The Q&A Archives: Planting in Zone higher/above usda hardiness zone/range

Question: I am interested in buying your Cotinus coggyria ancot - the 2004 green-yellow introduction. However, I am in Palo Alto, a Sunset zone 15 or 16 and a USDA zone 9. Your information says the Cotinus should grow in cold zones 3-8. In general, I would like to know what effect planting in a warmer area than the zone classes would have on a plant.

Answer: Plants can adapt to a wide range of growing conditions and in your mild winter climate, you can grow almost anything. The only cautions are for those plants with a requirement for a pronounced winter chill - peonies, lilacs, apple trees and tulips are examples of plants that will do poorly in your zone because they won't get the winter chill they require. Many deciduous trees renowned for their fall colors will be a disappointment, as well. However, Cotinus will grow well in Sunset's zones 2-24 so it will do fine in your yard. As you're choosing plants for your landscape, you can consult Sunset Western Garden Book to determine whether or not a plant will perform well in your region. Best wishes with your new plants!

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