The 17 Best Plants to Grow in Zone 2b (-45 to -40 °F/-42.8 to -40 °C)

Welcome to The Zone! This article is in the Gardentabs Zone Series, where we look at all USDA Plant Hardiness Zones and recommend the top 17 plants for your region.

Zone 2b

USDA Zone 2b is characterized by minimum winter temperatures that fall between -45 to -40 °F (-42.8 to -40 °C).

This zone is found in Alaska, particularly in regions such as the Aleutian Islands, Kodiak, and parts of the Kenai Peninsula.

Internationally, Zone 2b is found in northern Canada in regions like the Yukon and Northwest Territories.

It also extends to Greenland, particularly around the southern coastal areas. 

Additionally, specific regions in northern Russia and Siberia, like Norilsk and parts of the Sakha Republic, fall into this zone.

The climate here includes long, cold winters and brief, cool summers.

The growing season is short, and plants must be able to withstand freezing temperatures and often harsh, windy conditions.

An up close photo of a bright and beautiful daylily

An up close photo of a bright and beautiful daylily

An up close photo of a bright and beautiful daylily

An up close photo of a bright and beautiful daylily

Here are 17 of the Best Plants to Grow in Zone 2b

1. Siberian Spruce (Picea obovata)

A detailed photo of a huge Siberian Spruce tree at a beautiful estate

This evergreen conifer is a true champion of the cold. The dense foliage and pyramidal shape provide year-round beauty.

Siberian Spruce can tolerate temperatures as low as -45 °F (-42.8 °C), making it an ideal choice for Zone 2b gardens.

2. Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus)

Healthy Eastern White Pine

It can withstand temperatures down to -40 °F (-40 °C) and adds an elegant touch to any landscape.

A majestic tree with soft, bluish-green needles, the Eastern White Pine is well-suited for Zone 2b gardens.

3. Tamarack (Larix laricina)

Up close photo of Larix laricina

Known for its stunning golden fall foliage, the Tamarack is a deciduous conifer that thrives in cold climates.

It can survive temperatures as low as -45 °F (-42.8 °C) and offers a unique touch to your garden.

4. Canadian Serviceberry (Amelanchier canadensis)


This small tree or large shrub is a delightful addition to any garden.

With lovely white spring flowers, edible berries, and vibrant fall foliage, the Canadian Serviceberry can brave the cold of Zone 2b, enduring temperatures down to -45 °F (-42.8 °C).

5. Siberian Iris (Iris sibirica)

A small bunhc of Siberian Iris photographed at the backyard garden

Featuring delicate blooms in a range of colors, Siberian Iris is a hardy perennial that adds elegance to Zone 2b gardens.

It can withstand temperatures as low as -45 °F (-42.8 °C) and thrives in moist soil.

6. Alpine Forget-Me-Not (Myosotis alpestris)


With its enchanting clusters of small blue flowers, the Alpine Forget-Me-Not brings a touch of magic to the garden.

It can tolerate the cold of Zone 2b, enduring temperatures down to -45 °F (-42.8 °C).

7. Haskap Berry (Lonicera caerulea)

Dark blue colored Haskap Berry

These tasty berries, resembling elongated blueberries, thrive in Zone 2b.

Haskap Berry bushes are hardy, enduring temperatures as low as -45 °F (-42.8 °C), and provide a delicious treat for your garden and your taste buds.

8. Arctic Willow (Salix arctica)

Pink furry Arctic Willow

This dwarf shrub offers graceful, silver-gray foliage that adds interest to the winter landscape.

The Arctic Willow is incredibly cold-resistant, enduring temperatures as low as -45 °F (-42.8 °C).

9. Labrador Tea (Rhododendron groenlandicum)

A huge field filled with Labrador Tea and and tall trees

A charming evergreen shrub, Labrador Tea features glossy leaves and delicate white flowers.

It is adapted to cold climates and can survive temperatures as low as -40 °F (-40 °C).

10. Prairie Crocus (Anemone patens)

Prairie Crocus plant photographed at a small dry garden

One of the first harbingers of spring, the Prairie Crocus bursts forth with vibrant purple, blue, or white flowers.

This hardy perennial thrives in Zone 2b, even enduring temperatures down to -45 °F (-42.8 °C).

11. Arctic Poppy (Papaver radicatum)


Bringing a splash of sunshine to your garden, the Arctic Poppy boasts bright yellow blooms.

It is well-suited for Zone 2b gardens, withstanding temperatures as low as -45 °F (-42.8 °C).

12. Mountain Ash (Sorbus spp.)

Gorgeous mountain ash tree

Known for its clusters of bright red berries and stunning fall foliage, the Mountain Ash is a hardy tree that can withstand the extreme cold of Zone 2b.

It thrives in temperatures as low as -45 °F (-42.8 °C).

13. Icelandic Poppy (Papaver nudicaule)

Bright red and yellow Icelandic Poppy

With its delicate and vibrant petals, the Icelandic Poppy is a sight to behold.

This cold-hardy perennial can tolerate temperatures as low as -45 °F (-42.8 °C), bringing cheerful colors to your garden.

14. Bunchberry (Cornus canadensis)


A charming groundcover, the Bunchberry offers white flowers in spring and bright red berries in summer.

It is well-adapted to Zone 2b's cold climate, enduring temperatures as low as -45 °F (-42.8 °C).

15. Creeping Juniper (Juniperus horizontalis)

A small bush of Juniperus horizontalis

If you're looking for a tough and low-maintenance plant, the Creeping Juniper fits the bill.

With its prostrate growth habit and blue-green foliage, it can thrive in Zone 2b, tolerating temperatures as low as -45 °F (-42.8 °C).

16. Polar Daylily (Hemerocallis middendorffii)

An up close photo of a bright and beautiful daylily

Despite the harsh conditions, the Polar Daylily manages to produce stunning yellow flowers.

This resilient perennial can withstand temperatures as low as -40 °F (-40 °C), adding a touch of beauty to your garden.

17. Creeping Phlox (Phlox subulata)

Bright light purple colored Creeping-Phlox

With its vibrant carpet of flowers, Creeping Phlox creates a stunning groundcover.

It is hardy in Zone 2b, tolerating temperatures as low as -45 °F (-42.8 °C) and providing a burst of color to your landscape.

A Stunning Landscape

Zone 2b may present a challenging environment for gardeners, with its extreme cold temperatures, but it is not devoid of plant life.

Embracing the cold with these 17 best plants allows you to create a beautiful and resilient garden. 

Explore the beauty and resilience of these plant species and let them inspire you to create a stunning landscape that defies the icy grip of winter. 

Read on with these additional titles:

From Seed To Stunning: How To Grow Creeping Phlox And Make Your Garden Pop

Why Is My Mountain Ash Tree Dying?

Should I Remove Cones From Spruce Tree?

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