Ficus Carica

Kamran_k

Member
So I am in some desperate need for new branches for my Cham's enclosure and I have 3 fig trees in the back so I thought hey why not save some money and just get some branches from there and I was wondering if this particular species of Ficus is safe I have a weeping fig in his enclosure already but I need some more horizontal basking places. I read that some species of Ficus are irritating to Cham's eyes and skin. also when taking a branch from the wild what do you recommend to disinfect the branch
 

cham_urchin

Established Member
So I am in some desperate need for new branches for my Cham's enclosure and I have 3 fig trees in the back so I thought hey why not save some money and just get some branches from there and I was wondering if this particular species of Ficus is safe I have a weeping fig in his enclosure already but I need some more horizontal basking places. I read that some species of Ficus are irritating to Cham's eyes and skin. also when taking a branch from the wild what do you recommend to disinfect the branch
have you seen this? https://flchams.com/chameleon-safe-plant-list/
 

cham_urchin

Established Member
There's no real way to disinfect a branch from a living tree. You can wash it, scrub it with dish soap or Fluker's, even dip it in a diluted bleach bath (and rinse the heck out of it after) or boil it for 10-15 minutes. Ultimately, it might be safer to get some branches from the floral section of the craft store that are the right diameter for your cham's grip, are smooth and easy to wipe down during cage cleaning. That said, I do have a natural branch from outside in my set up...I initially scrubbed it with Fluker's scrub, and repeat that each week.
 
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Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
You are looking for the branches to not produce Sap... So best way to tell is to chop one off and let it dry out a few days in the sun. If it does not produce sap then you should be good to go. I did this which a bunch of different branches from my yard. NO clue what they were but no sap and I have had no issues. I did wash mine down with dawn and water though just to get any gross stuff off or any little bugs. Gave them a good rinse and let them dry out.
 

GoodKarma19

Chameleon Enthusiast
Honestly, you're best off with old dead fall as opposed to fresh branches. According to the foraging directions I was given, fresh cut branches should be dried in the sun for up to a month! It's probably not a big issue overall, but I'd let it dry out for at least a few days.

Imho, people tend to overclean things. I take my dead branches, soak them for 10-30 minutes in plain warm-hot water to drown or otherwise flush out any unwanted hitchhikers, rinse and remove any debris, set it outside in the sun for a day to dry out, and then pop it in my enclosures. If I'm feeling fancy, a bit of mild dish detergent and a more thorough scrub is really all the length I go to. I'm extremely wary of bleach, and try to avoid using it on porous surfaces. If I do use it on a porous surface, I leave it put in the sun for a minimum of 24 hours, up to a week to ensure that it's completely dry.
 
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