Planting In Zone 5: Gardening Tips For Zone 5

Colorful Flowers Surrounding A White Fence
zone 5 garden
(Image credit: DarcyMaulsby)

Hardiness zones are the USDA's general guidelines of the temperatures a plant can survive. Zone 5 plants can survive winter temperatures no lower than -20 degrees F. (-28 C.). If a plant is hardy in zones 5 through 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 of the 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 groundcover 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

Deciduous Ornamental Trees

Evergreen Trees

Deciduous Shrubs

Evergreen Shrubs

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.

Darcy Larum