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What are the Planting Zones in the USA and What Do They Mean for Your Indoor Garden?

What are the Planting Zones in the USA and What Do They Mean for Your Indoor Garden?

Indoor gardening is a very unique hobby. With this practice, you attempt to create conditions indoors that plants normally need to thrive outdoors. Indoor gardening can be simple as keeping a couple of houseplants, or as complex as a large vertical farm. While technology has made the practice much more approachable for beginners, people still have a good deal of questions about indoor gardening. Of these, Soltech Solutions has received a number of inquires about outdoor conditions affecting indoor gardens. To help our customers feel more confident, Soltech Solutions put together this brief article on planting zones and what they mean for your indoor garden.

What are Planting Zones?

Planting zones are regions in the United States and Canada that limit where certain plant species can successfully grow outdoors. Also known as “hardiness zones,” planting zones are separated by temperature intervals of 10 deg F.
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As temperatures get cooler in different planting zones, these cold temps set thresholds on what types of plant species can survive in a given climate. The concept of planting zones was originally developed by the USDA and is represented in the Plant Hardiness Zone Map. The USDA created 13 planting zones in the United States and Canada - the coolest being Zone 1 and the warmest being Zone 13.

What Types of Planting Zones are in the USA?

Planting zones in the USA are dictated by latitude as well as elevation. Looking at the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map, you will largely see a pattern where warmer planting zones exist further south. However, mountainous regions such as Colorado present unique variances in climate, as higher elevations drive cooler temperatures. Examples of planting zones in the USA: Zone 1: coldest zone, minimum temperatures of -60 to -50 deg F.
  • Location: Alaska, Canada
Zone 6: average zone, minimum temps of -10 deg F to 0 deg F.
  • Location: runs through 38 U.S. states across the middle of the country.
Zone 13: warmest zone, minimum temps of 60 deg F to 70 deg F.
  • Puerto Rico, Hawaii

Are Indoor Gardens Affected by Planting Zones?

The best way to understand whether planting zones will influence your indoor garden is to consider the environmental factors that influence plant growth: temperature, humidity, and sunlight. Rather than thinking about large geographic locations, you should focus on creating a stable cultivation environment within your home. Because modern buildings are designed to carefully regulate environmental conditions, they will insulate your plants from the effects of the outdoors. The key is to figure out ideal levels of temperature, humidity, and sunlight for your houseplants - then keep them consistent throughout the year. If you opt to grow a photoperiodic plant species indoors, beware that changes in the length of night and day outdoors will have an influence on your garden. However, you can regulate plant growth with a plant grow light.

Should I Be Concerned About Planting Zones for My Indoor Garden?

Because houseplants share your living space, they are directly influenced by the temperature, humidity, and light levels of your home. If these levels change dramatically between the seasons, planting zones could have an impact on your garden. Certain regions of central California experience hot, dry summers and cool, rainy winters. Known as a “Mediterranean climate,” this part of the country has dramatically different humidity levels between summer and winter. If you are growing plants that like humidity in this part of California, you will have to supplement with a humidifier during the summer months. Aside from a few small exceptions, most indoor gardens are not greatly influenced by the climatic influences of planting zones. As long as you keep your home properly insulated from the environment outside, and maintain a stable climate, your houseplants should do well wherever you live.

Talk to Soltech Solutions Today!

Soltech Solutions is an industry leader in decorative grow lights. Contact Us today if you have additional questions about indoor gardening.
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