To ensure your plants survive the winter months, always choose plants appropriate for the climate you live in. However there are always must have plants that any of us cannot resist, which will require winter protection to ensure their survival.
The most affective way of avoiding frost damage is to move plants under glass in Autumn. Even the porch or conservatory and give adequate protection to most plants, especially if they are kept almost dry during the coldest darkest months.
If the containers are too large to be moved indoors, or your prized palm is planted outside, you will need to wrap them in a good insulating material, such as horticultural fleece. Tree ferns (Dicksonia Antarctica) will need some extra protection.
Gently place straw into the crown of the fern, do not pack too tightly; as this is where the new fronds will emerge from. Gather he leaves up around the crown and tie them up. Finally, wrap the whole plant in horticultural fleece.
Remember that straw is great insulation, and temperatures can build up inside very quickly; so as soon as temperatures rise, remove the straw, otherwise the foliage will start to cook, leaving a soggy mess that will have to be cut off and put paid to all your hard work.
To protect the roots of susceptible container-grown plants, a layer of straw or hessian tied around the container will provide insulation and also help to prevent the pot itself from frost damage.