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.
- Bee balm
- Russian sage
- Butterfly weed
- Coral bells
- Bleeding heart
- Jacob’s ladder
- Balloon flower
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
- Arborvitae, zones 3-8
- Colorado Blue Spruce, zones 2-7, or Black Hills, zones 3-7
- Douglas or Concolor Fir, zones 4-8
- Hemlock, zones 3-7
- White Pine, zones 3-7
- Dappled Willow, zones 5-9
- Red-twig Dogwood, zones 2-9
- Forsythia, zones 4-8
- Easy Elegance or Knockout Rose, zones 4-8
- Weigela, zones 4-9
- 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.