15 Best Plants for Chameleons
A chameleon terrarium is never complete without live plants. Not only do they add humidity in the enclosure, but also give your pet ample space to hide when threatened.
More so, chameleons spend most of their time climbing. Hence plants offer them an opportunity to carry out their natural inclination.
Although chameleons are hardy creatures, there are toxic plants that put their life at risk. For instance, plants rich in oxalic acid may lead to renal failure or low serum in the body.
Also, avoid plants that release seeds due to ingestion complications. On that basis, keep your pet chameleon safe by perusing our well-thought plant list below.
Tried and tested, Golden Pothos are some of the safest plants in a chameleon’s cage. Likewise, they are some of the hardiest plants ever existed.
For that reason, experts refer it as the Devil’s Ivy, because of its resilience to survive in different environments. Other names associated with the plant include Taro Vine, Solomon Islands, and Hunter’s Robe.
Brightly colored in green and yellow, Golden pothos is a rapidly growing vine plant that attaches itself on anything along the way.
Typically, this unconquerable plant thrives in low and medium light exposures. However, extreme light affects the golden streaks on its leaves and makes it wither.
Pothos do not require deep watering because the roots grow shallowly. An ordinary home plant soil mixture works magic on Pothos. Yet, place your plants in an environment of about 60 to 85 degrees and humidity range of 50 to 70%.
If possible, restrain from exposing them to sudden temperature changes as it may affect their growth. Thanks to their adaptive nature, you only need to trim them regularly to promote density growth.
Known for their elegant flowers, Moth orchids grow throughout the year. This makes it an ideal plant to put in the terrarium all seasons. Another impressive thing is that this beautiful plant requires minimal input to thrive.
The first thing you need to do is avoid over-watering it. Most important, do not leave the roots in water for long durations as they can easily rot. Never expose direct sunlight to orchids as it may burn the leaves.
Note that orchids perform much better in temperatures of within 70-80 degrees. Preferably, humidity levels of about 50% would work magic for your orchids. If your home has slightly less humidity, mist your plants more often and allow constant evaporation.
Although they do not have an ideal plant structure for climbing chameleons, they are non-toxic and safe to your little friend.
Given that Prayer plants originate from Brazil rainforests, they are water loving vegetation and tolerant on bright sunlight. Altogether, avoid keeping them soggy or in direct contact with water. Instead, grow them in a container with pebbles and soil.
Basically, Prayer plants grow well in moderate temperatures of 55 to 85 degrees. Still, avoid scotching the leaves by leaving them under direct sunlight for long durations. During winter, keep them away from draft as it easily affects them.
Even though Prayer plants are not toxic, there are not edible like Pothos and Hibiscus. Moreover, they fall under the umbrella plants and are exceptionally low to maintain and ideal for climbing chameleons.
Grown in dangling baskets, Boston ferns offer a perfect hiding spot for chameleons. Another impressive trait of Boston ferns is its large leaves, which effectively collect water for your pet.
They may not have the trailing advantage like other indoor plants, but they offer excellent foliage cover.
To help the plant thrive better do not expose it to direct sunlight. In fact, temperatures between 60 to 70 degrees and 50% humidity would work perfectly well. Water your plants fairly, but avoid making the soil excessively damp.
For better results, ensure that the soil drains remarkably well. While there is nothing toxic about Boston ferns, the slender vines may cause impaction complications.
Polka Dot Plant
Polka dot plants are some of the most amazingly foliage you can keep indoors. Also known as splash or freckle plants, they come in various color forms of white, red and pink.
Depending on the species, the spotting may differ.
Generally, Polka dot plants are naturally weak and cannot hold several chameleons at a go. Still, they grow well in moderate humidity of 40 to 50% humidity range and temperature of 70-80 degrees.
Indirect sunlight helps to maintain the plant’s vibrant colors. However, excess light may fade the polka dots completely.
As an umbrella tree, Scheffleras are low maintenance and charming foliage in a chameleon tank. The first thing you will notice with this graceful plant is its drooping glossy green leaves that resemble an umbrella. Quite sturdy, they do well in bright but indirect light.
When the air becomes excessively dry, Schefflera easily attracts spider mites and scale. On that basis, grow them in a moderate temperature of about 55 to 75 degrees.
Luckily, this plant performs well in different humidity levels. Like any other umbrella plant, ensure that the drainage works perfectly well to minimize moisture.
Before buying your umbrella tree, confirm if it a Schefflera arboricola or Schefflera actinophylla. Although both come from the same family, the latter is toxic and not fit for a chameleon enclosure.
Stunning green color and strong stalks is the package you get in a rubber plant. Given that it can grow a couple of feet high, rubber plants may not make an ideal plant in a small chameleon tank.
An effective remedy is to prune the plant to avoid overgrowing. If possible, remove the slightly toxic sap and allow your chameleons to munch on the leaves with no risk.
Rubber plants enjoy minimal to full light exposure. Nonetheless, they may wither if placed in high temperatures and extreme bright conditions. Even if rubber plants love water, excess moisture turns the leaves yellow.
For that reason, aim for an average temperature of 60 to 80 degrees. Similarly, humidity levels of 40 to 50% would do no harm.
Prickly and distinctively attractive, Bromeliads are a sight to behold. Not only do they add glamour in a terrarium, but also strong enough to support an aggressive climbing chameleon.
Naturally, Bromeliads love bright sunlight and manageable heat. So, place them under an appropriate temperature of about 55 to 88 degrees and humidity levels of 40% to 60%.
Be aware that some hardy species can survive in temperatures below 25 degrees. However, shun watering your plants more frequently.
In actual sense, once a month watering is enough. While Bromeliads are actually not poisonous, the jagged edges on some species can harm your timid pet.
Impressively elongated, this solid green plant is easy to the eye and an excellent space filler. In some species, you may notice slight white colorations.
Either way, spider plants are safe to keep in chameleon cage and quite versatile. With low humidity needs, an average of 30 to 40% would be perfect.
All in all, avoid exposing them to direct sunlight and temperatures beyond 80 degrees. On the minimum, 55% would do your plants justice. If the weather excessively becomes hot, they may drop leaves or turn brownish.
Excellent drainage remains a key element when keeping your Spider plant healthy. So, water the plant regularly but avoid making them super wet.
Remember that these are prolific plants. Therefore, you may have to replant them on yearly basis. The easiest way to do it is re-grow the little pups produced by mature plants.
Fast growing, Begonias are some of the most preferred filler plants. With their great love for bright sunlight, place them near the window or under the sunlamp.
When young, Begonias are quite sensitive and can easily die. Once grown, they perform miserably in compact or dense soil. Therefore, use airy and light soil.
Most impressive is that you do not have to repot your Begonia’s like other indoor plants. Instead, trim them recurrently to encourage growth. Although they tolerate high temperatures, an excess of above 75 degrees can be brutal.
Equally, most species prefer fair humidity of 70 to 90%. If you provide scanty moisture, Begonias may quickly desiccate. On the other hand, excess moisture triggers root rots and pests attacks.
Speckled with silvery variegation, Argyraeus are easy to maintain vine plants. You can never find an Argyraeus that entirely replicate the other.
Hence, the varied sizes and shapes make this unique plant a favorite among chameleon keeps. Not only are the heart-formed leaves soft to touch, but also lusterless and ideal for chameleons to hide.
Another outstanding feature is the long beautiful vines suitable for hanging planters. Under warm temperature of about 65 to 85 degrees, Argyraeus blossoms within a short time.
Keep note that these plants are cold-sensitive to temperatures below 45 degrees. An average humidity of between 40 to 80% would keep your Argyraeus happy.
Generations down the line, plant lovers have used Philodendrons for interior gardens. The main reason behind it is the high adaptability in different environments.
Furthermore, they thrive all year round. When the weather allows, you can take them outdoors and keep them under a shade. This also allows you to clean the leaves and wash out the soil.
Unlike other plants, Philodendrons do not suffer from outdoor to indoor alternations. For healthy Philodendrons, keep them in a room temperature of 65 to 78 °F. Since they benefit from bright sunlight, position them close to a window.
While it is unusual for old leaves to turn yellow, check if the light is too much for your plant. Basic humidity of about 50% and occasional misting encourages proper growth.
Among other Ivy species, English Ivy is the most frequently grown as home. According to your preference, you can get English Ivies in cream, black, yellow and gray.
Growing one in your pet’s terrarium can be an interesting experience because of their light maintenance. Hungry for bright light, English Ivy plants become weak if kept in a dark room.
For most species, an average temperature of 50 to 65 degrees is convenient. Ivies may not like excess moist soil, but blossoms in moist air. Thus, ensure that you increase humidity in the room and around the plants.
Apart from Golden Pothos other Ivy plants are dangerous for chameleons. Consult a pet expert on other suitable plants to keep in your animal’s enclosure.
Common in different parts of the world, Wandering Jew plants flourish in brilliant indirect light. If you want your Wandering Jew to produce more flowers, place it close to a constant source of sunlight. As long as you do not soak them in water, your Jews will be extremely happy.
Still, keep the soil slightly moist for better results. Though they resemble a toxic plant known as Creeping Charlie, Wandering Jews are safe plants for chameleons.
Even if they tolerate low temperatures, excess cold makes them wither and die. Above all, ensure that the room temperature stands at 50 to 80 degrees.
During summer, keep the humidity levels high at around 80%. One effective way to augment humidity is to use a humidifier on a regular basis.
Currently, there are two Monstera species grown indoors; Monstera adansonii and Monstera deliciosa. The main disparity between the two is the leaves shape.
Either way, excess light affects Monstera’s performance. It is of essence if they grow in moderate 65 to 85 degrees and indirect sunlight.
Do not water your plants daily, but repeat after every two weeks. Also, allow them to grow in a minimum humidity of not over 50%.
Given that Monsteras contain oxalic acid, use it sparingly in a chameleon cage.
Like any other plant, pet friendly varieties get their nutrients from the soil. Even if commercialized fertilizers quickly improve the soil, they contain harsh chemicals that can harm your chameleon.
Therefore, use organic manure and avoid using pesticides. In addition, clean the plant’s leaves regularly to keep it healthy and enhance on sanitary condition of your pet’s home.