Questions about cleaning plants.

I just built a large outdoor cage for my cham, going to put 4 hibiscus trees and 2 hanging pothos in it. I read somewhere about spraying the leaves down with dawn dish soap/water mix?

Does this work?
How long does it sit with soap on it?
Does this work for pesticides as well as bugs, or do I have to wipe down each individual leaf for pesticides to come off?
Are there better alternatives to dawn?
Will it be ready immediately for my cham or does it need a few days after cleaning?
How often should plants be cleaned like this, indoor and outdoor?
Is there anything I can put on the plants that's safe for the cham that will keep plant pests away?


Chameleon Enthusiast
Dawn dish soap works well to get rid of pesticide residues as well as bug control. I actually took a paper towel and washed the leaves. It’s time consuming but it’s probably the only time you will do it unless you are spot cleaning poop. The bug control part is only temporary.

From my knowledge I don’t know if there are any safe alternatives to use around chameleons. It is highly recommend to repot all plants in organic soil and place large river rocks or mesh over the soil so your Cham doesn’t eat the dirt. If you have a veiled they do eat plants (dirt) and Hibiscus is on the top of their list. As long as all the soap is off I don’t see why you wouldn’t be able to house your Cham right away.

I know from personal experience that ants and mealy bugs can be a real problem with Hibiscus. The best way I have been able to control them is hosing the plant to get them off. If you can ant proof your enclosure you should be ok.

I hope this answers most of your questions. If I missed anything I’m sure someone else will chime in to give you advice. Also, I would love to see the enclosure! I have my cham outside too.

Here is a link to Bill Strands podcast about outdoor enclosures:
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