USDA South Carolina Hardiness Zones: 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a
South Carolina is a popular tourist destination. It is a historical state with rich history and prominent cities, but it’s also a coastal state. Because of the influence of the Atlantic Ocean, South Carolina’s climate is a humid subtropical climate.
South Carolina’s geography is unique. The state is divided into four separate regions. Those regions are the Sea Islands, the Atlantic Coastal Plain, the Piedmont Plateau, and the Blue Ridge Mountains.
You’ll find slightly different weather patterns in each of the four regions. Because the weather varies by region, South Carolina is classified into five different planting zones. The planting zones of South Carolina are 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, and 9a.
South Carolina Planting Zone – A Quick Overview
- The 7a planting zone is a tiny portion of the state. You might live in the 7a planting zone if you live right on the North Carolina border in Oconee County, Pickens County, and Greenville County.
- The plant hardiness of the northwestern part of the state, including Spartanburg and its surrounding areas, is classified as the 7b planting zone.
- If you live in the surrounding area of Columbia, you live in the 8a planting zone.
- The 8b planting zone is located in the southeastern portion of the state. If you live in Myrtle Beach, your planting zone is 8b.
- The area around Charleston is labeled as planting zones 8b and 9a.
Using the South Carolina Growing Zones Map
There is a wide variety of crops that do well in South Carolina’s climate. But, before you plan a trip to the nursery, you need to know your exact growing zone. Identifying your growing zone will help you choose plants that are well suited to your garden space’s climate.
If you do not know your planting zone, no worries! The USDA has made it easy to identify planting zones. In 2012, the USDA Created the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map. (It’s important to note that the term, plant hardiness zone, is interchangeable with “growing zones,” “gardening zones,” and “planting zones.”)
The USDA Plant Hardiness Map labels each of the growing zones in the United States with a specific color. Once you’ve identified your growing zone color, match it to the legend on the side of the map to determine your planting zone.
To use the USDA’s interactive map, click on the state of South Carolina. From there, zoom in on your general area of the state. This should give you a general idea of your planting zone. If you want the most accurate information about your gardening zone, enter your address and zip code in the search bar.
South Carolina is known to be a relatively warm state. But, if you live on the northwestern edge of the state along the North Carolina border, you might find your area somewhat colder.
There’s a chance the plants you choose for your garden in this area will vary compared to the plants gardeners grow in other parts of the state. For this reason, it’s essential to know your planting zone before buying plants and seeds.
It is also necessary to understand the micro-climate of your garden space may be different from the climate of the general area. If you live around a water source, a downslope, or a city with a lot of pavement, you’ll likely find the micro-climate is different.
Factors such as humidity, slopes, and excessive heat are just a few factors that affect a micro-climate. Keep this in mind when planning your garden.
South Carolina: A Geographically Distinct State
Depending on your location in South Carolina and your geographical region, the length of your growing season will vary. Some areas of South Carolina may start planting outdoors in early February, while others will need to wait until after the year’s last frost in mid-April.
Check with your local nursery for a better idea of when you can start planting outside.
Fortunately, many crops grow well in South Carolina’s gardening zones. If you’re thinking of planting a vegetable garden, you might choose beets, collards, or onions.
Marigolds, zinnias, and petunias make a lovely addition to any South Carolina flower bed. Lee’s Nursery and Landscaping, located in Rock Hill, South Carolina, suggests planting Green Ash trees, Weeping cherry trees, or Bald Cypress Trees to upgrade your landscape.