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Plants in the Tulsa Landscape - Using the USDA Plant Hardiness Map

Posted by Katie Stoever on Mon, Apr 23, 2012 @ 03:04 PM


Right Plant, Right Place

It is a wCold Hardiness Tulsa landscapearm, sunny spring day and you are excited to visit your local nursery to pick out plants for your really exciting landscape project.  You have the perfect spot for a couple of Burning Bushes, Limemound Spirea will line the front bed, and Knockout Roses will add the perfect splash of Summer color.

 Plant Tag tells you everything

Upon arriving at the nursery you quickly grab a basket to load up with all your plants.  You come to your Burning Bush, pick out the best dwarf varieties.  As you approach the choices of Knockout Roses, you notice a tag stuck into the container.  Well, as you probably know plants always have a tag that tells you everything about that plant.  Size, Shape, Color, soil type,  what kind of sunlight they need, how much water they need, and how big the hole needs to be for planting. 

One area you might also notice on the tag is the USDA Hardiness Zone.  You might or might not have ever noticed this on a tag, but it shares very important information when making your plant purchase.  Heres how the map works:

cold hardiness tulsa landscape    


The map is based on the average annual minimum winter temperature, divided into 10-degree F zones.  There are 13 zones, with each zone being split into a sub zone labeled "a" or "b" for a total of 26.




For example: Plants installed in Oklahoma will fall in the zones: 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a. In Tulsa, where our company is located, the cold Hardiness zones are 6b and 7a. Landscaping in Tulsa Ok is temperature variable in winters by a huge margin.  Even when using the cold hardiness guide, we still have extreme cold, killing winters.  Sometimes plants from a more southern zone do well for years and then a very cold winter takes them out.  Choose wisely.

Why is knowing the Cold Hardiness Zone important? 

Lets use the perennial, Shasta Daisy, as an example. The Shasta Daisy has a Cold Hardiness zones  from 5-9. In order for the plant to live and grow well year after year, it needs to be planted in areas that fall in zones 5-9 on the USDA Cold Hardiness Zone map.  If the Shasta Daisy is planted north or south of these zones, like North Dakota, Minnesota, or the western edge of California, then it would be exposed to harsh climates that could damage or kill the plant. Additionally, if the plant does not receive a desired cold temperatures in the winter, the plant will not achieve proper dormancy and it suffers.

You can check out the interactive version of the USDA Hardiness Zone map by clicking here.

Look for landscape ideas under our porfolio tab.

View our favorite Oklahoma perennials, shrubs, trees, and flowers on our Pinterest.

Happy Planting!

- Your Tulsa Landscape Crew

Topics: Landscape Materials, landscape plants, oklahoma plant

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