Planting In Zone 5: Gardening Tips For Zone 5

Image by DarcyMaulsby

By Darcy Larum, Landscape Designer

Hardiness zones are general guidelines of the temperatures a plant can survive. Zone 5 plants can survive winter temperatures no lower than -20 degrees Fahrenheit (-28 C.). If a plant is hardy in zones 5-8, it can be grown in zones 5, 6, 7 and 8. It would probably not survive the cold winter temperatures in zone 4 or lower. It also could probably not survive the hot, dry summers and inadequate time for dormancy in zone 9 or higher. Continue reading to learn about the best plants zone 5 gardens.

About Zone 5 Gardens

The average date on last frost in zone 5 is around April 15. Most zone 5 gardeners tend to hold off until early to mid-may before planting vegetable gardens and annual beds. Most annuals and vegetables do very well in zone 5, as long as they are not hit by a late frost while they are young. Many tough zone 5 or above perennials can withstand a late frost or will still be dormant in early spring.

Best Plants for Zone 5

A large variety of perennials grow wonderfully in zone 5 gardens.

Creeping phlox, dianthus, creeping thyme, stonecrop and violets are excellent ground covers for sunny zone 5 gardens. For all season long color, interplant zone 5 hardy perennials like:

For a shady zone 5 garden, try ajuga, lamium, lungwort, vinca/periwinkle or mukdenia as a ground cover or border. Interplantings here could include:

A zone 5 gardener has many excellent perennials to choose from; too many to list them all. While I’ve already mentioned many zone 5 perennial options, I’ve also comprised lists of my top 5 picks of trees and shrubs for zone 5 gardens.

Deciduous Shade Trees

  • October Glory or Autumn Blaze Maple, zones 3-8
  • Pin Oak, zones 4-8
  • Skyline Honey locust, zones 3-9
  • Cleveland Select pear, zones 5-8
  • Ginkgo, zones 3-9

Deciduous Ornamental Trees

  • Royal Rain Drops Crabapple, zones 4-8
  • Ivory Silk Japanese Lilac tree, zones 3-7
  • Redbud, zones 4-9
  • Saucer Magnolia, zones 4-9
  • Newport Plum, zones 4-10

Evergreen Trees

Deciduous Shrubs

Evergreen Shrubs

  • Boxwood, zones 4-9
  • Juniper, zones 3-9
  • Mr. Bowling Ball Arborvitae, zones 3-8
  • Yew, zones 4-7
  • Golden Mops, zone 5-7

These are not all inclusive lists. Zone 5 gardeners will find many beautiful trees, shrubs and perennials at local garden centers that grow very reliably in their zone.

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