Even cold conditions shouldn’t stop you from enjoying the magic of plants this winter. And while many houseplants aren’t too keen on cooler rooms and less sunlight, there is a number that can survive these more challenging conditions.
Here we’ve picked a selection of the best houseplants for the winter, ones that can provide a vibrant dose of greenery to brighten up your indoor space.
One thing to remember when looking after cold-tolerant houseplants is that they’ll often retain water for longer periods. This means most varieties will require you to water them less regularly, and you should water sparingly when you do, as keeping plants too cold and too wet will only entice root rot.
1. ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia)
The ZZ plant is a very hardy houseplant that has the ability to withstand both extremely dry conditions and low light. It is also a great option for cooler rooms. This plant gets its traditional name from its botanical name and boasts elegant stems that look a little like wands.
They begin with a thick and bulbous base before tapering off to a point. The stems are privy to oval-shaped, fleshy leaves that look a little like stylish feathers. The entire shrub boasts a shiny, waxy coating that means many often think this plant is fake and made of plastic.
When combined with its sculptural qualities, it is easy to see why. Be especially careful not to overwater the ZZ plant, as too much water can cause the leaves to turn yellow and the root ball to go mushy.
2. Cast Iron Plant (Aspidistra Elatior)
As the name suggests, the cast iron plant is another very hardy houseplant and one that has the strength to survive extremely hardy conditions, particularly cold rooms. Provided that the plant remains at a temperature above freezing (0°C or 32°F), it will thrive.
The cast iron plant is also referred to as the ballroom plant and the iron plant is a perennial favourite in many regions due to its hardy nature.
Growing cast-iron plants are especially popular with those who don’t have much time to take care of plants, as this shrub is able to survive even the harshest conditions, where the majority of shrubs would shrivel and cease to exist. These houseplants only need to be watered when the soil has completely dried out.
3. Geraniums (Pelargonium)
Geraniums are another popular and delightful option for those searching for an indoor plant for colder environments. These plants will thrive provided that you make sure they’re privy to a few hours of direct sunlight per day.
Although the specie is a prevalent bedding plant, which many associates with the garden, it can also be grown indoors or in hanging baskets.
4. Jade Plant (Crassula ovata)
Another similar option is the Jade Plant, which just like the geranium, is able to thrive in a cooler climate as long as it has enough sunshine per day. In colder temperatures, these plants require little water and are therefore deemed low maintenance.
It’s important not to let the soil dry out completely though, and it’s best to water your plant when the top inch of soil is dry to the touch. Because Jade plant care is so simple, even those who are beginner growers can enjoy growing them in their offices and homes.
Asides from their growing ability and hardy nature, these plants are also considered to be symbolic of good luck.
5. Maidenhair Ferns (Adiantum)
Maidenhair ferns are able to thrive in low light conditions, as well as low temperatures. The most imperative point to consider if you want this plant to thrive is to ensure the soil remains consistently moist.
It’s a great addition to shady gardens with its light grey-green foliage but can also thrive as a houseplant in cool, dark rooms.
Able to grow in partial shade, Clivia is a very resilient houseplant that can withstand a lack of attention. This evergreen perennial keeps its foliage, even during the winter months, and can thrive despite draughty rooms and cooler temperatures. Look to avoid direct sunlight with this houseplant though, as the leaves will wilt.
7. Sago palm (Cycas revoluta)
The Sago palm, despite its name, is not actually a palm at all. It is an extremely tough houseplant and one that is native to the southern parts of Japan. It has the strength to withstand a huge range of temperatures, including extreme cold.
8. Snake Plant (Sansevieria)
The ever-present snake plant is a prevalent houseplant and one that has the ability to grow almost anywhere. It thrives in low light, with dry soil and cool temperatures. It also looks extremely aesthetically pleasing. Given its simple care needs, some varieties can grow up to three or four feet tall.
9. The Dragon Tree (Dracaena marginata)
Dracaena is another houseplant that is able to withstand cool temperatures with ease. It can thrive in temperatures of around 10°C (50°F) without much concern. This makes it a great addition to the home or office – especially for those looking for a low-maintenance option. Its elegant leaves, complete with red edges, make for an eye-catching houseplant.
10. Fiddle Leaf Fig
With its glossy leathery leaves, the Fiddle Leaf Fig can grow in a range of temperatures and is incredibly resilient. It can be watered once a month during the winter months, although if the air is particularly dry you may wish to water your plant slightly more regularly.
All of these houseplants are key contenders for cooler homes, but all have their limits and it is important to learn what these are. To avoid the decline of your shrubs, do your research and keep a careful eye on them throughout the winter.