2012 USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map

Yesterday (January 25, 2012), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) unveiled the 2012 version of their Plant Hardiness Zone Map. This is the first revision since 1990, and based on data collected since then, the zone boundaries have shifted in many places. To many gardeners, this confirms a trend they’ve noticed themselves: Winters are getting milder than they used to be, allowing them to grow plants that even 10 years ago might not have survived the winter. Newspapers all around the country are reporting on this phenomenon today. Here are just a few:

What does this mean for you? Probably not much because you already know what works in your garden and what doesn’t. But you might see plants in local nurseries that didn’t show up in the past because now they can “officially” be grown in your area.

My zone is still 9b. As the San Francisco Chronicle article above says, things didn’t really change much in California.

Click here to read the USDA’s press release.

Click here to access the interactive 2012 USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map with convenient zip code search (US only).

2012 USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map home page
Detail page for Northern California, accessed by clicking on the map on the home page or by making a selection in the State dropdown menu

P.S. According to his latest newsletter, Tony Avent, the owner of Plant Delights Nursery in Raleigh, NC, was involved in developing this new zone map. Be sure to read it for some interesting insider tidbits.


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