Map Monday: Minnesota Plant Hardiness Zones

It’s May! Hooray!

But don’t get ahead of yourselves with the excitement of planting green things.

Today’s map is the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map, updated in 2012 with data through 2005.

Plant Hardiness Zones, Minnesota

Plant hardiness indicates which plants are most likely to thrive. The map is based on the average annual minimum winter temperature, divided into 10-degree Fahrenheit zones.

The Minnesota DNR has charts of the average dates of last freeze (and average dates of first freeze). Although accurate long-range forecasts of freeze dates remain beyond the reach of science, charts suggest that if you wait until mid-May to get planting, you’ll probably be OK if you live in central or southern Minnesota.

About Julie Kosbab

Julie Kosbab is an online marketing consultant and active transportation advocate living in Anoka County, Minnesota. She was one of Minnesota's only League of American Bicyclists Certified Instructors when certified in 2005, and is no longer lonely in that calling. A past member of the National Bicycle Tour Directors Association, she has 2 children and a garage full of bicycles. Find her on Twitter as @betweenstations, or read her (seldom updated) blog at Ride Boldly!

5 thoughts on “Map Monday: Minnesota Plant Hardiness Zones

  1. Eric AnondsonEric Anondson

    Fascinating that what must be the urban heat island bumps southeast Minneapolis, east Richfield, far eastern Bloomington into zone 5

    1. Monte Castleman

      FWIW I live in the “5A” zone and I’ve rarely had luck getting zone 5 plants to survive even one winter.

        1. Jenny WernessJenny WernessModerator  

          I have a long list of plants that have died in my care… to me, that’s a beautiful part of gardening, it’s a dynamic endeavor. Things are always changing. I’ve had zone 6 plants that happily grew for years, and zone 3 plants that didn’t survive the winter.

          I admit I do push the boundaries on hardiness zones, since it’s obvious that the climate crisis is causing overall warming.

          (And I went against all gardening advice and planted tender outdoor plants two weeks ago, don’t tell Julie)

          1. Monte Castleman

            It’s interesting the people from Florida that come from the north but don’t want to give up northern plants, so they’ll do things like plant tulips as annuals, or in one case have a full sized spruce tree moved from North Carolina every year; this rich old lady from the north just had to have a Christmas tree with lights on in front of her house and it was dead a few months later.

            Then again we plant a huge number of things here, Morning glories, tomatoes, and peppers to name a few that are really perennials but aren’t hardy in our zone. I have a Star Jasmine plant that’s I have pruned to fit a large pot that I take in every winter.

            I find it hit or miss of something is going to do well in my gardens. Yellow ladyslippers are supposed to be hard to grow but I’ve been able to keep one; coneflowers are supposed to be easy but I can’t keep them going more than a year or two.

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