Idaho Planting Zones

Idaho is made up of five different growing zones (3, 4, 5, 6, and 7) with the average minimum temperature fluctuating between-35° and 10° F (-37.2° and -12.2° C) depending on which part of the state you’re located.

In this article, you will learn:

Known as the gem state, the landscape in this region comprises spectacular mountains, valleys, and deep basins. Idaho’s climate is diverse and known to be unpredictable. However, taking the time to learn about your state and planting zone will help you create and maintain a beautiful garden.

Image from the USDA

Characteristics of Idaho Planting Region

The state of Idaho experiences two relatively distinct climates: 

  • The northern and western regions will endure humid, cloudy, and wet winters resulting from maritime influence. 
  • The eastern and southern parts of the state experience a semi-arid continental climate with dry and cold winters.

McCall, Idaho | Photo by Drew Lindsley on Unsplash

Other characteristics of Idaho growing region include:

  • Thunderstorms
  • Wildfires
  • High winds
  • Heavy snowfall
  • Flooding

Across most of the country, summers will be warm to hot with several sunny days. However, frost-free periods will vary drastically across the region, so it’s best to find the average dates specific to your area.

Payette National Forest, McCall, Idaho | Photo by Porter Raab on Unsplash

Challenges of Growing in Idaho

1. Diverse Climate

The variation in the terrain and climate across the state makes a standardized hardiness measure challenging to follow at times. Although the USDA growing zones can be a good starting point, they can also be misleading for planting in specific areas of this state.

2. Unpredictable Weather

Planning ahead isn’t always an option. Idaho regularly experiences unpredictable weather, from high winds to floods. Having an elevated and protected garden is necessary for certain areas throughout the region. 

3. High Elevation

Much of Idaho sits at a high altitude. The average elevation is around 5000 feet and drastically varies depending on the area. This can be complicated for gardeners since winter minimum temperatures change with every few hundred feet in elevation.

Pocatello, Idaho | Photo by Mitchell Kmetz on Unsplash

The Benefits of Using a Greenhouse in Idaho

The unpredictable weather and varying climates make Idaho an ideal region for a greenhouse. Regardless of where you may be located in the state, all greenhouse users can enjoy an extended growing season through the winter months and protection from temperamental weather.

1. Extend your growing season

  • Without a greenhouse:
    The standard planting season in Idaho drastically varies across the state but tends not to last longer than three months. The short growing season and higher elevation of the state mean that many vegetables will struggle to survive without some indoor growing assistance.
  • With a greenhouse:
    A greenhouse can help extend your planting season in Idaho by several months. On average, you can expect 7-9 months of uninterrupted growing time, making a greenhouse a wise investment to maximize planting time throughout the year.

    Learn more about specific growing dates for your area and the best vegetables to plant in each part of Idaho.


Customer images of the Ministar and Sungrow greenhouses in similar climate regions

2. Grow a Wider Variety of Vegetables 

  • Without a greenhouse:
    Outdoor gardeners are limited in their vegetable options due to unpredictable weather and the region’s higher altitude. Some vegetables known to survive in this climate without indoor growing assistance include:
  • Lettuce
  • Kale
  • Peas
  • Radishes
  • Onions
  • Sugarbeets

  • With a greenhouse:
    A wide variety of plants can grow comfortably in a greenhouse within this region. Gardeners can easily plant tender warm-season crops without needing to transplant at a later date or worry about late/early frosts. Some of the best vegetables suggested for greenhouse growing include:
  • Beans
  • Potatoes
  • Sweet corn
  • Cucumber
  • Bell Peppers
  • Pumpkin
  • Summer Squash
  • Tomatoes
  • Celery
  • Zucchini
  • Gourds
  • Eggplant
  • Lima Beans
  • Cantaloupe
  • Winter Squash
  • Sweet Potato
  • Habanero Peppers
  • Okra
  • Artichoke
  • Jalapeño
  • Tomatillo


Potato harvesting | Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

 Why Planta Greenhouses?

Customer Stories from Idaho

Back to Planting Zones

Share Your Thoughts

Ask thoughtful questions, share helpful tips, or offer words of encouragement for other greenhouse owners.