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Best Plants for Diverse U.S. City Climates: Adapting Landscapes to Local Environments


When selecting plants for your landscaping, it’s important to consider the unique climate and environmental conditions your city presents. From the cold, snowy winters of Minneapolis to the warm, humid summers of Miami, here is a guide to some of the best plants that are well-suited to the local climates of numerous cities across the United States.

Cold Climate Cities

Syracuse, Rochester, Buffalo, Minneapolis, Fargo

  • Trees: Northern Red Oak (Quercus rubra), Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum)
  • Shrubs: Winterberry (Ilex verticillata), Red Twig Dogwood (Cornus sericea)
  • Perennials: Coneflower (Echinacea spp.), Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia)

Cleveland, Chicago, Erie

  • Trees: Hackberry (Celtis occidentalis), White Birch (Betula papyrifera)
  • Shrubs: Burning Bush (Euonymus alatus), American Witch Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana)
  • Perennials: Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta), Sedum (Sedum spp.)

Temperate Coastal and Mid-Atlantic Cities

Boston, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Newark, Richmond, Charlotte

  • Trees: Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis), Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida)
  • Shrubs: Azalea (Rhododendron spp.), Hydrangea (Hydrangea spp.)
  • Perennials: Hosta (Hosta spp.), Astilbe (Astilbe spp.)

Baltimore, Raleigh, Savannah, Nashville

  • Trees: Sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua), Southern Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora)
  • Shrubs: Boxwood (Buxus spp.), Camellia (Camellia spp.)
  • Perennials: Daylilies (Hemerocallis spp.), Iris (Iris spp.)

Southeastern Cities

Atlanta, Birmingham, Myrtle Beach, Charleston

  • Trees: Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica), Live Oak (Quercus virginiana)
  • Shrubs: Gardenia (Gardenia jasminoides), Nandina (Nandina domestica)
  • Perennials: Peony (Paeonia spp.), Lantana (Lantana camara)

Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa, Miami

  • Trees: Royal Poinciana (Delonix regia), Bald Cypress (Taxodium distichum)
  • Shrubs: Bougainvillea (Bougainvillea spp.), Hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis)
  • Perennials: Flamingo Flower (Anthurium spp.), Muhly Grass (Muhlenbergia capillaris)

High Altitude Cities


  • Trees: Blue Spruce (Picea pungens), Quaking Aspen (Populus tremuloides)
  • Shrubs: Juniper (Juniperus spp.), Serviceberry (Amelanchier spp.)
  • Perennials: Columbine (Aquilegia caerulea), Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

This curated selection of plants is designed to thrive in their respective climates, providing beautiful, resilient landscapes that can withstand local environmental stresses. Whether you’re dealing with the frigid winters of the northern states or the humid subtropical conditions of the southeast, there are plants that can enhance your outdoor space while requiring minimal extra care. By choosing species that are naturally adapted to your area’s climate, you create a more sustainable and eco-friendly garden.

Posted on April 12, 2024

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