By Jennifer Poindexter
Zone 8 is one of the warmer planting zones which makes it a great place to grow a garden. This planting zone stretches from the coastal area of Virginia across to Central Texas.
It includes Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina as well. If you live in these areas, you may wonder what grows best.
Since this area is warmer, you have a longer growing season, but it isn’t always conducive with every crop since some plants don’t do well in warmer settings.
If you’re looking for a list of what you can grow in planting zone 8, you’re in the right place. Let’s discuss this planting zone and what thrives here:
What Is a Planting Zone?
If you’re new to gardening, you may not know about planting zones. This is important information because depending upon the planting zone you live in may determine whether plants are annuals or perennials in your growing location.
This location will determine when you should start seeds, when your final frost date is, the first frost date of the year, and when it’s safe to plant different crops.
There are many planting zone maps available through the internet to help you pinpoint which zone you’re in. This information could help you find great success with your gardening efforts.
In summary, a planting zone is your location on the map which determines the likelihood of different plants thriving in your area. The higher number planting zone, means the warmer the location and the longer the growing season.
The lower the number of your planting zone, means the colder your growing location is and the shorter the growing season.
More Information on Planting Zone 8
Now that you understand what a planting zone is, let’s discuss planting zone 8 a little further. This area is a great growing location because the winters aren’t brutally cold and the summers are warm.
As a kid, we moved from planting zone 6 to planting zone 8. Our first year, my mom spent a large amount of money on plants for our home only to see them burn up because she didn’t select plants that could handle harsh, bright lighting and high temperatures. She purchased what she normally did in our previous planting zone.
This is a prime example of why you should be familiar with your planting zone. In planting zone 8, you should expect temperatures to range from 10-degrees Fahrenheit to an average high temperature of 92-degrees Fahrenheit.
Planting zone 8 is divided into zones a and b, like other planting zones. Planting zone 8a has an average low of 10-degrees Fahrenheit while planting zone 8b has an average low temperature of 20-degrees Fahrenheit.
Now that you know what to expect in planting zone 8, let’s discuss what grows well in this location.
Plants to Grow in Planting Zone 8
In planting zone 8, you may grow flowers, fruits, and vegetables. It’s important to understand which crops do best and at which point in the year they should be planted in this planting zone.
You should be able to grow crops year-round in this area, so pick the plants which best suit your needs and enjoy the fresh flowers and produce from your backyard.
Herbs and Flowers for Planting Zone 8
Hostas are gorgeous leafy, green plants. They do come in other color varieties as well. When growing this plant, select a location with full shade or partial sunlight.
Your hosta plants need well-draining soil that’s dense in nutrients as well. By providing the right growing conditions, these plants should thrive in planting zone eight.
2. English Ivy
English ivy is a shade loving plant. If you have a bare location beneath a tree or in another shaded space, this could make an excellent ground cover.
The most important aspect of growing English ivy is good airflow. Be sure to provide well-draining soil, too. Allowing these plants room to breathe, could help reduce disease such as root rot or other fungal issues.
Many people consider aloe a great houseplant, but in zone eight you may grow this plant outdoors as well. In most cases, it’s incorporated into a container garden, so you have the freedom to move the plant around as needed to protect it from frost.
When growing aloe, be sure to provide well-draining soil that’s loose and aerated. This plant will also need partial sunlight. You’ll only need to water aloe a couple times per month. These tips should help keep your plant healthy.
Chives are a lush herb that make a great addition to your food and landscape. If you’d like to grow an edible landscape, this is one plant you should consider including.
Be sure to select a growing location with adequately draining soil and ample sunlight. When your chives begin to produce large purple flowers, prune the plant back to encourage new growth. Then enjoy this beautiful and flavorful plant.
5. Crape Myrtle
Crape myrtles are common plants in the south. They produce brightly colored blooms and are good for warmer climates.
These plants prefer a growing location with plenty of sunlight and well-draining soil. Crape myrtles enjoy heat, so if you have an area where the sun beats down all day and nothing else seems to survive, try adding this plant in that location.
Oregano is another edible plant that makes a great addition around your vegetable garden, in an herb garden, or even grown in a container.
One great thing about oregano is it isn’t picky about soil. As long as it’s well-draining, the plant should do fine. If you’re concerned, you may always amend it prior to planting. Also, select a growing location with full sunlight to keep this plant happy and productive.
Thyme is an herb you either enjoy or you stay away from. The reason being is a little of this herb goes a long way when cooking with it.
However, it makes an excellent plant to keep around because its scent is wonderful for deterring pests. Should you choose to incorporate this plant around your home, select a growing location with full sunlight and well-draining soil.
Rosemary is quite the treat in planting zone eight. This plant remains hardy starting in planting zone eight. Some people even choose to incorporate it into their landscape as a shrub.
If you’re trying to develop an edible landscape, or even if you want more herbs around your home, provide rosemary with the right growing conditions. This plant needs adequately draining soil that’s amended each year. Be sure to select a location with full sunlight, too.
Sage is a beautiful plant to have around your home due to its unique flavor, fragrance, and the texture of its leaves. It’s one of my favorite plants in my herb garden.
When selecting a growing location, it’s vital that you plant sage in full to partial sunlight. You should also ensure that the soil drains adequately as this plant doesn’t enjoy having wet feet.
10. Butterfly Bush
Butterfly bushes are colorful shrubs which produce cone-shaped clusters of blooms. Their coloring invites plenty of pollinators to your yard.
If you’d like to incorporate this plant into your landscape, select a growing location with ample sunlight and well-draining soil.
Lantana is another gorgeous flowering plant that produces colorful clusters of blooms. If you want to see this plant in all of its glory, select a growing location with full sunlight.
Should you plant it in partial sunlight, the blooms won’t produce as vibrantly. Do be mindful of where you grow lantana as it’s considered invasive in some areas. When in doubt, grow the plant in a container to better control it.
Peonies are another shrub-like plant that produce large, fluffy blooms. These plants grow best in areas of good drainage.
Also, it’s important to plant peonies in a growing location with full sunlight. If they receive less than eight hours of sunlight each day, it can impact the amount of blooms produced.
13. Bottlebrush Plant
The bottlebrush plant is an eye-catching option for planting zone eight. It’s usually treated as a shrub but can grow as large as twenty feet.
If you’d like to grow this unique plant around your home, be sure to provide an area with adequate drainage and full sunlight.
Vegetables and Fruits for Planting Zone 8
Now that we’ve discussed the different flowering plants that grow well in planting zone 8, let’s discuss a few vegetables and fruits that grow well in this area.
Cool Weather Crops
Planting zone 8 is a warmer zone. This is good news because you may be able to grow cool weather crops year-round in this location.
However, should you wish to grow cool weather crops during the warmer times of the year, you must provide some shade to help the plants thrive. Even then, during certain times of the year, the crops won’t produce as they should.
It’s also wise to provide a growing location with well-draining soil. Keep in mind, you may also grow these crops during the winter as well.
Be mindful of freeze warnings to ensure you protect them, but otherwise, these vegetables should do fine in an outdoor winter garden or cold frame.
Take these tips into consideration when considering growing the following cool weather crops in planting zone 8:
Warm Weather Crops
There’s more good news about planting zone 8. When it comes to warm weather crops, your options are plenty.
You may grow perennial fruit trees and shrubs along with traditional annual fruits and vegetables in your garden.
If you’re growing perennial plants, it’s best to plant them in their own growing location to ensure they aren’t disturbed during their periods of dormancy.
It’s also wise to select growing locations with full to partial sunlight and well-draining soil for any warm weather crop.
Here are a few warm weather options to grow in your garden or as part of your landscape in planting zone 8:
You now have plenty of options for landscaping and growing annual crops in planting zone 8. Whether you’re in search of flowering plants, herbs, fruits, or vegetables, there should be something here for you.
Now, it’s time to pick the plants you’d like to grow. Then begin a new journey of producing delicious food and beautiful plants around your home.
Learn More About Planting Zones and Gardening
Mike Loeb says
Great list! I had overlooked a few of those. Camellia sinensis, the tea plant, is also great for zone 8 and many growers are having success growing and making their black, green, and yellow teas at home.
I have written a short article about getting started quickly with camellia tea, with a method for shaving a couple of years off the otherwise long wait until the first harvest. Please share if you think it’s worthwhile.