Live terrarium plants and succulents
Growing live plants is one of the best ways to create a true-to-life habitat for your bearded dragons. Go for potted ones since you will have to water them regularly since you cannot add water to your substrate unless you have a bioactive terrarium substrate. Adding water will raise your terrarium humidity.
To begin with, besides aesthetics and appeal, live plants will provide a sheltered place where your pet can go rest or hide.
Secondly, they will give your pet a chance to forage where they will have to put some effort before they can have a snack or food like them do in the wild.
Furthermore, some plants may give them a place to perch or climb on or a sheltered place to hide. If they do so, there will be no need to have many logs and branches for climbing as hideouts.
What to look in live plants
When deciding on what ideal plants to use in this pet’s tank, some of the key considerations include the following:
- They should be 100% safe in case this lizard chooses to eat them.
- Go for hardy plants that thrive well in places with low humidity and those that are not for easy a beardie to entirely eat them down to their stump.
- Buy organic plants free of fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides
- Select those that are easy to maintain
- Ensure they are not hazardous such as having sharp thorns.
The downside of live terrarium plants
- They will raise humidity. Avoid them if it is already on the upper limit, especially those with broad leaves.
- Yoru pets will eat them down. However, having several similar plants and rotating them will reduce excessive damage.
- You have to monitor and care for them continually.
You know the benefits, downside, and what to look for in live plants, here are the best live plants to grow in your vivarium.
Native to Southern Africa (Namibia, Mozambique, South Africa, Lesotho, and Swaziland), Haworthia is one of the best live plants to have in your bearded dragon enclosures.
It is hardy, easy to maintain, can withstand desert terrarium conditions, is safe, and small in size. Their leaves hardly grow beyond a few inches, with some species having nice looking succulent leaves.
2. Opuntia cacti or prickly pear
The Opuntia cactus is high in high in moisture, has calcium, and other minerals making it an excellent snack for these lizards and one of the staple greens. Furthermore, since it has a protective skin that is very thick, it will take your bearded dragon a lot of effort and time to eat it to its stump.
Besides bearded dragon, the prickly pear is also ideal for your uromastyx and box turtles. While it may have some spines, you can remove them to avoid any chances of them injuring your pet. Furthermore, ensure you monitor its growth as it can grow and become very large.
Finally, since it is a native plant to arid and semi-arid areas, it will thrive well in most desert reptiles terrariums.
Hibiscus (rose mallow, hardy hibiscus, tropical hibiscus or rose of Sharon) will serve well as a terrarium plant.
Besides being ornamental plants, they are safe and one of the staple plants that these pets love. Furthermore, they look great, are hardy (can survive high temperature and low humidity), and require well-drained soil with moisture.
4. Living stones, pebble plants or lithops
These stone-like succulent plants are hardy and require little water. They will perfectly decorate your bearded dragon tank or enclosures for any other for exotic desert reptiles.
5. Echeveria succulents
Echeveria succulents are native to semi-arid and arid areas with over 150 different species. They are one of the most popular succulents ornamental pot plant with many cultivars available in varying colors.
Echeveria has succulent, compact rosettes and brightly colored leaves, and it is safe to beardies, can withstand terrarium temperature, low humidity habitat.
6. Elephant bush or dwarf jade plant
Elephant bush (dwarf jade or porkbush), scientifically known as Portulacaria afra, is an excellent choice of a hardy vivarium plant for your beardies. Ensure you do not confuse it with the mildly toxic Crassula ovata, also known as the jade plant.
Native to rocky, dry areas of eastern South Africa, elephant bush has small succulent leaves and vine tree-like appearance that will make your tank look great. If in a well-lit place, it grows fast in all directions. It easily propagates, can creep on other terrarium furniture, creating a breathtaking dense terrarium.
Furthermore, it is sturdy, has a high moisture content, and is harmless to these lizards, desert iguanas, uromastyx, and other desert exotic pets.
Since it grows very fast, you may need to trim it frequently. Otherwise, it may overwhelm things inside your terrariums.
7. Aloe vera
Aloe is a hardy, 100% safe plant to grow in your beardie enclosures. However, due to its high fiber and moisture level, it may result in the loose stool if this pet ingests too much of it.
This plant is native to arid places and will be an excellent addition to your vivarium, especially if you pick species with small leaves.
8. Tillandsia Ionantha or blushing bride
Tillandsia ionantha is a small to sized plants that require very little water to grow and can adhere to rocks. These plants have striking colors that will make your reptile tank look fantastic and is they are safe for these pets.
It needs some little misting to thrive and is hardy enough to withstand your bearded dragon’s habitat humidity and temperature.
9. Callisia Repens
Also known as turtle vines, these are low maintenance, easy to grow plants that will grow up to 4 inches tall. Their dark green, rich purple soft evergreen leaves will add appeal to your tank.
10. Carex buchananii
Carex buchananii or red rooster ornamental grass will add a desert-like appeal to your vivarium. These grasses are safe, can withstand terrarium conditions, don’t require much to thrive.
11. Herbs like oregano, basil, rosemary, and mint
Edible and safe herbs such as basil, oregano, parsley, rosemary, and mint make excellent live plants to grow inside your bearded dragon’s cage.
- Oregano (Origanum vulgare) – You can consider it since it thrives in drier warmer climates. While it is 100% safe, most bearded dragons will not eat it much.
- Parsley (Petroselinum crispum) – While it thrives best in moist soil, this plant is a drought-tolerant and very adaptable and will still grow in a well-lit vivarium.
- Basil (Ocimum basilicum) – Thrives well in warm places with drier topsoil and while the bottom soil should be moderately moist.
- Rosemary – This is another hardy herb that you can include in your vivarium.
12. Avoid junipers
Junipers are a group of over 60 aromatic evergreen shrub and tree plants in the genus Juniperus. They grow slowly, require very little water, are safe to these pets, among other attributes. While common junipers are harmless, some species have poisonous or very bitter berries. Therefore, avoid planting them (1)(2).
13. Avoid clover
They are safe and edible. However, they need proper watering, making them not ideal as they may rise terrarium humidity.
Artificial or fake terrarium plants
These are mainly plastic plants that made to look like real plants closely. They are a great way to have a beautiful looking tank without having to deal with the troubles of live plants.
They will your terrarium look so good just as in the case of live plants as well as create a secluded and sheltered place. Also, they don’t require maintenance, cannot be eaten, are easy to clean, and will not affect humidity, among other benefits.
What to look in false plants
- They shouldn’t be easy to pull apart or damage them.
- They should be easy to clean
- They must be stable
- Must not have many small joints. Such can break, and your beardie may eat them.
- You cannot place them near your heat source as they stand a chance of being damaged.
- They are not as appealing as live ones
- Your pet cannot snack on them. While they may lick them, remove them if your pet tries hard to eat them.
Which are some of the best artificial plants for your bearded dragon vivarium?
1. Exo Terra Plastic Terrarium Plants
Exo Terra has stunningly smart, rainforest, desert, and aquatic plants, as well as vines. You have a large inventory to choose from, and you can use them together with live plants.
These replicas of real plants are sturdy, will create a hiding place, are easy to clean, and you can blend them with live plants. The ground ones have a stable base to prevent them from being knocked down by your reptile.
For bearded dragons, an ideal choice will be buying desert plants. Some of the faux desert plants Exo Terra has include barrel, star, saguaro, finger, and jade cactus.
Alternatively, both the rainforest ground and hanging plants for desert plants including the Amapallo, croton, Ficus, Green, Mandarin, and multi.
2. Fluker’s Repta Vine – Pathos, English Ivy, Red, and Purple Coleus
The Fluker’s vines have true-to-life Pathos, English Ivy, Red Coleus, and Purple Coleus styled hanging vines are an excellent way to create a naturalistic vivarium. These polyethylene vines are easy to clean or disinfect and are nontoxic.
Furthermore, they come with two suction cups for attaching them to your glass, plastic, or acrylic terrarium types and measure 6 meters long.
We loved them so much as they are easy to clean, affordable, and very sturdy. Try Fluker’s Repta Vine if you want a life-like terrarium. Below are the Pathos style Repta Vine below.
3. Supla Pack of 14 Assorted Artificial Succulent
This pack has 14 great looking artificial succulents that will create very appealing vivaria. They come in various colors, including green, flocked green, frost green, green burgundy, dusty green, green purple, two-tone green, grey-green, and green-brown.
Furthermore, these plastic faux succulents have a flocking coating to give them the most natural look.
Finally, don’t worry about their size since they will perfectly fit in your enclosure or tank since they are is 3.5″ -13.2″ tall while their diameter ranges from 1.6- 6.7 inches.
4. Zoo Med Plants
Zoo Med has life-like naturalistic or natural bush plants with many kids to choose from depending on what looks you want to create.
The naturalistic flora includes Staghorn fern, Tillandsia air plant, sword fern, lace fern, chestnut bromeliad, and fireball bromeliad. Furthermore, they are water-resistant, will encourage natural drinking response, provide shelter, privacy, and beautify your vivaria.
On the other hand, the natural bush plants include Mexican phyllo, Amazonian phyllo, Congo Ivy, Australian maple, Malaysian fern, cannabis, Bolivian croton, Borneo star, Cashuarina, and Madagascar bamboo. They will provide good jungle-like hiding and resting place while giving your terrarium an impressive appeal.
5. Others plastic terrarium plants
- Kdelicate Artificial Succulent Decorative Faux Succulent with White Ceramic Pots
- Augshy 16 Pack Artificial Succulent Flocking Plants Unpotted Mini Fake Succulents
- Lesioned 14 Pcs Faux Succulent Assorted -Fake Succulent Plants, Unpotted