Maryland’s Climactic Zone and Spring Planting

April 2, 2014 at 3:31 pm

spring shrub landscapingFor anyone thinking about adding some landscaping to improve your property it is a good idea to know what climactic zone you are in. Paying attention to your climactic zone and using plants that thrive in your area can mean the difference between success and failure when it comes to growing plants for your landscaping. Of course, your landscape professional can always help you decide on appropriate plants. But if there are some plants you have in mind, determining the zone you are in can be helpful.

To determine what zone you are in, see the USDA plant hardiness map. Maryland has four climate zones on the USDA plant hardiness map, zones 5, 6, 7, and 8. A small area in the western most part of the state falls into zone 5. Zone 6 includes the more northern and more inland area. Zone 7 is the bay and coastal area. And the most southern part of the state is in Zone 8. If you previously knew what zone you are in, you might want to double check, since the map was revised in 2012.

The USDA plant hardiness map uses the average low temperatures to define the climactic zone. This information can help guide you in determining what plants will grow well in your area and can survive the winter. The climactic zones in Maryland have average lows that range from 15°F to -15°F. So plants for landscaping here need to be able to endure some cold over the winter.

The climactic zones in Maryland are hospitable for a wide variety of plants that can enhance whatever look or function you have in mind for your landscape design. With most of the state being in zones 6 and 7, there really are a lot of options for trees and shrubs, ornamental grasses and seasonal flowers and plants that can add color and texture to your landscaping.

Of course it is always a good idea to consider native plants and trees for landscaping. They will grow well together, are adapted to the local conditions for your climactic zone, and require less maintenance. Maryland has many deciduous trees that are native including many varieties of maple and oak, hickory, dogwood, and honey locust. If you like the look of evergreens, there are also several varieties of pines. Native shrubs include rhododendron, juniper, winterberry and witch hazel. Ornamental grasses are always popular choices for commercial landscape since they are low maintenance and easy to grow. Switch grass, sea oats, and bottle brush are all native to Maryland. Elijah blue fescue and velvet cloak smoke tree are also very popular plants for commercial landscape, and although they are not native to Maryland, they do grow well here.

Landscaping for your commercial property can really make it stand out and is a great way to create a welcoming environment for your visitors and employees. The climactic zones in Maryland offer a lot of flexibility for your landscape design, and you will have no trouble finding plants for the right look and feel for your property.