Southern U.S. - The Best Plants to Grow in Your Garden
Choosing plants for the Southern U.S., with USDA Hardiness Zones 6-11 and AHS Heat Zones 2-12, requires an understanding of the region’s unique climate characteristics. Here are some tips to consider:
- Recognize Your Region: The South ranges from coastal zones to mountainous areas. Each has unique weather patterns and soil conditions, so determine your specific area’s characteristics for accurate plant selection.
- Select Suitable Species: Choose plants that thrive in the South’s heat and humidity. Crape Myrtle, Southern Magnolia, and Live Oak are examples of heat-tolerant plants suited to this region.
- Heat and Humidity: These are two defining factors in the South. Opt for plants that can handle high temperatures and humid conditions. Heat-tolerant plants include Salvia, Lantana, and Marigolds.
- Water Wisely: Some parts of the South experience dry summers, so incorporate drought-tolerant plants like Lavender, Sage, or Yucca. Also, consider an efficient irrigation system.
- Consider Native Plants: Southern natives are adapted to local conditions and often require less maintenance. They can also support local wildlife.
- Soil Conditions: Southern soils can range from sandy coastal soils to heavy clay. Get a soil test to understand your soil type better and amend it as needed for your chosen plants.
- Plan for Year-Round Interest: Select a variety of plants that bloom at different times for a year-round vibrant garden. This can include spring-flowering bulbs, summer annuals, fall perennials, and winter-interest shrubs.
Remember, local nurseries, garden clubs, and extension services can offer valuable advice specific to your location in the South.