Gardening Zone 3

USDA Hardiness Zones

Winter hardiness is very important in zone 3. Temperatures average -40 to -30 F, and plant roots freeze even though snow cover offers some protection.

USDA zone 3 stretches along the Canada-US border in North America. Despite the cold winters, summers are warm to hot. Some areas are quite dry, while others average as much as thirty-seven inches of precipitation annually. The growing season varies from two to four months.

Microclimates, whether natural or created, can allow some marginally hardy plants to overwinter successfully in zone 3. Snow cover also offers some protection from winter temperatures.

Remember that USDA hardiness zones only address winter temperatures. The other factors that make plants flourish or fail - soil, sunlight, water, high temperature - are equally important. You may be able to grow plants marginally hardy plants if other growing conditions are ideal.

The plants listed here are recommended for zone 3.

Perennials for Zone 3

Aster (Aster sp.)
Astilbe (Astilbe sp.)
Baby's breath (Gypsophila paniculata)
Balloon flower (Platycodon grandiflorus)
Basket-of-gold (Aurinia saxatilis)
Beardtongue (Penstemon)
Bee balm (Monarda)
Bellflower (Campanula sp.)
Bergenia (Bergenia sp.)
Blanket flower
Bleeding heart (Dicentra)
Bluestar (Amsonia)
Brunnera (Brunnera macrophylla)
Bugbane (Cimicifuga)
Bugleweed (Ajuga sp.)
Bugloss (Anchusa)
Cardinal flower (Lobelia)
Chamomile (Anthemis)
Columbine (Aquilegia) Coneflower, Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida)
Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)
(Coreopsis grandiflora and Coreopsis verticillata))
Daylily (Hemerocallis)
Delphinium (Delphinium)
Fleabane (Erigeron)
Foamflower (Tiarella cordifolia)
Gas plant (Dictamnus)
Gayfeather (Liatris)
Goatsbeard (Aruncus sp.)
Hellebore (Helleborus)
Hosta (Hosta) hybrids
Iris (Iris), some kinds
Lady's mantle (Alchemilla)
Lady's mantle (Alchemilla) Lily (Lilium)
Lupine (Lupinus)
Meadowsweet (Filipendula)
Onion, flowering (Allium) Pearly everlasting (Anaphalis) Peony (Paenoia)
Phlox (Phlox paniculata)
Poppy (Papaver)
Primrose (Primula)
Sage (Salvia officinalis and Perovskia atriplicifolia)
Solomon's seal (Polygonatum)
Thrift (Armeria)
Violet (Viola)
Windflower (Anemone)
Wormwood (Artemisia)
Iris (Iris), some kinds
Lady's mantle (Alchemilla)
Lady's mantle (Alchemilla) Lily (Lilium)
Lupine (Lupinus)
Meadowsweet (Filipendula)
Onion, flowering (Allium) Pearly everlasting (Anaphalis) Peony (Paenoia)
Phlox (Phlox paniculata)
Poppy (Papaver)
Primrose (Primula)
Sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia)
Solomon's seal (Polygonatum)
Thrift (Armeria)
Violet (Viola)
Windflower (Anemone)
Wormwood (Artemisia)

Shrubs for Zone 3

broadleaf evergreen shrubs

Prostrate forms, low enough to be covered by snow all winter.

deciduous shrubs

Bunchberry Dogwood (Cornus canadensis)
Redosier Dogwood (Cornus sericea)
Viburnum (Viburnum trilobum)
Cinquefoil (Potentilla fruticosa)

Conifers for Zone 3

Arborvitae (Thuja)
Fir (Abies )
Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis)
Juniper (Juniperus), some varieties
Pine (Pinus)
Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana)
Spruce (Picea), some kinds
Yew (Taxus canadensis)

Deciduous Trees for Zone 3

American Hackberry (Celtis occidentalis)
Birch (Betula papyrifera)
Cherry (Prunus), some kinds
Crabapple (Malus), some kinds
Larch (Larix laricina)
Maple (Acer)
Mountain Ash (Sorbus)
Oak (Quercus), some kinds
Tupelo (Nyssa sylvatica)
Willow (Salix), some kinds

Vines for Zone 3

Perennial

Boston ivy (Parthenocissus tricuspidata)

Annual

Gourd (Curcubita, Lagenaria and Luffa)
Morning glory (Ipomoea tricolor)
Purple hyacinth bean (Lablab purpurea)

Gardening Zone 3