Updated at: 13-03-2023 - By: Sienna Lewis

When you’ve mastered the best plants for northern Nevada, it’s time to dive into the Northern Nevada gardening guide. The focus of this manual is on plant selection and what does well in the northern Nevada climate. Choose plants that are suited to the hardiness zones found in northern Nevada, as is the case with other states.

Due to the fact that this area is classified as a hardiness zone 5a-7a, specific gardening techniques and methods are required. Adapting the entire process, from sowing seeds to gathering the fruit, to the climate of northern Nevada is essential. A greenhouse can be used to shield plants from the harsh elements of the outdoors.

Northern Nevada Gardening Guide

This gardening manual covers how to choose suitable plants for northern Nevada and which ones thrive there. The next section will educate you on the different planting zones and gardening techniques that are applicable to this area. In this way, you can compile a list of plants and techniques that will thrive in your northern Nevada location.

Sowing Timeline for Vegetables - Charles Dowding

Selecting Plants For Northern Nevada

There are two aspects of plant selection that need to be understood before you can determine which plants thrive in northern Nevada. This describes northern Nevada, where there are many dry grasses and high fire risks. These factors determine which plants are suitable for the area and which gardening techniques can be implemented.

Northern Nevada conditions

As a high desert region, Northern Nevada presents unique challenges for gardeners due to its climate, soil, and drought. The climate is characterized by high winds, low humidity, and clay-rich soils. It’s safe to assume that plants won’t thrive in these conditions.

Choose a plant that can survive in your area by first finding out its hardiness zone. Knowing the hardiness of a plant is crucial because it guarantees that it will thrive in your region. Plants that can survive in arid conditions are sometimes referred to as desert-wise or drought-tolerant.

The plants that do best in arid climates are the ones that are both desert-savvy and drought-tolerant. Labels like these can help you find plants that will thrive in the colder climate of northern Nevada. Also, since northern Nevada can get as cold as ten degrees Fahrenheit, you should only grow hardy plants there.

High fire hazards

When planning a garden in the desert, it’s important to think about how flammable each plant is. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to find ratings for plants based on their fire resistance, so this can be difficult. Instead, you’ll pick vegetation that has low fire risk characteristics.

The University of Nevada Cooperative Extension suggests that the plants’ moisture content and growth pattern contribute to fire danger. Pick plants that have a high water content and a slow growth rate rather than the other way around. Species such as succulents and herbaceous plants, as well as shrubs no taller than 2 feet, are ideal.

Annual and perennial flowers, grasses, ground covers, and bulbs are all examples of succulent plants that have a high water content. However, once they dry out and the top growth is removed, they become a fire hazard and should be avoided at all costs. Woody plants in general have a higher moisture content in the winter, but deciduous woody plants have a higher moisture content in the summer.

In addition, you can lessen the risk of a wildfire by keeping your shrubs at a height of less than two feet and pruning them regularly. This is due to the fact that, in comparison to taller plants, they have a smaller fuel supply and thus produce shorter flames. Keep in mind that some plants, like evergreen woody plants, contain flammable materials.

What Grows Well In Northern Nevada?

The following plants are well suited to the conditions in northern Nevada and pose little risk of starting fires. You can see that they include trees, shrubs, grasses, perennials, vines, and annuals as well as the fruits they produce.


Growing conditions in Northern Nevada are ideal for numerous different types of fruit trees, including apples, apricots, Asian pears, cherries, nectarines, peaches, pears, and plums.

Deciduous plants

Because they retain so much water throughout the year, deciduous trees and shrubs pose little risk of catching fire. Ash, chokecherry, crabapple blue, ginkgo, golden rain, Hawthorne, honeylocust, Kentucky coffee, lilac, London plane, maple, oak, Persian ironwood, redbud, and zelkova are all options.


Arizona cypress, atlas cedar, Austrian pine, Bosnian pine, bristlecone pine, incense cedar, Jeffrey pine, limber pine, ponderosa pine, Scotch pine, Swiss stone pine, white fir, and Wichita blue juniper are just some of the evergreens that can be planted in northern Nevada, as stated by the Nevada Housing Division.


The grasses that thrive in the cold climate of northern Nevada include: alkali sacaton, blue fescue, blue oat, Chinese silver grass, feather reed, little bluestem, silver grass, switch, and tufted hair.


If you like shrubs, northern Nevada can grow amur maple, barberry, buffaloberry, butterfly bush, caryopteris, chokeberry, cisterna plum, cotoneaster, Diervilla, juniper, kinnikinnick, lilac, mock orange, mugo pine, ninebark, potentilla, quince, rose, serviceberry, Siberian pea shrub, smoke bush, snowberry, spiraea, sumac, and yucca.


Perennials in Northern Nevada are numerous. They include Agastache, baptisia, bee balm, blanket flower, California fuchsia, catmint, Centranthus, chocolate daisy, coneflower, coreopsis, daylily, dianthus, fern bush, flax, ice plant, iris, lavender, lupine, Mexican primrose, penstemon, peony, red hot poker, red valerian, Russian sage, salvia, sedum, sneezeweed, snow in summer, spirea, thyme, veronica, and yarrow.


Vines such as honeysuckle, silver lace, trumpet vine, and wisteria can thrive in northern Nevada, provided they have adequate space to do so.

What Is The Planting Zone For Reno Nv? 

Reno, Nevada is in planting zone 7a, so keep that in mind if you want to grow a garden there. Because of this, the last day of frost occurs around the middle of April or the first week of May. Midway through the month of October, or the first week of November, is also when the first frost typically occurs.

Can You Grow A Garden In Nevada?

With the right preparation, gardening techniques, and crop choices, Nevada is a viable gardening destination. If you don’t have a lot of room to plant a garden, you can still grow things in containers or a greenhouse. The latter is preferable because it shields you from severe weather.

You can learn more about greenhouses and how they help gardeners keep indoor plants healthy and growing by visiting Krostrade.com. The frost risk in Nevada makes it imperative that crops be covered. When you use a greenhouse, you can better regulate the temperature, humidity, and lighting, in addition to learning about the appropriate planting zones and plants for your area.

What Vegetables Grow Well In Las Vegas?

Growing a variety of vegetable crops is possible in the Las Vegas area. Some examples are the aloe plant, the cabbage tree, the carrot, the coriander, the kale, the ornamental eggplant, the ornamental sweet potatoes, the pepper, the pistachio, the potato, the rosemary, the swiss chard, and the tomato.

Beans, broccoli, cauliflower, corn, cucumbers, gourds, lettuce, onion, peas, pumpkins, spinach, and squashes are all mentioned as being growable in Las Vegas by the National Garden Association.

When Should I Plant My Garden In Las Vegas?

Growing season in Las Vegas typically begins in early February and lasts through late November. Since the date range is February 16th to November 27th, there would be 285 days without frost. However, there is a wide range of possible planting times for different crops.

Sowing Timeline for Vegetables - Charles Dowding

As an illustration, it is possible to begin cole crops in the house in December and then transfer them outdoors in January. Additionally, once the ground thaws in December, you can plant onions, potatoes, and peas. The National Garden Association suggests starting seeds for tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants indoors in December.

Planting time for summer crops is in February, while fall is ideal for garlic. In general, keep in mind that you need to gather your harvest before the first frost on November 27. Create a schedule for when to plant and when to harvest your plants, and keep the greenhouse at just the right temperature and humidity.

High Desert Gardening Fact Sheets from Moana Nursery

This towering Sequoia (Redwood) tree represents the growth, beauty, and longevity of Moana Nursery and the plants it proudly produces and sells; it was planted in 1970 from a five gallon container.

The following is a list of the most up-to-date frequently asked questions (FAQs) sheets we have compiled based on our local expertise; these sheets can be found in hard copy at any of the information centers within Moana Nurseries. Read on for a list of topics and titles that link to informative fact sheets, and click on any that pique your interest. Visit our expert staff or send an email to Moana Nursery if you can’t find the answer to your question here.

High Desert Gardening … Timely, Local Tips Updated Every Two Weeks Approx.

Moana Nursery’s Authorized Planting Guide

Locator and Reference Guide for High-Desert Plants

How to Have a Productive Garden in the Northern Nevada Region

Explain what it means to be drought-resistant. (Definition)

Selecting Low-Water-Use Plants for the High Desert

Mulching’s Advantages

Appropriate times for pruning

Plant in Proper Location

Gardening with Success in Double Diamond

Choosing and Cultivating Northern Nevada’s Fruit Trees

Toxic and Invasive Weeds in the High Desert: A New Approach to Treatment (52 Pages, with Photos)

Five Common Rookie Errors Made By High Desert Gardeners

Insects & Pests


Parasites that feed on spiders



Plants that thrive in the harsh conditions of the high desert and are resistant to deer

What to Plant to Keep the Deer Away (4-page PDF, courtesy of the UNR Cooperative Extension)

The Best Plants to Keep the Rabbits Away


Preventing and Managing Voles

Special Plants & Indoor Plants Care

Varieties of Roses

Pruning Roses Generally

Pruning and Deadheading Roses

Maintaining Japanese Maples

Poinsettia Maintenance

Treatment of Amaryllis

The Best Way to Take Care of Your Christmas Cactus

Flowers that Monarchs Love

The Secret to Having Hummingbirds Visit Your Yard

Bring the Honeybees Home!

Plants for the Winter Season

Bringing the Outdoors In: Spring Plants for Containers

Maintenance of Plants with Fleshy Succulents

Caring for Your Tillandsia (Air Plant)

Maintenance of Bonsai Trees in the Great Outdoors

How to Grow Paperwhites From Seed (By Force)

Care for Venus’s Fly Traps

High Desert Tree Care for Dwarf Citrus


Caring for Grassy Areas

Putting in a New Grass Lawn

Charming Band of a Fairy


Soil in the Nevada High Desert

Irrigation & Watering

Irrigation by Means of a Drip System

Effective Irrigation

Save Water to Grow Healthy Plants.

Watering in the Winter

For a full video explanation of how to activate and deactivate your irrigation system, see below.

Orchid Care

Treatment for Dendrobiums

Care for Miltonia

How to Take Care of a Phalaenopsis

cancer care oncidium

Care for Cattleyas

Care for a Paphiopedion

Winter Landscape Care

Preparing Your Garden for Winter

Advice on Watering Your Garden

Getting Your Pond Ready for Winter

Watering in the Winter

Caring for Outdoor Water Features During the Winter


Maintaining Bird Seed’s Viability and Freshness

Getting More Birds to Visit Your Garden

General Gardening Information

Home Composting

Protection from flames and flammable materials

Produce Pure Air

Insects that eat bronze birch trees

Tendency to Live Christmas Trees

Treatment of a Newly Cut Christmas Tree

Tips for Keeping Your Pet Safe During the Holidays

Keeping Your Outdoor Decor Like a Showpiece: How to Clean and Maintain Your Fountain, Bird Bath, Plants, and Statues

Excel version of the High Desert Vegetable Calendar from Moana Nursery.

Care for Trees (I borrowed a page from Virginia Tech)

Dates for starting seeds, planting, and more in the High Desert (PDF)

List of Deer-Resistant Plants for Northern Nevada, 4 pages long, from the Nevada Cooperative Extension Service

Got some time? Read our high desert gardening and landscaping blog filled with short articles on relevant topics designed to supplement all the specific fact sheets shown here. See our blog here.

How much water do I need??? (This is by far the most common inquiry we get in the Great Basin Desert.) Basically, you should water so that the soil is consistently moist. It could mean every day, especially for new plantings in our hot and windy climate. The best way to determine how much water your plants need is to poke around in the soil just below the surface and next to the root ball until you get a good sense of how much water they need. Moisturized, but not dripping wet, soil should surround the root ball. A handful of it would clump together when squeezed, but wouldn’t leak any liquid. The amount of water a plant needs depends on a number of variables, including its location, the weather, the type of soil it is growing in, and how often you plan to water it. Your plants will thrive with infrequent but deep watering in the long run, but you’ll need to keep a close eye on them in the short run while they establish a strong root system.

Sowing Timeline for Vegetables - Charles Dowding

The mighty oak that grew from the fifth best tree in Moana! Come to our Garden Centers to choose from hundreds of high-desert, drought-resistant plants. For help with your do-it-yourself landscaping project, stop by and chat with our experienced staff and plant doctors/arborists, and then pick up a copy of our helpful “Plan & Plant” and “Planting Guide.”


Gardening in northern Nevada is challenging due to the region’s climate and environmental factors. However, if you take the time to study the northern Nevada gardening guide, you will have a much easier time of it. To avoid any problems with frost when planting in Reno or Las Vegas, be sure to check the frost-free dates ahead of time.

University of Nevada, Reno research suggests that greenhouses are essential to growing fruitful gardens in Nevada. Find out what your crops need, what the hardiness zone is where you live, and what methods work well in Nevada. Each of these suggestions increases your chances of success in your northern Nevada garden.