- Choosing Flowers For Zone 7: Tips On Growing Flowers In Zone 7
- Growing Flowers in Zone 7
- What are Annual Flowers?
- What is the Difference Between Annual and Perennial Flowers?
- Zone 7 Hardiness Temperatures
- Zone 7 States
- 2012 Zone Boundary Changes
- Plants that Thrive in Zone 7
- Zone 7 Gardening Tips
- Zone 7 Gardening Insight
Choosing Flowers For Zone 7: Tips On Growing Flowers In Zone 7
If you live in USDA planting zone 7, thank your lucky stars! Although winters can be on the chilly side and freezes aren’t uncommon, the weather tends to be relatively moderate. Selecting suitable flowers for zone 7 climates presents a wealth of opportunities. In fact, you can grow all but the most tropical, warm-weather plants in your zone 7 climate. Read on to learn more about the best types of zone 7 flowers.
Growing Flowers in Zone 7
Although it isn’t an everyday occurrence, winters in zone 7 can be as cold as 0 to 10 F. (-18 to -12 F.), so it’s important to keep this possibility in mind when selecting flowers for zone 7. While USDA hardiness zones provide a helpful guideline for gardeners, also bear in mind that it isn’t a perfect system and doesn’t consider a number of factors that affect the survivability of your plants.
For example, hardiness zones don’t consider snowfall, which provides a protective cover for zone 7 perennial flowers and plants. The mapping system also doesn’t provide information about the frequency of winter freeze-thaw cycles in your area. Also, it is left up to you to consider the drainage capability of your soil, especially during cold weather when wet, soggy soil can present a real danger to plant roots.
Zone 7 Annuals
Annuals are plants that complete an entire lifecycle in a single season. There are hundreds of annuals suitable for growing in zone 7, as the growing system is relatively long and summers aren’t punishing. In fact, nearly any annual can successfully be grown in zone 7. Here are a few of the most popular zone 7 annuals, along with their sunlight requirements:
Zone 7 Perennial Flowers
Perennials are plants that return year after year, and many perennials plants must be divided occasionally as they spread and multiply. Here are a few of the all-time favorite zone 7 perennial flowers:
Are you looking forward to your next planting spree? Annual flowers are a great option if you like to keep your garden fresh and new throughout the year! These florals bloom fast and typically stay in full-bloom for their growing season. But what exactly is a “growing season?”
A growing season is the time of year when the weather and temperature allow plants to grow. For some areas, a growing season can be as short as four months. For more tropical and warm areas, a growing season can last nearly a year. This is not to be confused with the seasons we commonly know as summer, fall, winter and spring.
Since annual flowers can be picky about the time of year it grows in, we went ahead and selected a few of our favorite annual flowers for each yearly season. We also included all of the information you need to know to care for these dainty blooms.
Before diving into our annual flowers list, take some time to learn about these flowers and what makes them great.
What are Annual Flowers?
Annual flowers or annual plants are those that live for only one growing season before producing seeds and dying. This means that these flowers live and die all in the same year.
This gives you the opportunity to try out different plants and flowers to see what you like best! It also allows you to keep a variety in your garden every season. These blooms tend to grow fast and flower for a long time. Annuals usually flower throughout the entire season, but are sensitive to different climates.
There are other kinds of flowers to be aware of in addition to annuals. Perennials and biennials are two other types of plants and flowers you should get to know a little more.
What is the Difference Between Annual and Perennial Flowers?
Perennials are flowers or plants that can live for several growing seasons after blooming on their own. Biennial plants and flowers live for two growing seasons. Perennials are sometimes slow to grow in comparison to their annual counterparts. They typically start flowering in their second year.
Gardeners sometimes treat more tender perennials as annuals since they have a difficult time surviving in colder temperatures. Some choose to plant both perennials and annuals in the same garden bed if they want to keep some consistency in their garden year-after-year.
Take a look at the best annual flowers for every season and see what flowers you need in your garden.
Summer is a time for full sun and brightly-colored flowers! Your summer bouquet and flower bed isn’t complete without these annual flowers that bloom all summer.
Marigolds are easy to care for. They’re popular annuals due to their ability to bloom all summer. Their bright colors make them a popular choice for bouquets and even salad garnishes!
Geraniums have hundreds of different species that give gardeners and florists lots of choices for arrangements and garden beds. Blue geraniums are mostly found in the wild.
Annual vinca flowers are also known as madagascar periwinkle. Vinca is known for its non-stop blooming throughout the summer and its popular blue color.
Zinnia flowers are low-maintenance flowers that add vibrant color to your planters and bouquet arrangements. Some zinnia species closely resemble dahlia flowers.
Impatiens are great container plants and considered easy to grow for most. They are also referred to as “busy lizzies” in the UK and “patient lucy” in the US.
These blooms are also called bachelor’s buttons and are traditionally blue in color. Bachelor’s buttons have a clove-like flavor and can be used as a fun plate garnish.
Fall is a great season if you’re trying to select annual flowers for shade. Beautiful fall annual flowers are perfect for an autumn tablescape or seasonal flower bed.
Begonias are a garden favorite thanks to their big blooms and various species. Begonias also come in a variety of colors that make them easy to pair with any garden or bouquet.
Petunias come in a variety of shades including pinks, blues and reds. These hardy annuals are easy to care for and are the preferred choice for novice gardeners.
Nasturtium flowers come in all the fall colors, which makes this flower perfect for gifting bouquets and arrangements in an office or home.
The strong celosia flower is a choice to consider for bouquets because its petals do not easily fall. This unique and showy flower will definitely steal the show in your fall garden bed.
This edible flower is a popular choice for soups and salads. Calendulas can also be made into essential oils to help heal and hydrate skin.
Winter annual flowers are required to endure frost and the colder temperatures experienced in the winter. These hardy flowers are strong choices to keep your winter flower bed blooming and full.
Flowering stock’s clove-like scent makes it great for bouquets or for lining a popular area of your garden. Stock flowers are ideal for filling out a garden or a bouquet.
English primrose is the most popular variety and comes in many bright colors to brighten up your home during the drabbier winter season. This late-blooming winter flower has a short life span.
14. Sweet Pea
Sweet pea flowers are commonly used in perfume due to their sweet and delicate scent. These flowers can climb as tall as 10 feet! Some dwarf varieties only grow up to two feet.
15. Flowering Kale
Flowering kale is not as tasty as its edible cousin, but it makes up for that with its big and beautiful leaves. Flowering kale produces the best color in cooler weather conditions.
Spring is the time for numerous flowers to make their way back to our gardens and homes. Make sure your flowers can endure the threat of frost if you choose to plant early spring flowers!
Snapdragons are a fragrant flower with mouthlike petals. These blooms come in a variety of shapes and colors that make them perfect to add to any bouquet.
17. African Daisy
African daisies are happy flowers that bloom for a long time and can add a fun pop of color to your garden or your bouquet.
18. Sweet Alyssum
Sweet alyssum flowers have a light fragrance that can add a nice aroma to your garden. These dainty florals are easy to pair with statement flowers in a bouquet.
Dianthus flowers are fragrant blooms with beautiful blue-green foliage. Many flower enthusiasts refer to these flowers simply as “pinks.”
Pansies are classic spring garden flowers that are found in many homes. Some pansies have a wintergreen flavor and can be used to garnish cocktails and soups.
There are a wide variety of annual flowers available for your garden and your home! Annual flowers also provide beautiful choices for colorful and fragrant bouquets. You won’t have to wait too long during a growing season to get ahold of these beautiful blooms, so you can focus more on picking the best flowers and less time thinking about blooming time. Don’t forget that many annuals are also delicious edible flowers that you can use for your favorite dishes and desserts!
Enhance your garden’s look and beauty with the foliage of perennial plants and long-lasting perennial flowers. Your garden’s color will pop with stunning flowering perennials.
About Perennial Flowers & Perennial Plants
One of the great things about perennial flowers and perennial plants is that they continue to bloom and thrive year after year. Flowering perennials will save you from having to plant new flowers each season.
Perennial plants typically have a shorter blooming season, ranging from two to three weeks depending on the type. You can help offset this by planting flowers together that bloom early, mid-season and late for a continual splash of color. Brighten up your garden’s shady spots with some butterfly and bird attracting full shade perennials. We also offer full sun perennials for those spots in your garden that get lots of sunlight. And if you live in a dry climate, check out our selection of drought resistant perennials.
Choosing Perennial Plants & Perennial Flowers
When selecting flowering perennials, be sure to check their height, size, growth patterns, colors, peak blooming time and ideal soil conditions. Make sure flowering perennials are compatible with your region’s climate. Most flowering perennials are sold when they are in bloom, allowing you to see the colors you want.
In addition to perennial flowers and perennial plants, we also have lily bulbs, flower bulbs, garden flowers, rose bushes, daisies, lilies and hydrangeas. If you’re not sure where to begin with your perennial plants, our How-To Guides can help point you in the right direction. We can also give you planting and maintenance tips for your perennial plants.
Most perennials will need dividing at some point, typically every two to three years to avoid plants competing for nutrients and water. Dividing perennials is necessary to avoid overcrowding and to keep your plants as healthy and lush as possible. Dividing perennials is a great way to turn one plant into several free plants that can be used elsewhere in your landscape.
Zone 7 is one of 13 hardiness zones in the United States. Like all hardiness zones, zone 7 is divided into two subsets (7a and 7b). You should use the zone designation to select plants suited for the climate in a particular area.
Zone 7 Hardiness Temperatures
The zones are determined by the average minimum temperature in the winter months. The temperatures for each zone are separated by a difference of 10° Fahrenheit. For example, the average low temperature of zone 7 is 10° colder than zone 8 and the average low temperature in zone 8 is 10° colder than Zone 9.
Subset Zone Temperatures
Each subzone is separated by 5°F. That means for zone 7:
- Zone 7: The overall zone has a minimum average of temperatures of 0° to 10°F.
- Zone 7a: This subzone has a minimum average temperature of 0° to 5° F.
- Zone 7b: This subzone has a minimum average temperature of 5° to 10°F.
Of course, the temperatures don’t always stay within this range. Much colder temperatures can occur. The hardiness zones pivot around these minimum average degrees.
Zone 7 States
No state has just one zone. There are multiple hardiness zones within most states due to topography differences and climate conditions. For example, in North Carolina, the mountain region is 7a while the Piedmont region is 7b. The state’s coastal region has both 8a and 8b areas.
There are zone 7 areas in 28 states. These include:
2012 Zone Boundary Changes
If you’re an avid gardener, you may have notice some changes in the hardiness zone map update published by the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) in 2012. The new map shows a 5° F half-zone increase over the 1990 map. This change could simply reflect warming throughout the U.S. Alternately, Garden suggests this may be explained by sophisticated technology that allows for better weather mapping and data taken from more weather stations.
Plants that Thrive in Zone 7
There are many vegetables, flowers, trees and other plants that you can grow in zone 7. The summer vegetable crop varieties often seem endless.
- Choose varieties of herbs that overwinter well, such as rosemary varieties, Hill Hardy and Madeline Hill.
- Nut trees such as pecan, chestnut, walnut, hazelnut and hickory are excellent choices for this zone.
- Strawberries, blackberries, blueberries and other berries thrive in zone 7.
- You can grow many fruit trees, such as apple, peach, pear, and apricot.
Note: Most local nurseries and big box stores sell only plants suitable to the local zone.
Zone 7 Gardening Tips
The hardiness zone guide can help you decide which plants to grow in your region. A few helpful tips about growing in this zone include:
Grow Citrus Trees in Zone 7
A common misperception is that it’s not possible to grow citrus trees in this zone. However, there are several varieties that are zone 7 and even zone 8 hardy.
McKenzie Farms and Nursery specializes in producing cold hardy citrus as well as palms and eucalyptus trees. The company only ships inside the U.S. and aren’t able to ship to Arizona, California, Florida or Texas.
Zone 7, like other zones, has specific first and last timeframes. However, these aren’t set in stone and sometimes are off the mark. Frost dates for zone 7 last and first frosts for the year are typically:
- Last frost date: Mid-April is the timeframe given for zone 7, although there have been frosts as late as the first week in May.
- First frost date: Mid-October is the benchmark for first frost, but it has also been as late as the first week in November.
You can always download a current frost date app. Just enter your zip code to get a more accurate time-frame.
Things Zone Designations Don’t Include
The way to use the zone designation is to aid you in growing plant life that can survive the winter in your region. The zone guide can’t account for occurrences like microclimates, droughts, soil conditions, soil fertility, rainfall and unusual weather patterns. These things are very important to your growing progress. You can find this information in Sunset’s The New Western Garden Book.
Zone 7 Gardening Insight
Zone 7 offers a long growing season that gives plenty of opportunity to enjoy a wide variety of flowers, trees, shrubs and vegetables. By knowing what plants can tolerate winter conditions in your zone, you can save quite a bit of time and money.