USDA Colorado Hardiness Zones: 3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a
Colorado has a wide and varied topography, giving it a highly varied climate and a wide range of planting zones. You’ll find plenty of mountaintops in the state, with the highest average elevation in all of the US, at around 6,800 feet!
Within this inland state, you’ll find everything from semi-arid areas in the east to semi-arid and alpine climates across the rest of the state. You’ll even come across conditions that range from subtropical to Mediterranean and, at the higher elevations, subarctic.
This varied climate makes knowing your Colorado Planting Zones even more critical so you can plant a successful garden where you live.
Colorado Planting Zone – A Quick Overview:
- Most of the mountain areas are in climate Zone 3 and Zone 4, so you’ll need cold-hardy vegetables if you live here. Remember, the higher the elevation, the colder the temperature and the lower the hardiness zone you’ll be in.
- If you live in the western parts of the state or the most southeastern part of the state, you’ll are likely to be living in the 6a, 6b, or 7a planting zones, which are a little warmer and have a little bit longer growing season than the cooler areas.
- If you live in the northeastern areas of Colorado, you’ll be in Zones 5a and 5b, unless you’re in the mountains.
- The mountains of Colorado make the growing zones a little bit more complicated, so you’ll need to watch for pockets of micro-climates that might change the growing zone you’re in.
Using the Colorado Growing Zones Map
Take a close look at the Colorado hardiness zones. These zones are based on the 2012 USDA map data. The hardiness map for Colorado will help you know which plants will thrive in the area you live in, and they will also help you figure out when to plant and when to harvest.
You can easily find your specific Colorado gardening zone by putting your zip code into the search box or by locating your area on the map. The color of the area you live in will correspond to a color on the legend at the right of the map. This legend will tell you what number and letter grow zone you live in.
You might need to adjust your grow zone depending on your elevation. The higher the elevation, the lower the number and the colder the zone. And the lower the elevation, the higher the number and the warmer the zone.
If this sounds confusing, you may want to consult with some local expert gardeners and farmers to get more information about what will grow where you live.
You can create micro-climates around your garden areas by planting hedges or trees to act as a wind block. You can also use boulders to reflect heat back to your garden, which might help you to extend your growing season.
If possible, plant your gardens on a south-facing slope to maximize sunlight in areas that have short growing seasons.
Colorado: Lots of Elevation, But Plenty of Plants to Grow
Due to the elevation in Colorado, you’ll likely have a shorter growing season. But as long as you know your Colorado hardiness zone, you can find plants that will thrive in your location.
According to Tagawa Gardens, there are plenty of plants that you can grow in the Colorado climate zone. Vegetable plants such as asparagus, onions, chives, peas, spinach, and radishes are all good choices to grow.
In addition, Calendula and Vinca Vine are hardy flowering plants that will do well in Colorado, also.