Based on the minimum ten-year average winter temperatures, plant hardiness zone maps have been progressively developed, first by the Department of Agriculture (USDA) for the United States and then more or less applied to the rest of the planet. The purpose of these hardiness zones is to identify how well plants will withstand the cold winter temperatures of these zones.
- The above European Hardiness Zone Map divides Europe into 11 zones, ranging from -45,6°C to 4,4°C. If you are planning to buy a shrub, perennial or tree, you need to make sure that this new plant will tolerate year-round conditions in your area. Therefore, to ensure your new acquisition will survive and grow year after year, you will need to compare the hardiness zone of your area with the hardiness zone of your plant.
- Keep in mind, however, that this Hardiness map is mostly a guideline as it does not factor in the amount of rainfall, summer highs, wind, humidity and any micro climates.