Any suggestions for live plants to spruce up (pardon the pun) a beardie cage? I was thinking pothos, but I worry about plants being potentially toxic. I do worry about him snacking… Was hoping to find a list of “safe” plants. No luck yet.
@thebeardedherper should be able to help you out. I know they will need to be hardy and tough plants though. And non-toxic if eaten, also able to stand hot, dry climates.
Hardy for sure. I was figuring to “train” pothos on a branch or even stainless wire. Flokei loves to leap on the plastic plants around him, so they drop leaves regularly. They aren’t cheap, and they look so sad when they reach a certain point. Like the Grinch’s reindeer, Max, with that one lonely antler…
His setup includes a daylight bulb that can act as a grow light, and I can mist it regularly. The enclosure is big enough that the heat lamp side shouldn’t cook it, I hope.
Pothos are generally considered safe for reptiles. We have some Pothos in with our box turtles, who have not tried to eat them. I do not, however, know how they will do in a dry, high-heat environment. Maybe someone else can comment. Perhaps a non-toxic, non-spiky succulent would be appropriate.
The bio dude sells plants that are safe for reptiles, you dont have to buy from him, but you can see what kind they are. Most home improvement/store with garden centers sell succulants, and i’ve seen them at Petco too.
Aloe is safe as far as I know.
Aloe vera has latex in its leaves, and can cause issues if consumed by humans. Not sure if a lizard would take a bite out of one, or what would happen if it consumed some.
Aloe is also kind of sharp.
Idk. I’ve heard and seen people using tiny bits as treats.
I don’t want to use succulents. I know, they’d probably look more species appropriate, but I’m not a fan. At least, not here. I’ll check out the Dude.
I guess i missed this thread before somehow, oh well better late than never I suppose. There are actually a lot of plants that you can include in beardy enclosures. The real question is what plants can stand up to the beardies. I have limited experience with putting plants in dragon cage as i always just assumed they’d trash everything, but over the last few years I’ve been experimenting with different ones. A few things to consider first though.
- The size of your dragons enclosure. This is important because if you have a tall enough enclosure you can use taller plants where the dragon/s will have a tougher time reaching the foliage or least enough of it to do real damage. It also determines whether your cage has enough airflow to deal with the increase in humidity that some plants will cause. This can also be augmented with the use of small fans. Taller plants include things like ponytail palms, ficus trees, dracaena, yucca tree, kentia palm, dwarf umbrella tree, hibiscus (on the cool side) etc.
- Do you want plants they can eat for added nutrition? If so I recommend giving the plants a good long head start to establish a good root structure, or devise a system to just leave them in pots, by extras, and either cycle them or replace them when eaten down to a nub. That has been my preference. With elephant bush for example dragons will eat it down to nothing in no-time flat. So with that in mind i buy several large plants, put them in nice heavy pots that are difficult to tip over and then just cycle them out every few days.
- Do you want ground cover plants? If so then you’ll need to plant them well ahead of introducing the animal; I’d say at least 3-6 months. This will give them time to develop a good root structure that can withstand some digging. In my experience some dragons are more inclined to dig than others so it may or may not be an issue.This can include mondo grasses, ornamental blue fescue, elephant bush, and many other grasses. Keep in mind you want grasses that are drought tolerant. I avoid lawn grasses as the seeds are almost always coated with pesticides and fertilizers.
Other plants that you can use are edible and somewhat tough and maybe less attractive as a snack like mature spineless cactus, snak plants, aloe, etc.
They will chew on the ponytail palms but don’t seem to be overly interested in completely decimating them lol. They are a succulent btw.