Can You Grow Plants in Car? (And Reasons To Do So)


Why not? Growing plants in your car might sound odd, but it’s possible. Instead, having a plant in a car is an excellent idea! Plants create a magical aura wherever they are placed. Have you ever thought of turning your vehicle into green space? How about keeping happy, healthy plants with you when you travel? 

You may wonder how to grow the plant in a car and whether a plant can survive inside a vehicle! So we have come up with this article that will share some helpful facts and precautions to ensure you have the best experience. 

Can You Keep a Plant in Your Car? 

Yes, you can keep a plant in your car. A plant can survive in a vehicle if proper conditions such as sunlight, temperature, airflow and water are maintained. For example, parking in cool spaces, keeping the windows partially open, and regular watering can help regulate a car’s temperature for the plant’s survival.

If you want your plants alive in a car, the most crucial prerequisite is the temperature. Plants do not cope well with high or low-temperature extremes; getting this right will ensure a plant survives. Extreme heat becomes deadly for plants, especially in summer or if the car is parked in direct sunlight with closed windows.

Similarly, extreme cold, especially in winter or when the weather forecast calls for a frost, is a significant threat. Few plants will cope with a car’s temperature and light fluctuation.

You also need to see if there is proper airflow. For example, if plants were recently purchased and their soil was already dry, dry air is fatal.

The same goes for light prevailing in the car. Extended darkness can be dangerous when plants are in a trunk or in a dark garage.

Positioning the plant is also essential. Place the plant in a steady, secure position like a dashboard or a cupholder, so it does not move around while driving. This also ensures that soil or water does not spill over your car. 

Why Would You Grow Plants in Your Car?

Having a plant in a car can be beneficial to us in different ways. 

Purifies car’s air: Plants clean the car’s air and help filter pollutants. It helps purify the air we breathe in the car as the plant takes in and uses carbon dioxide and releases oxygen. And oxygen means pure, fresh air to us.

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Adds beauty to the car: Plants look beautiful. Having plants around makes us feel fresh and the environment attractive. People like being around places with beautiful plants, so plants in a car will surely enhance the overall appearance.

Freshens air: Plants are a great natural alternative to air fresheners. You can enjoy the ambiance it creates even while on the road.

A home away from home: Plant creates a homey environment.

When we arrange our homes, we place plants at different points to give the home aesthetic value. Similarly, putting a plant in the car also makes you feel at home away from home. It embraces the feeling of being at home. Also, one can feel very relaxed!

However, specific points you should remember while placing plants in a car.

First, they aren’t safe if they obstruct your view or distract you while you drive.

Second, in the case of an accident, plants can become projectiles.

Third, if the car is less spacious, it can clutter an already cramped space.

Lastly, watering is problematic; if you are not in the car for a while, you’re most likely to forget about them.

Can You Leave Plants in a Car Overnight?

You can leave plants in a car overnight. Here are some quick tips for plants to grow in cars. First, check the car’s temperature with a thermometer. Ensure there is sufficient airflow by keeping windows partially open. Park in a cool place. Water the plant. 

Always keep an eye on the temperature. Place a digital thermometer inside the car to monitor the temperature. A box can be used in the vehicle with a built-in space as a plant container. You can utilize the back seats to place a container only if you do not use them much.

Remember, plants have no lifespan. If you take care of the plant, it will keep growing. Keep reading to know how to take care of the plant in a car.

How Long Can You Leave Plants in the Car?

That depends on the plant and how hot the car gets inside. The temperature inside the car and moisture present in the pot’s soil determine the survival conditions. It will survive indefinitely if the temperature isn’t too hot or cold and you keep it watered. It can likely be a mini greenhouse to the plant where plants can thrive. 

The temperature extremes would kill a plant in a few days, depending on the type of plant. A healthy cactus might last a while, but it will eventually die too. A leafy plant in a hot car might last only a day or two.

If the plant has been receiving excellent care, it will keep growing, but if you ignore the plant’s requirements, it will start wilting, turning yellow, then drying up, and everything will be over. Unfortunately, then it can last as short as a day and die.

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Will Plants Die in a Hot Car Overnight?

Yes, they can. Plants can die in a hot car overnight if it is dry weather and their soil is also dry. If you leave your plants in the car in the afternoon or evening and keep the windows closed, even a short period of focused sunlight could heat up the car.

The heat will then be trapped inside the car due to the greenhouse effect. Even though temperatures tend to cool down at night, this extreme heat exposure could still hurt or even kill your plants.

Some plants can tolerate temperatures up to 95 degrees Fahrenheit (35 degrees Celsius) or higher. However, when a car is parked in the sun, and the windows are closed, the temperature inside can get much hotter. Therefore, put the plants in a place where they won’t be in direct sunlight. For example, if the sun is setting and visible through the windshield, put it behind the driver’s seat.

To save your plants from surrendering to the heat, open the windows a little before leaving them in the car overnight. Opening the windows will help to let some of the trapped heat out. Finally, give your plants some water before you leave them in the car overnight.

Will Plants Die in a Cold Car Overnight?

Some plants can tolerate freezing temperatures and survive, but others will suffer from damage in cool temperatures. The cold tolerance of plants varies, but freezing temperatures are bad for many plants if they are not hardened off. Some plants can die in a cold car overnight if they are without protection. 

But there are ways to protect and keep plants alive in a cold car if there is no other way. For example, if the plants are small, you can use a cloche to protect them. A cloche is usually a transparent cover made of plastic that helps to trap heat in the soil and air underneath.

If a cloche by itself isn’t enough to keep a plant warm, a frost blanket can be an excellent addition to a cloche, as even a few degrees of cold protection can make a difference for plants stuck in a car on a cold night. 

A plastic container such as a gallon water jug can also cover the plant and give it a better chance to survive the cold.

A cardboard box can trap a little heat underneath, at least temporarily. If you use a box with a blanket inside as a liner, put the plant inside, and then cover it with a cloche, it will provide good cold protection overnight.

Best Plants To Grow in Your Car

There are actually a variety of plants available for your ‘carden’ that you can grow in a car as long as you are aware of the temperature and lighting requirements of your plants:

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1. Scented Geraniums 

Scented Geraniums can be an excellent plant to grow in a car! The scented leaves will be an all-natural air freshener. You can use a scented geranium to add a lovely scent to your vehicle without using artificial air fresheners that pollute the air inside your car. 

2. Lucky Bamboo 

Lucky bamboo can be grown in water, so you can place a couple of lucky bamboo canes in a water vessel in your cup holder. Just be careful to monitor the water level, so it doesn’t get too low. Change the water regularly to ensure the plant stays healthy and green.

3. Snake Plants 

Snake plants are another fantastic option. These tough plants can tolerate a wide range of light conditions and do well with having their soil dry out. In addition, it can survive with minimal care. 

4. Pothos 

Pothos is another attractive choice for your car, which can easily be grown inside a slender vase. It can quickly be grown in water or soil, so you can choose whatever best suits you. 

You can also hang it in a moss ball on a rearview mirror.

5. Germinating Tropical Edibles such as Turmeric, Ginger, or Sweet Potatoes 

They can be very quick and easy due to higher temperatures inside your car. You can place these in a shallow water dish or directly into the soil. 

6. Many Succulents and Cacti 

Succulents and Cacti will also thrive in heat and drought-like conditions, such as hens and chicks or echeveria. These plants perform well in heat and drought conditions, and these attributes and their small size to fit in cupholders make them one of the best choices to grow inside a car. 

7. Mint 

Mint is an instant freshener, and the best part of growing it inside a car is to have a fresh aroma! All you have to do is to crush a few of its leaves. You can also put it in cup holders in small pots.

8. Spider Plant

A spider plant has the most significant advantage of growing in a car because it can do well in water. So, just arrange a narrow glass jar or a vase and hang it near a vent on the dashboard for a fantastic display!

There are also options like Bromeliads and Nerve plants; if you use less space in your car, you can think of Bonsai too.


If you are thinking of keeping and growing plants in a car, the sky is the limit, and so is your imagination! It may sound unusual but believe it that plants can not only survive in your car, but they might actually thrive with a bit of attention.

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