USDA Georgia Hardiness Zones: 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a
Long hot summers and mild winters characterize the Georgia climate. You’ll find the Atlantic Ocean on the east coast of Georgia affects the climate in that area, while the mountains to the north affect the climate there, as well. The state can see anywhere from 45 to 75 inches of rain per year.
The southernmost parts of Georgia rarely receive snow, but it does become more likely in the more northern areas and those areas with higher elevations. As a result, Georgia is not often in the direct path of hurricanes, but it does see cyclones and tornadoes.
Most of Georgia is considered to be a subtropical climate, with the exception of the mountainous areas with higher elevations.
Georgia Planting Zone – A Quick Overview:
- If you live in the small coastal portion of Georgia, you’ll probably be in Zone 9a.
- Most of the south and eastern area of Georgia is zone 8b.
- As you move north throughout the state, you’ll find lower climate zones.
- The northeast corner of the state incoporates zones 6a and 6b and is the coolest part of the state. You will also find zone 6b in the northwest corner.
- The rest of the state of Georgia is zone 8a, which makes up about ¼ of the state.
- Higher elevations will be in lower Georgia growing zones than the lower elevations.
Using the Georgia Growing Zones Map
The hardiness map for Georgia is based on the 2012 USDA map data. The USDA created these plant hardiness zones to guide farmers and gardeners on when to plant and what to plant. This will help you choose the best plants for your climate.
It’s pretty easy to figure out your Georgia gardening zone. You can look on the map to see where you live or input your zip code into the search bar. You’ll find a color associated with the area you live in.
Match the color to the legend at the right, and that will show you what Georgia climate zone you live in. Knowing your climate zone can help you find your first and last frost dates, if applicable to your area.
On the other hand, these zones are just a guide, and the terrain and elevation around you can influence your hardiness zone. For example, if you live at higher elevations in Georgia, you’ll have a lower growing zone than the lower elevations, even if you are in the same general area.
You can use this knowledge to your advantage to create small micro-climates where you live. For example, if you live in an area that receives high winds, you might want to plant your garden next to a building or plant a hedge next to your garden to shield it from the wind.
You can also plant trees to give a little afternoon shade to cool-weather vegetables or dig swales to direct water towards or away from your garden.
If you need more specific information about your local growing zone, consult some farmers or gardeners in your area for extra help.
Georgia: Hot Humid Summers and Mild Winters
Most of Georgia has a long hot, and humid summer with short, mild winters. This can be a challenging climate to grow those cool weather crops, of course, but there are plenty of plants that will thrive in this subtropical climate.
Randy’s Nursery suggests heat-loving perennials in your landscape, such as Agastache, Canna, low-maintenance Daylillies, Shasta daisies, and even yarrow. Focus on heat-loving veggies such as tomatoes, peppers, and okra during the hotter summer months.
Cool-loving veggies, such as lettuce and spinach, can tolerate light frosts, so plant those as soon as your ground is workable in the very early spring.