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January 17, 2024 5 min read

Brr it’s cold! With temperatures dropping below zero resulting in ice, fog and snow across most of the UK, we are not coping well with this latest batch of extreme weather. The hot water bottles are out, the radiators are cranked as far as we dare (let’s not get into that one!) and we’ve got so many layers on, we look like a contestant on World’s Strongest Man and can barely put our arms down by our sides. Despite all of this cold combating kit, we’re finding ourselves spending a minimum of 51% of the day moaning about how cold we are...

Is it any wonder then, that our houseplants are as enthusiastic about the cold as we are!?

Most houseplants will only cope with “normal household temperatures” (18 to 21 degrees Celsius is usually safe but check our guide on each plant for more info), so if you’re following Martin Lewis’ advice and only heating one room, make sure your plants are with you in that room!

As well as offering a quick reminder to keep your plants warm and away from windows and draughts (where temperatures fluctuate most significantly), we wanted to take some time today to look at some houseplant heroes that are particularly resilient to cold temperatures and draughts- perfect for winter weather.


Best Houseplants for Cold Rooms

Consensus seems to be that 18 to 21 degrees Celsius is the magic range for home temperatures in the UK. Advice is to keep your home in this range for health and comfort but, realistically, there will be occasions where the temperature drops below this.

The plants we're looking at today are, like us, best suited to that optimum 18-21°C range but, should all cope with things getting colder at extreme times of year or the occasions when you want or need to dial the thermostat back.

Size Matters

Remember, the size of your houseplants really matters when it comes to handling the cold. Large plants are better equipped to handle changes in temperature because they have more mass to help them keep their cool (or warmth, actually) in colder weather. The big guys release heat more slowly into the chilly air, making them super tough against the cold. On the flip side, smaller plants will find it harder to handle the cold as their daintier bodies succumb to the cold far more quickly. So, if you want your plants to endure cooler temps, go for the bigger ones—they've got more sufficient size to handle it!

Prolonged cold is no good for man nor plant, but these hardy houseplants won't freeze to death when conditions become less than optimum...

Fatsia japonica - Japanese Aralia

Fatsia japonica

Originating from Japan, where climates can be particularly extreme, the Japanese Aralia is often found growing outdoors in gardens up and down the UK - cold household temperatures really pose no threat.

Tolerating -10°C when grown outdoors, a year round inside temperature of 15-21°C and the occasional fluctuation to 10°C during winter is easily achievable.

Tough in the cold, Fatsia japonica gets finicky in the heat - watch out for drafts and be cautious with watering. Not a low-maintenance plant, but a star in the right chilly setting.

ZZ Plants

Zamioculcas zamiifolia, thankfully abbreviated to ZZ Plant (and its compact cultivar Zamioculcas zamiifolia Zenzi) are super on trend thanks to the irresistible combination of amazing style and structure, with incredibly easy care requirements. Shade tolerant, drought tolerant and temperature tolerant too.

15°C to 24°C is the preferred range of the ZZ, but if things get down to 8°C, this remarkably resilient plant should be just fine.

Zamioculcas zamiifolia - ZZ Plant

Aspidistra - Cast Iron Plant


The Cast Iron Plant. Solid and dependable, as its name suggests the Aspidistra can cope with a heck of a lot being thrown at it – including cooler temperatures.

7-10°C during the winter shouldn’t be much of a problem for this bold beauty.

The Aspidistra is extremely resilient and has a wonderful ability to thrive on very little care. It’s often the perfect houseplant for spaces where other plants have failed to acclimatise.

Norfolk Island Pine

First of all, this is not a true pine. It’s a tropical plant that must be kept indoors. Ideally, Araucaria heterophylla should again be kept at "normal household temperatures", but if the boiler packs in or you're turning the heating right down while you're out of the house,10 -15 degrees Celcius is a good range to keep it during the winter months and it can cope with temperatures dropping to as low as 5°C on occasion.

It’s a fab winter plant, not only for its unmistakable Christmas tree vibes, but its Scandi chic silhouette looks so striking in minimalist interiors.

Araucaria heterophylla - Norfolk Island Pine

Christmas Cactus

Schlumbergera (fantastic fun to say - schlum·ber·ger·a, schlum·ber·ger·a, schlum·ber·ger·a!) or Christmas Cactus not only tolerates colder temperatures (10°C is no problem) it actually needs a dip in temperature to begin budding.

Around October time your Christmas cactus should begin to recognise the cooling temperatures and start to bud ready for opening in December. Pretty cool!

Phoenix Date Palms

Phoenix canariensis (Canary Island Date Palm) and its cousin Phoenix roebelenii (Pygmy Date Palm) can cope with temperatures as high as 37°C and, the bit we’re here for, as low as -5°C (once established).

While the Date Palm gives off an incredibly tropical look, it's well-equipped to cope with cooler household temperatures during the winter and the extremes of summer too. This remarkable palm plant is ideal for indoor / outdoor living spaces – pop it on the patio in summer and bring it inside during the winter months.

Phoenix roebelenii - Pygmy Date Palm

Honourable mentions

In most homes, even in the UK, it is rare temperatures will get below 10°C, even during the winter months. If you do have a particularly cold or draughty spot that you’re looking to furnish with a plant pal though, DO NOT have a look at the plant families below. They will do well down to about 10, which should be fine in most circumstances, but we certainly wouldn’t guarantee them any lower.

Snake Plants

Sanseveria are happy to be neglected in all sorts of ways, including temperatures of 10°C for short periods. Much colder for much longer and you’re sturdy snakeskin stems will turn to a mushy mess.




Again, not a cold lover but a cold tolerater. Dracaenas can cope with temperatures dropping to 12ish for short periods. One for if you’re dialling back the thermostat overnight, not turning it off all the way.



Spider Plants

You can easily picture the retro chic of a spider plant sitting in a front room in the 60s and 70s and, with a tolerance to cold down to about 8°C, they survived when the electric fire was only on one bar then, they’ll do fine when you turn down the central heating too.



Check Hortolgy’s Plant Care & Info Guides

Every one of our plant product pages includes hints, tips and recommendations on how to keep your plants in great health. Scroll down past the description and you’ll see advice on the temperature conditions they do best in.