Climate Zone Maps for Gardening

There are two main climate zone map systems for gardeners and farmers. The USDA climate zone map system and the Sunset climate zone system. You will have more success in using these maps to determine if a plant you buy will thrive well in your area. Remember, not all plant nurseries will sell plants that are suitable for your zone. One reason for this is because of the use of indoor arboretums and greenhouses, where you can grow plants that would normally be found in another climate than your own. Whenever you buy plants or seeds, the information on which zone the plants should be grown in is usually included.

USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map

Find interactive map here:

The USDA plant hardiness zone map system divides North America into 11 hardiness zones, with Zone 1 being the coldest, and zone 11, the warmest. This plant zone system is concerned mostly with the minimum cold temperatures that a plant can tolerate.

The Sunset zone map system, created by Sunset Magazine, produces maps for the western U.S. and is more precise than the USDA’s map system, because they include not only winter minimum temperatures, but also summer highs, lengths of growing seasons, humidity, and rainfall patterns.

For the SUNSET climate zone maps, please click on the link for Sunset Magazine’s page:  Sunset Climate Zone Maps




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