This Social Media Influencer Turned Her Car Into a Driveable Chia Pet

Have you ever looked at your vehicle and thought, “I really wish I could turn my car into a driveable chia pet”? Well, chances are, you haven’t. Luckily for us, Ali Spagnola came up with this somewhat genius and the somewhat logistically questionable idea of covering her old hatchback in chia seeds and seeing if it will grow. We won’t leave you hanging though, the YouTuber was successful in growing her car into a giant chia pet, and it’s both ridiculous and awesome.

How did Ali Spagnola turns her car into a chia pet?

Chia pet car
Chia pet car | Ali Spagnola

Social media influencer and YouTuber Ali Spagnola took us through her trial and error process of getting her hatchback ready to go as a movable garden. She had previously attached blue astroturf to the vehicle, which made for a great starting point to turn her vehicle into a rolling chia pet. On small test pieces of astroturf, Ali experimented with several options to see what would help the chia grow before inevitably deciding that, when wet, the chia seeds themselves were sticky enough to adhere to the astroturf, and it could actually grow healthy chia along the surface. It took several days to grow as much as 60 pounds worth of chia seeds onto her vehicle.

Taking ‘green’ to a whole new level with this chia pet car

This chia-pet of a car is a vehicle that most newer car enthusiasts can’t appreciate to its fullest extent because they aren’t old enough to remember the ch-ch-ch-chia pet commercials of the 1990s and early 2000s that gave us the option to grow chia on terracotta pots shaped like Bob Ross, hedgehogs, and other random objects. As a plant that photosynthesizes, chia absorbs carbon dioxide, giving this little hatch a new meaning to having a ‘green’ vehicle — even though it’s grown on blue astroturf, but that’s beside the point.

Modifying cars is sometimes illegal, especially in the state of California, even on the cosmetic side of things such as having stickers on your windshield that can obstruct your view and window tint that is too dark. But, there aren’t specifically any laws against, well, covering your car in chia seeds and turning it into a ‘carden (that’s a new somewhat trendy term of car + garden = carden). For Ali Spagnola, the car was completely out of warranty, as she mentioned it is a 14-year-old hatchback, so there are no concerns as to whether this cosmetic modification would void her warranty, but if you were genuinely interested in trying to turn your own vehicle into a chia pet, you should definitely contact the manufacturer to make sure.


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The logistics of maintaining a car covered in chia isn’t exactly clear, and, considering it hasn’t been done before, we aren’t quite sure if this will damage the vehicle at all, such as growing mold or causing rust from retaining water — and, it does need to be watered, so, imaging having to water your car. It isn’t clear where in California Ali lives, so she may be able to escape the cold winter weather that could kill off the chia, but in most states, this project wouldn’t survive very long.