Best Plants For Northern Nevada

The best plants for northern Nevada are corn, garlic, potatoes, different grasses, and a handful of shrubs. It’s worth noting that Northern Nevada has a hardiness zone rated 5 to 7a, so the list of plants that you could grow is hardy for the region’s condition. Nonetheless, locations like Reno, Nevada have different crops that you can cultivate with proper practices and preparation. 

The University of Nevada, Reno offers extension programs that can help farmers learn more about high-desert gardening. The challenges with planting in Nevada include winds, soil drainage, drought, and winter. But similar to growing in other states, knowing the plants and practices suitable in Nevada dictates your crops’ success.  

Best Plants For Northern Nevada

What Grows Well In Northern Nevada?

In northern Nevada, corn, garlic, and potatoes are vegetables that grow well. You might also be interested in grasses and shrubs which are suitable for the state’s weather conditions. It will help if you know the hardiness zone of your location as northern Nevada is rated 5 to 7a. 

In general, you can expect a dry climate in northern Nevada. Snowy winters and temperate summers are also typical, but it will still vary per part of the state. The eastern part is USDA zone 5, the center is in zone 7, and the western is zone 7a. 


Best plants for northern Nevada



Northern Nevada provides the ideal climate for corn. However, remember that this crop thrives in full sun, and you should plant the seeds two weeks after the last frost for success. At the same time, ensure proper drainage and fertile soil while watering corn liberally. 



You can plant garlic in northern Nevada in early spring, and you can harvest them in the summer once the shoots die back. The plants should get full sun with regular watering as well. 



Similar to garlic, you can start planting potatoes in the spring to harvest them in summer. You have to check if the soil is workable for them and if it is fast-draining. Make sure that nothing is shading your potatoes and that you keep the ground evenly moist. 



Grasses like alkali sacaton, little bluestem grass, and maidenhair grass all grow well in northern Nevada. They are great for aesthetic purposes, and the conditions in this region are suitable for them. 



Northern Nevada grows a lot of shrubs. To give you a full list, they consist of blue mist shrub, dorr sage shrub, fern bush shrub, four-wing saltbush shrub, fringed sage shrub, little leaf mahogany shrub, pygmy pea shrub, rock spirea shrub, rugosa rose shrub, silver buffaloberry shrub, winter fat shrub, and lead plant shrub. All of these plants have unique colors and looks that make them popular in gardens. 

Other than this list, the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension has also mentioned the abundance of different crops in northern Nevada. They include beets, carrots, eggplant, lettuce, peppers, spinach, squash, Swiss chard, tomatoes, watermelon, and peas. The planting season for these crops vary, but the region can start as early as St. Patrick’s Day for the cool-season plants. 


What Plants Grow In Reno Nv? 

Reno has 90 to 120 frost-free days annually. Thus, the area can start cool-weather plants early in spring, warm weather vegetables in early May to late spring, and a handful of other crops. It will be better to group your plants so that you can plant them in the same season. 


For early spring

Cool-weather vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cilantro, kale, lettuce, onions, potatoes, radish, and beets are crops that grow in Reno, Nevada. You can also start strawberries at this time. 


For early May to late spring

Warm weather vegetables ranging from basil, cucumbers, green beans, oregano, parsley, peppers, pumpkin, rosemary, squash, tarragon, thyme, and tomatoes grow well in Reno from early May to late spring.

Other than these edible crops, Reno also grows other beautiful and unique ornamental plants such as arctic poppy, baby’s breath, burning bush, desert bird of paradise, elderberry, lily of the Nile, mimosa tree, Persian silk tree, rose of Sharon, Russian sage, and old-fashioned bleeding heart.


What Flowers Grow In Nevada?

As you have previously read, Nevada grows a handful of ornamental plants, including flowers. In particular, Nevada is suitable for Angelita dairst, blanket flower, California fuchsia, chocolate flower, evening primrose, flax, globemallow, ice plant, Jupiter’s beard, lavender, lavender leaf primrose, moss rose, penstemon, Spanish bayonet, stonecrop, whirling butterflies, and yarrow. You can grow both annual and perennial flowers in Nevada. 


Gardening Tips For Nevada


Site selection

The first tip is to choose a location that will get at least 10 hours of sunlight. At the same time, you want to check the physical and chemical properties of your soil. Some areas around northwestern Nevada have poor drainage, so it’s crucial to improve the site using organic matter beforehand. 


Plant selection

As discussed earlier, you can group plants into cold weather and warm weather plants. Once you have your list, check your crops’ hardiness and if they are suitable with the planting zone of your location. Besides, some crops can be sensitive to the heat and that you should never plant them after mid-May.

In general, you can plant hardy crops as soon as the soil is workable in spring. Semi-hardy plants should be at least two to four weeks before frost. And it’s crucial to check cold-sensitive crops and protect them using a greenhouse in addition to planting after the last frost date. 


Climate schedule

You can protect plants that are sensitive to the cold using a greenhouse. Refer to for the proper greenhouse that you can use for your Nevada plants. This way, you can prepare your crops for frost. 

In Nevada, you can expect a late frost because of the Sierra Nevada. It’s essential to know the frost-free period of your location to determine when to grow frost-tolerant crops. Different plants have different maturity periods, so don’t forget to count the numbers alongside the frost-free period. 



Another simple tip is using drip irrigation to prevent drought. The greenhouse also offers this advantage, but proper techniques and scheduling will also help you with watering. The precipitation and humidity in the area will also play a role in how much watering you should do. 



The hardiness zone in northern Nevada is from 5 to 7a. Therefore, the best plants for northern Nevada are corn, garlic, potatoes, different grasses, and a handful of shrubs. In addition, the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension mentioned growing beets, carrots, eggplant, lettuce, peppers, spinach, squash, Swiss chard, tomatoes, watermelon, and peas as well. 

One of the challenges that you can expect in northern Nevada is the frost. This is because of the Sierra Nevada that can cause late frost. Using a greenhouse can help you protect your crops from this extreme condition, alongside the previous tips for gardening discussed. 

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