Plants have climatic requirements outside of their normal planting conditions. However, many types of climates are found and unfortunately for gardening enthusiasts, your favourite plants are not always suited to the temperature levels in your area. That is why it is important for every gardener to know which plant best fits a given region’s climate.

Appropriate climatic conditions are one of the success factors of growing plants. Even the hardiest plants cannot always survive cold or excessively hot climates. Similarly, some plants do not withstand drought as well as abundant humidity. During the winter, many of them cannot bear the cold, so should be brought inside to go in a greenhouse or garage. Sometimes, they must be carefully wrapped in winter protection or burlap to protect them from frost. This can prove to be useful if they are planted in pots. However, it’s another story if they are planted in the ground. Furthermore, the soil’s moisture or dryness, which is one of the essential factors for growth, also depends on the weather. In short, desperately trying to grow plants that are not suitable to your region’s climate requires considerable efforts, on top of which success is not always guaranteed. Therefore, it is better to know what plants are suitable for a region’s temperatures in order to achieve desired results. Climate types are often classified into zones of different hardiness, but also in various categories. Temperatures are assigned to these regions, so it becomes easier to determine the degree of cold or heat in each region.

The main climate types

On the one hand, there are hardiness zones and on the other there are climate types. The hardiness zone defines the lowest temperature reached during winter in a specific region. They are classified as in eleven zones of which the temperatures range from -49°F to over 52°F (-45°C to over 11 ° C). According to these zones, seeding can be advanced or delayed a few weeks. On the other hand, climate zones are also indicative of temperature. Oceanic zones are among the most frequent findings. They are characterized by an abundance of rain throughout the year, cool temperatures in the summer and relatively mild winters during which temperatures range from 8 °C to -6 ° C (46°F to 21°F). This is the case for most European regions such as France, Belgium or Ireland. Then comes the famous Mediterranean climate, which consists of a temperate climate with very dry summers, erratic rain and sometimes thunder storms. It is the continents’ western regions that have this type of climate, as is the case of California in North America, Australia, Africa and the Middle East. In these regions, flowers bloom in spring and autumn, while summer is the plant’s resting period. Continental climate, meanwhile, is characterized by very hot summers and harsh winters. Finally, there is the mountain climate which is characterized by the abundance of rain and temperature variations according to the altitude.

Which plants for which climate?

First of all, most shrubs with small fruit, especially berries, love the sun and rich soil. Thus, a temperate climate, such as that of the Mediterranean region, is perfectly suited for these shrubs. On the other hand, this is not the case of the redcurrant bush, which adapts well to cold and hardy zones. Indeed, these plants can be grown both in-ground or in containers, unlike fruit trees such as orange trees and plum trees which require lots of space. For those who like conifers, know that they adapt to humid regions such as mountainous and oceanic areas. The oceanic climate is the most suitable type for flowers and plants because of its moderate temperatures. It is ideal for azaleas, hibiscus, gardenias and hydrangeas. However, some flowers like hollyhock, peonies and camellias can withstand temperatures as low as -22 ° F (-30 ° C). The rather extreme continental climate is ideal for planting shrubs, provided they are well prepared for winter. The trick is to choose shrubs that can withstand the cold well.

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Published in Garden maintenance by Alexander on 06 Jul 2011