Three- to 4-month-old seedlings of an improved selection of Asparagus officinalis L. cv. Mary Washington were artificially hardened and crowns subjected to controlled freezing tests. Two low-temperature acclimation regimes were used. The first was 3C for 0, 1, or 2 weeks before freezing at 0, −5, or − 10C; the second, 3C for 0, 1.5, or 3 weeks, followed by freezing at 0, −2.5, −4.5, −6.5, or −8.5C. Regrowth tests showed that hardiness increased with 2 and 3 weeks of acclimation, with tolerance to −5 and −6.5C, respectively. Water-stressed seedlings (relative water content at 57%) withstood exposure to −5C, but not to −6.5C; rehydrated crowns and well-watered controls were hardy to −3.5C.