Kansas is divided into hardiness zones, which are very important if you are deciding which plants to grow in this state. However, hardiness zones are only one of several factors to consider when planting.
The United States Department of Agriculture has divided the country into zones to help growers know which plants are suitable for which areas. Kansas falls into hardiness zones 5 and 6. Zone 5 covers most of the northern half of the state while zone 6 makes up most of the south.
Hardiness zones are based on average annual low temperature. Most areas in northern Kansas see an average low of minus 15 to minus 10 degrees Fahrenheit (zone 5B), while a few small areas may see temperatures of minus 20 to minus 15 (zone 5A). Zone 6A, which makes up the bulk of southern Kansas, has an average annual low of minus 10 to 15, but a few areas are in zone 6B, with average lows between minus 5 and 0 degrees.
In addition to temperature, there are other climate factors that play a role in Kansas; moisture in particular is a major concern. What a hardiness zone map does not tell you is that eastern Kansas is considerably more humid than western Kansas, which is more prone to drought. If you live in western Kansas, choose drought-tolerant plant varieties. Also consider soil types, which are extremely varied in this state.
Richard Corrigan has been a full-time professional writer since 2010. His areas of expertise include travel, sports and recreation, gardening, landscaping and the outdoors. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from SUNY Geneseo in 2009.