Ohio Gardeners And Their USDA Hardiness Zone Map

This might be the called “the art of planting hardy plants”, because although a map is provided and most all plants are clearly marked with hardiness zones, there is enough variation in both plants and garden conditions to merit a little leeway in how accurately a gardener can estimate the hardiness of a plant.


Hardiness zones

Despite the caveat on just how much we might depend on the hardiness zones, they are one of the most useful tools to help the gardener plan for where to put a plant and whether to expect it to survive the usual winter temperatures of their garden.

As in the map of Ohio on this page, most of the areas fall into Zone 5a, but I can say from experience that there are times our winters drop into the temperatures of 5b (-15° to 10° Fahrenheit). With protection, plants that aren’t completely hardy may still survive, and mini-climates in the garden can spell the difference between plant survivor or a new member of the “plant cemetery”.

But the art of gardening and planning a landscape works with estimations, and the USDA hardiness zones are one of our information tools.

Just keep in mind that hardiness is a guide, not a guarantee.

Hardiness zones do prevent a  great deal of disappointment for long term plantings, and for that they are eminently useful.

Using the Ohio hardiness zone map will help gardeners choose trees, shrubs, and perennials that will survive their cold climate temperatures.

Use your hardiness zone map

When planning your home landscape, or visiting the nursery to buy your plants, check the hardiness zones of the plant. Most of the plants offered for sale in local garden centers are recommended for your area, but I have noticed some selections where I muttered “no way” under my breath. It is often a matter of whether the plant suffers the full brunt of winter weather or is sheltered by buildings, fences, or other barriers to harsh winds and freezing cold.

Can I plant Zone 4 plants in my Zone 5 garden?

You can generally plant anything that tolerate colder zone temperatures.

Can I plant Zone 6 plants in my Zone 5 garden?

You can try such plants though you risk losing them in a colder winter.

Can I plant Zone 7 plants in my Zone 5 garden?

I’d say “no”.


Curious About The USDA Zones?

USDA Hardiness Zones for Plants

This handy chart may help you understand hardiness regions.

Temperature in ° C USDA Zone Temperature in ° F
–45.6 and below 1 Below –50
–42.8 and below 2a –45 to –50
–40 to –42.7 2b –40 to –45
–37.3 to –39.9 3a –35 to –40
–34.5 to –37.2 3b –30 to –35
–31.7 to –34.4 4a –25 to –30
–28.9 to –31.6 4b –20 to –25
–26.2 to –28.8 5a –15 to –20
–23.4 to –26.1 5b –10 to –15
–20.6 to –23.3 6a –5 to –10
–17.8 to –20.5 6b 0 to –5
–15 to –17.7 7a 5 to 0
–12.3 to –14.9 7b 10 to 5
–9.5 to –12.2 8a 15 to 10
–6.7 to –9.4 8b 20 to 15
–3.9 to –6.6 9a 25 to 20
–1.2 to –3.8 9b 30 to 25
1.6 to –1.1 10a 35 to 30
4.4 to 1.7 10b 40 to 35
4.5 and above 11 40 and above


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