World Plant Hardiness Zones Map
In brief, a Hardiness Zone Map divides an area into Zones (typically 1 through 10 based on minimum temperatures, with 1 being the coldest and 10 being the warmest). A plant is placed into one of these Hardiness Zones based upon the lowest temperature it can withstand. As I have stated previously, the benefit of Hardiness Zones is that it provides a starting point for planning which plants can winter-over where you live. However, there are a few drawbacks to the Hardiness Zone Map. It does not consider day length (which changes considerably the further from the equator you go), snow cover (which moderates soil freezing and insulates roots), humidity, frost, or soil moisture. Probably the biggest drawback is that it does not consider how warm your summer will be. The classic example is comparing the Shetland Islands north of Scotland and southern Alabama. Both are listed as bewteen Hardiness Zone 8-9. However, the Shetland Islands are sub-artic and southern Alabama is sub-tropical. There are almost no plants that can grow in both places.
I hope this helps anyone struggling to determine in which Plant Hardiness Zone you reside. Here are the links to pages that have the best Plant Hardiness Zones maps I can find for locations around the world:
- Africa - Not a very detailed map at all, but the only one I could find for the entire continent. There is a much more detaile map of Southern Africa here.
- Australia - Not extremely detailed, but still very useful. Also, it has a comparison to the U.S. which can be quite helpful.
- Canada - Very detailed map, but may be a little hard to use as the zones blend into one another... but I guess that is how things actually are in real life.
- China - Pretty good map. There may be better ones out there, but they are not available (or searchable) in English, and my Mandarin is not good at all. :)
- Europe - Pretty good map. There is a list to specific countries that link to a larger (close-up) map.
- India - No specific map found. The only map that I could find is at the top of this post.
- Japan - Fantastic interactive map.
- Russia - Map is fair, but the information is good. Includes areas/countries that belonged to the former USSR.
- South America - Not super detailed and maybe a little hard to see the zone deliniations, but still reliable.
- Southeast Asia - No specific map found. The only map that I could find is at the top of this post.
- United States of America - link to my previous article.