In Which Sunset Zone Am I?

jalilu(Sunset Zone 23/24)December 14, 2012

Hi,

I have recently discovered the USDA and Sunset zones and would like to know which one describes best my location (Tangier, Morocco). I believe the Sunset zones are more reliable than USDA, especially for continents western coasts. Guava, banana, Mexican lime, monstera deliciosa, codiaeum and mango (since 2009) all thrive outdoors here. Could anyone tell me? Thanks. I hope you can understand my English.

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slogal(CA z10a/Sunset 16)

Do you have a copy of the Sunset Western Garden Book? In the beginning of each edition there is a detailed description of all the zones: how they are influenced by topography, the ocean, the interior, minimum and maximum temperatures, etc. There is a lot of other useful information in the book, so it's a nice one to own.

There is an online link with this information which I've included below. You might first try the various California links on the left side of the page. From your plant list, I'd start with California 23 and 24 or possibly Hawaii H2.

And your English is excellent! :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Find Your US Sunset Climate Zone

    Bookmark   December 14, 2012 at 6:26PM
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socal23(USDA10/Sunset23)

The closest corresponding climate for you would be 23 or 24, though both summer highs and winter lows are a few degrees higher than Ensenada, Mexico. I would call it zone 25 or 26 since it's just a variant (warmer and drier) than 4/5,16/17, or 23/24, but Sunset already gave that to South Florida with their ill-advised attempt to go National.

Your biggest differences are going to be at the margins: plants that are marginal here should do well there (we can coax along coconut palms, but they never really thrive here - one member christened them "pathetophytes"), but they appear to grow reasonably well in Tangier. On the other hand, you may have trouble with some deciduous trees with even the lowest of chilling requirements such as pomegranate and figs.

Ryan

    Bookmark   December 14, 2012 at 8:43PM
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jalilu(Sunset Zone 23/24)

Thank you for your replies. I will try to get that book. Slogal, your link already gave me an idea about my Sunset zone. 23/24 is a good guess. Maybe more 24 than 23. With regard to the similarity with Ensenada's weather as described in Wikipedia, winters are more humid in Tangier with an annual rainfall of 29". As far as I know, coconut trees do not grow here but maybe someone has one in his(her) yard. They would probably be as "pathetophytes" as in So.Cal. :-) On the other hand, deciduous trees such as pomegranate, figs, apricots and plums are doing well. Same for nopales (opuntia), which are the most cultivated around here, along with figs trees.

I am not sure whether or not mangos would ripen enough because the truly warm season does not last long and rain can start as early as october. Not good for late mangos! What is your guess?

Jalilu

    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 8:13AM
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socal23(USDA10/Sunset23)

Summers along the Southern California coast are much cooler, but mangoes ripen adequately I think you would be fine in that regard. I wouldn't expect rain to be much of a problem since they are naturalized in Guam which has a moist season and a soaked season (because of relative rain amounts, they call it a wet and dry season, but with more than two inches in their driest month...).

I find it interesting that you have good luck with Apricots and Plums. According to the Standard and Utah chill models (which were developed for stone fruits so I'll give the Pomegranates and Figs a pass since it may be another biochemical process altogether - same with apples which can be fruited in subtropical, bordering on tropical conditions provided they are defoliated) you should get virtually no chill hours. On the other hand, I don't have much practical experience with stone fruits and you aren't the first person to note that chill models fall short in mediterranean climates.

Ryan

    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 10:17AM
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jalilu(Sunset Zone 23/24)

Hello Ryan,

These chill models fall short not only in mediterranean climates but also in other types of climate. For instance fig trees also grow in Mexico City and still bear fruits in December. Mexico is also a pomegranate producer. In French Polynesia they grow grape and produce wine! That's paradise!

Jalilu

    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 2:36PM
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stanofh

Looking at one Tangiers graph..your closer to San Jose Ca,in the bay area then to soucal temperatures. Maybe,with being so close to the ocean you never have frost or freezes...but I see that mid summer temps of 75f on average are well below Los Angeles's 84-88f depending on the station.
Thats why you see no Coconuts. Crotons???? I cant explain that!..well,your lows are in the 50's in winter. That helps.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 6:26PM
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jalilu(Sunset Zone 23/24)

Stanofh, you are right. In terms of climate, Tangier can't be compared to inland L.A. but is similar to places like Ventura, Santa Monica, Long Beach or Huntington Beach. Not to San Jos� where winter averages are lower and fraction of time spend in cold weather is a bit larger.

With regard to crotons, I can't explain it either. Are narrow-leave varieties hardier than broad-leave ones?

Here is a link that might be useful: Averages and Historical Weather for Several Countries of the World

    Bookmark   December 16, 2012 at 12:38PM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

24 would be within a few miles of the coast, quite a few foggy days with marine influenced overcast, and citrus would not get satisfyingly sweet because most summer days would be under 80F. 23--pretty good citrus. 22, even sweeter citrus, greater chance of a winter frost or two.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2012 at 6:01PM
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jalilu(Sunset Zone 23/24)

In that case, 23 would be the more appropriate for Tangier. Thank you all for your help!

Jalilu

    Bookmark   December 17, 2012 at 8:11AM
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kittymoonbeam

I'm in 23 and it's a wonderful zone. I grow strawberries and warm climate blueberries and tangerines. I also have low chill apples, peaches and plums. It's a fine climate for roses, camellias, and plumerias. The most annoying thing I have to put up with is the annual drying winds that happen just before the leaves turn yellow in autumn. I used to grow more fuschias but lately it has been too hot in summer to make them easy to grow here. They grow with ease nearer to the ocean in zone 24. I can grow some orchids outside. Epiphyllums are very easy here as well as clivia lilies. If you like figs and loquats, they are very easy to grow as well.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2012 at 12:00AM
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jalilu(Sunset Zone 23/24)

I also tried strawberries but woodlice used to eat them before they fully ripen. Clivia, Dieffenbachia amoena, hedychium coronarium (I love their scent!), gardenias (I love their scent too!) grow well outdoors. Dark fruiting Surinam cherries are fruiting for the second time since summer. I would like to try heliconias but I don't know which varieties are hardy enough. What is your experience with these beautiful plants in Zone 23?

Figs and loquats are common sights here. I like them but since they are sold everywhere, I prefer planting uncommon fruit trees, hoping they will resist the Levant (dry easterly wind) gusts.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2012 at 11:04AM
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stanofh

Dieffenbachia? Then you are z10b,z24 even z11..as in Santa Monica beach temps. I think I have seen some Diffenbachia doing ok in San Diego shade, photos.
Jalilu..post some photos. People would love to see your area. Bound to look exotic.
Now,if you have large leafed variegated Pothos climbing anything? You beat anything in California. Here,that's a dead end.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2012 at 3:16PM
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kittymoonbeam

I had diffenbachia outside in protected areas close to the house but since they are toxic to the pets, I gave them away. Many beautiful tropical plants will grow outdoors with some winter protection. We almost never get a freeze. Sorry to hear that you have dry winds as well. Ours blow hard for days at a time and I am in a break in the hills so it roars right at us every year.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2012 at 10:51PM
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jalilu(Sunset Zone 23/24)

Hi

Stanofh, here is a link leading to a picture of a Dieffenbachia in a covered space but with openings on the sides, and another showing some other Dieff. exposed to the winter rain in our garage. There is also a picture of a narrow-leaf plant that I believe is a croton variety (yellow spots and similar flowers) that does not display crotons bright colors, maybe because it is not exposed to direct sunlight. Could anyone tell me whether or not it is a croton?

[IMG]http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b580/jalilu55/IMG_0886_zps83a5b898.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b580/jalilu55/IMG_0889_zpsd363571d.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b580/jalilu55/IMG_0882_zpsd7fbe766.jpg[/IMG]

    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 7:29AM
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stanofh

Jalilu,you have to post the pics directly. All I get when I post that link to search is...right back here.
Sorry,I guess i know more about plants then computers!

    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 4:25PM
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jalilu(Sunset Zone 23/24)

Sorry stanofh! I am not familiar with Photobucked. I hope that you will see the pictures this time. I added a fourth one with a bunch of alocasia.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 8:00PM
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stanofh

They look like Crotons grown in shade..they might-might-also be the hardier Aucuba's.
The plant material does have a San Diego vibe. Great dark color on Monstera...and flowering Diffenbackia are happy outdoor/courtyard/sunroom, potted plants.
Without a doubt you have many types of banana that can be grown and subtropical fruits..or even some tropical fruits species.
Good Luck!

    Bookmark   December 25, 2012 at 5:17PM
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kittymoonbeam

Your pictures look like many gardens in the Los Angeles area. Have you grown the large flowered Impatiens? They would look very nice with the large foliage plants.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2012 at 12:17AM
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jalilu(Sunset Zone 23/24)

Stanofh, the flowers look more like croton's. They thrive here because I just saw this morning one garden croton (Codiaeum variegatum) outdoorsin a container. I moved mine to a sunnier location.

Whith regard to subtropical or tropical plants, which ones would you suggest? I already have bananas (Dwarf Cavendish plus a "local" variety that produces short fat fruits with a kind of triangular section), plus the trees mentioned in my first post.

Kittymoonbeam, you are right but I can't find that kind of impatiens here. On the other hand, small flowered impatiens are actually growing like weed everywhere, especially under the Monstera. They bloom throughout the year. Unlike the U.S., it is not easy to find unusual seeds and plants. Same with soil, compost, etc.

More pictures of my plants

Surinam Cherry(fruiting right now)

    Bookmark   December 27, 2012 at 1:16PM
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bahia(SF Bay Area)

Based on your photos and seeing plants such as the fruiting papaya and also that you can successfully grow apricots and figs, I'd say your climate corresponds best to the Sunset zone 23. There are quite a few more subtropical plants that would do well in your garden. As to Heliconia species, you should probably be able to easily flower Heliconia scheideana, H. latispatha, H. angusta, H. nutans, H. tortuosa, H. bourgeaena, and perhaps a few others. Strelitzia's would do well for you, Dombeyas, Tabebuias, Erythrinas, Justicias, Odontonemas, other Hedychiums such as H. greenei, H. gardnerianum, Alpinia zerumbet variegata, ornamental bananas such as Musa ornata or Musella lasiocarpa, many bromeliads, orchids such as Epidendrums, and many palms such as various Chamaedoreas, Dypsis, Braheas, Butias, Syagrus, Archontophoenix, etc. If you were to look at the web sites for various southern California botanic gardens such as the San Diego Botanic Garden(was formerly known as Quail), and the Los Angeles Arboretum and the Huntington Botanic Gardens you could get many more ideas for flowering trees and shrubs grown here in southern California that would do well for you.

As you say, nursery availability is more limited in Morocco than here in the USA or the UK, but perhaps Spanish or Portuguese nurseries if you can bring in live plants, or growing from seed purchased on-line is the way to go. It sounds like you have a delightful climate to garden in, and I wish I had as warm of winters as your location, but even so my own Sunset zone 17 gardens here in northern California can look quite subtropical. I'm linking to photos of a garden I designed and planted here in Berkeley that was intended to have a vaguely Moroccan feel.

Here is a link that might be useful: A tropical looking garden in northern California

    Bookmark   December 28, 2012 at 7:17PM
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jalilu(Sunset Zone 23/24)

Hi David

Great pictures and beautiful plants arrangement! Many species are found here and others that I have never seen before. Thank you for your suggestions, especially the Heliconias varieties. Among the plants listed, some are grown here (Dombeyas, Alpinia zerumbet, Strelizias and Odontonemas). I wish I had enough space for a Tabebuia! I saw them in Mexico and Venezuela. Imagine one tree blooming in the middle of a group of blooming Jacarandas!

With regard to Heliconias, will they survive winter here or regrow from rhizome?

You are right about purchasing seeds and plants in Spain. Actually, I already bought a few there,such as a sapodilla, mangos, naranjillas and babaco (the two potted ones that you have confused with papayas).

Here is a view of the vegetation and Strait of Gibraltar near Tangier.

Happy holidays season!
Jalilu

    Bookmark   December 30, 2012 at 12:00PM
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bahia(SF Bay Area)

Jalilu, glad you enjoyed the photos, and I should have recognized those as Babaco's rather than Papayas. The Heliconia species I listed should be reliably evergreen and bloom for you, but none of them are the more tropical looking types you would have seen in Venezuela, but they all do well here in the San Francisco Bay Area and at least the H. scheideana and latispatha have bloomed reliably for me here in Berkeley. If you can get Papaya to grow and fruit for you, you may have the minimum conditions for growing H. rostrata. I wonder if your conditions there aren't quite similar to Marbella/Malaga in Spain? I saw quite a few nice nurseries and subtropicals in those towns when I visited back in 2000. Good luck with your garden, and finding the plants you seek. You might check out the Facebook group titled Planet Heliconia with more specific questions about species good for your location, and posters might be able to help you with acquiring Heliconia seed. There are also nurseries in both Puerto Rico and Thailand that can ship live Heliconia rhizomes. Without looking up your climate stats again, the more tropical Heliconia species generally do best where it seldom drops below 10~12ðC at night in winter, and >15ðC is even better. I don't have that degree of winter warmth here in the Bay Area, so have no experience with true tropical species that won't tolerate the occasional dips down near 0ðC.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2012 at 11:34PM
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jalilu(Sunset Zone 23/24)

Thank you David for your valuable advice. I will sure visit Marbella and Malaga's nursersies as these two towns are not far from here and their weather is similar to Tangier's.

It has been a pleasure chatting with all of you.

Jalilu

    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 5:56AM
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gotsomerice(Sunset 23)

If you live within 10 miles from the coast. then you are in Zone 24. In general, if you are in 10-15 miles you are in Zone 23. My guess is you are in Zone 23 from all the pictures of plants you can grow.

This post was edited by gotsomerice on Tue, Jan 8, 13 at 13:42

    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 1:41PM
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jalilu(Sunset Zone 23/24)

The yard is less than 1/2 mile from the seashore but summers are warm and fog is extremely rare, unlike Zone 24. From Weatherspark.com:

"Over the course of a year, the temperature typically varies from 47�F to 84�F and is rarely below 39�F or above 93�F.

The warm season lasts from June 25 to September 22 with an average daily high temperature above 80�F. The hottest day of the year is July 27, with an average high of 84�F and low of 67�F.

The cold season lasts from November 22 to March 20 with an average daily high temperature below 66�F. The coldest day of the year is January 17, with an average low of 47�F and high of 61�F."

You must be right gotsomerice. Tangier's climate corresponds most to Zone 23.

Thanks

Jalilu

    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 2:40PM
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stanofh

How do you edit after you post?

    Bookmark   January 9, 2013 at 4:51PM
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jalilu(Sunset Zone 23/24)

I have never tried. I first type my messages in Word, then I copy/paste them in the forum. I hope I understood your question.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 10:34AM
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publickman

I've had good luck with heliconia in Venice, and I grew them from seeds that we got from the L.A. County Arboretum in Arcatia, which is very far inland and gets below 40 degrees F every winter. I'm growing lobster claw heliconia in Westchester, but they have not yet bloomed for me, although I've seen them blooming profusely in Culver City, which is a similar climate to mine. For me, I think it is a matter of feeding them the right fertilizer and water, but I might have bad soil - it is a very heavy clay and does not drain well.

Lars

    Bookmark   January 14, 2013 at 6:56PM
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jalilu(Sunset Zone 23/24)

Lars

I guess that your area's weather is more favorable (less rain and higher day temperatures in winter) than here. Is your lobster claw heliconia the H. rostrata? I read that short heliconias have better chances to bloom in non-tropical areas than the tall hanging types . Anyway, I will give them a try.

Jalilu

    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 11:31AM
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publickman

Jalilu, yes, the heliconia I have now are H. rostrata, which now grow wild on Maui. I don't know whether they are considered hanging or not, but the blooms do hang down. The ones I had in Venice were H. velloziana or farinosa, and might do better in your climate, as it was slightly cooler in Venice than where I am now. In Venice, I was less than a mile from the beach, and now I am about 3-1/2 miles from the beach, which makes a big difference in the amount of sun I get in the winter as well as the daytime winter high temperatures. Rain is the same, however. In Venice, I had them in front of my north wall, but I think they could have tolerated more sun. However, they did well in partial shade.

Lars

    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 6:57PM
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jalilu(Sunset Zone 23/24)

Thank you Lars! I will start looking for H. velloziana and farinosa right now. I found some pictures and they do look nice. Do they tolerate wind?

Jalilu

    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 10:57AM
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publickman

I don't know if they tolerate wind, but I suppose they do to some extent, as they were planted out in the open at the county arboretum. Mine were next to my house and therefore did not get wind. Wind will shred the leaves, similar to banana leaves, but it does not destroy them.

Lars

    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 2:47PM
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stanofh

After all this cold in California Jalilu,you might be Sunset 24 and 3/4 in comparison!

    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 5:18PM
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jalilu(Sunset Zone 23/24)

Stan

You can't complain about your weather! Your highs now are above 68F. We had 34 mph winds and a thunderstorm this morning, and it is still blowing. :-(

What does your 3/4 mean?

    Bookmark   January 19, 2013 at 12:01PM
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stanofh

24 3/4= Almost 25. I was joking. I'm in the San Francisco bay area,so not above 68f..about 65f right now. Still,down south Los Angeles has come back to glory with 80F+!

    Bookmark   January 19, 2013 at 4:46PM
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jalilu(Sunset Zone 23/24)

It rains, and it rains, and it rains... I'm just hoping to get a couple of days with no rain and no wind, to spray Bordeaux mix on the plants before it's too late.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 8:00AM
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stanofh

I watched a HGTV show of renovating a home in Morocco. Since the owner said he's only the second American to be allowed to own a home in the city (country?) you might have heard of him Jalilu.
Anyways...I thought the countryside looked very much like San Diego.
Zone 24,it is.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 3:07PM
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jalilu(Sunset Zone 23/24)

Hi Stan

It surprises me! Foreigners are allowed to own houses in Morocco, and a lot of Europeans acquired Moroccan style houses in Tangier as well as in other cities. Among American celebrities, Malcolm Forbes, Barbara Hutton and Paul Bowles lived in Tangier. The first one had a palace that featured a lead soldiers museum appearing in "The Living Daylights" James Bond's movie.

Whith regard to the difference between SoCal and here, I would say that your winter highs are higher than Tangier's while your summer are cooler than ours. Winter rainfall is also significantly greater here, but despite of this my young Keitt mango tree starts blooming! I thought that mangos require a dry period to bloom. Anyways, I will prune it because it is still weak.

Jalilu

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 12:19PM
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stanofh

Interesting..I must have misunderstood something,It was a renovation of a very old home..where magnificent tiles had been painted over. As a matter of fact, it was called the "Q-tip" home because the owner-an architect- had the home cleaned of all the paint layers with paint remover,alcohol and Q-tips,or in other words, tedious restoration.
Maybe somebody else saw it?

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 4:27PM
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