What Temperature Is Too Cold For Plants?

The Impact of Cold Temperatures On Plants

Most plants, in general, require warm temperatures to survive, but what temperature is too cold for plants? The temperature depends on the kind of plant you are dealing with. When a plant gets chilly, the cells in the plant can freeze. This causes harm and obstructs the flow of water and nutrients to where the plant requires them.

The live xylem in little twigs and branches is significantly more influenced by the cold. Let us find more in this article.

Frozen plant

When to Bring Plants Inside

When the indoor and outdoor temperatures are about the same, that’s the best time to bring house plants back inside. For the most part, this occurs in late summer rather than fall. However, the dramatic variations between outside and inside settings can cause shock to plants if you place them before or after the optimal outdoors temperature.

Knowing how to move plants indoors correctly is as important as waiting for the right plant temperature. If you expose your houseplants to direct sunlight, bring them inside and place them in a south-facing window or under a grow light. If they’ve been in dappled light outside, try putting them in a west-facing window.

Plants that thrive in the shade may thrive in front of east-facing windows. Experts recommend tilting the container one-quarter turn every time you water to ensure that all leaves get enough sunlight.

Signs Plants Are Too Cold

Falling Flower Buds 

Are your plants’ flower buds dropping off before they open? The cause is a combination of incorrect temperature levels and cold drafts. Bringing plants inside at night could be a little challenging for your plants. Old air from doors or windows lowers the temperature and humidity in the room around the plant, causing it to develop slowly and harden.

Delicate plants cannot withstand chilly drafts. As a result, move the plant into a room with a consistent temperature.

Yellowing and Falling Leaves 

If your plant’s leaves turn yellow and fall off, it’s another clue it’s in a cold environment. Isn’t it true that no plant likes temperature changes? As a result, maintain consistent temperatures without sharp dips. In the winter, keep plants away from chilly draughts such as corridors and take them off cold windowsill night.

Reddish leaves

You may consider this an appealing event, but now that you know why it occurs, particularly at low temperatures, I doubt your opinion will remain unchanged. Reddish leaves indicate chilly draughts, and you should relocate such plants to a warmer spot.

Shedding Leaves

Plants shed leaves for various reasons, including overwatering, underwatering, and light and temperature fluctuations. Furthermore, there may be a quick fall of leaves, which is only a sign of the tension of being assigned a new location.

Plants require time to adjust to their new growing environment, and many plants drop leaves in the weeks following their relocation. Wait a few days, and your plant should recover quickly. Check the temperature, light levels, and soil if the plant sheds leaves.

Blackening Foliage 

Overwatering combined with chilly air, and cool temperatures cause the blackening of the leaves. If you look at your plant closely, you’ll notice that the roots are rotting, and the foliage is becoming black. When you can’t rescue it, you must discard it.

Leaves appearing deformed

Reduced temperature can cause leaves to seem distorted, preventing proper plant growth. Keep your plants away from cold locations like window sills and hallways to avoid this problem, especially on cold winter nights.

What Temperature Is Too Cold For Plants?

Many of the plants in our homes today originated in semi-tropical or tropical locations. As a result, they can be damaged or killed if exposed to cold weather. There are several types of houseplants, including tropical, flowering, desert, and more. 

Growing many houseplants inside cannot tolerate temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius). 

Here are a few examples of many types of houseplants:

  • Blooming Houseplants: Begonias, tillandsias, bromeliads, and other blooming houseplants are examples. It’s better to cultivate them at room temperature. They prefer temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit (18.3 and 23.8 degrees Celsius). In the winter, the temperature drops to 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15.5 degrees Celsius). The majority of these plants are sensitive to cold temperatures.
  • Ferns: Although ferns are tropical plants, they thrive at average or even cool room temperatures. They prefer a temperature of 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit (15.5 to 18.3 degrees Celsius) at night, but not below 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius).
  • Succulents: Succulents are desert plants that look like cacti. They can withstand hot weather during the day and frigid temperatures at night. Most people can withstand temperatures as low as 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4.4 degrees Celsius).

What Happens to a Plant If the Temperature is Too Low?

The following are impacts or what happens to a plant if the temperature is too low:

  • The water inside the plant’s cells can freeze, causing it to grow and kill the plant from within. Even when the cold and frosty weather has passed, this might cause plants to wilt. Younger plants are more vulnerable to cold weather harm because they lack the strength and structure to support the growth of cell tissues.
  • Water can freeze the outside of a plant and the soil around it, producing desiccation and disrupting the plant’s water supply.
  • Cold weather can reduce plant enzyme activity. Plants emit enzymes to break down surrounding elements for soil, and the cold disturbs plant nutrition uptake. As a result, they may have stunted growth or death in the worst-case scenario.
  • Changes in cellular membrane fluidity (essentially how water moves through the plant’s cells) may occur. Ironically, the cellular membrane is in charge of ensuring that plant cells respond to milder environmental changes. They are also a dynamic structure that promotes and facilitates growth.
Frozen flower

How Cold Can House Plants Tolerate?

Blooming Houseplants

You need to be keen when it comes to temperature for indoor plants. For instance, Begonias, bromeliads, Tillandsias, and various other blooming houseplants thrive in typical room temperatures. 

These houseplants like a warmer environment in the summer (average room temperatures of 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit (18.3 to 23.8 degrees Celsius) are ideal for most begonias) and a cooler environment in the winter (in the 60 degrees Fahrenheit/16 degrees Celsius range).

Blooming houseplants don’t tolerate cool temperatures. Therefore, plant damage may already occur with temperatures below 13 degrees Celsius (55.4 degrees Fahrenheit) (for instance, begonias).

How Cold Can Ferns Tolerate?

It’s always fascinating to discuss ferns. So many people think of ferns as little divas who are challenging to care for. Is this true, though, when it comes to ferns’ preferred temperature range? 

Ferns are, after all, tropical plants. So they must enjoy the heat, don’t they? No, not at all. They thrive in average or even cool indoor temperatures. This is especially true for ferns kept inside.

Ferns prefer it warmer during the day (70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit/ 21 to 27 degrees Celsius) than at night (60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit/16 to 18 degrees Celsius). They do, however, survive minor chillings over the night as long as you don’t go below 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius).

Monstera Temperature Tolerance

It’s not difficult to keep Monsteras at the proper temperature. Monsteras grow best in temperatures ranging from 64 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit (18 to 24 degrees Celsius). However, they do not enjoy severe conditions, whether extremely cold or hot. Most monsteras can endure temperatures as low as 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius).

On the other hand, cold temperatures are not suitable for monsteras because they stunt their growth. This is true not only for Monsteras but also for many other houseplants. Lack of sunshine is a common cause of stunted growth.

A List of Cold Tolerant House Plants

Here’s a list of some beautiful cold-tolerant houseplants to add to your collection. Remember that the cooler your space is, the longer you may go between watering sessions.

  • ZZ plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia): The ZZ plant is a hardy houseplant that can withstand low light and dry circumstances and be a good choice for cooler environments.
  • Cast Iron plant (Aspidistra elatior): Cast iron plant (Aspidistra elatior) is another hardy houseplant that can withstand less-than-ideal conditions, such as cold rooms. It will survive as long as the temperature remains above 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees Celsius).
  • Geraniums (Pelargonium): Geraniums may be a lovely indoor plant for chilly spaces if you ensure they get a few hours of direct sunlight every day.
  • Jade plant: If you have adequate sunlight, the Jade plant, like the geranium, is an excellent plant for cooler spaces. They can also live in colder temperatures and dry for an extended period.
  • Maidenhair ferns: Maidenhair ferns do well in low-light environments and cooler temperatures. The most important thing to remember when cultivating this plant is to keep the soil moist at all times.
  • Sago palm (Cycas revolute): The sago palm, which is not a palm, is a hardy houseplant native to Japan’s south. It can withstand a wide range of temperatures, including very cold ones. 
  • Snake plant (Sansevieria): The snake plant is a fantastic houseplant that can thrive in nearly any environment. It thrives in low light, cool temperatures, and dry soil.
  • Dracaena (Dracaena marginata): Dracaena can also thrive in cooler climates. It can withstand temperatures as high as 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius).

Cold Weather Vegetables to Plant

You won’t have to worry about a drop in temperature if you grow some of these frost-tolerant vegetables because they are unaffected by it:

  • Swiss chard
  • Parsnips
  • Broccoli
  • Kale
  • Leeks
  • Brussels sprouts 
  • Lettuce
  • Carrots
  • Spinach
  • Turnips
  • Collard

At What Temp Should You Cover Plants?

Most gardeners have textiles and covers on hand to protect plants from the cold. Frost blankets are also available, which provide varying degrees of frost protection. Another reason to cover plants is to protect them from the elements, such as wind, sun, hail, and pests. Floating row covers are an excellent choice for this.

You can live row coverings in place for weeks or months but remove frost protection daily. This is because the weather may harm plants and bushes when it begins to cool. At 39 degrees Fahrenheit (3.9 degrees Celsius), plants might start to feel the chill, and you will need to cover them to be safe.

The Ideal Temperature For Indoor Plants

For optimal growth, not all inside plants require the same temperature. For example, Cast Iron Plant, Aspidistra, and ferns thrive in milder temperatures (72 degrees Fahrenheit (22.2 degrees Celsius). In comparison, other tropical plants thrive in temperatures ranging from 90 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit (32.2 to 35 degrees Celsius).

It is not easy to tolerate such temperatures indoors.

The optimal temperature range for indoor plants is 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit (21.1 degrees Celsius to 26.6 degrees Celsius during the day and 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit (18.3 degrees Celsius to 21.1 degrees Celsius) at night.

Men checking the temperature

What Should You Do Before Bringing Plants Inside?

Your returning plants will require a particular area with plenty of light and away from drafty doors or vents. Here are a few tips to help you prepare for your indoor environment!

Clean your Windows 

If you’re going to put your plants next to a window, make sure to clean nearby windows, so that much light gets through. Place the plants a few feet away from windows to avoid sunburn on leaves rather than right next to them.

Replace your Bulbs

Replace the bulbs in your light fixtures. You can improve plant health by simply replacing your standard indoor lights with full-spectrum bulbs. If full-spectrum bulbs aren’t available, choose a daylight bulb with at least 60 watts.

Invest in a Grow Light

Nothing gives plant lovers peace of mind more than a grow light, which offers the correct kind of light for your plants at all times during the dark winter months. While daylight bulbs will keep your plants alive during the winter, grow lights will provide the proper spectrum for continued growth and maturity.

Install a grow light in a designated plant corner where your plants can huddle for added humidity.

Invest in a Humidifier

Dry air will accompany the colder months, which will inevitably make your plants – and your skin – unhappy. A humidifier in the room with your plants and grouping them, a natural way to raise the humidity around them, will help them survive. You can even set glasses of water around your plants for natural evaporation if you’re in a hurry!


Plants dislike subjection to drastic temperature changes. They despise freezing nights and, in general, cool temperatures. Avoid draughts to maintain a constant temperature. Consider how you would react to the cold wind if you were a plant – plants are similar to humans, and we share a common bond.

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