USDA Maryland Hardiness Zones: 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, and 8a
Although Maryland is a relatively small state compared to others, it’s home to some of the United States’ most majestic mountain ranges, including the Allegheny Mountains and the Blue Ridge mountains.
Maryland’s unique geography essentially separates the state into two separate climates. The western portion of the state is classified as a temperate climate. The state’s eastern half is classified as a humid subtropical climate due to the Atlantic Ocean and the Chesapeake Bay.
The two distinct climates of Maryland lend a hand in giving the state six planting zones. The planting zones of Maryland are 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, and 8a.
Maryland Planting Zones- A Quick Overview
- Maryland is broken into six different planting zones.
- If you live near the Virginia and West Virginia border and the southern portion of Garrett County, you likely live in the 5b climate zone. If you live in the northern part of Garrett County, your climate zone is 6a.
- The Allegany County and parts of Washington, Carroll, and Baltimore Counties are classified as the 6b planting zone.
- The counties surrounding Washington, D.C., are located in the 7a planting zone.
- Planting zones 7b and 8a are mainly along the inlet of Maryland and the Atlantic Coast. You can expect a more humid climate in these areas.
Using the Maryland Growing Zones Map
The Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean significantly affect Maryland’s climate. The presence of mountain ranges along the state’s western side also affects the climate.
Because Maryland’s climate differs considerably by location, you must use the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map when selecting plants to add to your garden. The USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map, drafted in 2012, is a helpful reference tool to determine your area’s climate and planting zone.
Many plants’ nursery tags list which growing zone is suitable for the specific plant. Because many nurseries use this information and print it on the plant tag, it is helpful to know which specific plant hardiness zone you live in.
The USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map website is where you need to go to find the plant hardiness zone of your location. After opening the website, click on the state of Maryland. From there, you can zoom in on the general location of your area.
Enter your address and zip code into the search bar if you want more specific data. Once you’ve entered your address or zoomed in on your area, you’ll notice the map is different shades of color. Compare the color shade of the map to the legend on the side of the map to determine your plant hardiness zone.
Maryland has six different plant hardiness zones. Each zone is classified according to the average temperatures of that area. Because the growing zones of the state are diverse, you must use the map to determine your planting zone before spending time and energy planting plants that may or may not survive in your climate.
It would help if you also considered the micro-climate of your area. Many factors affect a micro-climate. If your garden is in a hilly location with many slopes, the micro-climate may be somewhat different from the general area. Take note of the various aspects of your garden space to see if these will factor into the micro-climate.
Maryland: A State with Two Climates
Maryland is a unique state because it is divided into two climates, a temperate climate and a humid subtropical climate. Different plants will flourish in the two separate climates.
If you live in Maryland’s temperate climate and want to plant a vegetable garden, think about planting kale, arugula, or broccoli. Spinach and radish are also tasty options.
Black-eyed Susans, zinnias, and lavender will add a delicate touch to your flower garden or the borders of your vegetable garden. Consider planting ash trees, beech trees, or tulip poplars to enhance your landscape.
The humid subtropical climate of Maryland is suitable for pumpkins, squash, and melons. You might also think about growing tomatoes to add flavor to your summer picnic table.
According to Ecoasis Garden Center in Bowie, Maryland, you can plant many edible flowers in your flower garden. Spice up your tea and treats with edible flowers such as bee balm, red clover, and pineapple sage.