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The 10 Best Plants For A Crested Gecko Vivarium

The crested chameleon, also known as the eyelash gecko, can only be found in New Caledonia, a French territory in the South Pacific Ocean.

Once pets are born, they require little in the way of care, making them ideal for beginner lizard owners or young children.

The crested chameleon's toe pads allow them to easily climb up and down vertical surfaces, making them ideal for a life of climbing and leaping.

They are able to maintain a better balance with the help of pre-age tails. Geckos do well with plenty of vertical space and perch.

BestForPets (bestforpets.org) recommends the best plants for a crested gecko vivarium to keep with your geckos.


There are so many great plant options to consider for your crestie garden. Get informed about your plant’s care requirements and growing conditions before you buy.

BestForPets (bestforpets.org) recommends making sure that the new plants or plants you purchase will fit in the tank your gecko is currently in.

Your gecko will be happy in a house full of vines as it will feel more at home and will give it a chance to perform its natural behaviors. We hope you find the best plants for a crested gecko vivarium for your gecko.

We consider Asplenium nidus, or the “bird’s nest fern,” the best plant you can choose for your gecko.


The golden pothos plant (Epipremnum aureum)

  • Prolific; may add up to a foot of height every month
  • Optimal light levels are about moderate, although they can survive in a wider range of illumination.
  • Durability: Exceptionally solid because of a creeping vine that runs along the ground.
  • Low to moderate care required; adaptable to a wide range of lighting conditions, but still requires periodic pruning and watering to be healthy.

Golden pothos, also known as devil’s ivy, is a kind of pothos that is native to Southeast Asia and is a member of the arum family. Typically kept to a height of 6-10 feet indoors, these vines may grow to a whopping 40 feet in the wild.

The robust vines and huge leaves of these plants make them a popular addition to gecko vivariums since they provide enough opportunities for climbing and hiding.

Because of how rapidly they may expand, big vivariums are ideal for these animals. If you put your pothos plant on the bottom of the vivarium, your gecko will have a great location to hide. In conclusion, we consider this to be the superior plant for a crested gecko vivarium.


  • Frighteningly difficult to murder
  • Adaptable to many different habitats


  • The shrubs need to be trimmed on a regular basis.
  • The oxalic acid it contains makes it poisonous to pets like dogs and cats.


Asplenium nidus, or the “bird’s nest fern,”

  • Moderate Rate of Growth
  • It prefers partial shade to direct sunshine, with either causing leaf burn.
  • Strength: not ideal for climbing, but able to hold a gecko’s body weight in the middle
  • To keep it alive, all it needs is a steady supply of water, and it requires no attention else.

Because of their epiphytic nature, bird’s nest ferns can be seen growing in and around other objects like tree trunks and other plants.

Your crestie’s vivarium provides the perfect environment for it because of the high humidity and mild temperatures it provides.

While not the best plants for climbing, the dense, spherical growth of bird’s nest ferns makes them an ideal hiding spot for your gecko. Given their potential for both vertical and horizontal growth, these plants should be situated in the middle of a vivarium.


  • Doesn’t need dirt to flourish
  • Usually doesn’t need a lot of thinning


  • Sensitive to both too little and too much watering.


“Mother-in-tongue” law’s or “snake plant”

  • A Slower Rate of Growth
  • Although these plants do best in indirect sunlight, they are very adaptable to partially shaded environments.
  • To put it another way, these plants are hardy, but they aren’t the best choice for climbing.
  • Care: Low; these plants don’t need a lot of attention.

Sansevieria plants are members of the asparagus family and can be found naturally occurring in southern Asia, Africa, and Madagascar.

These plants are very low care since they can withstand low light and drought, much like pothos and Bird’s nest fern. The “snakeskin” pattern of green and yellow stripes on its leaves inspired the plant’s common name, “snake plant.

They’re a terrific addition to your crestie’s vivarium because they look nice and require little care. You may want to search elsewhere, though, if a climbing plant is what you’re after.


  • Highly effective air purifier


  • Easy to rot
  • Quite tall, hence not recommended for terrariums with low ceilings.


Flowers of the family Bromeliaceae

  • Sluggish in growth, taking between one and three years to reach full bloom.
  • Light: preferably indirect, as direct sunlight may burn the plants.
  • Strength: Your gecko won’t break any foliage or flowers.
  • Upkeep: little upkeep

While there are many various types of bromeliads, guzmania, neoregalia, and vriesea are the most usual choices for a crested gecko’s vivarium.

Although you might not be familiar with these specific types, they are really related to more well-known members of the plant world, such as pineapples and Spanish moss.

This interesting plant has leaves that form a rosette. They are wonderful tropical plants with blossoms that can range from yellow to orange to pink to crimson.

Epiphytic plants, such as bromeliads, attach themselves to other plants or inanimate objects in order to grow. They’ll thrive in the vivarium’s back corner.


  • Doesn’t need dirt
  • Minimal care plant


  • Short-lived
  • Only flower once in a lifetime and then die
  • Flowers of the family Bromeliaceae.


Sword Fern, Lemon

  • Usually doesn’t get much more than a foot tall
  • Bright, indirect light is required.
  • Durability: Can’t hold up even even a gecko’s tiny body weight
  • Low-Maintenance: Sufficient Humidity Is Essential

Its name comes from the refreshing lemon aroma that fills the air whenever the plant is in close proximity. If you’re searching for a way to perk up your gecko’s vivarium, the lemon button fern is a terrific choice.

Its bright green “button” leaves will give your crestie’s home a happy appearance. This fern, like most others, is not a climber. In its place, you may try placing some lemon button ferns in the backdrop.


  • Best beginner plant ever


  • Calls for some light to moderate trimming
  • The roots easily decay.


Fig, often known as Climbing Fig

  • Pace of Development: Rapid
  • Indirect sunlight for 6-8 hours daily is ideal.
  • Construction quality: not robust; not intended for climbing but rather decoration
  • In terms of upkeep, regular trimming means only a moderate commitment.

The rear wall of your vivarium is the ideal spot for a grove of creeping figs, also known as climbing figs. They’re pretty and simple to care for, perhaps too much so, since you may need to do some regular pruning to keep them in check.

Don’t count on these plants to provide perches for your cresties, but they will enhance the look of your vivarium.


  • Accelerate your growth.
  • Can make do in almost any sort of damp setting


  • Higher than average pruning needs
  • It’s not going to hold your gecko.
  • The leaves are tiny, making concealment more difficult.


Elephant’s Hearing Loss

  • Pace of Development: Rapid
  • Can be grown in direct sunlight, but does best in indirect light.
  • Durability: Your gecko may safely use the leaves and stems to climb and rest.
  • Upkeep: Needs a lot of TLC

Elephant ears may be found in a variety of eye-catching colors, including green, red, and purple. Because of their attractiveness, these plants are perfect for a crested gecko.

Their big leaves can safely hold a crestie up. Because some elephant ear plants may grow up to 8 feet tall, it’s important to select a kind that will be manageable in your gecko’s vivarium.


  • The perfect sunbathing and climbing spot for geckos.


  • Need constant attention for success.
  • Oxalic acid present; keep out of reach of kids and dogs.


Petra, also known as Codiaeum variegatum, is a rock formation

  • A Slower Rate of Growth
  • Light Needs: Direct sunlight is fine in mild climes, but indirect light is necessary inside.
  • Strength: a gecko can perch on the leaves and the stem.
  • The petra just requires minimal care; one a week of watering, followed by total drying off, is all that’s required.

The Petra, often known as the Croton, is a kind of evergreen shrub that features bright, eye-catching colors. This stunning plant, native to southern Asia and the Pacific Islands, will give your gecko’s vivarium a lot of personality.

It’s a tough plant, and your gecko will have a blast clambering up and over the broad leaves. The Petra, like many of the other plants here, prefers warm, wet weather.

It may take Petra some time to get used to its new home in your gecko’s vivarium, even if the conditions there are perfect for her. Don’t fret if the leaves fall off at first and then come back.


  • Reduced requirement for trimming due to slow growth
  • Robust enough to be climbed on


  • Expensive
  • Adversely affects canine and feline digestive systems if swallowed


A Ficus benjamina, or weeping fig

  • Pace of Development: Rapid
  • Ideal lighting would be bright, although noon sun should be avoided if possible.
  • Hardiness varies with age; it may be more suitable for taking cover than for ascending.
  • Moderate maintenance required, should be watered once a week at the very least.

The weeping fig tree, originally from Australia and Asia, is a very resilient plant that does well in small enclosed environments like terrariums and vivariums. Keep in mind that most ficus species are too big to be kept in a vivarium, but the ficus benjamina is an exception. They make great climbing plants, but be aware that the branches of younger weeping figs might not be robust enough to hold your gecko.


  • Locatable with little effort.
  • Cheap


  • Often loses its leaves seasonally


Coniferous Tree in China (Aglaonema)

  • Slow; rapid in the summer, more modest in the winter
  • Tolerates low light levels and warm temps for growth.
  • Robustness: Good for the Climbing Scene
  • Upkeep: little upkeep

Native to Southeast Asia, Chinese evergreens have made their way to the rest of the world. The fact that they originated in the jungle means that they can thrive in dim conditions.

They have lovely leaves that can prop up your crestie, but they’re best left to the larger vivariums because they’ll quickly outgrow a smaller enclosure.

However, despite their somewhat exotic look, Chinese evergreens are really far easier to care for than many of the other vibrant plants on our list. The minimal level of care required for these plants makes them a good choice for a beginner gardener.


  • Extremely low upkeep


  • Crystals of calcium oxalate, which are hazardous to animals and humans if swallowed

Instruction Manual

Let’s start with the vivarium for your crested gecko. A vivarium of at least 20 gallons in height is recommended, but a bigger one is ideal.

It is possible to keep up to three crested geckos in a vivarium of 20 gallons if you own more than one. Since males are more likely to become territorial, it is recommended that just one male fish per tank be kept. A glass vivarium with a screen top is one option, however you may discover that your pets do better in an all-glass enclosure.

Your gecko will benefit from having a number of different climbing structures available to it at different levels and positions in its vivarium. Bamboo, vines, and branches are some potential additions.

The crested gecko in your care will appreciate having plants to hide in and climb on. You can improve your gecko’s habitat with either fake or real plants. Read on to find out what plants would thrive in a vivarium housing a crested gecko.

Author Image

Dr. Barry Buttler

Dr. Barry Buttler, DVM, MS, DACVIM, is an experienced veterinarian who specializes in the care of small animals, specifically dogs. Dr. Barry K. Buttler is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and holds multiple certifications in small animal emergency medicine and geriatric pet health.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Barry Buttler


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