Skip to main content

Do you live in climate zone 7? How to tell if your plants will last

If you just found out that you’re a resident of climate zone 7, you’re probably wondering what that means for your home garden. With cool winters and long summers, this region can be a paradise for all your favorite greens with some planning and care. How can you tell if your plant will last here? Ahead, we go over everything you need to know about climate zone 7, from where it is to what kind of flowers, trees, and vegetables thrive in it.

Japanese maple tree

Where is climate zone 7?

Before we dive into the specifics of climate zone 7, let’s first talk about what a climate zone is. A climate zone is one of the regions denoted by the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map, which divides the country into 13 areas based on annual minimum temperature ranges. Temperature isn’t the sole defining factor for whether or not a plant will survive in a region, but it’s a pretty important one. Often, plant and seed labels at nurseries will indicate a zone range in which a plant is perennial—meaning that it’ll last over one growing season there.

The average minimum temperature in zone 7 falls between 0 and 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Growers in zone 7 experience cool winters and warm, humid summers. With that in mind, it’s a region with many microclimates—you’ve got everything from Oklahoma prairies to Oregon forests. In general, many zone 7 perennial plants can adjust to their specific environments with extra support. Though it encompasses 15 states, zone 7 mainly covers:

  • New Mexico
  • Texas
  • Oklahoma
  • Arkansas
  • Alabama
  • Tennessee
Hosta plant

Zone 7 flowers and foliage

Zone 7 is home to many gorgeous perennial flowers, so creating a cottagecore garden is very possible. Popular picks include coneflowers, hollyhocks, and peonies. All of these flowers thrive in full sun in zone 7 summers, but hollyhocks and peonies aren’t as drought tolerant as coneflowers and may require extra mulching and watering during warm weather.

For foliage, hosta plants (which also flower) are popular picks for zone 7 gardens because of their attractive textured and patterned leaves—they can be standalone plants or used as edging near flowers and fruit trees. All you need to do is give them ample shade and well-draining soil to help them thrive. For groundcover, silvery Japanese painted ferns also make for gorgeous additions to your garden with enough shade and watering.

Zone 7 ornamental trees

Many ornamental trees can survive in zone 7 throughout the year, even during the coldest days of winter. Spruces, junipers, and firs are some evergreen trees that can thrive underneath blankets of snow. Colorful tree varieties that last in zone 7 include dogwood trees with pink and white flowers and Japanese maple trees with stunning red foliage.

Fresh sprigs of rosemary

Zone 7 fruits and vegetables

Zone 7’s cool winters and long summers make it ideal for many fruit trees. Fruits that flourish in this region include apples, figs, pears, and apricots. Citrus trees usually can’t handle the cold temperatures during zone 7 winters, but tracking down hardy varieties can change this. Kumquat, trifoliate orange, and tangelo trees can often grow successfully in zone 7. Mulching your tree, wrapping it with a blanket, and keeping it in a container to overwinter indoors are helpful steps to ensure its survival.

With cool transitional periods and extended growing seasons, zone 7 offers a welcoming environment for vegetables to do well. Asparagus, broccoli, carrots, celery, and kale are some veggies that can thrive in this region. When it comes to herbs, mint, parsley, basil, and thyme can also be quite hardy in zone 7. Rosemary is another herb that does well in zone 7, granted that you select hardy varieties—varieties that can survive outside in this region include “Hill Hardy” and “Arp.” If winters become too cold, you can cover your plants with row covers or mulch them; otherwise, you can overwinter them indoors.

Growing seeds in zone 7

In zone 7, the last frost usually falls in mid-April, and the first frost starts in mid-October. If you have crops in early spring and late fall, frost blankets and row covers can help tender plants survive. For late spring and mid-summer crops, you can start your seeds indoors around the beginning of March before you bring them outside.

Though you may encounter chilly winters in zone 7, it’s still a region where flowers, fruits, vegetables, and trees can adapt to and thrive in mild transitional seasons and long summers. When it becomes chilly in the winter, there are proactive steps to protect your foliage. As long as you consider hardy plant varieties and take measures to keep them safe in cold weather, you’ll be able to build a lush and productive paradise in your zone 7 garden.

Editors' Recommendations

Stacey Nguyen
Stacey's work has appeared on sites such as POPSUGAR, HelloGiggles, Buzzfeed, The Balance, TripSavvy, and more. When she's…
How to make your home spooky with pumpkin on a stick plants
Everything you need to know about growing and harvesting pumpkin on a stick
Pumpkin on a stick fruit close up

Pumpkins are essentially the universal symbols of Halloween, but you’re certainly not limited to them when it comes to spooky season foliage. If you’re looking for something a bit more quaint than the traditional pumpkin, try out the pumpkin on a stick plant (Solanum integrifolium) this autumn. Although it’s a tad rarer than your usual batch of pumpkins, the pumpkin on a stick plant is actually fairly common in nurseries and grocery stores around October and November. 

If you happen upon a pumpkin on a stick plant and want to know how to grow it, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s all that you need to know about pumpkin on a stick plant care to integrate its spooktacular vibes into your home this fall. 

Read more
These are the best zone 8 plants for your warm, bright climate
Here are the best flowers, fruits, vegetables, and grasses if you're growing zone 8 plants
African lily flower

When spring and summer arrive, climate zone 8 is a region where beautiful flowers and delicious harvests flourish. If you live in the Pacific Northwest or the southern part of the United States, then this is likely your hardiness zone. These areas enjoy mild winters, with the lowest temperatures dipping between 10 and 20 degrees Fahrenheit.

Summers are long and warm, which are ideal for plant growth. Zone 8's conditions, especially its extended growing season, make it most fitting for many veggies and fruits. Here are the best zone 8 plants and tips on growing them.

Read more
The best and brightest zone 7 perennials to grow in your garden
The loveliest zone 7 perennial flowers to add to your garden
Liatris spicata blooms

If you're new to growing flower gardens or are bored with the flowers you typically grow, you might want to check out this list of zone 7 friendly perennials. Of course, this is not an extensive list of all the flowers you can grow in zone 7, but these are some of our favorites. They are unique, colorful, and low maintenance so that you can grow them no matter your gardening experience level.

Liriope muscari 'Variegata'
The Liriope muscari can survive in full sun or full shade, and they're also very drought tolerant. This means they're low maintenance and fantastic for beginner gardeners. The tiny purple blooms appear between August and September and look amazing against the bright green and yellow variegated leaves. And more good news — deer won't eat them, and they act as an excellent ground cover! Prune the dead foliage down to the ground in winter and watch them pop back up in the spring.

Read more