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. In spite of all 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
Consensous 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, their will be occassions 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 occassions when you want or need to dial the thermostat back.
Prolonged cold is no good for man nor plant, but these hardy houseplants won't freeze to death when conditions become less than optimum...
While the Date Palm gives of 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.
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 unmistakeable Christmas tree vibes, but it’s scandi chic silhouette looks so striking in minimalist interiors.
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!
Zamioculcas zamiifolia, thankfully abreviated 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.