest) to 13b (warmest).

In Pennsylvania, the majority of the state is considered to be in USDA planting zones 5a through 7b. This means that the average minimum winter temperatures in these areas range from -20°F to 10°F (-28.9°C to -12.2°C) for zone 5a, -15°F to -10°F (-26.1°C to -23.3°C) for zone 5b, 0°F to -5°F (-17.8°C to -20.6°C) for zone 6a, 5°F to 0°F (-15°C to -17.8°C) for zone 6b, and 10°F to 5°F (-12.2°C to -15°C) for zone 7a.

It’s important to keep in mind that these zones are just a guide, and there are many other factors that can affect plant growth and survival, such as soil type, sun exposure, and rainfall. However, using planting zones as a starting point can help you choose plants that are more likely to thrive in your area.

Choosing Plants for Your Zone

When selecting plants for your garden, it’s important to choose varieties that are well-suited to your planting zone. For example, if you live in a colder zone, you’ll want to choose plants that can tolerate cold temperatures and frost. Some examples of cold-hardy plants that do well in Pennsylvania include coneflowers, black-eyed Susans, and hostas.

If you live in a warmer zone, you’ll want to choose plants that can handle hot temperatures and drought. Some examples of heat-tolerant plants that do well in Pennsylvania include butterfly weed, lavender, and daylilies.

Planting Tips for Your Zone

In addition to choosing the right plants for your zone, there are a few other tips to keep in mind when planting your garden in Pennsylvania:

  • Consider the amount of sunlight your garden gets each day. Most plants need at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day to thrive.
  • Choose the right soil for your plants. If you’re not sure what type of soil you have, you can get it tested at your local garden center or cooperative extension office.
  • Water your plants regularly, especially during hot, dry weather. Most plants need about 1 inch of water per week, either from rainfall or watering.
  • Use mulch to help retain moisture in the soil and suppress weeds.


Understanding your planting zone is an important part of successful gardening in Pennsylvania. By choosing plants that are well-suited to your climate and following a few basic planting tips, you can create a beautiful and thriving garden that will bring you joy for years to come.

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