Puerto Rico: Plant Hardiness Zones, Climate & Soil Conditions

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Puerto Rico is a Caribbean island that is part of the United States.

It is located in the northeastern Caribbean Sea, east of the Dominican Republic and west of the Virgin Islands.

Puerto Rico is composed of an archipelago that includes the main island of Puerto Rico and several smaller islands, including Vieques, Culebra, and Mona.

Plant Hardiness Zone Map

Before we move ahead, let us take a glimpse of the US Plant Hardiness Zone Map of the state.

Plant Hardiness Zone Map for Puerto Rico


Puerto Rico has a tropical rainforest type of climate, with a mostly hot and humid atmosphere during the year. 

The average high temperature reaches 89°F at the peak of August, while the average low temperature is at its lowest of 72°F in January.

The northern and central regions are cooler by a few degrees than the south.

The coastal lands and lower elevations are hotter than the high mountains.


The average annual rainfall is 56 inches, with 196 rainy days in the year.

November is the wettest month of the year, and it rains at least 5 inches every month during the wet season.

Soil Type

The below map shows the distribution of soil orders in the state.

Now, let us elaborate on this map using the table below.

Soil Order Of Puerto Rico

Soil / Sub OrderCharacteristics
Alfisols/Xeralfs1. Xeralfs have a xeric soil moisture regime.
Aridisols/Calcids1. Calcids have a calcic or petro-calcic horizon and have calcium carbonate in the layers above.
Entisols/Psamments1. Psamments are the sandy soils.
Histosols/Saprists1. Saprists are the wet Histosols in which the organic materials are well decomposed.
Inceptisols/Udepts and Ustepts1. Udepts are mainly freely drained Inceptisols that have a udic or perudic moisture regime.
2. Ustepts are freely drained Inceptisols that have a ustic moisture regime.
Mollisols/Rendolls, Udolls, and Ustolls1. Rendolls are the Mollisols that are of humid regions and formed in highly calcareous parent materials, such as limestone, chalk, and drift composed mainly of limestone, or on shell bars.
2. Udolls are the more or less freely drained Mollisols of humid climates.
3. Ustolls are the more or less freely drained Mollisols of sub-humid to semiarid climates
Oxisols/Udox1. Udox is well-drained Oxisols with a udic soil moisture regime.
Spodosols/Orthods1. Orthods are the relatively freely drained Spodosols that have a moderate accumulation of organic carbon in the spodic horizon.
Ultisols/Humults and Udults1. Humults are the more or less freely drained, humus-rich Ultisols.
2. Udults are the more or less freely drained, relatively humus-poor Ultisols that have a udic moisture regime.
Vertisols/Usterts1. They receive low amounts of rainfall during the summer and cracks open and close once or twice during normal years. They have low saturated hydraulic conductivity.