When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Planting Zones in Pennsylvania: What You Need to Know

Hey there, Pennsylvania plant pals! Whether you’re tucking into a Philly cheesesteak or cheering on the Steelers, there’s one thing that can unite us all: a love for gardening.

But before you start planting willy-nilly in the Keystone State, let’s chat about something super crucial: growing zones.

Yep, these little numbers are the secret sauce to making your garden pop, from the Alleghenies to the Poconos.

So, throw on your garden gloves, and let’s break down what’s up with Pennsylvania’s diverse growing zones.

Understanding Plant Hardiness Zones

usda plant hardiness zone map

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has created a map that divides the country into 13 different zones based on the average minimum temperature of each area.

Each zone is further divided into sub-zones, making it easier for gardeners to determine which plants are best suited for their location.

In Pennsylvania, there are three hardiness zones: 5, 6, and 7. Zone 5 covers the northern part of the state, while Zone 7 covers the southern part. Zone 6 is in the middle.

It’s important to know which zone you’re in because planting a plant that is not suited for your zone can result in it not surviving the winter.

To determine your zone, you can use the interactive USDA plant hardiness zone map available online. Simply enter your zip code or click on the map to find your location.

Once you know your zone, you can start selecting plants that are best suited for your area.

It’s important to note that while the USDA plant hardiness map is a helpful tool, it is not foolproof. Other factors such as soil type, rainfall, and wind can also affect plant growth and survival.

It’s always a good idea to consult with a local gardening expert or nursery to get more specific advice on which plants will thrive in your area.

Pennsylvania’s Planting Zones Overview

If you’re planning to start a garden or grow plants in Pennsylvania, it’s important to know which planting zone you’re in.

Pennsylvania has six different planting zones, ranging from 5a to 7b.

The USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map is an excellent resource to determine which zone your location falls under. You can also use Gilmour’s Interactive Planting Zone Map for a more user-friendly experience.

Pennsylvania’s planting zones are affected by its location in the northeastern part of the United States. The state has a diverse climate, with the eastern part of the state experiencing more precipitation and milder temperatures than the western part.

The Appalachian Mountains also play a role in the state’s weather patterns.

Zone 5a covers the northernmost part of the state, including cities like Erie and Bradford. This zone has an average minimum temperature of -20 to -15 degrees Fahrenheit.

Zone 5b covers most of the state, including cities like Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, and Philadelphia. This zone has an average minimum temperature of -15 to -10 degrees Fahrenheit.

Zone 6a covers a small area in the southeast part of the state, including cities like Reading and Allentown. This zone has an average minimum temperature of -10 to -5 degrees Fahrenheit.

Zone 6b covers a small area in the southwest part of the state, including cities like Washington and Uniontown. This zone has an average minimum temperature of -5 to 0 degrees Fahrenheit.

Zone 7a covers a small area in the southeast part of the state, including cities like West Chester and Chester. This zone has an average minimum temperature of 0 to 5 degrees Fahrenheit.

Finally, Zone 7b covers a very small area in the southeast part of the state, including cities like Philadelphia. This zone has an average minimum temperature of 5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit.

Planting Zone 5A and 5B in Pennsylvania

If you live in Erie, Altoona, Warren, Beaver Falls, Bloomsburg, Butler, Carlisle, Chambersburg, Hanover, Hazleton, Hermitage, Indiana, Jeannette, Johnstown, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lower Burrell, Meadville, New Castle, Oil City, Reading, Scranton, Sharon, or any other location in Planting Zone 5A or 5B in Pennsylvania, you’ll want to pay attention to the specific requirements for growing plants in your area.

Planting Zone 5A has an average minimum temperature range of -20°F to -15°F, while Zone 5B ranges from -15°F to -10°F. This means that plants suitable for these zones must be able to tolerate cold temperatures and frost.

In Zone 5A, you can grow plants such as asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, garlic, onions, peas, spinach, and turnips. In Zone 5B, you can add beets, cauliflower, lettuce, and potatoes to the list.

When planting in these zones, it’s important to pay attention to the timing of planting, as well as the soil and sunlight requirements of each plant. For example, some plants may require full sun, while others may prefer partial shade.

Planting Zone 6A and 6B in Pennsylvania

If you’re living in Pennsylvania, you may be in planting zone 6A or 6B. These zones are known for their cold winters and mild summers, which can make it challenging to grow certain plants.

However, there are still plenty of options for creating a beautiful and thriving garden in these zones.

In State College, which is located in the central part of the state, you’re likely in zone 6B. This means that you’ll need to choose plants that can tolerate temperatures as low as -5°F to 0°F.

Some great options for this zone include perennials like hostas, daylilies, and coneflowers, as well as shrubs like hydrangeas and spirea.

If you’re located in Bethlehem, East Stroudsburg, Easton, Emmaus, Ephrata, Harrisburg, King of Prussia, Lansdale, Norristown, Pottstown, or Pottsville, you may also be in planting zone 6A or 6B.

In these areas, you’ll want to choose plants that can handle temperatures as low as -10°F to -5°F. Some great options for this zone include perennials like black-eyed Susans, bee balm, and sedum, as well as shrubs like butterfly bushes and weigela.

When it comes to vegetables, there are plenty of options that can thrive in planting zones 6A and 6B. Some great choices include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, kale, lettuce, onions, peas, and spinach. Just be sure to plant them at the right time of year and protect them from frost and freezing temperatures.

Planting Zone 7A and 7B in Pennsylvania

If you live in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Washington, Allentown, Ardmore, Baldwin, Bethel Park, Bristol, Chester, Drexel Hill, Kingston, Levittown, McKeesport, Monroeville, Phoenixville, Plum, or any other areas in the state, you may be in planting zone 7A or 7B.

Planting zone 7A covers most of the southeastern part of Pennsylvania, including Philadelphia, while planting zone 7B covers a small area in the southeastern part of the state, including parts of Philadelphia and the surrounding suburbs.

These zones have an average minimum temperature range of 0°F to 5°F for zone 7B and 5°F to 10°F for zone 7A.

If you’re in planting zone 7A or 7B, you have a wide variety of plants to choose from. Some of the plants that do well in these zones include:

  • Perennials like asters, black-eyed susans, and daylilies
  • Shrubs like butterfly bushes and hydrangeas
  • Vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, and kale
  • Fruits like apples, pears, and peaches

However, keep in mind that even within the same planting zone, there can be microclimates that affect what plants will thrive in your specific location.

Factors like elevation, soil type, and sun exposure can all impact what plants will do well in your garden.

It’s important to do your research and choose plants that are well-suited to your specific location and growing conditions.

Talk to local gardening experts or visit a nearby nursery to get advice on what plants will do well in your area.

Winter Planting in Pennsylvania

Winter in Pennsylvania can be harsh, with temperatures dropping below freezing and snowfall being a common occurrence. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t plant during the winter months.

With the right knowledge and preparation, you can successfully plant and grow a variety of plants, even in the coldest months of the year.

When planting during the winter in Pennsylvania, it’s important to choose plants that are hardy enough to withstand the cold temperatures.

The USDA Hardiness Zone Map divides Pennsylvania into three zones: Zone 5, Zone 6, and Zone 7. Each zone has its own minimum temperature range, with Zone 5 being the coldest and Zone 7 being the warmest.

Here are some plants that are well-suited for winter planting in Pennsylvania, based on their hardiness and ability to withstand the cold:

  • Evergreens: Evergreen trees and shrubs, such as spruce, pine, and holly, are great choices for winter planting in Pennsylvania. They retain their leaves year-round, providing color and texture to your garden even in the dead of winter.

  • Winter vegetables: Certain vegetables, such as kale, collard greens, and Brussels sprouts, can be planted in the late summer or early fall and harvested throughout the winter. These hardy vegetables can withstand cold temperatures and even snow.

  • Winter-blooming flowers: Some flowers, such as pansies and winter jasmine, can bloom during the winter months in Pennsylvania. These plants can add color and beauty to your garden even in the midst of winter.

When planting during the winter in Pennsylvania, it’s important to prepare your soil properly. Adding compost or other organic matter to your soil can help improve its texture and nutrient content, making it easier for plants to grow. Additionally, using a layer of mulch around your plants can help insulate them from the cold and prevent the soil from freezing.

Planting Zones by Zip Code

Here is a list of planting zones for some Pennsylvania cities and locations:

  • Aliquippa: Zone 6a
  • Aspers: Zone 6b
  • Aston: Zone 7a
  • Beaver: Zone 6a
  • Berwick: Zone 6a
  • Bethel: Zone 6b
  • Brentwood: Zone 6b
  • Broomall: Zone 7a
  • Coatesville: Zone 6b
  • Colonial Park: Zone 6b
  • Columbia: Zone 6b
  • Croydon: Zone 7a
  • Darby: Zone 7a
  • Dunmore: Zone 6a
  • Elizabethtown: Zone 6b
  • Franklin Park: Zone 6a
  • Fullerton: Zone 7a
  • Greensburg: Zone 6a
  • Hershey: Zone 6b
  • Horsham: Zone 7a
  • Jefferson: Zone 6a
  • Lansdowne: Zone 7a
  • McKeesport: Zone 6a
  • Meadville: Zone 5b
  • Montgomeryville: Zone 6b
  • Morrisville: Zone 7a
  • Mountain Top: Zone 5b
  • Munhall: Zone 6a
  • Murrysville: Zone 6a
  • Nanticoke: Zone 5b
  • New Kensington: Zone 6a
  • Shiloh: Zone 7a

Knowing your planting zone can help you choose the right plants for your garden, as well as determine the best time to plant them.

It can also help you plan for the winter months and protect your plants from frost damage. So, take the time to find out your planting zone by using your zip code and start planning your garden accordingly.