Updated at: 10-01-2023 - By: Sienna Lewis

Corn, garlic, potatoes, grasses, and a few shrubs are the finest plants for northern Nevada. Consider that Northern Nevada has a hardiness zone between 5 and 7a, which means the plants on this list are suitable for the region’s conditions. However, in places like Reno, Nevada, there are a variety of crops that can be grown with the right preparation and techniques.

Extension programs from the University of Nevada, Reno are available to farmers who want to learn more about growing food in the high desert. Winds, soil drainage, drought, and cold all pose problems when trying to grow in Nevada. However, just as in other states, the success of your crops is determined on your knowledge of the plants and practices that thrive in Nevada.

What Grows Well In Northern Nevada?

Corn, garlic, and potatoes thrive well in northern Nevada. You may also be interested in grasses and plants that are appropriate for the state’s weather. Northern Nevada is classed 5 to 7a hardiness zone, thus knowing this information would be helpful.

Northern Nevada has a dry climate in general. While snowy and cool winters and hot summers are the norm, the weather varies by region. USDA zone 5 covers the eastern half, zone 7 covers the middle, and zone 7a covers the western half.

Best plants for northern Nevada


Corn thrives in Northern Nevada’s climate. As a rule of thumb, you should plant the seeds two weeks after the last frost for best results. Corn should be watered liberally while appropriate drainage and healthy soil are maintained at the same time.

Cottage Gardening In Reno | High Country Gardens


Planting garlic in the spring and harvesting it in the summer are both possible in northern Nevada. Full sunlight and regular watering are necessary for the plants.


Potatoes, like garlic, can be planted in the spring and harvested in the summer. You must determine if the soil is suitable for their needs and whether or not it drains quickly. Check to see that your potatoes aren’t being shaded by anything and that the soil is evenly hydrated.


They thrive in northern Nevada, including alkali sacaton, small bluestem grass, and maidenhair grass. They’re fantastic for aesthetics, and the climate in this part of the world is conducive to their growth.


Shrubs abound in Northern Nevada. For a complete list, they include blue mist shrub, dorr sage shrub, fern bush, four-wing saltbush, fringed sage, little leaf mahogany, pygmy pea, rugosa rose, silver buffaloberry, winter fat shrub, and lead plant shrub. All of these plants are popular in gardens because of their distinctive colors and appearances.

Besides these, the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension also mentions that northern Nevada has an abundance of many crops. They include beets, carrots, eggplant, lettuce, peppers, spinach, squash, Swiss chard, tomatoes, watermelon, and peas. As early as St. Patrick’s Day for cool-season crops, the region can begin planting these crops.

What Plants Grow In Reno Nv?

A typical year in Reno sees 90 to 120 frost-free days. In this way, the area can grow cool-season crops in early spring, warm-season crops in early May to late spring, and a few additional crops. Grouping your plants together will allow you to plant them all at the same time.

For early spring

Reno, Nevada is known for its cool-weather vegetable production, including broccoli, cauliflower, celery, cilantro, kale, lettuce, onions, potatoes, radish, and beets. This is the perfect time of year to plant strawberries.

For early May to late spring

Basil, cucumbers, green beans, oregano, parsley, peppers, squash, rosemary, tarragon, and thyme thrive in Reno’s warm climate from the beginning of May through the end of spring.

There are a variety of beautiful and unusual ornamental plants grown in Reno in addition to these food-producing ones. These include arctic poppies and baby’s breath as well as burning bush and desert bird of paradise as well as elderberry and lily of the Nile. Other popular ornamental plants include the mimosa tree and the rose of Sharon.

What Flowers Grow In Nevada?

Flowers are among the few decorative plants that can be grown in Nevada. Evening primroses, globemallows, ice plants and yarrow are all acceptable for Nevada. Angelita dairst and blanket flower are also suitable for the state. Yarrow and stonecrop are also suitable for the state. In Nevada, you have the option of growing annual or perennial flowers.

Gardening Tips For Nevada

Site selection

Choosing an area that gets at least 10 hours of sunlight is the first step. You’ll also want to examine the soil’s physical and chemical qualities. Organic matter can be used to improve drainage in some regions of northwestern Nevada, but it’s important to do so before planting.

Plant selection

As previously indicated, you can divide plants into cold and warm season varieties. Once you have a list, verify the hardiness of your crops and see if they are acceptable for your location’s planting zone. Another reason to wait until May to start planting is that some crops are heat-sensitive.

As soon as the soil is workable in the spring, you may generally start planting hardy crops. Two to four weeks before the last expected frost date is the minimum time for semi-hardy plants to be ready for transplant. In addition to planting after the last frost date, it’s important to inspect cold-sensitive crops and protect them with a greenhouse.

Climate schedule

A greenhouse can be used to protect plants that are vulnerable to the cold. Visit Krostrade.com to choose the right greenhouse for your Nevada plants. You’ll be able to get your crops ready for the cold by doing this.

Because of the Sierra Nevada, late frosts are common in Nevada. To know when to cultivate frost-resistant crops, you need to know the frost-free time in your area. Don’t forget to account for the number of days between the last frost-free date and the maturity date of the plants you plan to grow.


Drippy irrigation is yet another easy way to avoid a dry spell. In addition to the greenhouse, proper watering practices and scheduling can also help. Your location’s rainfall and humidity will also influence how much watering you need to do.

Cottage Gardening In Reno | High Country Gardens



Small clusters of blackish berries are produced in early June by this fast-growing, woody vine. The leaves of the trees become a stunning shade of red as the season changes. The five leaflets of this plant’s compound leaves have serrated edges.

In addition to birds, squirrels, chipmunks, and deer are all big fans of this plant, as well.

Use a trellis or fence to support this vine. For ground cover, Virginia Creepers are excellent. As long as the vine has no place to climb, it can serve as an effective erosion control strategy. This plant can thrive in a wide range of environments and is quite hardy. It thrives in full sun and well-drained soil, but it can grow just about everywhere. Once the plants are well-established, you only need to give them a good soak every now and then.

Redbuds from the Western United States

California Redbud is a member of the Pea family and is commonly referred to as a redbud. The blooms, which appear before the leaves and persist for about two weeks, are a variety of magenta pink to red-violet hues. In the fall, the leaves turn from green to yellow, then crimson, and finally brown. It is when the pods are ripe that they transform from purple to brown and contain seven bean-like seeds. Small trees and shrubs can reach a height of 10-15 feet in this species.

Hummingbirds, other nectar-loving birds, and pollinating insects like bumblebees are all drawn to the nectar. Birds devour the seeds and disseminate them.

Once established, this is a rather low-maintenance plant. It is hardy in the cold and drought. Ensure that the soil is well-draining and that the plant is placed in full sun to moderate shade. Ideal for use as a border or as a display plant in the yard.

RED-OSIER DOGWOOD, an endangered species

It is a medium-sized deciduous, loosely spreading shrub known as red-osier dogwood or red-twig dogwood. Typically 6 to 12 feet tall, with red bark and twigs that stand out. The red bark of a tree may liven up a drab environment in the dead of winter. Clusters of creamy-white flowers cover this shrub from June to August. Clusters of meaty white berries follow the flowers.

Numerous birds, including a wide range of sport and songbirds as well as a variety of other birds such as grosbeak and purple finch and Northern Flicker Magpies and Mockingbird vireos, rely on the berries for their food. Leaf and twig-eating mammals such as polar bears, squirrels, chipmunks, mountain beavers and deer make use of the leaves and twigs.

Full sun to partial shade is ideal for Red-osier Dogwood. It can tolerate both dry and sometimes extremely moist circumstances and has no preference for soil type or pH. Mulching the base of the plant in summer and winter may be beneficial.

Spruce powder, white

The pine family includes white spruce. Many kinds of wildlife can find protection and sustenance in the evergreen leaves and seed-bearing cones of a tree like this. This is a fast-growing pine that can reach 40-60 feet in height and a width of 10-20 feet when fully grown. There are numerous species of birds that can access the seeds in the mature light brown cones because they are barely 1-2 inches long and have thin scales.

Visitors like as Crossbills, Evening Grosbeaks, and Red-breasted Nuthatches might be expected if you plant this tree in your yard. The foliage provides a safe haven for a wide variety of birds. Grouse, bunnies, and deer are all known to eat the evergreen foliage.

This tree prefers moist, well-drained soil and plenty of direct sunlight. It can tolerate some drought, but on hot, dry days, it could use a little more water. If you’ve got a lot of space, this is one of the most adaptable spruces.

Sticky Purple Geranium is number five on our list!

This wildflower is unusual in that it is a protocarnivore. This means that it is able to break down the protein that is found on its sticky leaves. It’s a nutrient-sparse growth adaption.

Once established, this forb requires only a small amount of water. In full to partial sun, plant along with a variety of wildflowers. This species, like all geraniums, can be established in your garden through the use of seeds. In the fall, sow seeds at a depth of 1/4 inch.

Desert Marquise is number six.

Perennial herbs, Desert Marigolds have a short lifespan. They feature daisy-like yellow flowers that grow in a mound. They bloom throughout the summer and fall on a leafless stalk. Flowering for up to a year, their long-lasting blooms can reach a height of one foot before becoming papery.

This plant requires minimal attention. Once a plant has successfully generated seeds, new plants can grow from the seeds that have fallen to the ground. When the seeds are ready, birds will eat them and spread them about your garden.

When planting, choose a sunny spot with well-drained soil and sow the seeds of the Desert Marigold 1/4 inch deep in the fall or spring. Overwatering could harm this plant, which thrives in poor, dry soil. However, an infrequent watering may speed up the plant’s ability to develop flowers.


In the presence of wildflowers and natural grasses, this type of grass thrives. Almost any well-drained soil in full sun will support the growth of this grass. This plant needs very little water once it’s established.

In locations where weeds are a common problem, this is an excellent choice. Plant grama and other drought-resistant wildflower seeds after the area has been cleared of weeds to keep weeds to a minimal.

The Indian ricasso

Slightly wiry, sage-green leaves covers this perennial bunchgrass. For small birds like sparrows and doves, seedheads make an attractive inflorescence that is rich in nourishing seeds in the fall. Birds and other tiny creatures benefit from the foliage’s cover as well.

Drought and seasonal temperature extremes are no match for this resilient shrub. Well-drained, textured soils in full sun are ideal for this plant’s growth (southern exposure). A depth of 1/2-1 inch should be used when planting seeds in the fall. Watering and fertilizing the grass once it has established itself will help it grow faster and thicker. This species takes a long time to get established, but once it does, the high seed output will draw a large number of hungry birds to the area.

Mountain Maple (Acer rubrum)

Beautiful, low-maintenance landscaping and wildlife habitat are just a few of the reasons to plant this shrub or tree in your yard. Small, light-green foliage contrast with the crimson bark of this tree. It can reach a maximum height of 25 feet, although the normal height is between 5-7 feet. Inconspicuous yellow-green flowers grow in short, droopy clusters on female plants. The tree produces winged nutlets in the fall (samaras).

This shrubby tree supplies a wide variety of wildlife with a lot of food and shelter. Spring and October are prime nesting and seed-gathering seasons for birds that frequent these trees.

How to Find the Best Plants for Your Yard

This is a hardy, shade-loving plant, but it doesn’t fare well in full sun or windy weather. Naturally, it grows under pine and fir trees, where it is an important part of the understory for pollinators. Easy to grow and care for, it can thrive in a wide range of soil conditions and is quite adaptable.

The Rocky Mountain Penstemon

Hummingbirds and other pollinators like nectar from the flowers of this plant, whereas rabbits tend to avoid it.

Because of their cold hardiness and drought tolerance, these plants are perfect for the climate of Northern Nevada. It can reach a height of between 12 and 36 inches. It does best in well-drained soil, but will grow in a wide range of circumstances.


Northern Nevada has a hardiness zone range of 5 to 7a. Corn, garlic, potatoes, grasses, and a few shrubs are the finest plants for northern Nevada. University of Nevada Cooperative Extension also advised growing beets, carrots and eggplant; lettuce; peppers; spinach; squash; Swiss chard; tomatoes; watermelon; and peas.

It’s not uncommon to see frost in the north of Nevada. Late frost can be a problem in the Sierra Nevada. It is possible to safeguard your crops from this intense weather by using a greenhouse and the other gardening advice we’ve given.