Plant question

janjan20

Chameleon Enthusiast
I am looking to buy a live plant for my chameleons cage. What are some suggestions of ones that benefit them most
Pothos is always a good plant. I have an umbrella tree and hibiscus I use but it’s outside. I believe many of the keepers have ficus trees. Veileds eat plants and dirt so make sure you cover the top with mesh or large river rocks. And when you repot put some rocks or gravel on the bottom to keep the roots from rotting. They will get plenty of water from misting. When I first set my cage up I searched enclosures to see how others have their cages set up.
 

cyberlocc

Chameleon Enthusiast
I like Draecenas, Draecena Marginata is a good one (Madgascar Dragon Tree).

They were one of the best air cleaning plants in the NASA clean air study and are very good at humidifying the air around them.

Draecena Fragrans, is also a good Draecena (Corn Stalk Plant) they have broad leaves for good hiding places.

The best Humidity plant, is the Areca Palm also good at cleaning the air, and NASA found is the best Humidifier plant. A 6ft Palm can transpire 1 quart of water in a 24 hour period! That's alot of water.

I want to try one of these in place of a fogger, if you had a largish one, in a fairly enclosed cage, they may be able to humidity it naturally at night without the need of a fogger.

Boston Ferns are another good one, more of a ground level plant, won't provide climbing or hiding, but are great humidifers.
 

Thatwizard420

Avid Member
Japanese Aralia is pretty cool, I like Aloe Barbadensis also....... I have a Majesty Palm atm In the enclosure and he loves it.... Pitcher plants make a great accent... Avoid Stuffs that are sappy, Anything in the "Spermum" family, as in star jasmine, Asiatic Jasmine..... Gelsemium might sound tempting but the sap is no bueno..... I know the Ficus are sappy, anybody know if it's bad for the chameleon the ficus sap? Hibiscus are great also, especially the tree form. Pothos is most common one (Don't get it confused with Philodendron)...
 
I like Draecenas, Draecena Marginata is a good one (Madgascar Dragon Tree).

They were one of the best air cleaning plants in the NASA clean air study and are very good at humidifying the air around them.

Draecena Fragrans, is also a good Draecena (Corn Stalk Plant) they have broad leaves for good hiding places.

The best Humidity plant, is the Areca Palm also good at cleaning the air, and NASA found is the best Humidifier plant. A 6ft Palm can transpire 1 quart of water in a 24 hour period! That's alot of water.

I want to try one of these in place of a fogger, if you had a largish one, in a fairly enclosed cage, they may be able to humidity it naturally at night without the need of a fogger.

Boston Ferns are another good one, more of a ground level plant, won't provide climbing or hiding, but are great humidifers.
Thank you so much! I’ll defintiely look into these and be getting one by the end of the week!
 

Multivitamins

Avid Member
Im a big fan of pothos they are strong enough to support most Chameleons weight and create great cover that can be manipulated to suit your enclosures needs. They can thrive without much sunlight and grow fairly rapidly and the leaves can retain some mist to allow drinking. Another plus is they can be cloned very easily if you take a clipping. They are inexpensive too. There are several varieties some have broad leaves some vine more.
Oh and sentimental value When my guy was a baby he would curl up on the end of the pothos vines it was adorable

I mounted one in the top corner of my enclosure and it drapes across my branches and vines and fills out nicely to create hiding spots now that's it's grown in

In addition I have a few dracaena and some Schefflera but they are not quite big enough for my purposes so I've put them outside to grow a bit. I use a money tree and another plant on the base to allow more vertical climbing options and for thermoregulation and sturdier branches to sleep on.

I have avoided the ficus because they release a sticky goo when they snap or break and typically i remove my base plants to clean my drainage tray or to take the enclosure outside. I dont wanna risk that stuff getting on my Chameleon. If your not going to be moving them around you probably would be fine to use them. I only avoid these based on my specific situation and don't discourage them many people and Chameleons love them.

Aestheticly I like the Ficus Elastica it's got strong broad leaves and vertical stalks with a rich redish purple color.
 
Im a big fan of pothos they are strong enough to support most Chameleons weight and create great cover that can be manipulated to suit your enclosures needs. They can thrive without much sunlight and grow fairly rapidly and the leaves can retain some mist to allow drinking. Another plus is they can be cloned very easily if you take a clipping. They are inexpensive too. There are several varieties some have broad leaves some vine more.
Oh and sentimental value When my guy was a baby he would curl up on the end of the pothos vines it was adorable

I mounted one in the top corner of my enclosure and it drapes across my branches and vines and fills out nicely to create hiding spots now that's it's grown in

In addition I have a few dracaena and some Schefflera but they are not quite big enough for my purposes so I've put them outside to grow a bit. I use a money tree and another plant on the base to allow more vertical climbing options and for thermoregulation and sturdier branches to sleep on.

I have avoided the ficus because they release a sticky goo when they snap or break and typically i remove my base plants to clean my drainage tray or to take the enclosure outside. I dont wanna risk that stuff getting on my Chameleon. If your not going to be moving them around you probably would be fine to use them. I only avoid these based on my specific situation and don't discourage them many people and Chameleons love them.

Aestheticly I like the Ficus Elastica it's got strong broad leaves and vertical stalks with a rich redish purple color.
Super helpful wow thank you!! Do I need to cover and part of the soil or anything of the plants you mentioned, would it harm my chameleon? Just because someone mentioned on another reply that they might nibble on leaves or soil
 

JacksJill

Chameleon Enthusiast
Eating the leaves is normal behavior for veiled chameleons. No worries there. Some will eat soil and large pieces could cause impaction so it is advised to cover the soil with screening and/or river rocks larger that your chameleons head.
 

cyberlocc

Chameleon Enthusiast
Rinse any plants you buy well before putting them in your enclosure to remove any fertilizer or pesticide residue on the leaves.

To add to this, I like a 4 step process that a YouTuber I watch uses.

Step 1 - Desoil
Get the plant. Remove all soil, or as much as you can, a little dark on the roots is okay.

Step 2 - Clean
Dip it in water (can be tap) and shake it to get all the soil off and clean the leaves. And let it soak for a few minutes. (5)

Step 3 - Chemical Bath
Then into a new bath, this time 5% bleach (just basic bleach none of the scented stuff or anything). Let it soak in this for a few mins (5-10) then throughly rinse the plant (Tap water still fine) then rinse the plants with RO or Distilled to get all the Chlorine off.

Step 4 - Quarantine (if you have the time)
Put the plants back into a Pot, and place them into a clear storage container preferebally with the foam in the top. Water them and stick them under a light. Leave them in Quarantine them for as long as you can (up to 30 days or so). Do not add future plants to this QT chamber, do a few at the same time and QT together.


That is a sure fire way to make sure there is no buggies or pesticides in the plants, for most plants. Some like roses have systematics pesticides that can last for up to 6 months. However for basic plants this is pretty surefire way to assure no issues.

A bad plant can wipe out all your plants, so while you can skip the Quarantine on the first set, I wouldn't on others.
 

DonKeesh

Member
To add to this, I like a 4 step process that a YouTuber I watch uses.

Step 1 - Desoil
Get the plant. Remove all soil, or as much as you can, a little dark on the roots is okay.

Step 2 - Clean
Dip it in water (can be tap) and shake it to get all the soil off and clean the leaves. And let it soak for a few minutes. (5)

Step 3 - Chemical Bath
Then into a new bath, this time 5% bleach (just basic bleach none of the scented stuff or anything). Let it soak in this for a few mins (5-10) then throughly rinse the plant (Tap water still fine) then rinse the plants with RO or Distilled to get all the Chlorine off.

Step 4 - Quarantine (if you have the time)
Put the plants back into a Pot, and place them into a clear storage container preferebally with the foam in the top. Water them and stick them under a light. Leave them in Quarantine them for as long as you can (up to 30 days or so). Do not add future plants to this QT chamber, do a few at the same time and QT together.


That is a sure fire way to make sure there is no buggies or pesticides in the plants, for most plants. Some like roses have systematics pesticides that can last for up to 6 months. However for basic plants this is pretty surefire way to assure no issues.

A bad plant can wipe out all your plants, so while you can skip the Quarantine on the first set, I wouldn't on others.
With this method are you soaking the leaves AND roots in the 5% bleach?
 

cyberlocc

Chameleon Enthusiast
With this method are you soaking the leaves AND roots in the 5% bleach?

Whole thing. Dunk it in the bleach solution. For smaller plants, you can use a bin or a pot or something, just something you can get the whole plant into.

For big ones, trees ect. You might have to use the bathtub :p. But just fully submerse the plant, leaves roots, everything. If it floats make something hold it down.

The bleach will kill the bugs, they might not drown, some have water protection, and like eggs are harder to drown, and bacteria, parasites ect can sometimes live through drowning. That's where the bleach comes in, it kills everything, but the plant will be just fine.

You can treat large branches and such that won't fit in the oven, the same way :). My wife loves it when the bathtub is filled with branches in bleach water :p. Soak those longer, as it has to penetrate all the way through. Then throughly dry, in the sun for a few days.
 

Multivitamins

Avid Member
I forgot to mention how useful fabric screen from
Super helpful wow thank you!! Do I need to cover and part of the soil or anything of the plants you mentioned, would it harm my chameleon? Just because someone mentioned on another reply that they might nibble on leaves or soil
Yes I'd advise covering any soil from your plants however many people go bioactive and this doesn't seem to be an issue but my panther kept showing interest in the soil when he was new. I used screen from home Depot and simply cut a size to fit the pot and made a cut to the center and made a hole for the base of the plant to come out of. Some people use stones but if your hanging them it adds a bit of weight (also be sure to use a size that is not able to be eaten if you go the stones route) I put stones around the edge of the screen to keep it held down and use some Spanish moss on the base to prevent him getting into the base.

As long as your not using fertilizer and go with an organic soil (never miracle grow as it's full of steroids ) your headed in the right direction.
Oh and Those white stones that most soils have are bed news as well your Cham may think they are little snacks. If he eats one you'll probably hear when he poops ( I did it scared me) thankfully he didn't prolapse or get impacted from one this experience is what lead me to use the screen method I mentioned above.
 

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cyberlocc

Chameleon Enthusiast
I forgot to mention how useful fabric screen from

Yes I'd advise covering any soil from your plants however many people go bioactive and this doesn't seem to be an issue but my panther kept showing interest in the soil when he was new. I used screen from home Depot and simply cut a size to fit the pot and made a cut to the center and made a hole for the base of the plant to come out of. Some people use stones but if your hanging them it adds a bit of weight (also be sure to use a size that is not able to be eaten if you go the stones route) I put stones around the edge of the screen to keep it held down and use some Spanish moss on the base to prevent him getting into the base.

As long as your not using fertilizer and go with an organic soil (never miracle grow as it's full of steroids ) your headed in the right direction.
Oh and Those white stones that most soils have are bed news as well your Cham may think they are little snacks. If he eats one you'll probably hear when he poops ( I did it scared me) thankfully he didn't prolapse or get impacted from one this experience is what lead me to use the screen method I mentioned above.

Well, to be fair us Bioactive peeps still cover our soil..

Bioactive substrate is all about layers :).

You get you a drainage layer, about .5-2inches.

A screen layer

Then a Soil layer

Then a leaf litter layer .5-2inches


Most of the plant hobbyists do similar when potting plants, even in pots. You don't want your soil on the bottom where the holes are, that's inefficient drainage. So like a rock or rocks, and some screen or eggrate and screen is still good on the bottom of litter plants.

A soil cap (leaf litter, Rocks, ECT) is also good in potted plants.

So in Bio case, we use the leaf litter. This provides a soil cap, as well as places for the Isopods to roam and hide in.

If you go Bioactive, the CUC will fertilize, though adding some worm castings would also be helpful in the start. But you are not going to have strong plants with zero fertilizers. So just cap your fertilization method. Whether worm castings or osmocote pellets or whatever.
 

Thatwizard420

Avid Member
I forgot to mention how useful fabric screen from

Yes I'd advise covering any soil from your plants however many people go bioactive and this doesn't seem to be an issue but my panther kept showing interest in the soil when he was new. I used screen from home Depot and simply cut a size to fit the pot and made a cut to the center and made a hole for the base of the plant to come out of. Some people use stones but if your hanging them it adds a bit of weight (also be sure to use a size that is not able to be eaten if you go the stones route) I put stones around the edge of the screen to keep it held down and use some Spanish moss on the base to prevent him getting into the base.

As long as your not using fertilizer and go with an organic soil (never miracle grow as it's full of steroids ) your headed in the right direction.
Oh and Those white stones that most soils have are bed news as well your Cham may think they are little snacks. If he eats one you'll probably hear when he poops ( I did it scared me) thankfully he didn't prolapse or get impacted from one this experience is what lead me to use the screen method I mentioned above.
My veiled eats soil all the time... I'm trying to starve him for like 4-5 days so he starts accepting BSFL and Dubia.... He's not having any of it, he rather eat the soil. He still poops normally and I dont see anything wrong with him, Except that he hates the world, and misting sessions lol
 

Multivitamins

Avid Member
My veiled eats soil all the time... I'm trying to starve him for like 4-5 days so he starts accepting BSFL and Dubia.... He's not having any of it, he rather eat the soil. He still poops normally and I dont see anything wrong with him, Except that he hates the world, and misting sessions lol
Yeah misting sessions look like I'm spraying acid on my enclosure based on my Cham reaction ... He's only accepted the mist and enjoyed it and washed his eyes without thrashing or freaking out once.
I didn't handle my panther much as a baby or juvenile he's almost a year old now and hates handling his mother's name was Regina George since she was a "mean girl" the vet told me he's got the personality of a veiled and was very "spirited" they struggle to get him on the scale .

At least he eats without too much fuss and really loves bsfl but hates dubia. I'm trying to phase out crickets but he's been a punk about it... For now it's bsfl bsf supers and silkies as the main course. I used fox farms soil and tried to remove the grow stones but missed a few. I think he thought they were bsfl and ate a few he passed them no issue but it was shocking when I heard a loud thud from his enclosure.
 

cyberlocc

Chameleon Enthusiast
Yeah misting sessions look like I'm spraying acid on my enclosure based on my Cham reaction ... He's only accepted the mist and enjoyed it and washed his eyes without thrashing or freaking out once.
I didn't handle my panther much as a baby or juvenile he's almost a year old now and hates handling his mother's name was Regina George since she was a "mean girl" the vet told me he's got the personality of a veiled and was very "spirited" they struggle to get him on the scale .

At least he eats without too much fuss and really loves bsfl but hates dubia. I'm trying to phase out crickets but he's been a punk about it... For now it's bsfl bsf supers and silkies as the main course. I used fox farms soil and tried to remove the grow stones but missed a few. I think he thought they were bsfl and ate a few he passed them no issue but it was shocking when I heard a loud thud from his enclosure.

You really shouldn't remove those. Just cover the soil.


Without grow stones, your soil won't drain, without draining it will compact and your roots will rot. I know a bunch of people here and elsewhere say don't use perlite and stuff, but that is not realistic. You will kill your plants like that.

You can pull the grow stones and use orchid bark, or something. Which will eventually rot and need replaced. However your soil has to have course elements to drain. Using straight cocofiber is not going to work long term.

Those fern stick in ABG mix are good, they last a long time, but they are expesensive and non renewable.

I seen a guy on YouTube use what he called grow stones, and they were very large greyish color, uneatable by the Chams he said. Lava rocks is another idea you can buy those 3/4 inch ones and mix them into the soil, I am not sure if those are too big however.
 
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Thatwizard420

Avid Member
You really shouldn't remove those. Just cover the soil.


Without grow stones, your soil won't drain, without draining it will compact and your roots will rot. I know a bunch of people here and elsewhere say don't use perlite and stuff, but that is not realistic. You will kill your plants like that.

You can pull the grow stones and use orchid bark, or something. Which will eventually rot and need replaced. However your soil has to have course elements to drain. Using straight cocofiber is not going to work long term.
If you have isopods they aerate the soil
 
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