New Member
I'm about to purchase my first cham and I'm setting up his enclosure.

I just repotted one of my plants (umbrella tree) in a mix of organic soil and sand and I'm in the process of repotting the other two (mass cane* and pothos). The umbrella tree was very root bound and in the type of soil with the little white balls throughout. I cut away some of the old roots and dirt and tried to loosen up and remove as much soil as possible but it was almost impossible. It was very root dense. I got as much as I could then repotted it with the organic soil and sand, and made sure to cover the top of the old soil with the new and will be putting rocks on it.

I know I'm probably overthinking it/being neurotic but I've seen some repotting guides where people spend a lot of time washing the roots and everything. The plant was already in questionable condition when I got it (all the plants at the hardware stores were pretty crappy this time of year) and I really didn't want to kill it by going too far.

Is what I've done good enough? Sorry if I'm being silly, I've never owned a chameleon before :)

*and with regards to the mass cane, I know that's not ideal. In the spring when the stores have more selection I'll be getting a ficus. I just want this one in there to help maintain humidity/some coverage. This plant seems to have a lot of little flying bugs in the soil (gnats? mosquitos?) but looser soil so it won't be a problem to clean it up more.


New Member
sounds like the repotting went well i would just make sure to was leaves thoroughly to make sure there are no pesticides on it.


New Member
Thanks brandychams. I repotted the mass cane and that was really simple, the old soil just literally fell off the roots completely the second it came out of the soil so the little bugs don't matter.
And, yes I washed them last week by dunking them in soapy water and rinsing them upside down, then showering them for a while.


Staff member
I'm sure that will be fine. But before putting the plants in there you should cover the soil with river rocks (bigger than your cham's head) or screen so it can't eat the dirt. Even though it's organic dirt it can cause an impaction in the intestines. Suboptimal results from that (death).


Avid Member
When I buy new ficus or hibiscus, I pick pots with several stems at the store.

I pull the whole thing up out of the pot and set it on the grass outside.

I grab a saw and cut the bottom half off the root ball and I cut each stem apart from the root ball so I end up with several plants.

Then I grab the hose with a spray nozzle and blast the perlite and green fertilizer balls off the roots before repotting the now several plants with organic potting soil or topsoil.

It isn't gentle but it always works- the plants do fine.

I don't use river rocks, but I do always put in an inch or two layer of peat moss on top of the soil- would work as well to hide the perlite.


New Member
Thanks Ferret :) While you were posting that response I was actually getting some rocks to cover the soil, haha.

Fluxlizard - Good to hear that the plants can withstand that. If this one lives (it was in sub-par condition when I got it and hasn't seemed to be thriving. Maybe the repotting will help since it was so root-bound) I will do something like that next time just to be sure.
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