One of the most common questions most new chameleon owners often ask is what are the best plants for a chameleon cage. Since chameleons are arboreal reptiles they need trees to climb, and they need ample vegetation to help reduce stress and make your chameleon feel safe.
That’s why we put together this list of the best chameleon safe plants that you can purchase online, so you can easily add some live plants to your chameleon’s cage even if you don’t live near a garden shop or a nursery.
Plants for a Chameleon Cage
Golden Pothos Totem
Wintergreen Weeping Fig Tree – Ficus – Ficus Benjamina
Codiaeum variegatum – Croton – 4 Pack
Dwarf Braided Hawaiian Umbrella Tree – Schefflera Arboricola
Madagascar Dragon Tree – Dracaena marginata
Live Plants for Chameleon Cage
Golden Pothos (Buy Online) is a very common houseplant that is widely used in most chameleon habitats. The Golden Pothos plant is very easy to care for and it doesn’t require a lot of light. It’s also very easy to clone, so you can buy one plant and take cuttings from it to spread throughout your chameleon’s cage.
You can expect the vines of the Golden Pothos plant to reach a maximum length of about 6-feet (180 cm). When you grow Pothos in low light conditions the plant might take on a lighter green color, but the plant will still grow quite vigorously. Golden Pothos will also grow best at temperatures between 60-85 F (15-29 C), and it doesn’t require high humidity.
Overall Golden Pothos is a great plant to add to a chameleons cage. The large leaves will give your chameleon plenty of places to hide, and they will definitely add a lush tropical feel to a chameleon habitat setup.
Ficus – Ficus Benjamina (Buy Online) is one of the best plants for a chameleon cage. A ficus tree can serve as a centerpiece plant in a chameleons habitat, and the branches are more than strong enough to hold a chameleons weight. Ficus Benjamina will also stay relatively compact and it usually won’t exceed a height of 6 feet (180 cm).
Ficus trees also don’t require much light which is why they are one of the most popular chameleon safe trees. They will gladly grow near a window, or with just the light put off by the basking lamp and UV bulb in your chameleon’s cage. They do prefer a slightly humid environment to thrive, so you want to make sure to spray the leaves by hand or with an automatic misting system.
Getting a ficus tree for a chameleon habitat is one of the easiest ways to satisfy their natural arboreal tendencies. The strong branches also make it one of the safest and best climbing plants for chameleons, and you can also snake other plants and vines through a ficus tree to create a more natural looking jungle canopy.
Schefflera Arboricola (Buy Online) is another very popular tree for a chameleons cage. This tree is also called the dwarf umbrella tree due to its large tropical leaves. It can reach a maximum height of 6-feet (180 cm) and it has a flexible stem that can be trained to grow on a trellis, or you can bend it to conform to the shape of your chameleon’s cage.
The Dwarf Umbrella Tree is native to Taiwan where it grows in tropical regions, so it prefers warm temperatures and relatively high humidity to thrive. It also needs bright light to grow properly, so you’ll need to make sure your chameleon’s cage is well lit or gets some exposure to the sun throughout the day.
Schefflera Arboricola also makes a great tree to add to an outdoor chameleon cage. You’ll find that it will grow much faster when it’s exposed to the suns bright light, and the stems will be much stronger so the tree will be much easier for your chameleon to climb.
Codiaeum variegatum – Croton (Buy Online) is a very vibrant tropical plant that will add a touch of color and texture to your chameleon’s cage. This plant is native to Indonesia and Malaysia where it grows on the edge of forests and jungles as a small shrub that reaches a maximum height of 9-feet (3 meters).
Growing Croton in a container will keep the plant’s height under control so it will only reach a maximum height of 2 to 3 feet (60 to 90 cm). You can also get Croton plants in a wide variety of shapes and colors. There are broadleaf and narrow leaf varieties, and you can get Croton plants that have a more red coloration and others that are all green.
Since Croton is a tropical plant it prefers to grow in a warm humid environment. It also needs bright light to produce strong colorful leaves. That means Croton will do best when it’s located close to a light source in your chameleon’s cage, or it will do even better if you can provide it with some sunlight throughout the day.
The Madagascar Dragon Tree – Dracaena (Buy Online) is a very low maintenance tree that makes an excellent addition to a chameleons cage. Dracaena trees are mostly found in Africa where they have evolved to thrive in very low light conditions with minimal precipitation. That makes them a perfect plant if you’re not blessed with a green thumb since it’s almost impossible to kill a Madagascar Dragon Tree.
The Madagascar Dragon Tree can reach a maximum height of 8 ft (2.4 meters), but it is a very slow growing plant so it won’t quickly outgrow your chameleon’s cage. They like to grow in warm climates, but they can tolerate cooler conditions with ease. They also can handle both high and low humidity, but they will still appreciate a periodic misting of their leaves.
The only downside to the Madagascar Dragon Tree is that they don’t provide much support since it has a narrow trunk and very thin leaves. That means it doesn’t have any horizontal branches for your chameleon to climb on, but most chameleons will still enjoy climbing up its trunk and hiding amongst its leaves.
Hibiscus – Hibiscus Rosa-Sinensis (Buy Online) is a beautiful plant that will put on a stunning display of colorful flowers inside your chameleon’s cage. The Hibiscus plant is native to China and it can reach a maximum height of 18 feet (5.5 meters). Although, if you grow it in a container it can be trained to stay compact enough to fit inside a chameleons cage.
The Hibiscus Rosa-Sinensis isn’t a very finicky plant but it does like lots of light to grow strong stems and to produce its floral display. They are also very amenable to pruning, so you can easily shape them to fit amongst all the other vegetation inside your chameleon’s habitat.
Hibiscus Rosa-Sinensis is also very easy to propagate from cuttings, and you can even start them from seeds. They also come in a wide variety of colors so you can easily find a Hibiscus Rosa-Sinensis plant that will look absolutely stunning inside your chameleon’s cage.
Artificial Plants for Chameleons
The Magnaturals Jungle Vine Bridge (Buy Online) makes it easy to attach a strong artificial vine inside your chameleon’s cage. This vine is made to extend across a cage that measures 34-inches wide and it can attach to either a glass or screen cage.
The Magnaturals Jungle Vine Bridge uses magnets to securely affix the vines to the walls of your chameleon’s cage. The strong magnets are capable of easily holding a chameleons weight, and they make it very easy to rearrange the décor in your chameleon’s habitat.
If you’re looking for the best alternative to natural vines you can’t go wrong with the Magnaturals Jungle Vine Bridge. It’s actually stronger than most natural vines, and unlike live plants, it will always stay lush and green. It’s also one of the easiest artificial vines to attach to a chameleons cage since it doesn’t rely on weak suction cups, glue, or tape.
The Penn Plax Reptology Climber Vine (Buy Online) allows you to have all the beauty of a natural plant in your chameleon’s habitat without all the extra care and maintenance. These vines come in colors like green, brown, red or you can get them in a mix of all three colors with variegated leaves.
These vines are 12-inches long and they have multiple vines all securely connected at their base. They can be attached to the walls of you chameleons habitat using the included suction cups, or you can use tie downs if you have a screen cage.
These vines also work well with Penn Plax artificial climbing vines that you can use to create bridges across your chameleon’s cage. The climbing vines have fewer leaves so they are easier to climb on, while these vines provide much better cover for your chameleon to hide in to help them feel safe.
Mokook Jungle Vines Decor for Lizards (Buy Online) are high-quality climbing vines that are much thicker than most artificial vines you can find for a chameleons cage. You get one 6.5 foot (2 meters) vine that has a diameter of 0.78 in (1.5 cm).
These vines also have a bendable design that makes it easy to form them into almost any shape. That means they are very easy to snake through a chameleons habitat even in tightly confined spaces. They also are made of non-toxic aseptic materials which means they are completely safe for your chameleon, and they are also very easy to keep clean.
These wide diameter vines are also great for large adult chameleons since they provide much better support for their large feet. While at the same time they are still great for smaller chameleons since they have a natural texture that provides plenty of surface area to get a strong grip.