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Climate-Ready Detectives Select Plants for the Future

Articles: Climate-Ready Detectives Select Plants for the Future

Spring 2024

Amid the tumult of rapidly shifting climate conditions, gardeners at every level are asking, “What can I plant now?” From drought to wildfires, floods, and frosts—weather events throughout the Pacific region are increasing in severity, frequency, and unpredictability, creating vivid ripple effects for our plants.

Here public garden curators, nursery professionals, extension agents, and designers from the Pacific region share their perspectives.
All gardening is local: the power of the microclimate
Whether you realize it or not, you may have just landed in a new hardiness zone. Gardeners and horticulture professionals rely on US Department of Agriculture (USDA) hardiness zones as one factor in determining what will grow well where. Zones tell you the coldest temperature limit to expect (on average). In November 2023, USDA overhauled and updated its hardiness zone map in collaboration between its Agricultural Research Service and Oregon State University's PRISM Climate Group (Agriculture Research Service 2023a). Since the last map edition in 2012, the US warmed by 2.5°F (1.4°C), moving more than half of the country up by a 5°F half-zone. The latest map also adds t...

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