How to choose plants for your garden based on soil and climate

Are you planning to add plants to your garden this year, but aren’t sure where to start? While there are many factors you need to consider when planting a garden, the type of soil and climate in your area should be at the top of your list.

Each plant has different needs in terms of soil type and climate conditions, so it’s important to choose varieties that will thrive in your environment. In this blog post, we’ll provide some tips on how to select plants for your garden based on your specific soil and climate conditions.

How to choose plants for your garden?

How to choose plants for your garden

It’s the first and most pressing question from new gardeners because proper plant selection is critical to front yard or backyard gardening and landscape design success. When choosing plants for landscaping, there are two main things to think about: the soil and the environment.

By choosing good plants for your garden, you can cut down on the amount of water and fertilizer you need to water and feed your plants. You can also make your plants more resistant to common pests and diseases and get more out of your garden.

1. Pick plants based on soil

Soil is one of the main mediums for growing plants. Soil is a natural source of water and nutrients. Soil preparation is an important factor in successful gardening and landscape design.

All sorts of plants do not grow well in all types of soil. For example, corn grows well in well-drained heavy soils with high organic matter content and good water holding capacity; whereas, groundnuts grow well in sandy or sandy-loam soil.

However, since the soils of the USA are formed by the processes of weathering and natural erosion, all types of crops grow here, more or less. Most of the soils of the USA are compact, heavy, high organic matter, nutrient-enriched and cultivable.

Soil means the substance where plants grow, forests develop, and livestock move. To a gardener, the soil is that part of the earth that can be plowed or cultivated for plants. In light of the gardeners’ knowledge, 15 to 18 cm deep layer of the earth’s surface is called soil. Therefore, soil properties suitable for growing plants remain in this very layer.

Earlier it is said that more or less all types of crops grow in the soil of the USA. But the soil properties of all the regions are not the same. So it is seen that corn grows well in some areas, whereas wheat, potato, and soybeans grow well in other areas.

Soil properties suitable for various garden plants are given below:

PlantsSuitable soil properties
PotatoesPotato plants grow well in loams, sandy loams, sandy clay loams, and silt loams soil with good water holding capacity and well drainage capacity. It prefers slightly acidic soils; pH of 5.3 to 6.0
TomatoesTomato plants grow well in fertile loam and sandy loam soil that receive full sun for most of the day with well drainage capacity. It prefers slightly acidic soils with a pH of 6.2 to 6.8.
OnionsOnions grow well in sandy loams to heavy clay soil with good water holding properties well drainage capacity. It prefers slightly acidic soils with; pH of 5.5-6.5.
PulsesPulses grow well in the loamy, sandy loam, clay loam, and silty loam soils with well-drainage capacity (pulses cannot withstand excessive water). It prefers neutral or alkaline calcareous, pH of 7.0-8.0.
BegoniasBegonias grow well in heavy clay soil with well drainage capacity (can’t tolerate water-logging condition). It prefers slightly acidic soils with; pH of 5.2 – 6.0.
DahliasDahlias grow well in loose and crumbly sandy clay loam or clay loam soil with water holding capacity, good drainage, and partial to full sun. It prefers slightly acidic soils, pH of 6.5-7.0.
CarnationsCarnations grow well in sandy, loamy and heavy clay soil with well-drainage capacity and a full sunny place. It prefers fertile and slightly alkaline soils, pH of 6.7-8.0.

2. Choose plants based on location and environment

Before choosing plants for your garden you should check USDA Zones and their environment.

USDA Zones
USDA Zones
USDA ZonesTemperatureBest plants to grow
1-2−60 °F to −40 °FVegetables: Vine tomatoes, lettuce, kale, broccoli, asparagus, eggplant.
Flowers and trees: Netleaf willow, Pennsylvania cinquefoil, Lapland rhododendron, Dwarf birch, Crowberry, Quaking aspen, Paper birch, Bunchberry dogwood, Silverberry, Eastern larch, Bush cinquefoil, American cranberry bush.
3-4−40 °F to −20 °FVegetables: Vine tomatoes, lettuce, kale, broccoli, asparagus, spinach, strawberries, eggplant, sweet peas, pole beans, winter squash, red and white potatoes.
Flowers and trees: Foxglove, Sugar maple, American arborvitae, Wood fern, Panicle hydrangea, Smooth hydrangea, Chinese juniper, Common juniper, Vanhouffe spirea, Siberian crabapple, Crabapple tree, Goldenrod.
5-6−20 °F to +0 °FVegetables: Tomatoes, corn, squash, melons, beans, strawberries, lettuce.
Flowers and other plants: Flowering dogwood, Japanese maple, Japanese yew, Delphinium, Common boxwood, Slender deutzia, Coralbells, Boston ivy, American holly, Sycamore tree, Weeping willow.
7-8+0 °F to +20 °FVegetables: Corn, tomatoes, melons, squash, collard greens, carrots, bush beans, asparagus, and leafy greens.
Flowers and other plants: Bigleaf maple, Strawberry tree, Yucca, Atlas cedar, Mexican orange, Bleeding heart, Hibiscus, English holly, New Zealand daisy-bush, Magnolia tree, Japanese pittosporum, Texas rock rose, Cherry-laurel, Kurume azalea, Texas mountain laurel, English yew, Laurustinus.
9-10+20 °F to +40 °FVegetables: Tomatoes, melons, squash, corn, peppers, yams, citrus, peaches, figs, bananas, salad greens, and sweet peas.
Flowers and other plants: Asparagus fern, Bougainvillea, Dahlia, Golden shower, Tasmanian blue gum, Ensete, Fuchsia, Lemon eucalyptus, Silk-oak, Rubber plant, Sweetshade tree, Violet churcu, California pepper tree, Royal palm, Australian bush cherry, Palmetto palm tree.
11-13+40 °F to +60 °FVegetables: Kale, okinawa spinach, pole beans, passionfruit, sweet potato, red potato, cassava, pineapple, pumpkin, mango, papaya, Thai chili peppers, citrus, bananas, taro.
Flowers and other plants: Lime, Sago palm, Grevillea


Choosing the right plants for your garden is important if you want it to do well and grow. With these tips in mind, you should be able to choose plants that will survive and thrive in your specific climate and soil type. Do some research on the best plants for your region before heading to the nursery so you can be sure to select specimens that will fit well into your garden plot.

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Jeffrey Bromley
Jeffrey Bromley

Jeffrey Bromley is an experienced lawn care professional with over 13 years in the industry. He is the owner of The Lawn & Landscape Company and the founder of Lawn Gardeners Blog. His passion for lawn care extends beyond his business ventures, with a personal commitment to helping individuals take better care of their yards.

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