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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:

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 Deputy Senior Supervising Climate Editor, tasked with working across the newsroom to lead the network's broad climate coverage. Before starting at NPR in April 2020, Banerjee spent five years as senior correspondent at Inside Climate News, where she led the team that revealed how Exxon had conducted its own ambitious climate research as far back as the mid-1970s. The Exxon project spurred public interest lawsuits, won more than a dozen national journalism awards and was a finalist for 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service Reporting. Before ICN, Banerjee was the energy and environment reporter in the Los Angeles Times' Washington, D.C., bureau. Prior to that, she was a reporter for The New York Times and had beats as diverse as global energy, the Iraq war and faith in America. She began her journalism career at The Wall Street Journal, where she served mostly as a Russia correspondent. Banerjee grew up all over the U.S., but primarily in southeast Louisiana, and is a graduate of Yale University.