Newcomer’s Gardening Snapshot for El Paso County, TX

welcome sign

Many new residents arrive in El Paso each year from climates and growing conditions much different than the Chihuahuan desert. This Newcomer’s Snapshot highlights some main features of El Paso’s climate and provides links to helpful, informative websites. It also provides links to local gardens exhibiting native and adapted plants for local landscapes. We hope this information assists new gardeners in getting off to a fast start in their new Texas home.


  • Growing season is April to early November.
  • USDA Plant Hardiness Zones are 8a-8b – tolerates to low of 10° to 15° F (8a); 15° to 20° F (8b).
  • U.S. Sunset Climate Zone is 10 (summer highs around 95° F; average winter minimums of 24° F to 31° F).
  • Year-round average high temperature is 77.1° F. Year-round average low temperature is 52.1° F.
  • Heat Zone is 9 (average number of days over 86° F is 121 to 150).
  • First average frost is November 15. Last average frost is April 15.
  • Average number of chilling hours is 590.
  • Average snow is 3.5 inches.
  • Average yearly rainfall is 9.43 inches. Very low humidity.
  • Every month receives a little rain with the monsoon season being from June through August.
  • Wettest month is July with an average of 1.67 inches of rain. Driest month is April with an average of 0.31 inches of rain.
  • Dry, windy conditions are more prevalent in the spring, especially between March and early May, and can create sand and dust storms.
  • Nicknamed “The Sun City”, 84% of days are sunny days.


Helpful Websites:

El Paso Master GardenersGardening questions? Call the Help Desk at 915-771-2354.

El Paso Master Gardeners Facebook page

Good to Grow Radio Show (KTEP 88.5)

Ornamental Plants for Far West Texas

Southwest Yard and Garden Plant Advisor

Easy Gardening Series – Vegetables – (in English and Spanish)

El Paso Water TecH20 Events

Local Public Gardens:

Chihuahuan Desert Gardens at University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP)

El Paso Desert Botanical Gardens at Keystone Heritage Park

El Paso Municipal Rose Garden

Soil Sample Kits available at Texas A&M AgriLife Extension. Call 915-771-2354.


Click here for a printable copy.

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