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The USDA's gardening zones shifted. This map shows you what's changed in vivid detail

Connie Hanzhang Jin

Recently, the USDA updated its plant hardiness map for the first time in 11 years.

If you're a gardener — and everybody can be a gardener, even on a balcony or a stoop — this is a big deal!

The updated map opens up new possibilities for home gardeners, but there are limits. Let's explore how the map has changed and what this means for your garden.

Explore the project: https://apps.npr.org/plant-hardiness-garden-map/

Copyright 2024 NPR

Daniel Wood is a visual journalist at NPR, where he brings data and analyses into complex topics by paired reporting with custom charts, maps and explainers. He focuses on data-rich topics like COVID-19 outcomes, climate change and politics. His interest in tracking a small outbreak of a novel coronavirus in January 2020 helped position NPR to be among the leading news organizations to provide daily updates on the growth and impact of COVID-19 around the country and globe.
Brent Jones
[Copyright 2024 NPR]
Jeff Brady is a National Desk Correspondent based in Philadelphia, where he covers energy issues and climate change. Brady helped establish NPR's environment and energy collaborative which brings together NPR and Member station reporters from across the country to cover the big stories involving the natural world.
Neela Banerjee
Neela Banerjee is NPR's Chief Climate Editor. She manages NPR's Climate Desk, which includes editors and reporters around the country. The Climate Desk focuses on making complex science accessible to audiences, spotlighting barriers to addressing climate change, explaining climate solutions and revealing how climate change disproportionately affects marginalized people. The desk works across the NPR newsroom to elevate the network's broad climate coverage, and it coordinates a nationwide collaborative of dozens of member stations aimed at strengthening local climate journalism. The Climate Desk organizes NPR's annual Climate Solutions Week, which draws new audiences by highlighting the people and communities worldwide deploying innovative ideas to cope with the increasing risks from global warming.