USDA New Mexico Hardiness Zones: 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a
New Mexico is a geographically diverse state. Not only are there white sands and the Great Plains, but New Mexico is also famous for the Rocky Mountains.
The diverse geography of New Mexico makes the state a diverse agriculture producer, too. According to the New Mexico Department of Agriculture, New Mexican growers produce a significant number of onions, watermelons, and beans.
The climate of New Mexico is classified as a semiarid, continental climate. While the state does not get much rain outside of the months of July and August, New Mexico does experience an abundance of sunshine. The summers are generally warm, and the winters are extremely mild.
Because of the mild winters, New Mexico is classified into ten plant hardiness zones. The plant hardiness zones of New Mexico are 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, and 9a.
New Mexico Planting Zone – A Quick Overview
- There is a small pocket of 4b growing zone, the coldest in the state, surrounding Eagle Nest.
- If you live in the northern region of New Mexico near Amalia, you likely live in the 5b planting zone. The relative low temperature of this planting zone is -15 degrees Fahrenheit.
- The plant hardiness zone of Cimarron and the surrounding areas is classified as 6a.
- A portion of Cibola, Catron, Rio Arriba, Taos, and Colfax Counties are considered the 5b planting zones, largely surrounded by 6a areas.
- The 6b gardening zone sees a relative low temperature of -5 degrees Fahrenheit. Places like Clines Corners, Encino, and Newcomb are considered planting zone 6b.
- Paraje is classified as the 7a planting zone. Grier and Hondo are also 7a.
- The area surrounding San Antonio is labeled as the 7b planting zone. The 7b planting zone will see relative low temperatures dip as low as 5 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Luna County and Sierra County are classified as two planting zones. Those planting zones are 8a and 8b.
- You’ll find the 9a gardening zone in Dona Ana County.
Using the New Mexico Growing Zones Map
If you want to grow a garden in New Mexico, but you’re not sure if you have a green thumb, no worries. There are several tips and tricks you can use to make sure your garden is thriving. One tip is to learn the plant hardiness classification of your location.
Because New Mexico is geographically diverse and has a range of low minimum temperatures, you need to be sure the plants you grow in your garden are suited for your area’s climate.
Gardening zones (sometimes referred to as planting zones, growing zones, or plant hardiness zones) is a concept designed by the USDA to categorize climates based on relative low temperature. In 2012, the USDA created the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map to help growers, gardeners, and farmers easily access data regarding their growing zones. The map categorizes plant hardiness zones based on color.
Using the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map is painless. After opening the map, click on the state of New Mexico. This will give you a general idea of the gardening zones in New Mexico. Zoom in on your location to better understand the plant hardiness zone. Or enter your address and zip code to get a precise gardening zone for your area.
New Mexico has ten growing zones. Your garden may be close to two or three other gardening zones depending on where you live in the state. Because of the variance of gardening zones, it is essential you know the exact plant hardiness zone of your garden site. It would be best if you also considered your garden plot’s micro-climate.
The micro-climate of your garden site may be different than the surrounding climate if there is a nearby body of water. Wind, humidity, slopes, and heat affect the micro-climate of your garden space, too.
New Mexico: A Geographically Diverse State
The geography of New Mexico plays a massive role in determining the growing season. Because the state is so mountainous, the average length of the growing season is between 90 days and 150 days. It’s generally safe to begin outdoor planting after the middle of April.
If you’re considering planting a vegetable garden in New Mexico, the Osuna Nursery in Albuquerque, New Mexico, recommends planting eggplants, squash, or green chiles. To add color and fragrance to your flower gardens, think about planting roses, dahlias, or canna lillies.
Or, if you want to add value and shade to your landscape, plant apple trees, cherry trees, or plum trees.