New Member
My new, first chameleon is arriving in a few days and will be shipped along with the small cage he has been living in.
I am planning a larger cage for him and want to put a ficus tree in it. Have any of y'all had a tree in your chameleon's cage? How did it do? Do they survive well or do they need to be discarded and replaced from time to time?
I have a ficus in 2 of my enclosures and they are doing well. They seem to be growing and triving on a 75watt basking bulb and a ReptiSun 5.0 UVB Fluorescent Bulb. At first they lost a few leaves but then have been doing fine. They should keep growing for you as long as you take care of it.
Ficus Benjamina does very well.
You may have some dropping of leaves initially as the plant adjusts to it's new environment but it should snap out of it.
Chameleon enclosures are really great environments for plants with the temperature maintained and all the mistings and full spectrum uva/uvb light.(mine thrive!)
Take a look at the safe plant list here on the forums. I would encourage you to include as many plants as your enclosure will allow and still give your cham plenty of space to get above the canopy and bask.
These animals feel much safer in densley planted environments where they can hide and explore. Plus it makes the habitat all the more beautiful for you to look at.


I have never had a ficus tree in my veileds cage. I had one in my panthers cage and the sap caused him to get an eye infection. I use a lot of artificial plants they are easy to clean
Last edited:
As Brad said above, they do great because as keepers, we are striving to make a replica of the rain forests. So, consequintly these trees do VERY well in the cages. Another good plant is the schefflera.
It sounds like the trees do well but I want the cham to do well also, is irritation or infections from the sap rare or it is frequent enough that I should consider a different plant?

Also, I planned on putting a few fake plants (plastic) in with the real plants, does anyone do that here?
Ficus are great but given time they tend to develop more leaves towards the top of the cage (where the light is) and drop leaves towards the bottom – and not have them grow back. The ficus in my veileds cages which is over 2 years old (ficus, not cham) has this affect. Kind of like a canopy now with all the leaves at the top and not too many at the bottom – not too thrilled with it since I would like to see more foliage towards the bottom as well. I guess I could rotate it out this summer and put it on the balcony so more leaves will develop towards the bottom.

I have some pothos plants I'm planning to put in the cham cage I'm building for when he gets older. Its not a tree so much as Ivy. I'm planning a way so you dont "have to" put the pot with the soil (no accidental ingestion) inside the cage but wrap the ivy branches around inside the cage through a hole. I'm still planning it out but I hope it will work. My cham is already used to the artificial vines atm so I figured he'd be more comfortable with the ivy. I also heard about the sap of the ficus and the infections, but I think thats only if you break the plant and the sap will get out.
I have 2 Benjamins in my cage and they are doing pretty well...So does chameleon, he always sleeps on it. Benjamins do well on lower humidity too, so they are very appropriate for Veiled cahms.

Also in one article, kian is mentioning that toxins in benjamin keep chameleon healthier (this holds only for veiled chams), cause they keep him off parasites and other illness.
Who is Kian? Why would this parasite shield work for only one type of cham?
I am delighted that those from Europe participate here.
The ficus in my male panther's cage has been in use for about a year and a half now, and it has done the same thing as Roo's. It has leaves at the top, but looks pretty pathetic at the bottom. I have another one in a different cage that I bought as a bonsai type ficus tree. I wasn't too impressed with it.. it has a big puff ball top and a bare main trunk. I wouldn't have bought it if I could have found anything else that would have worked. It has done pretty well in the cage, though. Too bad I couldn't find more..

The tree in mine is a scheffelera albi.....whatever.
I also got some big tree branches (elm, cottonwood and maple are safe, also fruit trees) I wash treebranches from outside and then bake them at 250 for about an hour. If they're too big to fit in the oven I use 10% bleach solution and rinse and rinse and rinse then let them dry in the sun.
I stuck them out of pots and pruned and fastened them with twist ties.
Get a couple bend-a-branches too those make the above the canopy area very chameleon friendly.

I had not thought of that. I have bottlebrush playgyms for my birds that were purchased so I assume that kind of wood is OK, and have a bottlebrush tree in the back yard that needs trimming. I could make a branch system myself and hang pothos baskets off of it.
Top Bottom