Canada encompasses a variety of climate zones. Climate zone maps, also known as plant hardiness maps, assist gardeners in determining which types of plants grow in their area. Zone maps divide Canada into separate climates, according to average low temperatures experienced in each area. Canada’s climate zones range between temperate areas, where many types of plants thrive, and very cold areas, where few plants survive. Successful gardening requires selecting plants rated for individual climate zones.
Much of Canada’s northern territories include the coldest plant hardiness zones, between zero and one. Very few plants survive in climates this cold.
British Columbia encompasses seven different climate zones, from zero through seven. The northernmost section of British Colombia experiences the coldest temperatures, dipping all the way down to zone zero, while the southern section includes the warmest zones in Canada, including zone seven and eight near Vancouver and Victoria. The eastern, coastal section of British Columbia experiences warm temperatures between zones five and eight. This zone is suitable for growing many types of plants.
South Central Canada
Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario include climate zones between zero and five, with the coldest ratings in the northern areas and the warmest climates located along the border of the United States. Small, protected areas within these zones provide limited protection for plants.
Much of the climate in Quebec includes climate zones between zero and five. The coldest climate zones border the Hudson Bay, while the warmer zones exist along the eastern shore line. Nova Scotia experiences climate ratings between zone four and zone six, allowing for the largest variety of plant growth in Quebec.