Scheflerra is nice and sturdy that gives good vertical pathways. I'm not a fan of a ficus because it's just more bushy then anything. After the scheflerra, I use wooden dowels and fake bio vines to provide the horizontal paths for them. I dont know of a plant that has good strong horizontal branches. In my new cage, i use a large piece of dried wood to support my vines. I don't keep mellers though but the method I use seems to be pretty common among the various Cham species.
Dang pssh, thats a huge tree. Hope that puppies on casters or else moving it is a back breaker. lol
Op, I get most of my plants at either the local garden center or Lowes. Either way just wash the leaves with soapy water and rinse several times before using. That should get any possible residues on there off. I also cover the soil with large river rocks/landscaping rocks. Just in case they turn out to be a dirt eatter.
Large scheffelera or ficus ali are my faves. Pothos is great for cover but offers no structure for climbing, but the vines are great to drape around your cage. I have picked them up at Lowes, Home Depot & at greenhouses. After bringing plants home you should always give them a good wash in your shower stall to clean them of any pesticides and chemicals. Then re-pot them in a new washed pot using organic soil with no perilite or vermiculite, on the off chance your cham decides to eat dirt. In my experience they seem to be attracted to the perilite or foam balls in commercial potting soil. A good drainage layer in the pot helps the plant handle all the water it will get inside a cage. A grow light like a 6500K fluorescent tube from Lowes or even wal-mart will REALLY benefit the plants and brighten your cage nicely. Here are a few photos of my cage for my largest mellers, Plinko. Also check out summoner12's free range set-ups... lotsa great ideas there. Cheers! Oh yea... how did the vet visit go?
Whether you go with Ficus, Shefflera, or Pothos I don't think there is a plant strong enough to support a mellers. Ficus are really good for cover since it provides lot of leaves and such and my female LOVES climbing around her Pothos and I love the fact that is hangs. I'd say go with your choice of plant and as others have mentioned, just use lots of fake vines and have them going through the plants so that if he wants to seek cover he can do so by being on the strong vines that go through it. Sorry, if this doesn't make sense I'm picturing it in my head but am having trouble trying to explain.
The vet visit went good jim! He has an infection in his mouth and wasn't eating or drinking due to the pain. He is going to be on an antibiotic and a mouth cleanser for about a week and the vet said he should hopefully perk up!
I dont use any other branches/vines. The fatty just sits and blends in all day long and basks for an hour or two in the morning (Part of the tree extends to an area where direct unfiltered sunlight can reach.) Surprisingly, they aren't that heavy. My boyfriend has to move them for me because I'm a short, weak girl but they are probably only 50-ish. We were really lucky to find the plants. A plant warehouse was moving locations so we got 3 trees for less than $100. The shortest one is 6 feet tall. Plus they were already organic!