The best campervan plants

The best campervan plants

Are you looking for the best campervan plants? Then you’ve come to the right place.

Having plants in your van is great for many reasons; they can make it feel more homely, they add a pop of colour to a dark space and they bring a little bit of nature indoors.

When we set off in our campervan i decided to bring along two of my favourite house plants. I didn’t really think about the environment they would live in or how best to care for them but have since learnt how important that is.

Here is what you need to consider:

Where to keep your plants

We have a big space on our dash so i decided to use that for one plant. We also have a shelf in the rear of the van which i thought would make a nice spot for another one.

If you want to have one on the dash it will need to be kept stable whilst you’re driving. I achieved this by putting the plant into two pots, like stacked Russian dolls! The first pot is a heavy ceramic pot which gives it the weight needed to avoid toppling over. This sits inside a second pot which is a wide based wicker pot to give it the stability needed to survive corners. The two combined work perfectly and the plant has remained on its spot for the last two months.

We have a second plant on a shelf in the rear of our van. Here i needed a shallow pot and a trailing plant as it’s a narrow shelf. This spot also gets less light because we have tinted windows and the centre of the van is naturally darker.

Where do you plan to keep your plants? Have a look around your van for flat surfaces, consider how much sun these spots will get and if it will be easy to access the plants for watering.

How to avoid fruit flies

You don’t want to grow beautiful plants only to find that they fill your van with fruit flies. The best way to prevent flies from infesting your plants is to cover the soil with fish tank sand. I know this sounds crazy but it really works. The sand won’t hurt your plants and you can buy it in loads of colours so it’s a nice way to make the pots look good too.

The layer of sand prevents flies from laying their eggs in the soil and, rather sadly, it kills off any larvae that are already in there.

Which plants to grow

Here are my recommendations for the best campervan plants and tips on how to look after them while you are on the road.

The Christmas Cactus (real name schlumbergera)

I was given a cutting of this cactus about a year ago so it started out pretty small and i had little to no knowledge of what it needed – i didn’t even know it was a cactus. To begin with i kept it in a relatively dark kitchen where it didn’t get any sunlight and i watered it almost every other day. The poor thing didn’t grow very much and didn’t look great either, it was a dull green colour.

I happened to move it to a south facing window and it was about the same time that i started forgetting to water it. As a result the cactus started to grow like crazy and became a really vibrant green with little red tips. By sheer luck i had found the perfect way to grow it – lots of light and sporadic watering.

The cactus now lives on the dash of the van and it is one of the best campervan plants you can get. If you decide to get one of these plants for your van you need to keep these things in mind:

  • Take it out of the dash on really sunny days. Yes it likes sunshine but if it’s 25 degrees outside it will boil on the dash. I made this mistake and the cactus went a very pale green and got hot spots on the leaves.
  • The opposite is also true, take it off the dash on cold nights. It’s a cactus so it is used to warm humid climates so it won’t like cold nights in a van window. Move it into the main part of the van if it’s going to be really chilly overnight to protect it from the worst of the cold.
  • You can find the full growing information on the RHS website here.


Philodendron scandens

The second best campervan plant is a philodendron. This is a trailing plant so you can put the pot in a small nook and the big heart shaped green leaves will cascade down. This is a great way to really make an impact.

I have had the plant for about two years and have given it limited attention so it is pretty tough. The best thing about this plant is that it thrives under fluorescent light which means it lives happily under our  LED spot lights in the back of the van.

If you decide to get this plant here are some things you need to remember:

  • Keep the leaves free from dust. Every now and then wipe the leaves with a damp cloth or paper towel to keep it clean. It won’t take long and will keep the leaves looking bright and glossy.
  • Don’t over or under water it. Give it a good watering in a free draining pot. Then allow it to dry out before watering again. From my experience you should water this plant weekly.
  • You can find the full growing instructions here.

I hope this blog has helped you decide which plants to get and where best to put them. Good luck growing your own campervan plants.

You will find more campervan tips on my blog here.