A humid subtropical climate describes most of the state of West Virginia and its planting zones. Cold but fairly mild winters and humid, hot summers are the norm for the majority of the state. The temperature in winter can dip to the high teens and summers can be up close to triple digits. But, summer in most parts of the state hovers right around a pleasant low 80s. The climate’s intensity increases in the higher-elevated portions of the state, with some of the southern regions in the highland areas seeing a mountain temperate climate. Here, summers can be a bit cooler and winters more moderate. Yearly precipitation will depend on location and can range from around 30 inches to more than 55 inches. The state has a high number of days with precipitation, averaging almost 200 days of rain or snow each year. Dense fog and cloudy skies are typical of West Virginia.
Know what planting zone you are in before you plan a garden is important. Make it easy to find your zone with Gilmour’s Interactive Planting Zone Map. West Virginia growing zones range from 5a to 7a, but most of the state is in the 6b to 7a range. Only a small section of the state in the mid eastern range is the cooler zones. If unsure what West Virginia planting zone you are in, or if you aren’t sure which plants to choose, a local nursery can help. Always be sure to select plants in your zone or lower. If you live in zone 5a, plants rated zone 1 through 5 are most likely to survive winter.
Many flowers, vegetables and plants thrive in West Virginia. Great laurel, tobacco flower, aquilegia and New England aster are all good choices for a West Virginia garden. Most vegetables are well-suited for the region, too. Beets, beans, cabbage, carrots, peas, spinach and tomatoes will do well here.
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