Van Life Plants: Which Plants are Best for Van Life and Why?

Van life plants

Van Life Plants: Which Plants are Best for Van Life and Why?

Buy or Sell Campers

Buy or Sell Campers

1 August 2023

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🪴 Introduction


Bringing a touch of nature and greenery into your van life can transform the atmosphere and enhance your overall experience on the road. Van life plants not only add beauty and freshness to your mobile home but also offer a range of benefits that contribute to your well-being. Whether you’re a seasoned van dweller or just embarking on your nomadic journey, incorporating plants into your van can create a vibrant and inviting space.


The best van life plants are carefully selected to thrive in the limited space and unique conditions of a van. These plants are resilient, low-maintenance, and adaptable to the ever-changing environment during your road trips. Not only do they add aesthetic appeal, but they also have the power to improve air quality, reduce stress, and create a connection with nature, even in the midst of an urban or remote setting.


In this article, we will explore a variety of van life plants that are ideal for small spaces and road trips. Whether you have a green thumb or consider yourself a novice gardener, we will guide you through the best plant options for your van. From compact succulents to aromatic herbs and versatile hanging plants, we will cover everything you need to know to create a thriving green oasis on wheels.

Woman on a mountain

📖 Table of Contents


  • Succulents for van life 🌵
  • Herbs for van life 🌿
  • Hanging plants for van life 🍀
  • Air-purifying plants for van life  💚
  • Watering techniques for van life plants 💧
  1. Know your plants
  2. Stick to schedule
  3. Consider self-watering systems

  • Lighting requirements for van life plants 💡
  1. Maximize natural light
  2. Supplement with artificial lighting

  • Temperature and humidity considerations 🌡️
  1. Temperature range
  2. Ventilation and air circulation

  • Travel-friendly plant care tips 🚗
  1. Secure plant pots
  2. Minimize water spillage
  • Vertical garden ideas for vans 🚌
  • Window sill gardens for vans 🪟
  • Portable plant options for van life 🌱

🌿 Types of Van Life Plants


When it comes to bringing nature on the road with you, van life plants are a fantastic way to infuse your tiny space with greenery and create a soothing ambiance. Not only do plants add visual appeal to your van, but they also offer a myriad of benefits, such as improved air quality and a sense of tranquility. Let’s explore some of the best types of van life plants to consider for your mobile home.


Succulents for Van Life 🌵

Succulents are ideal companions for van dwellers due to their resilience and low-maintenance nature. These water-storing plants thrive in arid environments, making them perfect for life on the road. Succulents come in various shapes and sizes, from the popular Aloe vera and Echeveria to the charming Haworthia and Jade plants. With their ability to withstand drought conditions, succulents require minimal watering, making them suitable for van life where water conservation is crucial. Plus, their unique foliage adds a touch of beauty to your mobile space.


Herbs for Van Life 🌿

If you enjoy fresh flavors while cooking on the go, herbs are a must-have for your van. Not only do they enhance the taste of your meals, but they also release delightful aromas. Basil, rosemary, thyme, and mint are excellent choices for van life herb gardens. These herbs can be easily grown in small containers and placed on your kitchen countertop or secured near a sunny window. Just imagine the convenience of plucking fresh herbs for seasoning as you prepare a delicious meal in your cozy mobile kitchen.


Hanging Plants for Van Life 🍀

When it comes to maximizing space in a van, hanging plants are a game-changer. These vertical wonders can transform your van’s interior into a green oasis. Consider plants like pothos, spider plants, or string of pearls that gracefully dangle from their containers, adding a touch of elegance to your mobile home. Hanging plants not only save valuable floor space but also create a visually appealing and calming environment. With proper hanging techniques and sturdy hooks, you can securely suspend these plants, allowing them to flourish as you explore the open road.


Air-Purifying Plants for Van Life 💚

Maintaining good air quality inside your van is essential, especially when you’re spending a significant amount of time in a confined space. Air-purifying plants, such as snake plants, peace lilies, and spider plants, are excellent choices for van life. These plants naturally filter toxins from the air and release oxygen, creating a healthier and more refreshing environment. Additionally, their lush foliage adds a touch of nature’s beauty to your mobile abode. By incorporating air-purifying plants into your van life setup, you can breathe easier and enjoy the benefits of cleaner air on your travels.



🌱 Caring for Van Life Plants


Taking care of your van life plants is essential to ensure they thrive in the limited space and varying conditions of your nomadic lifestyle. Here are some key aspects to consider when caring for your green companions on the road.


Watering techniques for van life plants 💧

Watering your van life plants is a delicate balance. Overwatering can lead to root rot, while underwatering can cause dehydration. It’s crucial to understand the watering needs of each plant and adapt your routine accordingly. Consider the following tips:


Know your plants

 Research the specific water requirements of each plant you have. Some may prefer drier conditions, while others thrive in moist soil.


Stick to a schedule

Establish a watering schedule based on the needs of your plants and the climate you’re in. Monitor the moisture level of the soil and adjust the frequency accordingly.


Consider self-watering systems

Invest in self-watering pots or systems that provide a reservoir for your plants. These can help maintain optimal moisture levels while minimizing the risk of overwatering.


Lighting requirements for van life plants 💡 

Proper lighting is crucial for the growth and well-being of your van life plants. Since natural light availability can vary during your travels, it’s important to understand the lighting requirements of different plants and make adjustments as needed. Consider these suggestions:


Maximize natural light

Place your plants near windows or skylights to take advantage of natural sunlight. Rotate them periodically to ensure even light exposure.


Supplement with artificial lighting

Iinvest in LED grow lights to supplement natural light, especially during darker periods or when parked in shaded areas. Position the lights at an appropriate distance to avoid burning the leaves.


Temperature and humidity considerations🌡️ 

Maintaining suitable temperature and humidity levels is vital for the health and vitality of your van life plants. Here are some guidelines to keep in mind:


Temperature range

Most common van life plants thrive in temperatures between 60°F and 80°F (15°C to 27°C). Avoid exposing them to extreme heat or cold.


Ventilation and air circulation

Ensure proper airflow within your van to prevent stagnant air and excessive humidity. This can be achieved through roof vents, fans, or open windows.


Travel-friendly plant care tips 🚗 

Traveling in a van requires special attention to ensure your plants stay healthy and secure. Here are some travel-friendly plant care tips to consider:


Secure plant pots

Use non-slip and stable containers or invest in plant holders designed for van travel. Secure the pots in place to prevent them from toppling during transit.


Minimize water spillage

Avoid overwatering your plants before hitting the road to minimize the risk of water spillage. Opt for plants that can tolerate short periods without water if you have extended travel plans.



🌲 Creative Plant Displays in a Van


Enhancing your van life experience with a touch of greenery is not only refreshing but also visually appealing. Let’s explore some creative plant display ideas specifically designed for vans:


Vertical garden ideas for vans 🚌

Maximizing limited space is key in van life, and vertical gardens offer an excellent solution. By utilizing vertical surfaces, you can transform your van into a lush oasis. Consider installing hanging planters or vertical plant racks along the walls or even the ceiling. Opt for trailing plants like pothos or ivy to create a cascading effect, adding depth and beauty to your van’s interior. 


Window sill gardens for vans 🪟

Make the most of your van’s windows by creating charming window sill gardens. Choose compact plants that thrive in limited sunlight, such as succulents or herbs like basil and thyme. Utilize small, decorative pots or even repurpose mason jars for a rustic touch. Arrange them on the windowsill, allowing natural light to nourish your plants while adding a vibrant touch to your van’s aesthetic.


Portable plant options for van life 🌱

If you’re constantly on the move, portable plants are an ideal choice for your van life adventures. Opt for smaller potted plants like cacti or compact ferns that can easily be secured during travel. Portable planters with built-in handles or hanging options are great for road trips. These plants allow you to bring a piece of nature with you wherever you go, maintaining the refreshing ambiance of van life.




In this article, we explored the world of van life plants and discussed the best plants for van living. We covered various types of plants suitable for vans, including succulents, herbs, hanging plants, and air-purifying plants. We also delved into caring for van life plants, focusing on watering techniques, lighting requirements, temperature and humidity considerations, as well as travel-friendly plant care tips. Additionally, we explored creative plant displays in a van, such as vertical gardens, window sill gardens, hanging plant arrangements, and portable plant options. Incorporating plants into van life can enhance the overall experience and provide numerous benefits, ranging from improved air quality to a sense of well-being and connection with nature.


🍃 Key Takeaways


  • Consider space limitations, lighting, watering, and durability when choosing van life plants.
  • Low-maintenance options include succulents, snake plants, and ZZ plants.
  • Maximize space with hanging plants, air plants, and small potted plants.
  • Choose plants based on lighting conditions, such as aloe vera for bright vans and pothos for dimly lit areas.
  • Plants like English ivy, spider plants, and bamboo palms can improve air quality in your van.



FAQs 🌿


Yes, you can travel with plants in your van by taking certain precautions. Secure plants in place, protect them from excessive sunlight and temperature fluctuations, and provide adequate ventilation during travel.

The watering frequency for van life plants depends on various factors such as plant species, pot size, and environmental conditions. Generally, check the moisture level of the soil and water when it feels dry to the touch, usually once every 1-2 weeks.

Get creative with plant displays in your van. Utilize wall-mounted vertical gardens, hang plants from the ceiling using hooks or macrame plant hangers, repurpose shelves or storage units as plant stands, or create a window sill garden using suction cup planters.

Yes, artificial lights such as LED grow lights can be used to supplement natural light for van life plants. Position the lights close to the plants, provide the appropriate light spectrum (preferably full-spectrum), and adjust the lighting duration based on the plant’s light requirements.

  • Before leaving your van unattended, ensure your plants are well-watered. Consider placing them in a cool, shaded area or providing a self-watering system to maintain moisture levels. Alternatively, ask a trusted friend or neighbor to care for your plants while you’re away.

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