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What To Plant In Zone 8: [Plant Calendar Guide]

Walking through the plant hardiness map, Zone 8 is typically a warm to mild cold area of the United States, promoting the growth of tropical perennials and annuals.

Planting in Zone 8 includes Lavender, Mexican Oregano, Rosemary, Daylilies, Peonies, Oleander, Canna Lilies, Black and Blueberries, Watermelon, Apples, Cabbage, Corn, Beets, and many more, given the minimum average temperature of 10 to 20ºF.

So without worrying about the extreme frost days, scroll through the article and understand the geography of Zone 8 and its popular plant.

All About Zone 8

Compiled with nearly 240 days of the growing period, Zone 8 is one of the warm climate-favoring areas whose average frost temperature never falls below 10ºF.

Furthermore, Zone 8 is classified into subzones 8a and 8b with a 5ºF gap in the average temperature comprising the southern middle portion of the mainland and central coast.

Here the frost starts from December 1st and lasts as late as April 1st, favoring the growth of stone fruit trees that is impossible in Zone 9 and 10.

zone 8 map chart
Consider the Zone 8 frost date to start off the seeds.

Meanwhile, Zone 8 extends from the west coast to the east coast but covers the southern regions making the areas encircle 21 states, including Washington D.C.

Zone 8 States
MarylandMississippiNevadaNew Mexico
North CarolinaOklahomaOregonSouth Carolina

What To Plant In Zone 8? 

The cultivation of various plants in Zone 8 usually starts after the end of the last frost date, as most are spring and summer-loving plants.

However, some cold-hardy vegetables and indoor houseplants survive through the winter days.

Growing Months (Seed Start)Plants List
January (indoors)Vegetables: Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Celery, Lettuce, Onion, Asparagus, Mustard, Peas, Spinach, Turnips

Herbs: Parsley, Rosemary, Snapdragons, Begonias
February (outdoors or indoors)Vegetables:Carrots, Swiss Chard, Collards, Kale, Kohlrabi, Lettuce, Onion, Parsnips, Beets, Radish, Spinach, Turnips, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts

Flowers: Nigella, Poppy, Larkspur

Herb: Parsley
March (outdoors or indoors)Vegetables: Carrots, Peas, Collards, Kale, Lettuce, Onions, Parsnips, Beets, Radish, Salsify, Broccoli, Spinach, Brussel Sprouts, Celery, Corn, Tomato, Eggplant, Okra, Peppers, Asparagus

Herb: Parsley

Fruit: Strawberries
April (outdoors or indoors)Vegetables: Arugula, Beans, Beets, Chard, Kohlrabi, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Corn, Cucumber, Horseradish, Mustard, Okra, Carrots, Onion, Peas, Rhubarb, Spinach, Squash

Eggplant, Peppers and Tomatoes (indoors)

Herbs: Basil, Cilantro, Dill, Oregano

Flowers: Sunflower, Dahlias, Calendula, Clarkia, Poppy

Fruits: Watermelon, Strawberries, Raspberries, Grapes
May (outdoors)Vegetables: Beans, Beets, Chard, Collards, Corn, Okra, Pumpkin, Eggplant, Endive, Peas, Peppers, Radish, Squash, Tomato

Fruits: Watermelon, Cantaloupe, Muskmelon

Herb: Parsley

Flower: Impatiens
June (outdoors)Vegetables: Asparagus, Beans, Chard, Okra, Peas, Peppers, Pumpkin, Spinach, Squash, Tomatoes, Cucumbers

Flowers: Sunflowers, Nasturtiums, Marigolds

Herbs: Borage, Basil
July (outdoors)Vegetables: Radish, Carrots, Beets, Turnips, Kale, Chard, Beans, Corn, Pumpkin, Cherry Tomatoes, Field Peas, Cucumber, Summer Squash, Beets
August (outdoors or indoors)Vegetables: Arugula, Lettuce, Mustard, Chard, Spinach, Kohlrabi, Collards, Beans, Tomatoes, Pumpkin, Chives, Beets, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Radish, Squash, Turnips

Peas, Brussels Sprouts (indoors)
September (outdoors)Vegetables: Beets, Broccoli, Spinach, Lettuce, Radish, Asian Greens, Kale, Collards, Garlic, Shallot, Onion, Turnips
October (outdoors)Vegetables: Arugula, Cabbage, Collards, Lettuce, Radish, Garlic, Shallots, Onions, Spinach

Flowers: Tulip, Daffodil, Hyacinth, Crocus
November (outdoors)Vegetable: Garlic

Flowers: Poppies, Hollyhock, Bachelor's Buttons

Tips to Grow Plants in Zone 8

Planting time matters the most as it will determine the plant’s light, water, and fertilizer requirement, which is to be provided for optimal growth.

Here are the categorized tips to provide your plants as per the season.

1. Spring (March-May)

Spring is the most active season for plants to attain maximum growth as the day gets longer and warmer.

  • Repot any plant that has overgrown its recent pot to improve the growth and prevent any stress to the mother plant.
  • Get the transplants ready by March 15th.
  • Start hardening off five weeks old plants by the end of March and other tender plants at the beginning of May.
  • Cover the headed Brassicas with plastic wrap or a row cover to save them from pests like cabbage moths and flea beetle.
  • Handpick pesky bugs like potato beetles, aphids and cucumber beetles or use organic pesticides like neem oil and insecticidal soap.
  • Prepare compost for your garden using the debris, or turn the pile if you already have it.
  • Pull out any weeds present in the field.
  • Resist planting any summer season crop until the summer days hit on or the last frost days pass.
  • Side-dress your plant with a nitrogen-rich fertilizer, and use fertilizer for your perennials once every three years at this time of the year.
  • Build birdhouses at the corner of the garden to invite pollinators.

2. Summer (June-August)

During summer, vegetables have reached their maturity, demanding harvest. Also, you can go for heat-loving plants.

  • Look out for pests like in the spring to protect your crops.
  • Restrain from walking in the field if the ground is wet, as it can be a reason for the spread of diseases.
  • Start watering your crops once a week instead of daily misting to promote deeper root systems.
  • Remove any stagnant water from the plant side to control the mosquitoes.
  • Deadhead the spent flower of annuals and perennials to produce another flush and increase bloom number.
  • Also, it is the time to pinch herbs to encourage bushy growth.
Collection of carrots and other vegetables grown in zone 8
Summer harvests promote the growth of another flush of vegetables for autumn.
  • Harvest the vegetables like Beans, Peas, Squash, Cucumber, Garlic, Onion, and okra.
  • Check for the presence of any weeds or old plants to destroy the home of any pests and diseases.

3. Autumn (September-November)

Gardeners await autumn or fall to give their crops a taste of frost and cool days as it sweetens them.

  • Bring the plant indoors by mid-September and inspect them thoroughly for any pests.
  • Apply mulches like straws, rotted sawdust, and shredded leaves to protect the plant from the upcoming cold days.
  • Prepare to divide and transplant the perennials that bloomed in spring and summer.
  • Harvest the crops like Pumpkins, Summer Squashes and gourds before the first frost date.
  • Enrich your soil’s organic matter and nutrients by adding wood ashes rich in phosphorous, potassium, and calcium, and add compost and leaves.
  • If you have Roses, fertilize them for the last time in late September.
  • Save the seeds of annuals like Marigolds for the following spring growth.

4. Winter (December-February)

The dormant period for crops is in the winter as they slow their growth to conserve energy for the subsequent spring season.

  • Bring the cold-sensitive potted plants indoors before the first frost date hits.
  • Cover the trees outdoors with a frost blanket and apply thick layers of mulch to preserve heat.
  • Prepare to divide overgrown bulbs and replant them in a new planting space.
  • Wash indoor houseplants to remove dust and dirt around the leaves during this time.
  • Stratify the seeds of perennials indoors during the winter days to get a head start for spring.
  • For the flowers like Nigella, Poppy, and Larkspur, start sowing seeds outdoors at the end of February to let their seed enjoy low temperatures to boost germination.

From Editorial Team

Extra Plant List and Tips!

Grow deciduous trees like Southern Red Oak and Patmore Green Ash and evergreens like Juniper, Sylvester Palm and Monkey Puzzle to landscape your garden.

But if you plan to add a tropical canopy for shade and shape, try growing Banana, Lemon, and Orange trees.

However, do not depend entirely on the given temperature range, as the climate is dynamic and can change yearly. So plan the cropping year accordingly.