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The 15 Best Plants For Chameleon Cages

With their 360-degree eyesight, opposable fingers, and strong tongue, chameleons are far more alien than the normal fuzzy pets we bring into our homes.

Due to the uniqueness of these creatures, they have several requirements that differ from what you are accustomed to meeting.

The majority of a chameleon's life is spent in trees and shrubs. This is not because they enjoy climbing trees as a pastime, despite the fact that it is rather thrilling. Plants are essential to a chameleon's life since they supply humidity, purify the air, and provide a safe haven when they're feeling threatened.

BestForPets (bestforpets.org) has compiled this list of in-depth evaluations to assist you in finding the best plants for chameleon cages.


Golden Pothos

  • Growth Rate: Fast
  • Light demands: Bright, indirect
  • Water demands: 1 inch every 1-2 weeks
  • Soil type: Potting mix

The Golden Pothos, often known as Devil’s Ivy, may become your new favorite plant for a chameleon enclosure. The greatest benefit of cultivating one of these plants is that they are nearly impossible to kill and have few needs. These plants will survive in their new location so long as they receive well-draining soil and a small amount of sunshine.

The Golden Pothos is favored by chameleons because its dense foliage provides an easily accessible hiding place. They may even occasionally like munching on them.

Pothos plants develop rapidly. The majority come in hanging baskets with trailing vines that make it easier for your reptile to climb. They may not have the strongest branches, but they do their purpose. You’ll also be pleased to know that this plant is one of the most affordable on the list.


  • Cheap
  • Hardy
  • Immediately established
  • Safe for consumption
  • Big foliage for hiding


  • Unbalanced stems
  • No upward expansion


Dragon Plant

  • Growth Rate: Slow
  • Light demands: medium to low light
  • Water demands: Underwater
  • Soil type: Loamy, well-draining soil

Who wouldn’t want a dragon to accompany their lizard? Okay- maybe not a genuine dragon. However, the dragon tree is another fantastic alternative for a chameleon cage because of its small size and regular production of new leaves to hide under, despite its lack of climbing strength.

Because compact sizes remain modest, it is simple to accommodate them within a tank. They grow slowly and are durable, so they do not need to be changed frequently.

The tree’s trunk-like canes give ample support for your chameleon to climb on while it basks beneath its heating lamp. However, we would not recommend placing the plant in full sunlight all day, as it might cause the plant’s moisture to evaporate.


  • Cheap
  • Strong center
  • Small in size
  • Long-lasting


  • Delicate leaves
  • Not much moisture is created.


Rubber Tree

  • Growth Rate: Medium
  • Light demands: Bright, indirect light
  • Water demands: Consistently moist soil
  • Soil type: Well-aerated potting soil

Rubber trees are so named because their sap is used to produce rubber. They may reach heights of 100 feet in the wild, but since they are able to adapt to their settings, they do not grow nearly as tall when housed inside.

Depending on where you keep them, indoor chameleons reach a maximum height of 6 feet, which may or may not be optimal for your chameleon arrangement.

The rubber tree has dense foliage and robust branches, allowing your chameleon to climb as high as it wishes. When feeling anxious, they may also readily hide under the huge, thick leaves.

If your chameleons consume too many rubber tree leaves, the sap may be moderately poisonous to them. If you observe them consuming this plant, it may be advisable to exclude it from your environment.


  • Cheap
  • Sturdy
  • Easy to conceal
  • Simple maintenance


  • Slightly poisonous
  • Tall


Jade Bonsai

  • Growth Rate: Slow
  • Light demands: Full sun
  • Water demands: Water sparsely
  • Soil type: Rocky, sandy soil

Jade bonsai plants are a fantastic complement to a chameleon cage due to their sturdy, woody stems and meaty leaves. These two features guarantee that your chameleon will always have something to climb and a secure place to hide.

Jade is one of the greatest plants for enhancing air quality, increasing humidity, and absorbing carbon dioxide. This implies that your reptile will nearly always be surrounded by a perfect habitat.

Jade bonsai trees do not grow quickly, yet they are capable of outgrowing even enormous terrariums. Keep the branches pruned so that you do not have to purchase a replacement, as they are the most expensive of the listed plants.


  • Sturdy
  • Excellent for hiding places
  • Improves air quality
  • Enhances moisture


  • Must be pruned routinely
  • More costly than other plants


Weeping Fig

  • Growth Rate: Fast
  • Light demands: Direct sun in the morning, bright indirect light all-day
  • Water demands: Once per week, steadily moist soil
  • Soil type: Rich, fast-draining potting soil

Despite its higher cost, the weeping fig is one of the most popular plants for chameleon cages. These plants feature superb, lush foliage and sturdy, climbing stems. However, if they are not properly managed, the leaves may fall off and the plant will become completely barren.

Weeping figs prefer humid conditions, so placing them in a chameleon cage is beneficial for both the plant and the animal. These figs contribute a great deal of moisture to the air and keep everything wet.


  • Provide abundant moisture
  • Leafy foliage
  • Sturdy


  • Pricey
  • Finicky



  • Growth Rate: Slow
  • Light demands: Bright, indirect light
  • Water demands: Drought-tolerant, once every 2 weeks
  • Soil type: Loamy soil

In terms of cost, yucca plants fall somewhere in the center of the pack. They have sturdy trunks for your chameleon to climb, but the thin, prickly leaves are not always ideal for concealment.

The greatest advantage of having a Yucca plant in your chameleon’s cage is that it is one of the most effective air-purifying plants. As long as you maintain the plant alive, your reptile will continue to breathe in oxygen as long as the air is clean.

Under a high-temperature heat light, Yucca plants cannot survive. Even though they are drought-tolerant, they do not perform well in severe temperatures.


  • Sturdy trunks
  • Air-cleaning
  • Reasonably priced


  • Thin foliage
  • Doesn’t fare well under the heat light



  • Growth Rate: Fast
  • Light demands: Direct sun
  • Water demands: Consistent moisture
  • Soil type: Sandy, loamy soils

Because chameleons like snacking on brightly colored blossoms, hibiscus plants are inexpensive and frequently make a wonderful addition to a habitat. In addition to being delicious, they contain vitamin C, which is beneficial to your pet’s health.

Hibiscus blossoms bring a lot of beauty and color to your cage, but if you have a hungry lizard, it may not survive long. These plants are notoriously difficult to cultivate, so if your plant dies, you may have to pay a significant amount of money to replace it.


  • Enjoys sun exposure
  • Colorizes the tank
  • Edible


  • Unfavorable to growth
  • Only serve one true function



  • Growth Rate: Medium
  • Light demands: Direct light
  • Water demands: Once per week
  • Soil type: Cactus potting soil

If you value aesthetics, then bromeliads are the appropriate plant for you. Unique in appearance, these tropical plants have prickly leaves and a brilliant center flower that emerges at the end of their life cycle.

Bromeliads provide your aquarium with a great deal of color and texture. While they are solid enough to sustain certain chameleons, they are not robust enough to hold all of them.

Bromeliads are easier to cultivate than many other types of plants since they thrive when placed immediately under a UV lamp. They are not poisonous, however, chewing on them might endanger the plant.


  • Colorful
  • Easy to grow


  • Not very robust
  • Easily damaged


Wandering Jew

  • Growth Rate: Fast
  • Light demands: Natural light in the morning, bright indirect light the rest of the day
  • Water demands: Water once or twice per week
  • Soil type: Potting mix amended with organic matter

This hanging basket plant is renowned for its prolific growth, which permits the vines to move from location to location. This motion keeps your chameleon’s habitat exciting but not overpowering. The vines are not as robust as other plants, but tiny chameleons may easily climb them.

The Wandering Jew plants give a substantial amount of gorgeous green and purple foliage to the cage. They are quite leafy, and your pet will virtually vanish within them.

The adaptability of these plants is one of their biggest features. They appear to thrive in practically all conditions, so if you forget about them for a while, you won’t return home to find that it eventually perished.


  • Cheapest plant alternative
  • Numerous leaves
  • Adaptable


  • Must be pruned regularly
  • Flimsy
  • Must alter illumination during the day


Boston Fern

  • Growth Rate: Fast
  • Light demands: Bright, indirect light
  • Water demands: Once per day
  • Soil type: Peat-based potting mix

Consider purchasing a Boston fern for your chameleon if it truly appreciates its alone time. This fern has an abundance of lush leaves that conceals your pet. The feather-like leaves are also excellent for collecting water and maintaining the humidity of the cage.

Although Boston ferns provide excellent shelter, they offer few additional advantages. They are quite fragile, thus they are not ideal for climbing. They are also capable of taking over the entire cage if they are not trimmed often. Additionally, Boston ferns demand a lot of water and will not thrive if neglected for more than two days.


  • Vegetation cover
  • Moisture


  • Flimsy
  • Not enough value for the cost
  • Grow too quickly
  • High-maintenance


Spider Plant

  • Growth Rate: Fast
  • Light demands: Low light
  • Water demands: Moderate
  • Soil type: Potting mix

The spider plant is the final plant on our list. These plants are frequently chosen for chameleon enclosures, but that does not always guarantee that they are beneficial to your lizard companion.

Spider plants have attractive leaves, and many people use them as space-filling plants to fill up an enclosure. The plant has fragile leaves and no central stalk for your pet to climb.

Although they appear to be easy to care for, they are known to turn brown when exposed to excessive light or insufficient water. Additionally, spider plants must be transplanted about every two years. Aside from their aesthetic appeal, they offer little to the chameleon or its cage.


  • Unique-looking vegetation


  • Only employed to fill a void
  • Flimsy
  • Finicky
  • Must be planted again

What to Look for When Buying Plants for Chameleon Cages

You purchased fresh plants to enhance your chameleon’s life, therefore you must also put in the effort to ensure that they receive these advantages regularly. If you have planted any of these plants in your chameleon cage and they are struggling, you may be making a few errors.

First, over- or under-watering is the leading cause of plant death. You may have excellent intentions, but you must be aware of the specific amount of water a plant needs in order to grow.

Many of us are afraid of drowning our plants if we delay watering for too long. On the other side, occasionally submersion can be worse. While it may be OK for a few desert plants, it will quickly kill off the rest.

Second, always do a study to ensure that the plant is situated in an area that can fulfill its nutritional requirements. The soil is the source of nutrients, and all soils must be well-draining in order to support healthy plant development. Try putting rocks to the very bottom of your tank prior to adding soil to ensure that excess water has somewhere to go and won’t drown your pets.

Third, light is just as crucial as the previously mentioned components. The majority of plant packaging specifies the precise type of light they require. If the plant dislikes direct sunlight, do not position the UV lamp directly above it. Create a setting that is as similar as possible to where the plants would grow in the wild.

If you do not provide your plants with sufficient water, sunlight, and soil, there will undoubtedly be issues at some time. Indicators of a problem include brown leaf tips, yellowing, dried-out leaves, insects, and fungal development. As with your chameleon, monitor your plants throughout the week to ensure they receive proper care.


BestForPets (bestforpets.org) discovered that the Golden Pothos is the best plant for chameleon cages since it offers your pet everything it needs for climbing, hiding, and munching. The sturdy stem and compact size of dragon trees make them the second-best option since they fit wonderfully in a cage.

It might be challenging to pick the ideal plant for your chameleon and his habitat, as there are several alternatives. Hopefully, these plant evaluations have provided you with enough information to make an informed selection and offer the greatest possible habitat for your chameleon.

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Dr. Deborah Fletcher

Deborah R. Fletcher, DVM, is a skilled veterinarian with more than 15 years of experience dealing with companion and exotic animals. She has experience caring for a variety of animals, including household cats and dogs, reptiles, birds of prey, and even primates. Dr. Fletcher is a valuable part of the BestForPets team, where she contributes to their aim of providing pets and their owners with the finest possible treatment and services.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Deborah Fletcher


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