Hibiscus for Panther Chameleon?

AZJ0SH

New Member
I am getting a panther cham here in the next few months, and I was wondering if a hibiscus is a good choice over ficus or umbrella plant?

Also, do I need a grow light to keep it healthy indoors?

And lastly, I am using organic soil and bought the plant from a nursery with no fertalizer used, I should be safe right?
 

ferretinmyshoes

Veterinarian
Staff member
Welcome to the forums! Hibiscus are really hard to keep alive indoors, even with a grow light over them. Anyone who has success with them usually has several plants and keeps only one indoors and then switches them out regularly so they stay alive. I would recommend an umbrella plant (scheffelera arboricola) over a hibiscus or ficus. Ficus are kind of finicky and don't do as well indoors as umbrella plants, which have good leaves for catching water droplets and are sturdy enough to support heavy chams. Just don't overwater the umbrella plant!

Using organic soil is definitely good. If you see your cham trying to eat the soil, which they often do, be prepared to cover it with rocks larger than your cham's head or window screen so they don't get impacted.
 

AZJ0SH

New Member
Welcome to the forums! Hibiscus are really hard to keep alive indoors, even with a grow light over them. Anyone who has success with them usually has several plants and keeps only one indoors and then switches them out regularly so they stay alive. I would recommend an umbrella plant (scheffelera arboricola) over a hibiscus or ficus. Ficus are kind of finicky and don't do as well indoors as umbrella plants, which have good leaves for catching water droplets and are sturdy enough to support heavy chams. Just don't overwater the umbrella plant!

Using organic soil is definitely good. If you see your cham trying to eat the soil, which they often do, be prepared to cover it with rocks larger than your cham's head or window screen so they don't get impacted.
I have a set of black river rocks to cover the top of the soil to prevent ingestion. I have been lurking the forums for months just finally posting now.

I am going to look for a umbrella plant and just keep the hibisucs on my patio.
 
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