Zone 9 has the longest growing period of any zone that experiences annual frost, only freezing from late November or early December until early to mid February. At the coldest, annual averages only reach 20 to 30°F. There are 15 states with zone 9 growing conditions, all falling along the pacific coast or in the south.
Like any zone, frost dates will vary slightly from year to year. It’s important to check the Old Farmer’s Almanac for more accurate weather predictions for the current year.
Being a zone that doesn’t typically get very cold, it can be considered to have a year-round growing period. High heat and a lack of rainfall are two of the biggest challenges that gardeners in zone 9 will face, so be sure to select plants that you can accommodate. Those that need the most water should probably be planted close to the house!
Check out our list below for some of our favorite zone 9 options.
- White Knight® Sweet Alyssum is perennial in warmer zones, giving you wonderful masses of small white and yellow blooms all season, every season. Heat tolerance allows for a wide range of location options, and it’s known to bring bees and butterflies to boot!
- Amazing Daisies® ‘Banana Cream’ Shasta Daisy is a long-blooming perennial with large and gorgeous blooms. Attractive to pollinators, the white and yellow flowers are sure to add great notes of color to wherever you plant them.
- Pyromania® ‘Rocket’s Red Glare’ Red Hot Poker has the look of a bright red ship taking off. The fire-colored blooms fade to a yellow as the stem continues down, creating an excellent mesh of color atop this tolerant and deer-resistant plant.
Annuals are always a fantastic way to expand your choice of plants, and you can try new varieties each year. If they’re planted between frost dates, most should fair just fine for the length of the growing season. However, it’s always important to consider your particular garden conditions. Hours of sunlight, soil conditions, and other factors will greatly impact how a plant preforms.
For a complete list of plants that are suitable for zone 9, click here! If you’d like to learn more about gardening zones in general then be sure to check out our blog The Ultimate Guide to Plant Hardiness Zones.
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