“A New Plant Zone Map”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana
The USDA has issued another plant zone hardiness map, and many areas are now in warmer zones. The area where I garden, about 30 miles north of New Orleans, has been nudged from zone 8b to 9a. You can access the full info for your area here.
This move does not surprise me, but I still am not going to trust that zone 9 completely. While it is true that our winters have been milder in general, we still can get a very hard freeze that will kill the plants that need a true zone 9 to survive. In the winters of 2010 and 2011, I lost many plants to the cold, and I know this will happen again.
I have always felt that my garden may have the summers of a zone 9 or 10 and can have the winters of a zone 8 even if it is only for a very short time. Tender perennials that survive in my sister’s garden (in the New Orleans area) will often succumb to the cold in mine. So, while I welcome this new map as guide and maybe as the years go by a true reflection of my climate, I still will garden with the idea that a zone 8 winter is likely and be careful about what I plant.