Live Terrarium Plants

Live terrarium plants are attractive additions to any reptile tank. They improve the aesthetics of the enclosure, enhancing its naturalistic appearance, and help in handling waste by caring for your pet’s nitrogen waste. For some species of tree reptiles, they can provide shelter and comfort. But you need to choose plants that are completely safe and non-toxic.

Which plans are safe for reptiles?

Non-toxic nursery plants include spider plants, jade plant, pothos, bromeliads, bamboo, cactus, orchids, reptile plants, dwarf Schefflera, peperomia, African violets, and horsetail plants. Plants like daffodils, fool, voodoo lily, English ivy, locusts, common sages, peace lilies, wandering Jews, tulips, and Virginia creeper are harmful to reptiles or can be invasive within an enclosure.
There are many considerations when choosing live plants for your reptile’s terrarium. You will have to select plants based on heating, lighting, temperature, and breeding requirements. For example, plants for desert environments will not thrive in tropical habitats.

Live plants make a more attractive display in the terrarium of your reptile. However, no plant can be placed in a terrarium without investigating its toxicity to reptiles, its invasiveness indoors, and its requirements for water, heat, and light.

Live Plants for High Humidity Enclosures

These reptile safe plants are highly compatible with corn reptiles, ball pythons, boa constrictor, some varieties of king reptiles, and Burmese pythons.

They grow in temperatures 29 to 30 degrees Celsius and can tolerate temperature drops of 18 to 19 degrees Celsius at night.

Examples of live plants Good for tropical environments include:
Live terrarium plants

  • Bromeliads (spineless), such as Bromeliads of the Coast
  • Corn
  • Earth Stars
  • Chinese Evergreen
  • Dwarf Schefflera
  • Gesneriads
  • Peacock Plant
  • Orchids
  • Peperomia
  • Pothos
  • Horsetail palms
  • Virginia Creeper
  • Vine rosebush
  • Sanseveria trifasciata

Previous plants will require at least 2 to 4 spans of plants throughout the terrarium, depending on the width of the cage. You can use UVB lights if your pet needs it, otherwise the plant lights work fine.

If you are using a combination of the two, be sure to install the UVB light properly to make sure your reptile is getting enough exposure.

Live Plants in Low Humidity Enclosures

The following plants are suitable for enclosures with reptiles that do not have high humidity requirements or that they like to make their environment relatively dry.

reptiles that will be compatible with these plants include mole reptiles, Texas rat reptiles, California king reptiles, and Kenyan sand boas.


They are plants with stems that store water. Therefore, they have low humidity and water requirements, making them excellent options for terrariums that are meant to be kept dry.

  • Dwarf Aloe
  • Aloe Vera Lace
  • Aloe for climbing
  • Bromeliads (avoid types with thorns)
  • Elephants
  • Vines of Ceropegy
  • Cow or extra tongue bow tie
  • Geraniums
  • Grapes
  • Haworthias
  • Cactus without thorns
  • Horsetail palms
  • Gasterhaworthia

Suitable Reptile plants

These are excellent air purifying plants with low water and humidity requirements. The species Sanseviera trifecta, or Mother’s tongue, is a popular choice among reptile owners.

reptiles rot easily, for what is important to water them only when the soil is dry. Although they can tolerate full sun and low light, they prefer indirect sunlight, making them the perfect choice for your reptile’s terrarium.

Some species of reptile plants suitable for reptile enclosures include:

  • Aaethiopica
  • kirkii pulchra
  • Parva
  • Caniculata
  • Sinularis
  • Tirsiflora
  • Pinguicula
  • Trifasciata


Tillandsia consists of 650 species of perennial flowering plants in the Bromeliaceae family.

Commonly known as air plants, Tillandsia has silver leaves that adhere to bark, bare rocks, tree branches, and anything else depending on the conditions that allow it. Some Tillandsia species grow in desert soils and have a minimal root system.

Tillandsia species that can be grown as epiphytes or planted in the soil include:

  • Cianea
  • Bbrachycaulos
  • Anceps
  • Lineniana

Others are strictly aerial plants that have a thick cover of gray scales. They have no roots and can thrive on rough bark or tree trunks, branch junctions, and even man-made decorations kept in the reptile’s enclosure.

The Drunken Gnome Tillandsia Air Plant Variety Pack can help create an impressive and colorful display in your reptile’s enclosure, without having to place them on any soil or plant matter.

The following air plants require bright light and periodic soaking in water:

  • Ionantha
  • Bulbosa
  • Usneoides

How caring for air plants

Air plants require a slightly different care program compared to other houseplants. After purchasing your air plants, be sure to water them by soaking them for 20 to 30 minutes.

Note the color and size of the plant after soaking it, as it is a good indicator of what a plant looks like healthy and prosperous air. Allow your air plant to dry before placing it in your reptile’s nursery.

Regular care of air plants is relatively easy. Spray your air plant with 2 to 3 sprays of water every 4 to 5 days. In a closed room, the plant must retain water for a longer time. The higher the airflow and the lower the humidity inside the cage, the greater the need to water the plant.

However, be sure not to water the plants with air either, since doing so can kill them. If your plant looks limp or insane, soaking it in water for 30 minutes can help liven it up.

Lastly, you should also avoid leaving air plants in direct sunlight. Air plants enjoy indirect sunlight, so try placing them on tree trunks or artificial nursery decorations within your reptile’s enclosure.

Benefits of having live terrarium plants for reptiles

Live plants are attractive and useful additions to any reptile terrarium for several reasons. & nbsp; Most fans believe that plants aim to create attractive landscapes for both the owner and the reptile. However, they have more to offer than an attractive appearance.

Although they require a little more care than artificial plants, the fact that they are alive makes a big difference in the lifestyle and well-being of your reptile.

The following are some of the significant benefits of keeping plants alive in your terrarium.

A source of refuge

Plants and trees play an essential role in nature because they provide shelter, hiding place, and food for many animals.

Whether your reptile is terrestrial, arboreal (arboreal), or a fossil (underground), providing structural elements such as dwarf trees and plants Inside a nursery is a great way to mimic a reptile’s natural habitat.

Most reptiles in the pet trade live on or inside plants and trees when they are in the wild. reptiles, like corn reptiles, are known to inhabit tree bark or hollow trunks.

According to the magazine, Ecological Society of America, the tree reptiles ( like pythons, boa constrictors, and California king reptiles) use trees, vines, trunks, and shrubs in their daily lives and have particular adaptations that help camouflage their bodies in these natural elements in nature.

While You can supply your reptile with artificial structures and leathers, there are many qualities of live plants and real bark and trunk that can contribute to improving the mental health of reptiles.

Real plants, with their different smells, textures, tastes, and colors, can help reptiles feel safe and comfortable.

Waste management

In certain types of terrariums, such as temperate or tropical forests, it is not easy to find or dispose of waste. Keeping plants alive in the tank plays a vital role in creating a healthy environment for your reptile, as it helps control nitrogen build-up in reptile droppings.

Sometimes, keeping plants And compatible reptiles together can help clean your reptile’s terrarium for long periods, even years, without breaking the enclosure for a complete change of water or substrate.

The reptile’s feces are broken down by bacteria to form ammonia, which is then converted to nitrite and eventually nitrate. When there is excess, ammonia and nitrites can be toxic.

However, it is mainly nitrate that accumulates in the reptile substrate and the water, resulting in contamination of the nursery. Contamination within the reptile’s enclosure can cause illness and even death unless the water and substrate are cleaned or replaced regularly.

However, to clean your reptile’s environment, you will need to break the nursery, which not only leads to the loss of a well-built and established habitat but also disturbs your pet.

Also, decomposing a nursery can be costly as it will have to buy new materials. On the other hand, a well-planned nursery with lots of plant life can save you the hassle and expense, and lead to a happier reptile in the long run as well.

According to a study published in the Journal of Experimental Botany, plants are an integral part of the nitrogen cycle, since they are the end-users of nitrogen compounds. They need relatively large amounts of nitrogen compounds to grow and survive.

Nitrogen, nitrate, urea, and ammonia are used by a wide variety of plants. Another study in the journal, Environmental Health, and Toxicology indicates that houseplants can even remove environmental pollutants such as benzene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, chloroform, and xylene. reptile plants are popular for air purification.

Fresh air

During photosynthesis, plants remove carbon dioxide from the air and naturally release oxygen and moisture. This allows plants to maintain the air quality in a small space, such as a small room or terrarium.

The use of plants for air quality is vital for temperate or tropical environments, You will need to minimize airflow from the outside to maintain optimal humidity levels. In this situation, a live plant will help control the composition of the air by using the carbon dioxide produced by your pet and replacing it with oxygen.

Proper gardening of your terrarium with plants also helps to increase the humidity inside of the tank, as well as its freshness. The air around your herpes smells and feels cooler, which is extremely important if you have a live animal inside an enclosed space.

Good indicators of environmental problems

When you add plants that are compatible with your reptile, both of which will need the same type of habitat and environmental set up to maintain them. In general, most plants and reptiles need the same requirements for humidity, light, temperature, air, humidity, and substrate composition.

Therefore, the condition of your plants is an excellent way to determine the overall well-being of your terrarium – including how it might be affecting your pet reptile.

If there is a problem with the reptile’s environment, such as imbalances in humidity, light, or heat levels, most You are likely to see the first signs of it in your plants before the reptile.

Signs of stress and disease attract the attention of a reptile’s rivals and predators because the latter predicts that the reptile is vulnerable. Therefore, reptiles naturally adapt to hide signs of illness and stress.

This can be a problem for reptile owners because you don’t know that your reptile is not okay until the problem is over. It progresses and shows visible signs, such as weight loss, skin sores, or fecal abnormalities.

However, live plants are excellent indicators of environmental issues because they quickly show any impact from the environment.

A stressed plant will look limp, stunted, and insane. If you notice any changes to the plants despite proper care, check the humidity, light, and temperature of your reptile’s enclosure.

On the other hand, you know that your plants are healthy when they are Firm or upright, they have good color and appear healthy and dynamic. Your plants should also produce new leaves and show consistent overall growth.

How to Select live terrarium plants

Most plants in stores have been treated with a wide variety of fertilizers, pesticides, and fungicides. Residues from these chemicals can harm your pet, even though the plant itself is not toxic to your pet.

Therefore, it is helpful to purchase plants only from reputable sources, such as Local nurseries and organic farms that grow their stocks and are willing to discuss the chemical treatments used while growing the plants.

You should also check the soil that comes with the nursery plant. Watch out for the pearlite. These are small white styrofoam-like granules that are added to many potting soils to improve the moisture-wicking properties of the soil.

Perlite can cause damage to reptiles if ingested in quantities significantly. To remove the perlite, you can replace the potting soil with garden soil or soil that does not come with any additives.

While feeding your reptile, be sure to control its appetite, weight, water consumption, and feces. Watch for unusual signs such as rubbing your face or mouth, saliva, changes in breathing patterns, and weight loss. If you notice anything unusual, tell your vet.

Care of live terrarium plants

Most types of nursery plants require little or no maintenance after they have been planted indoors. of a reptile terrarium. However, it is vital to note that each plant species has its own needs for temperature, light, water, and humidity.

In general, most plants require some form of good lighting, either from a light bulb or indirect sunlight. Also, for the maintenance of most plants in a bioactive environment, an adequate mixture of the substrate is needed, as well as some occasional pruning.

Adding other decorative elements

Add some decorative elements to your reptile’s habitat can do wonders for the appearance of your enclosure. To create an ideal territory for your reptile that is safe and comfortable, you need to add small sections of bark, twigs, terracotta pots, and some leathers, along with living plants.

Alternatively, you can also add commercially sold tree trunks and snakeskins for your pet’s display.

Some reptiles enjoy climbing, so be sure to include tall live plants. Also, you may set some ladders, hammocks, or ramps, based on your preferences and settings.

Any item added to a reptile enclosure must be very safe. For example, while placing climbing items, be sure to anchor the object to the bottom of the cage to prevent the reptile from falling or injuring itself. Also, all the bark and branches must be attached to the walls of the enclosure to prevent breakage.