Virginia Hardiness Zones: 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a
Many times when thinking of Virginia, people first think of hiking the Appalachian Trail. Along with the mountain range, the state has four more distinctive geographical regions including the coast, the plateau, the foothill and the valley. Varying geographical regions within a state create varying hardiness zones or growing zones.
Much of Virginia’s climate is humid. Summers are pleasantly hot with temperatures hovering around 90 degrees, while the western mountain ranges remain slightly cooler. The winters are crisp and cool with snowfall. The state has all four seasons, with spring and fall being cooler than the summer and warmer than the winter.
Virginia gets approximately 44 inches of precipitation each year, with 14 inches of snowfall. Summers are hot and humid with the highest amount of precipitation. Gardening season in Virginia gives you ample time to grow a wonderful garden.
- The southeastern tip of the state along the coast and most of the Eastern Shore are the only areas of Virginia that are in hardiness zone 8. These are the warmest areas of the state with the longest growing season.
- The mountain range area along the border of West Virginia is primarily in a hardiness zone 6 however, there is one small section around Highland that moves down to zone 5. Plants in higher elevations usually need to withstand colder temperatures.
- Much of the rest of the state including the regions around Richmond and Roanoke are in hardiness zone 7. In this area, the winter lows are between 0-10 degrees, and the growing season starts in March although the last frost date is likely mid-April.
When planting a garden it is important to take into consideration the plant hardiness zone you live in. Using the 2012 USDA map data as a guide will help you to grow a successful garden.
To find out your hardiness zone using the USDA map above, you begin by finding your location. You can also enter your zip code. You compare the color of your area on the map with the legend, which will tell you what planting zone of Virginia you are in.
It is important to remember that this growing information is just a guide. It is helpful to know what plants can withstand temperatures in your region and what your growing season looks like however, there are many variables that come into consideration when planting.
The quality of your soil or the number of sunny days through the winter months will affect what you are able to grow.
Most of Virginia is in either plant hardiness zone 6 or 7. These are very rewarding zones to garden in because so many plants will grow very well. You may want to start some plants that take longer to mature indoors in February and March, but these plants will transplant outdoors in April or May very well.
The Great Big Greenhouse and Meadow Farms Nursery have a lot of suggestions on fruits and vegetables that will grow well in Virginia. Try berries, apples, cherries, peaches, potatoes, beets, herbs, greens, beans and more. The staff at The Great Big Greenhouse recommend that you test your soil, as the soil is one determining factor to growing that the hardiness zone has no control over.
Even in the colder regions plants can grow very well provided that you follow planting instructions. Many plants, trees, shrubs, fruits and vegetables will grow in abundance, giving you a great reward for your gardening time.