Information about the different climates

Climate influences plant life

When designing a garden or acquire plants it is highly recommended to do a study of the climate that we have, as this will prevent problems from arising.

Each climate zone creates a habitat for a certain class of plants. You could say that it is the climate that makes plants the way they are, since depending on the rainfall that there is, the humidity of the environment, the temperatures,… there will be some plants or others.

What are the different climates in the world?

Broadly speaking, on planet Earth there are three types of climate: warm, temperate, and cold.

Warm weather

Climate is important to plants

When we talk about hot weather, we refer to a type of climate in which temperatures remain above 0 degrees throughout the year, and which can also exceed 30 or even 40ºC. In this group we find two subtypes:

  • hot humid climate: we found the tropical forests of the world. They are the place of the vast majority of plants: palm trees of all kinds, ferns, bromeliads,… The temperature never drops below 10º, and rainfall is very abundant, so the ambient humidity is very high.
  • dry hot weather: we find the deserts, habitat of cacti and beautiful tree aloes. Rainfall is very scarce, and the temperature can quickly rise to 40º and drop to 5º in one day. As its name already suggests, the rains are very scarce.

Cold weather

The temperate climate is ideal for deciduous trees

in the temperate climate we find the habitat of trees whose autumn color such as maples, oaks, chestnut trees, … that amaze many people. It is also the place of conifers, such as the Sequoia, pines, junipers.

It has a very wide temperature range, since it can drop to -30º in winter, and go up to 45º in summer in some areas. It is the only one that has the four distinct seasons: spring, summer, autumn and winter. In spring and autumn the greatest number of precipitations are concentrated.

As a curiosity, in this group we find different subtypes:

  • Warm wet: the countries that have it are those where it usually rains in summer, coinciding with the hottest season of the year. But frosts are also recorded in winter.
  • Oceanic: With cool and generally dry summers and mild winters, the sea exerts a notable influence on the climate and also on the plants.
  • Mediterranean coast: as its name indicates, it is the one that is found where the Mediterranean Sea is; that is, to the south and east of the Iberian Peninsula and reaching western Asia. Here, the summers are very hot and dry, and the winters rainy. In certain areas, it could even be said that they have a subtropical climate most of the year, except in the months of January and February, when temperatures can drop below 0 degrees. This is the climate that olive trees, carob trees, and rosemary, for example, want.

Cold weather

Cold weather is a long-lived conifer

In cold weather precipitation can be quite frequent depending on the area, however, due to the proximity of the poles, the wind is very cold. Temperatures are cool but very cold in winter. Summer is usually very short, and snowfalls come early.

For example, it is the habitat of Pinus longaeva, Or the Picea abiesamong other trees.

What are the best outdoor plants?

Generally, when we go to a nursery, the »Indoor plants» section is the section for tropical plants, that is, they originate from hot, tropical climates, with very high humidity and very warm winters.

It is very advisable acquire native plants, or alternatively plants whose climatic origin is similar to the climate we have, not only to avoid problems, but also to keep the maintenance of the garden low, and we can save time and money.

Why is it so important to know the climate to care for plants?

Cacti live in warm regions

For the simple reason that the weather is everything to them. A plant from the humid temperate forest will have many problems living, for example, on the Mediterranean coast, where temperatures can exceed 30ºC and even 40ºC, as occurs in the south of the Iberian Peninsula. A coconut tree, which is a palm tree typical of beaches and tropical rain forests, will not be able to live in a place where temperatures drop below 10ºC; simply: its cells would be destroyed and the plant would die.

And so, I could give many, many examples. Indoor plants are those that, although they are tropical and therefore very sensitive to frost, have been seen to adapt well to living inside a house if they are provided with a series of minimum care. For example, I myself have plants that, if left outside in winter, would soon die; but having them at home, they grow very well, like the philodendron or some palm trees, like the Dypsis lutescens.

As you can see, the climate is of great importance for plants.

Information about the different climates

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