Whether you’re looking to make your motorhome feel more homely, improve air quality, or provide a little bit of life around the place then investing in some plants could be the answer.
But not everybody is a green-fingered gardening expert. If you want to know what the best plants for motorhomes are then read our handy guide.
From trusty motorhome conversions to the latest top-of-the-range factory-fitted vehicles, insurance for motorhomes is the most important thing you need to get sorted from day one.
After all, you don’t want an accident, damage, loss or even theft to ruin your motorhome dreams.
Best plants for motorhome living
Life on the road is a lot of fun but not always easy for plants and it often takes a particularly hardy plant to stay healthy.
Someone looking to provide a small oasis of calm in their motorhome will need something low maintenance which can cope well with changing environments.
And with interior space at such a premium you’ll also want something that won’t grow too big, too quickly.
Here are some of our top horticultural hits suitable for the challenges of motorhome living.
Boston fern (Nephrolepis exaltata)
A very popular indoor plant you’ll often see hanging around motorhomes. These beautiful ferns with their graceful, arching fronds provide a full, bright-green shock of foliage.
As an added bonus, they are the easiest of the fern family to care for. While they are native to tropical areas they still like a relatively cool (but not cold) space with indirect light.
As you would expect from a plant that loves the humid and shady areas of the South and Central American forests, direct sunlight isn’t great for them and they like to keep moist.
If the air is too dry then their leaves might turn yellow. Ensure plenty of air flow in your motorhome and don’t let the temperature rise too much.
They are known for their air-purifying properties and are non-toxic – great if you’ve a four-legged friend touring with you!
Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
If you’re looking for something that’s cheap, cheerful and pretty indestructible, the humble spider plant could be for you. These are extremely adaptable, easy to propagate and will grow in almost any environment.
Starting off as a small plantlet they soon grow into a decent plant producing plenty of other plantlets. What great gifts for other motorhome owners you meet along the way!
They prefer cooler temperatures, lots of indirect light and drained soil. If your plant becomes too massive over time then they are easily split apart into segments and re-potted.
As well as being non-toxic, spider plants come in a number of varieties including plain green and variegated.
Chinese evergreens (Aglaonema-family)
Chinese evergreen is the common name for a collection of plants of the Aglaonema family found in the tropics and subtropics of Asia.
They are certainly one of the most durable houseplants you’ll find and are grown primarily for their attractive leathery leaves.
There are many varieties of these slow-growing plants available including plain, green, speckled, silvered and variegated types.
They do best in indirect light, with plenty of moisture and temperatures above 15°C. They will tolerate low lighting and drought conditions but are toxic to pets so keep them up high and out of reach.
These plump and quirky little guys have become extremely common in offices and homes across the country where people are looking for a stress-free plant to take care of.
Succulents come in a bewildering variety of shapes, sizes and colours and are famous for thriving in many different environments. Indeed, according to the Royal Horticultural Society there is a cactus or succulent to suit everyone, whether young or old!
These fleshy plants are suited to the arid conditions of deserts so will require a decent amount of sunlight, low moisture, dry air and good drainage. So, pride of place below a window or on the dashboard would be a good spot.
And there won’t be any problem if you forget to water them for a while as they are used to long periods of dryness, with the occasional soaking to keep them perky.
Most succulents won't harm dogs or cats if eaten, but there are a few toxic varieties that pet owners need to be aware of.
Aloe Vera– A very popular type of succulent with medicinal properties (it’s great for treating sunburn). Toxic if eaten.
Euphorbia Milii (Crown of Thorns)– Often valued for their colourful flowers, these plants are covered in sharp thorns, and have a white, milky sap that’s irritating to the skin and poisonous if eaten.
Kalanchoes– Beautiful and easy to care for, the Kalanchoe genus includes hundreds of species of attractive, flowering plants. They’re known to be poisonous to cats, dogs and other wildlife, causing irregular heartbeats, severe weakness and abnormal heart rhythm if eaten.
Jade Plant (Crassula Ovata)– Native to South Africa and Mozambique, jade plants are also known as money trees, lucky plants, or friendship trees. Easily recognised by their thick, fleshy, shiny, smooth leaves that grow in opposite pairs. It’s unknown exactly what substance makes jade plants toxic, but they can cause nausea and vomiting.
Devil’s Ivy (Epipremnum aureum)
Also sometimes known as Pothos, this trailing vine has attractive green, heart-shaped leaves and is very easy to take care of.
It doesn’t need too much light, water or care and is brilliant for motorhomes. It’s poisonous if eaten.
Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)
Moderately toxic, the Snake Plant is another motorhome-friendly plant.
With striking spear-shaped, tough, green leaves reaching upwards it’s an eye-catching addition to any motorhome’s decor.
Usefully, it doesn’t grow very large, so it’s easy to keep under control when space is limited.
Peace Lilies (Spathiphyllum-family)
Peace Lilies are a classic house plant readily available to the motorhome owner looking for a bit of cool sophistication without a lot of work.
They prefer medium to low light and tend to tolerate under-watering more than over-watering. Mildly toxic to people and pets.
Coming in several striking varieties, anthuriums have stunning waxy ‘flowers’ with vibrant colourways to suit many different decors, including red, purple, pink, white and more. The green, heart-shaped leaves look good, too.
They prefer bright, but not direct, sunlight, weekly watering and warmer temperatures. And like many plants on the list, they are toxic if ingested.
Heart leaf (Philodendron scadens)
A trailing plant with big, heart-shaped green leaves is a great way to really make an impact.
Keep the leaves looking bright and glossy by giving them a regular wipe with a damp cloth or paper towel. Be careful not to over- or under-water it. Avoid direct sunlight at all costs.
African Violet (Saintpaulias)
A great way to bring a splash of colour into your motorhome without taking up too much of that valuable space.
The African Violet loves moderate, indirect light. It hates cold breezes so keep it away from windows or doors.
ZZ plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia)
This sturdy, green plant likes the light, warmth and humidity and is quite easy to grow.
It can cause skin and eye irritation with direct contact and can cause stomach ache, vomiting and diarrhoea if eaten.
Lucky bamboo (Dracaena Sanderiana)
Contrary to its commonly marketed name, this plant is not, in fact, a variety of bamboo at all.
Instead, it’s a part of a family called Dracaena and is native to Central Africa.
This very attractive and versatile plant is great in low light areas, requires average warmth and is often grown standing in water.
Yucca (Yucca elephantipes)
With long, sword-like, yellow-green, arching leaves growing from the top of a bare trunk the Yucca is a bulkier plant than most of the others on this list.
But it looks fantastic nonetheless. These slow growers are super easy going when it comes to light, temperature and humidity, just don’t over water them!
And don’t think about eating it – the Yucca is poisonous to cats, dogs and humans.
Nothing else beats the feeling of adding your own fresh, motorhome-grown herbs to your favourite meals. Whether inside or outside the van, it’s super-easy to grow a whole variety of versatile herbs to suit your culinary skills.
Basil, thyme, oregano, cilantro, and mint all grow easily in pots and add immense flavour to any meal. Build a small herb garden in the cockpit or hang them above your sink for easy watering – the possibilities are endless.
Who knows you might even start growing your own strawberries and tomatoes, too!
5 things to remember when bringing plants into a motorhome
We love our motorhomes, but no matter how homely they feel, it’s always good to bring a little bit of the great outdoors inside.
By placing plants around the space, you’ll achieve an airy, outdoor vibe that looks and feels great. Just try to follow these top tips when you do.
Choose plants for your climate
If you’re travelling around the UK then you’ll be used to a temperate climate of cool, wet winters and warm, wet summers.
With a little bit of care, all of the featured plants should be able to survive these conditions perfectly well. However, if you’re going abroad then it might be worth checking if your plants will be happy, too.
For example, if you’re travelling to a very dry or very humid area then it’s worth checking your plant care instructions before you leave.
And if you do plan on travelling somewhere exotic then give Motorhome Protect a call to check you’re adequately covered. Our motorhome insurance offers unlimited cover across all the EU countries.
Ensure your plants have enough sunlight
There should be more than enough light in your motorhome to keep even the keenest sun-worshipper happy. However, it’s always wise to keep an eye on your green-leaved friends.
If their leaves start to curl then they’re probably getting too much sun. If they start to turn yellow or start moving towards a light source then they aren’t getting enough.
Secure your plants properly before heading off
Plants aren’t designed to live aboard moving vehicles – they have roots after all! So, to prevent damage to the plants or the inside of your vehicle you need to make them secure before travel.
Missing out on your vital pre-journey plant checks will soon result in spilt soil, a messy motorhome, and unhappy plants.
There are so-many ideas on Pinterest for securing your indoor garden, from wall-mounted flower boxes and hanging pots, to tension rods and straps to hold your plants secure. If in doubt, stick them in the sink.
Take them out on arrival
When you reach your destination, check over your plants and put them in the most suitable position as soon as possible.
Getting that at-home feel is a great way to relax into the holiday vibe. And remember, after a long journey your plant passengers also need a rest, too!
Read up on plant care
There’s a huge amount to learn about appropriate plant care. Once you’ve chosen the plant you want in your motorhome, then make sure you do some research on the best way to keep them alive and healthy indoors.
Every plant is different and even the easy-care ones need regular attention! Always read the watering instructions carefully – under- or over-watering is a recipe for plant disaster.
You can find the full growing information on any and every plant on the encyclopaedic RHS website.
Protecting your vehicle with motorhome insurance cover
Getting the right information is a key part of successful motorhome living, both for your plants and for you.
That’s why it's so important to speak to the team at Motorhome Protect as soon as possible about your insurance needs.
From breakdowns and accidents to theft, it really is impossible to rule out everything that could happen when you hit the road.
Using our panel of insurers, we’ll search out the best motorhome insurance, tailored to your vehicle, needs and budget.
Our cover can include benefits such as:
- Cover for vehicles valued up to £150,000
- Enhanced cover for personal effects up to £3,000
- Unlimited mileage cover
- Discounts if you’re a member of a motorhome club
Call Motorhome Protect and get a quote for motorhome insurance today.
Policy benefits, features and discounts offered may very between insurance schemes or cover selected and are subject to underwriting criteria. Information contained within this article is accurate at the time of publishing but may be subject to change.