Live plants for first time keeper


New Member
I'm working on setting up my enclosure and I've read a lot about having live plants and branches. I've heard LOTS of different things about LOTS of different plants. My question is, this being my first chameleon, which plants are the most universally used and easily kept-up. And as far as branches, how do I go about picking the right ones? I just really want to get my enclosure right and I'm trying to research everything I can. Sorry if this is repetitive or redundant.


New Member
The three most commonly used plants are Ficus, Pothos and then Umbrella tree. Pothos seem to be the easiest to take care of but it is not a tree so therefore it has to hang from the top of your enclosure but produces tons of runners for Chameleons to climb on. Most people trim their own branches the size is really dependent on what size your chameleon is. He needs to be able to wrap his feet around it and it needs to not be really slick like bamboo is, you can use some bamboo just not all the branches. Some people bake there branches first, some soak in bleach, some soak in salt water, some debark and some do nothing at all, just do some searches on the site and you will find a ton of information on it.


Avid Member
EASIEST branches
-Reptile vines/sticks


Most come with suction cups and most big pet stores carry them in reptile sections. If you have a screen cage, use fishing line to tie them to the screen (no, it does not hurt the screen).

other branches
-Collect from outside (then wash with salty water/set oven to 350-500 f and then turn off oven, stick the sticks in for around 10 minutes)

-Buy manzanita branches (found at home goods stores, craft stores, ebay, etc)

-Buy grapewood branches (thicker than manzanita)

Most sticks you will need to drill holes into to get them to stick sideways in the cage then tie to screen with fishing line.

EASIEST plants
-Pothos (does very well with the humidity in the cage and watering, as well as UVB already in cage. provides lots of vines. safe for chams to eat if they want)

-Ficus benjamina (provides lots of leaf cover, vertical branches, safe for chams to eat. easy to take care of but will drop most leaves when they are moved to a new environment, don't worry the leaves grow back easily with the water and uvb)

-Schefflera/Umbrella plant (looots of plant cover and the branches are pretty sturdy, edible for cham, etc)

-Baby tears (good to plant in fake walls- see this thread

other plants
Safe list:


New Member
Ficus is good for hanging out while you clean the enclosure. My little girl loves her tree... I have a couple hibiscus I switch in and out bout once a week, but they are still a royal pain to take care of... I can also recommend checking the bird section of any pet store, as I have found some pretty cool stuff there for climbing...


New Member
im still new to chams but i have a few hibiscus and i do have to rotate them because my chams decimate them faster than they can grow lol.. ive had really good luck so far with camellia japonica so far though.. really branchy and sturdy, thick leaves..i also just got a "corn plant" for my new big cage its a dracanea(spelling) but it looks kinda like a cross between a palm and banana tree, it hold water on the leaves for a really long time and im trying out some grape vines.. they seem to like them as well so they might not last too long without getting eaten lol

the camellia before pruning it a bit.. 95% of the plants you see is the camellia.. the small grape vine is on the bottom left and a small jade is bottom right

-Schefflera/Umbrella plant is by far the easiest plant I've ever had! I water mine every 3-4 days and almost everyday I see new shoots growing!! It's very sturdy for the cham!

I also have a hibiscus plant - this is a little more difficult because it needs ALOT of light, but its been doing beautifully !!

Those are the only ones I've tried, I am looking for babytears but am having an extremely difficult time finding them around - I live in NJ

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