New Mexico Planting Zones

Located in the Southwest corner of the United States, New Mexico, also known as the Land of Enchantment, spans six different growing zones (4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9) with the average minimum temperatures varying between -25° and 25° F(-31.7° and -3.9° C).

In this article, you will learn:

New Mexico is home to some of the most stunning landscapes globally, including majestic mountain ranges, lush grasslands, and arid desert regions. The varied terrain makes this region one of the most interesting places to live and garden in the US.

Image from USDA

Characteristics of New Mexico Planting Region

This region is generally classified as semi-arid, meaning the state is mostly dry with some light precipitation throughout the year. Summers tend to be hot and sunny, and winters are usually mild.

Throughout New Mexico, residents can expect a variety of extreme weather events, such as:

  • Severe thunderstorms
  • High Winds
  • Tornadoes
  • Flash floods
  • Excessive heat
  • Droughts
  • Hail
  • Nighttime temperature drops

Despite being one of the sunniest states in the USA, New Mexico’s high altitude and desert-like climate mean the growing season is relatively short – averaging on 150 frost-free days per year.

Challenges of Growing in New Mexico

1. Intense Droughts

Due to the desert-like climate of most of the state, New Mexico has low levels of precipitation and humidity. Residents will regularly experience prolonged droughts accompanied by intense heat waves. Therefore, it’s essential to choose heat-loving, drought-resistant plants if growing outdoors.

2. Dry Air

As a result of droughts and heatwaves, the air is extremely dry in New Mexico. This can be a problem for outdoor gardeners who need some level of humidity to promote healthy growth in their plants. A greenhouse is highly recommended to help capture moisture and prevent your plants from drying out.

3. High Altitude

New Mexico is one of the highest elevated states in the country. The high-altitude climate presents a variety of challenges for outdoor gardeners, such as unpredictable seasons, weather extremes, poor soil conditions, and the danger of frosts throughout the year. Using a greenhouse will allow you to regulate temperatures and protect your plants from unexpected issues in this region.

The Benefits of Using a Greenhouse in New Mexico

A Planta greenhouse is a fantastic solution for New Mexico’s expansive selection of growing challenges. Gardeners will be able to extend the growing season, protect plants from unpredictable weather and early frosts, control the humidity, and provide a well-ventilated place for plants to cool down during extreme heatwaves.

In addition, greenhouse gardeners can cultivate a more diverse range of plants than traditional outdoor growers.

1. Extend your Growing Season

  • Without a Greenhouse:
    New Mexico’s planting season has roughly 150 days on average between the first and last frost. However, this can vary dramatically depending on whether you’re located in a mountainous higher altitude area or a southern desert-like basin. Gardeners across the state should be prepared for nighttime temperature drops and flash frosts that may interrupt the growing cycle of their plants.

  • With a Greenhouse:
    A Planta Greenhouse can help gardeners extend their growing season anywhere from 3 months to year-round. In high-altitude regions, greenhouse owners can expect 3-6 months of extra unheated growing time, while in the state's hotter parts, it can be used to protect plants from extreme temperatures.

Learn more about specific growing dates for your area and the best vegetables to plant in each part of New Mexico.



Customer images of the Sungrow Greenhouse in similar climates

2. Grow a Wider Variety of Vegetables

  • Without a Greenhouse:
    The vast majority of New Mexico endures intense heatwaves and prolonged droughts during the growing season. Therefore, gardeners should choose drought-tolerant fruits and vegetables that can withstand higher temperatures. The following list of plants are known to survive in New Mexico’s challenging climate:
  • Lima Beans
  • Pole Beans
  • Corn
  • Cowpeas
  • Quinoa
  • Mustard Greens
  • Okra
  • Summer Squash
  • Sunflowers
  • Chickpeas


  • With a Greenhouse:
    Greenhouse owners have a plethora of possibilities for creating a flourishing indoor garden. Choose between a wide selection of warm-season plants, tender herbs, and cold-loving vegetables that won’t need to be transplanted outdoors at a later date. Gardeners can grow the following plants in their greenhouse with ease:
  • Blueberries
  • Watermelon
  • Lettuce
  • Broccoli
  • Peas
  • Collards
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Kohlrabi
  • Spinach
  • Onions
  • Chinese Cabbage
  • Turnips
  • Swiss Chard
  • Celery
  • Snap Beans
  • Black-eyed Peas
  • Eggplant
  • Muskmelon
  • Winter Squash
  • Chile
  • Bell Pepper
  • Arugula
  • Leeks
  • Cauliflower
  • Tomatoes
  • Kale


Kale growing in a garden

Why Planta Greenhouses?

Customer Stories from New Mexico and Similar Climates

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