Plants are very delicate organisms that require the right combination of soil, sun, and climate. If a plant's climate is too hot, dry, humid, or cold, it may not survive, which is why it's important to know what their proper planting zone is. Every area in the United States is assigned something called a planting zone. This zone is designed to show people where certain plants can grow and thrive, and where some may not do as well. Planting zones may sometimes also be referred to as "planting hardiness zones," referring to how well a particular plant will grow and survive within that zone.
Just about every nursery will include the planting zone on the plant's information tag so buyers can decide whether or not it will do well in their area. Each zone is divided by temperature, and this is a result of data that is put together by the USDA. The zone numbers for the 50 states range from 3-11. There are many charts available so people can track where their zone is located in order to determine which plants to grow in their backyard or garden. By using the chart, one can see which plants will do best based on climate.
Most plants are not restricted to just one zone. They can grow in a variety of different zones based on their hardiness level. For example, the pawpaw tree can grow successfully in zones 5-8. These zones are more humid than the others, which encourages growth for the pawpaw. These trees were once grown by the Native American people, and are still a popular choice for people near the Gulf of Mexico all the way to Michigan. Planting zones are helpful tools that give gardeners a guide so they can find the best plants for their own individual state.