I'm looking for low light plant suggestions

JacksJill

Website Manager
Staff member
I'm having trouble with the plants in the lowest third of my cage. Upper plants are doing well but down low is very sad. One loss after another.
I use a 50 watt plant light as a basking bulb and I have a new LED plant strip on the top. Mine don't really eat plants just a taste once in a great while.

Any suggestions?
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Tkrd69

Chameleon Enthusiast
I'm letting my pathos grow down and now it's starting to go back up. I tried wandering jew but couldn't get it to live in the encloser :(
 

JacksJill

Website Manager
Staff member
I know it sounds terrible. But it's an area that the schefflera plants block so I have to trim them back regularly. Unlike my other cages it gets almost no indirect sunlight. I'm hoping the new LED will help. I just need a bit of fill in. It doesn't need to do much more than be decorative and offer some hiding potential. My guys don't weigh much or even visit the bottom more than an occasional patrol and to poop. My upper spider plant is doing fine. I'm not usually a plant killer but this section of this cage has issues. Drowning may be an issue on one side and drying out the issue on the other side. How does polka dot plant do?
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
I can’ think of anything hardier than pothos. You’ll probably have to get something that prefers full shade. Since you don’t have plant eaters, maybe a realistic looking fake?
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
I know it sounds terrible. But it's an area that the schefflera plants block so I have to trim them back regularly. Unlike my other cages it gets almost no indirect sunlight. I'm hoping the new LED will help. I just need a bit of fill in. It doesn't need to do much more than be decorative and offer some hiding potential. My guys don't weigh much or even visit the bottom more than an occasional patrol and to poop. My upper spider plant is doing fine. I'm not usually a plant killer but this section of this cage has issues. Drowning may be an issue on one side and drying out the issue on the other side. How does polka dot plant do?

The nerve plants might be what you’re looking for. Very low light, moist substrate. Chinese evergreens and stag horn ferns too maybe?
 

Sonny13

Chameleon Enthusiast
How does polka dot plant do?
Mine died, then started over again and died once again. Can´t give it enough light and moist, at the position where its´s planted. Already tried planting the pothos in the soil of the enclosure? Took mine around 2 months to acclimatize and then it started growing and goes from the bottom till the top from all direction. The closer it comes to the lights the bigger the leaves are getting. Downside is they steal the light from the other plants on the bottom. Those aren´t dying, but yet the don´t grow. Also had some troubles with too moist soil and solved this with an aquarium cooling fan, that blows from 07:00 till 10:00am above the soil. This works so great that since I´m using this, there´s no water in the drainage bucket any more, normally needed to empty it once a week.
In the setups with a Schefflera, the problem is always the foliage gets so dense light doesn´t come to bottom any more. Yet the rattlesnake plant (Goeppertia Insignis) and Kentia Palm (Howea Forsteriana) keep staying alive for more then 1.5 year. I´m using the Arcadia Jungle Led bars, not considered the best and brightest.

pothos power.jpg
 

JacksJill

Website Manager
Staff member
I have pothos in the enclosure but for some reason all the lower leaves fell off. Possibly competition with the schefflera or a watering issue, thatv is also schefflera related. I can get it to come back but it will take time. I'm into trying some new plants. I think I will try rattle snake and nerve plants. I will let you know if they make it.

Thanks for all the suggestions.
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
I have pothos in the enclosure but for some reason all the lower leaves fell off. Possibly competition with the schefflera or a watering issue, thatv is also schefflera related. I can get it to come back but it will take time. I'm into trying some new plants. I think I will try rattle snake and nerve plants. I will let you know if they make it.

Thanks for all the suggestions.

I don’t believe rattlesnakes and chameleons are compatible, but I haven’t tested this so I can’t say for sure.
 

Connorology

Established Member
I was obsessed with this question back in 2019-2020 and I screened dozens of common and uncommon house plant species to find which would grow best as understory plants. I even spent quite a bit of time at a botanical conservatory examining growth patterns to try and figure out what would grow the best in chameleon enclosures.

The takeaway of all that: For low light understory plants I think that Pilea or Peperomia species are probably what you are looking for. I think most species would probably be comparable, but my favorites: 1) the aluminum plant (Pilea cadierei) does pretty well in low light - I have it growing under my Schefflera, thought it does get a little leggy. I just cut off the tops when it gets too leggy and replant the cuttings next to the stalks. 2) I also have a lot of Peperomia turboensis in my enclosures and it does well in low light as well.

I have also had luck with Pellionia repens, though it is a vine and ultimately wants to climb up to higher light locations.
 
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