The growth of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) in plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) is studied using a surface diffusion model. It is shown that at low substrate temperatures (≤1000 K), the atomic hydrogen and ion fluxes from the plasma can strongly affect nanotube growth. The ion-induced hydrocarbon dissociation can be the main process that supplies carbon atoms for SWCNT growth and is responsible for the frequently reported higher (compared to thermal chemical vapor deposition) nanotube growth rates in plasma-based processes. On the other hand, excessive deposition of plasma ions and atomic hydrogen can reduce the diffusion length of the carbon-bearing species and their residence time on the nanotube lateral surfaces. This reduction can adversely affect the nanotube growth rates. The results here are in good agreement with the available experimental data and can be used for optimizing SWCNT growth in PECVD.