Carbon nanotubes and nanofibres are typically synthesised under substrate temperatures above 600°C. Here we investigate the influence of the substrate temperature and the plasma conditions on the growth of vertically aligned carbon nanostructures using Direct Current plasma Chemical Vapour Deposition, at temperatures below 550°C. These nanostructures are produced using a C2H2 based plasma and nickel thin film as the catalyst. We found that preferential deposition of amorphous carbon takes place as the synthesis temperature is lowered below 500°C. However, lowering the carbon concentration in the gas feedstock (<2% conc.) allows for the nucleation of nanofibre-like structures, whilst balancing the buildup of amorphous carbon. This method allows for the synthesis of vertically aligned structures at low temperatures (around 230°C) without intentional heating, while still achieving reasonable average growth rates up to 27 nm/min. The only heating was provided by the plasma, which typically consumes ∼ 4 W/cm2. It was found that by varying the applied plasma bias during high temperature synthesis, we increased the growth rate up to 165 nm/min. Based on the observations of experimental process variations and the morphology of the synthesised structures, we propose a growth mechanism for such low temperature growth and examine the resulting morphology changes.