USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 6

USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 6 covers a lot of territory, with a diverse climate range in states that stretch from Washington to Maine, dipping down to include parts of Colorado, Missouri, Illinois, Ohio and New York. With the average low winter temperature falling in the -10 to 0 degrees F range, gardeners in this growing zone can not only grow many beautifully ornamental plants, but also a wide variety of fruiting plants.

Some examples of plants that prosper in Zone 6 include:



Shade in summer and unparalleled fall foliage can be found on these trees:

• Autumn Blaze Maple (Acer freemanii 'Jeffersred') – truly setting the landscape ablaze in autumn with its colorful foliage, Autumn Blaze is also a fast-growing maple
• Autumn Purple Ash (Fraxinus americana 'Autumn Purple') – a unique color combination of yellow and purple on its fall leaves sets Autumn Purple Ash apart from other trees
• Tulip Poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera) – the large, orange-and-yellow, tulip-shaped flowers attract butterflies


Zone 6 evergreens have needled or broad leaves, such as:

• Thuja Green Giant Arborvitae (Thuja standishii x plicata 'Green Giant') – this award-winning tree is disease-resistant with a full skirt of branches that touch the ground
• Skyrocket Juniper (Juniperus scopulorum 'Skyrocket') – blue-green foliage and narrow growth give Skyrocket Juniper a colorful and textural interest that's suitable for even small yards
• Little Gem Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora 'Little Gem') – a smaller replica of its larger Southern Magnolia relative, Little Gem has broad, glossy leaves and fragrant, white, cup-shaped flowers


These flowering trees enhance any Zone 6 landscape design:

• Rising Sun Redbud (Cercis canadensis 'JN2' Rising Sun) – stunning fuchsia flowers bloom before the multicolored green-and-yellow heart-shaped leaves appear on these trees
• Cleveland Pear (Pyrus calleryana 'Cleveland Select') – an improvement over the structurally challenged Bradford Pear, Cleveland Select is sturdier
• Cherokee Brave Dogwood (Cornus florida 'Comco No. 1' Cherokee Brave) – a red-flowering version of the native white dogwood

Shrubs with Evergreen Foliage

These evergreen shrubs are suitable for smaller yards or tight garden spots:

• Sky Pencil Holly (Ilex crenata 'Sky Pencil') – a design choice for narrow spaces or framing the entrance to your home, Sky Pencil Holly has small, rounded leaves with no stickers
• Hetz Midget Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis 'Hetz Midget') – a small and rounded thuja shrub
• Dwarf Hinoki Cypress (Chamacyperis obtuse 'Nana') – compact shape and dense growth with soft-needled leaves that are dark-green with light-green accents

Flowering Shrubs

Choose these shrubs to add bursts of color from spring through summer:

• Endless Summer Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla 'Endless Summer') – when the blooming begins in summer, it continues throughout the growing season, producing large, rounded flower heads
• April Snow Camellia (Camellia japonica 'April Snow') – an exceptionally cold-hardy camellia that has pure-white flowers
• Encore Azaleas (Rhododendron spp.) – you'll enjoy a second round of flowers on these repeat-bloomers; colors include pink, white, red, purple and coral


Beautiful in the garden or cut as flowers to fill vases in your home, all these roses are disease-resistant and they don't need dead-heading to continue flowering:

• Oso Easy Rose (Rosa x Oso Easy®) – single- or double-flowering plants in colors that include yellow, orange, red and pink
• Drift Roses (Rosa 'Apricot Drift') – you'll enjoy a carpet of color with these groundcover roses that spread along the ground
• Knock Out Rose (Rosa x Knock Out®) – plant a row of Knock Out Roses for a season-long flowering hedge



Try these dwarf versions of the same-named standard sizes:

• Dwarf Red Delicious Apple (Malus domestica 'Red Delicious') – a classic snacking apple that's crisp and sweet (plant another apple tree nearby for cross-pollination)
• Dwarf Granny Smith Apple (Malus domestica 'Granny Smith') – these hold their flavor without becoming mushy as a baking apple (grow another apple tree as a pollinator helper for the flowers)


• Stella Cherry Tree (Prunus avium 'Stella') – versatile cherry that's good for snacking, baking or canning
• 4-in-1 Cherry Tree (Prunus spp. 'Stella,' 'Black Tartarian,' 'Bing,' 'Royal Ann') – if you can't decide which cherry you'd like to plant, grow this grafted tree and sample four different varieties


• Contender Peach (Prunus persica 'Contender') – cold-hardy and prolific
• Harvester Peach (Prunus persica 'Harvester') – a freestone peach with high yields


• Methley Plum (Prunus salicina) – covered with beautiful flowers in spring and sweet plums in summer
• Santa Rosa Plum (Prunus salicina) – consistent flavor and high yields


Zone 6 gardeners can grow different types of berries, including:

• Sweetheart Blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum 'Sweetheart') – you'll harvest two crops each year
• Heritage Raspberry (Rubus idaeus 'Heritage') – easy to grow, low-maintenance with large red berries
• Triple Crown Thornless Blackberry (Rubus 'Triple Crown') – no thorns makes harvesting quicker and safer

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