Chameleon Run

Tygerr

Avid Member
I'm not sure what your particular climate is like, but I'd think that generally in California Hibiscus and citrus trees would grow quite well.
Hibiscus in particular are great for chams, and when left to grow in good conditions they become really huge, bushy trees - great for chams to roam around in.

I like using Camellias in my outdoor enclosure, but they do like a cooler winter to flower - not sure how well they do in California.

The other tree I've used with great success is Bougainvillea. Loves warm temperatures and can grow in almost any soil (really seems to love poor quality soils). The nice thing about most Bougainvillea species too, is that you can get them to 'creep', so they can serve as a good substitute to the vine plants (like Pothos) that you would commonly use in indoor enclosures. The only caution is that in winter they can drop their leaves in cold weather.
 

Heika

New Member
The other tree I've used with great success is Bougainvillea. Loves warm temperatures and can grow in almost any soil (really seems to love poor quality soils). The nice thing about most Bougainvillea species too, is that you can get them to 'creep', so they can serve as a good substitute to the vine plants (like Pothos) that you would commonly use in indoor enclosures. The only caution is that in winter they can drop their leaves in cold weather.
Have you tried bougainvillea in an indoor cage? I keep considering it, but am not sure how well it will do with lower light levels.
 

Tygerr

Avid Member
Have you tried bougainvillea in an indoor cage? I keep considering it, but am not sure how well it will do with lower light levels.
I've had mixed results.

I currently have a variegated-leaf one (not sure of the sub-species name) that seems to be thriving in my indoor cage. I pruned it back quite a bit when I put it in and it took a while to get used to the light, before sending out a lot of new growth. It's been doing well there for about 7 months now.
Somebody told me to put some Epsom salts into the soil. I did, and the plant has been growing well. Not sure if the salts had anything to do with that though, but it's worth a try.

I had another one with non-variegated green leaves that didn't do well at all though. But I think that may have been due to over-watering/soil drainage problems. The plant didn't survive outdoors after that either.

I've just put a new non-variegated one into a large cage. After a week, it has dropped a few leaves, but there is some new growth pushing out already. I'll have to see how it goes...

Forgot to add: all of the Bougainvilleas I have been using are young specimens, that aren't used as my main tree/s in the cage. So I have them positioned in a pot that is situated high in the cage using hooks, which accounts for why they are able to get more light and grow well. I've been trying to get them to grow laterally rather than vertically so that the can provide aerial coverage in the cage. For that reason I chose plants that had disproportionately long lateral branches, and then pruned off the tops quite heavily. In Bonsai, Bougainvillea have always lent themselves well to those cascading styles where the tree grows laterally and down - this is essentially what I'm going for.
(Outdoors the tend to grow up, and then spread out sideways at the top where they can find support - lots of people use them to grow over patio awnings, etc.)
 
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Thanks you guys...this should be a fun project with very nice rewards for my little guys. I will try out those suggested plants.

Thanks once again,
Jake
 
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