California Zones For Gardening- 5 Things You Should Plant That Is Delicious And Easy

If you want to start your very own garden in California, the first step is to look over the California zones for gardening. California is a massive state! From what we know, California is about 163,695 square miles, which makes it the third largest state in the U.S.

This means that there are various USDA California zones for gardening. It is important that you know about these zones since they list and show you what you can grow and for how long depending on the temperature and length of the seasons. We will also learn about 5 plants you can grow in California, regardless of your zone!

What Do Gardening Zones Mean?

Before we can specifically talk about the gardening zones of California, we should discuss what do gardening zones mean in general. Gardening zones indicate certain levels and parts of the world and their climate and growing seasons. The higher the level, the longer the growing seasons are, which means more plant versatility.

It can also indicate heat levels and average temperatures. There are many lists online, for example, that give examples of what you can grow in your own USDA agricultural zone.

 growing zones california

California Zones For Gardening

So, what are the California zones for gardening? Unlike most states, there is more then one growing zone in this large state. Because of its size and shape, the zones range from Zones 4b to USDA Zone 11a. The more northern parts of the state, near mountain rangers, the lower the zone is. This means the growing seasons are shorter.

However, the hardiness of the growing seasons increase the more coastal the cities are. For example, Los Angeles is on a USDA zone level of zone 9 to zone 10. The highest zone is zone 11a, which means there are hundreds of plants that can thrive in this zone.

What To Plant In California Zones For Gardening

There is a lot that you can plant in California, from large fruit trees, to small herbs that thrive in the fertile soil as well as the warm sun. However, the growing season depends entirely on the zone that you live in!


A favorite for many first time and experienced gardeners are tomatoes. It is actually really easy to grow tomatoes in California, since the heat and temperatures are warm enough to germinate the seeds and produce the roots necessary to continue growing.

While this is the case, when looking at California Zones for gardening, you will have the best luck if you live near or on land that has a hardiness level of zone 6-11a. This is because these have longer warm growing seasons. The thing about tomatoes though is that they can suffer from too much heat, and California gets hot!

When this occurs, all you need to do is bring your tomatoes in or shade them with a large tree or piece of furniture. Your tomato will stop producing flowers and fruit, but will still live through the hot California summers.

 planting zones california

2. Succulents

Since California is a heat loving state that sizzles during summer, spring, and sometimes even fall, succulents are a great choice to grow! California experiences lots of droughts since a portion of California is located on a dessert! This is dangerous, but also perfect for gardeners that was a low maintenance succulent to take care of.

These water storing plants have leaves that are squishy and almost feel like rubber, although there are many different varieties and types. Succulent do not need constant watering and can usually survive hot temperatures! This makes it a great plant to decorate your backyard with and try when living in California.

3. Hot Peppers

When dealing with California zones for gardening, you should try fruiting plants like hot pepper plants! These plants use fertile soil with nutrients, water, and sunlight to produce delicious and flavorful hot peppers from gorgeous blooming flowers.

 What are the climate zones in California?

4. Herbs

Not all of us live in an area where we can garden outside, sadly. However, there are still option for growing edible plants outside. For example, you can grow herbs inside by a window if the window has enough light! This is a great option for small space gardeners.

5. Cucumbers/Vine Plants

Right before the California zones for gardening are too high and hot, you can also grow cucumbers and vining plants that produce squash! For those wanting to grow something amazing, but want to also save space, look into vertical gardening! As long as you support the fruit, the plant and fruit will thrive in California!

Tips And Tricks On Planting Seeds In A California Garden

When planting seeds and transplanting plants in California, it can be tricky if it is your first time, this is why it is important to go over a few tips and tricks! The thing with California is that summers can be very intense! So what do you do with summer plants in California zones for gardening that receives a lot of heat?

 What gardening zone is Los Angeles?

There are actually a few options, which includes purchasing heat-tolerant seeds and plant varieties as well as creating shaded areas. The thing about shaded areas is that you may forget and leave your plants outside in the heat. When the sun is at its highest peak, it can actually scar and burn the fruit and leaves of plants!

Another tip is to water only in the morning and at night. When you water your California zones for gardening plants when the sun is directly on the plants, this can cause shock and confusion to your plant, leading to death and wilting.


All in all, there is a lot you can learn about California zones for gardening. These growing zones in California are essential and important pieces of information. They are easy to grow in, especially near the coast as the heat and temperature increases.

California is also known as being one of the most fertile states in the U.S because of its soil that grows carrots, cucumbers, and various fruits! Did you learn something new about growing and planting zones in California? If yes, let us know in the comments below and share this valuable information about California  zones for gardens.


What are the climate zones in California?

Zones 4a - zones 11am are a part of California.

What gardening zone is Los Angeles?

Los Angeles is in a gardening zone of USDA 10.