Plants bring natural beauty to our homes. They can transform a room into an area that welcomes. comforts. invites. brings happiness. calms. inspires. lifts spirits. soothes. Not only are plants beautiful to look at, they also improve our health and purify the air around us.
Choosing which plants to buy for your RV can sometimes be tricky. There are certain things you have to take into consideration that you may not have thought of. When your home moves, it can be a challenge to give your plants enough sunlight depending on how your RV is parked and how your windows are laid out. I’ve definitely killed my fair share of plants 🙈 but want to help you learn from my mistakes!! I’ve rounded up some of the best plants for RV living and gathered tips from some fellow RV plant ladies to help your plants thrive.
1. Snake Plant
When asked what plants thrived in their RVs / tiny homes the snake plant was on almost everyone’s list. And it’s no wonder with how tolerant they are! They can be neglected for weeks and even survive in low light situations. Perfect for beginner plant parents and low light situations in RV’s. I seriously don’t know how I haven’t added one of these to my collection yet.
Hannah suggests both Pothos and Philodendron “because they can thrive in lower light settings, which is perfect for rigs with tinted windows and shaded awnings. They are easy growers, require very little fuss. You only need to water thoroughly once the soil fully dries out (about every 2 weeks). They prefer to be root bound a little, so they won’t need to be re-potted often. They give lots of leaves, which is super satisfying, especially for budding plant parents.”
Hannah also mentioned that this is a great plant to share a cutting with friends you make out traveling. What a neat and thoughtful idea!
Janae has 6 Pothos plants and thinks they’re one of the easiest plants to take care of in tiny living. They’re one of her favorites because “They don’t require a lot of direct light which is great because the space you have for them isn’t always going to be right by a window. They also tell you when they’re “thirsty” by the leaves starting to droop. When I see them starting to look “sad” I give them water and they’re perfectly happy again within 24 hours! Pothos grow quickly and are easy to propitiate. So if you’re wanting to multiply your plant collection, Pothos are a great way to do so.” There are several different varieties that Pothos come in. Jane’s personal favorites are Marble Queen and Golden Pothos.
4. English Ivy
Jenn’s English Ivy is thriving! She says that “The combination of diffused light from the skylight and bathroom door make this plant super happy. Also, it does well with the humidity from showers. The english ivy does require slightly more care and you have to make sure to water it often enough (usually once a week).”
5. Aloe Vera
I like to keep mine in this shelf in our shower because of the light it gets, but I always move it whenever we’re using the shower so it doesn’t get too much water.
Aloe Vera is a type of succulent that makes for a great indoor plant. I wouldn’t typically recommend succulents in an RV unless you have a grow light (trust me… I know from experience 😬🙈) however, aloe is definitely an exception to that. It’s such a useful plant that I love keeping it on hand for burns and other injuries.
Aloe does best in bright indirect sunlight and can get a little leggy if it’s kept in low light. One of the best parts is that you hardly ever have to water it! I water mine about every 3 to 4 weeks and even less in the winter. You’ll want the soil to dry out at least 1-2 inches in between waterings. Aloe is definitely a beginner friendly plant and you can almost ignore it as long was it’s getting enough light.
6. Air Plants
Air Plants are one of my favorites for RV living. They require no soil to grow. Just air and water. Crazy right?! That means you don’t have to buy and lug around extra soil. Plus, they don’t require a pot or container (unless of course you want one). I bought three back in May and they are one of the most low maintenance plants I have. I have them a little crammed in this container (They really should have more room). Maybe this just means I’ll need to buy more and create and epic air plant display on my wall 😜
Air plants need bright indirect sunlight (too much light can fry them to a crisp) and should get soaked in a water bath for 20-30 minutes once a week (although they can survive periods of drought and are very forgiving). After the water bath you’ll want to leave them out to thoroughly dry (typically about 4 hours is good). This is important so your plant doesn’t rot!
7. Fake Plants
Can you tell which plant is fake?
Okay, so maybe plants aren’t your thing but you’re still looking to add some greenery to your space. Maybe you don’t have the time to care for real plants. Maybe you just don’t have a green thumb. That’s okay! There are some great options for fake plants out there. Finding realistic ones can be difficult but it is doable.
Now that you know which plants work well, here are some additional Tips to help your plants flourish!
Sunlight is one of the most important things you can give your plants. @stairsup_handlein suggests keeping blinds open to take advantage of sunlight and rotating plants once a week so they each get to spend a full day in good, strong sunlight. When the sun doesn’t cooperate, @bonnieandtheclydes_ uses a grow light since the sun doesn’t necessarily reach where and as much as some of her plants need! I personally use a grow light and have found my cacti and succulents are able to thrive in our RV where previously they weren’t. It definitely helps with certain plants that require a little more light. You can also take advantage of the sunlight coming in through your shower’s sky light!
In addition to sunlight, water is another major factor in whether your plants will thrive or not. Too much and your plants could get mushy and rot. Too little and your plant could wilt and eventually die. Each plant is going to be different as far as watering requirements, so be sure to research for your specific plant. @ourlifeonlaketime suggests using the app Planta which reminds you when to water each specific plant. @bonnieandtheclydes_ got a moisture reader so she could track what plants need water when. Allison also mentioned that if you use a dehumidifier you may need to water more often since moisture is being sucked out of the air. Instead of dumping the water out from your dehumidifier, you can use it to water your plants. Genius!
Jenn from @dashboarddrifters offered up a tip I’d never thought of before! She mentioned that “If you are on city water, leave your plant water on the counter for 24-48 hours before you water! There are chemicals in city water that can cause yellowing leaves or make plants sad. Leaving it on the counter allows those chemicals to evaporate out. This tip doesn’t apply if you use well water or rain water.” Something I never knew could be a potential issue!
Jenn also suggested that you can “Grow plants in the plastic containers they come in and then drop those into your favorite pots. This way you can change out your pots to match your decor and you don’t have to worry about drainage holes. I usually have an assortment of sizes of cheap plastic liners that I move plants into when they outgrow their pots.” What a smart idea and I’m sure saves a ton of time not having to fully re-pot a plant.
Make the most of vertical space! You can use macrame plant hangers to take advantage of vertical space. Some RVs don’t have much counter space so you can save that space by hanging your plants. Philip refuses to let me put any holes into the ceiling so I bought a tension rod that holds a few lightweight plants above the kitchen sink. This is a good option if you don’t want to alter your RV too much.
You can also create additional space by adding a shelf of sorts. I picked one up at Walmart that was intended to be used for bathroom organization, but I think it makes a pretty nice little plant shelf. It also folds down if I don’t want to use it or need it out of the way!
Wish my succulents still looked this good 😅 They are a bit more difficult than you’d think.
I got the idea to do a little shelf from Allison. Adding that in there gives her almost double the amount of space for plants. Check out her beautiful plant corner! 😍
So now that you have the urge to go out and buy a ton of plants, wait just a second. There’s maybe one more thing you’ll want to consider. This will probably vary depending on the person and style of travel, but you’ll want to also think about what you’ll do with your plants on travel days. I’ve tried a number of different methods, and for me personally putting a towel down in the kitchen sink and putting them there has worked best. I’ve also used a folding crate with good results. I know that some people put theirs in their showers while in transit too. Just something to consider! It takes a bit of trial and error to find what works best for you. Of course, if you’re stationary or move infrequently then this probably isn’t something you’ll have to think about too much.
This is typically my setup on moving day. Plants in the sink packed with spices and random odds and ends. The more stuff you pack in the less likely your plant will tip over 🤪
Hopefully this helped you determine which plants might work best in your RV/tiny home! Did we miss any? What’s your favorite plant for tiny living?
If you have any questions about plants please feel free to ask! I’m by no means an expert but love talking about plants and would love to help you bring a little color into your space to brighten things up ☺️
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