Monstera deliciosa, breadfruit plant, safe or not?

Kathy S

Member
So, I am more or less building a room for my Waldo, a 1 1/2 yr old Oustalet's. the best "tree" we have researched is Monstera deliciosa (breadfruit) climbing on grapevines around a room with skylights and 14 foot ceilings. The fruit of this plant is edible, but cited as toxic on some lizard sites. Waldo has never shown any interest in eating plants of any kind, although the literature suggests that they eat berries in the wild. (My little veiled cham has almost eaten her Thai plant to death.) What is anybody's experience with this plant and Oustalet's?
 

snitz427

Chameleon Enthusiast
Nice. Cant comment on toxicity, but I’d like to add a split leaf philodendron myself. Its the dwarf look a like for monstera. The monsteras are huge!
 

snitz427

Chameleon Enthusiast
Pothos gets the same results. I think generally people know pothos and philodendron have the calcium oxate crystals so if youre cham is a plant eater beware... but they’re only toxic in large quantities
 

Kathy S

Member
I have started a nice crop of pothos, but my boy Waldo is already breaking off the branches on six foot high ficus. I'm not sure it can stand up to his foot traffic. He is presently a foot long nose to vent and still growing. To Kaizen, thanks for that site on Monstera. I had not found any others so specific. I sure don't want him getting skin irritation whereever he has to walk. How do animals survive in the jungles? Maybe he doesn't need so much foliage. He's not a hider. He's more a hider in plain sight, looking like the branch he is sitting on. Hence his name: (where's) Waldo.

Thanks to all who anwered. Anybody have a source for full grown ficus like you see in malls and public buildings? Most of those companies are only rental and swap out. I have contacted several about scratch and dent rejects. No luck. I have been watching estate sales for several years and zip, or they are full of mealy bugs. Not taking those to my tropical paradise.
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
I got my large ficus asking a nursery to get them in for me. Lowes/home depot get them in around here every summer too.
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
I'm not an oustalet's expert, but I don't think they are from heavily planted areas. The jungle chameleons tend to be montanes.

I wouldn't worry unless your cham eats a lot of leaves.
 

Kathy S

Member
You are right James. They are not from heavily planted areas, but his owner likes the jungle look. He seems to like the "slash and burn remnants" look. He does like to get up high, however, and if I wrestle those grapevines around the top third of my 14 foot ceilings, I'd sure like to have something growing on them, and pretty quickly. The light is filtered through skylights that take out 80% of the heat. Not Low-E. So the best light will be artificially supplied with one halogen UVB/UVA light and broad spectrum supplements (probably LED).

I am going to take your suggestion, James, of asking a nursery for a sufficiently large ficus. They tell me they don't get the big ones in until May.
 

Kathy S

Member
I have been researching and have found
Betel vine, edible and medicinal and probably safe. Fast growing and will cling to my brick walls, and maybe everything. Leaves are a little larger than pothos and more durable, I think. Fast growing so if Waldo trmps it to death, it will recover. Any feedback on this one?
 

WashingtonCham

Established Member
I have been researching and have found
Betel vine, edible and medicinal and probably safe. Fast growing and will cling to my brick walls, and maybe everything. Leaves are a little larger than pothos and more durable, I think. Fast growing so if Waldo trmps it to death, it will recover. Any feedback on this one?
So I’ve been doing some research the last few days and talking with bill strand from the chameleon breeder podcast. I don’t want to put words in his mouth but what I took away was that lots of people seem to think that we may be overcautious with plants we use, and their really isn’t very many confirmed cases of plant poisonings with chameleons. People say they are sick from plants but I don’t think theirs ever been a confirmed study on plants that are actually harmful to them. So the advice I’ve been given was do what you feel comfortable with obviously steer clear of spiky plants or sticky plants but if the leaves are big and thick your chameleon will probably love it. Now like I say don’t take this advice as the end all be all There will Be others who tell you the exact opposite, as is the case with most things in the chameleon community. this is just what I’ve gathered from the small amount of research and talking with other Cham lovers.
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
So I’ve been doing some research the last few days and talking with bill strand from the chameleon breeder podcast. I don’t want to put words in his mouth but what I took away was that lots of people seem to think that we may be overcautious with plants we use, and their really isn’t very many confirmed cases of plant poisonings with chameleons. People say they are sick from plants but I don’t think theirs ever been a confirmed study on plants that are actually harmful to them. So the advice I’ve been given was do what you feel comfortable with obviously steer clear of spiky plants or sticky plants but if the leaves are big and thick your chameleon will probably love it. Now like I say don’t take this advice as the end all be all There will Be others who tell you the exact opposite, as is the case with most things in the chameleon community. this is just what I’ve gathered from the small amount of research and talking with other Cham lovers.
I agree with this. Just to play devils advocate a little... there's not much info about the effects of plant toxins on chameleons. We wouldn't know if prolonged consumption of oxalates, like those in pothos, were the reason for a health problem showing up. We'd just assume the husbandry was off somewhere. It's only a major concern for plant eaters like veiled though.
 
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