USDA Releases New Hardiness Zone Map

The United States Department of Agriculture has just released a new zone hardiness map that reflects both a warming climate and new algorithms that take into account things like terrain, and proximity to bodies of water.  The map is also now searchable by zip code.

You can access the new map here: http://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb .

For the background on how this map is different from the previous (1990) version, the USDA has a press release

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  1. In Canada we have a slightly different system. It is not based just on lowest average temperature. I lifted the quote from Agriculture Canada.
    “In 1967, Agriculture Canada scientists created a plant hardiness map using Canadian plant survival data and a wider range of climatic variables, including minimum winter temperatures, length of the frost-free period, summer rainfall, maximum temperatures, snow cover, January rainfall and maximum wind speed.”
    It gives you a better idea of what plants can grow in each zone.

  2. I’m with Shreela – in Phoenix I need to know what will withstand the heat and what types of fruit I can grow besides the normal couple of apples and peaches (and of course citrus). I’ve heard of people growing avocados, figs and pomegranates here but they’re not that common.

  3. Folks that need heat zone information can find that information from the book Heat Zone Gardening by Dr. H. Marc Cathey, and it includes a heat zon map. I found this when I lived in Jacksonville, FL- very useful.

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