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Using Cold Hardiness Zone Information

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Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Fall, when it finally comes, is the best time to add new plants to your yard. The tags that are hanging off the branches of plants at your garden centers, or the information about plants offered online, give you the range of cold hardiness zones that plant can live in. Sometimes I search the Monrovia nursery pages as an easy place to get the zones where specific plants should grow well. When searching hydrangeas, the panicle hydrangeas are listed as suitable for zones 3-9. Well, I would be cautious about growing these as our zone 8 is towards the bottom of their preference. I know people who successfully grow these in the midlands, but my friends in Beaufort struggle with them. You’d do well to choose an area with afternoon shade and in your irrigation footprint if trying this plant.

Amanda McNulty is a Clemson University Extension Horticulture agent and the host of South Carolina ETV’s Making It Grow! gardening program. She studied horticulture at Clemson University as a non-traditional student. “I’m so fortunate that my early attempts at getting a degree got side tracked as I’m a lot better at getting dirty in the garden than practicing diplomacy!” McNulty also studied at South Carolina State University and earned a graduate degree in teaching there.