Safe Plants for Crested Geckos

Safe Plants for Crested Geckos: How to Create a Natural and Beautiful Vivarium

 

Safe Plants for Crested Geckos

Crested geckos are one of the most popular reptile pets in the world. They are easy to care for, have a variety of colors and patterns, and can live up to 20 years in captivity. They are also very active and curious, spending most of their time climbing, jumping, and exploring their environment.

One of the best ways to provide a stimulating and enriching habitat for your crested gecko is to use live plants. Live plants can offer many benefits for your gecko, such as:

  • Providing natural hiding places and shelter from stress and predators.
  • Creating a more humid and comfortable microclimate for your gecko’s skin and health.
  • Enhancing the aesthetic appeal and realism of your gecko’s enclosure.
  • Improving the air quality and oxygen levels in your gecko’s vivarium.

However, not all plants are suitable for crested geckos. Some plants may be toxic, invasive, or difficult to maintain. You need to choose plants that are safe, compatible, and beneficial for your gecko and its environment.

In this article, we will show you how to choose, plant, and care for live plants in your crested gecko’s vivarium. We will also provide you with a list of 30 safe and beautiful plants that you can use to create a natural and stunning habitat for your gecko.

 

Key Takeaways

  • Live plants can provide many benefits for your crested gecko, such as hiding places, humidity, and aesthetics.
  • You need to choose plants that are safe, compatible, and beneficial for your gecko and its environment.
  • You need to provide adequate lighting, substrate, drainage, and fertilizer for your plants.
  • You need to prune, trim, and monitor your plants regularly to prevent overgrowth, disease, or pests.
  • Some of the best plants for crested geckos are pothos, bamboo, bird’s nest fern, arrowhead vine, spider plant, polka dot plant, Chinese evergreen, earth star, maidenhair fern, peperomia, philodendron, prayer plant, snake plant, alocasia, neoregelia, ficus elastica, dieffenbachia, shingle vine, hurricane cactus, ‘Manaus’ begonia, silver pothos, nerve plant, urn plant, tillandsia, zebra plant, jade plant, seemania sylvatica, pillow moss, spiderwort, and ponytail palm.

How to Choose Plants for Crested Geckos

Before you start planting, you need to consider some factors that will affect the success and suitability of your plants. Here are some tips on how to choose plants for your crested gecko’s vivarium.

  • Safety: The most important factor is to make sure that the plants you choose are safe for your gecko. Some plants may contain toxic substances, such as calcium oxalate crystals, that can irritate or harm your gecko if ingested. Avoid plants that are known to be poisonous or harmful to reptiles, such as lilies, ivy, oleander, and sago palm. You can use this list of safe plants as a reference, but always do your own research and check the labels before buying any plant.
  • Compatibility: The next factor is to make sure that the plants you choose are compatible with your gecko and its environment. You need to choose plants that can tolerate the temperature, humidity, and lighting conditions of your gecko’s vivarium. You also need to choose plants that have similar water and fertilizer requirements, so that you can maintain them easily and avoid overwatering or underfeeding them. You can use this table as a guide, but always check the specific needs of each plant before planting them.
Plant Name Light Requirement Water Requirement Temperature Range Fertilizer Requirement
Pothos Low to bright indirect light Keep soil moist but not soggy 15-30°C (60-85°F) Feed monthly with balanced liquid fertilizer
Bamboo Bright indirect light Keep water level above roots 15-35°C (60-95°F) Feed every two weeks with diluted liquid fertilizer
Bird’s Nest Fern Low to medium indirect light Keep soil evenly moist but not wet 18-27°C (65-80°F) Feed monthly with diluted liquid fertilizer
Arrowhead Vine Low to bright indirect light Keep soil moist but not soggy 18-27°C (65-80°F) Feed monthly with balanced liquid fertilizer
Spider Plant Bright indirect light Keep soil slightly moist 15-27°C (60-80°F) Feed every two weeks with diluted liquid fertilizer
Polka Dot Plant Bright indirect light Keep soil evenly moist but not wet 18-27°C (65-80°F) Feed monthly with balanced liquid fertilizer
Chinese Evergreen Low to medium indirect light Keep soil slightly moist 18-27°C (65-80°F) Feed every two weeks with diluted liquid fertilizer
Earth Star Bright indirect light Keep soil slightly moist 18-27°C (65-80°F) Feed monthly with diluted liquid fertilizer
Maidenhair Fern Low to medium indirect light Keep soil evenly moist but not wet 18-27°C (65-80°F) Feed monthly with diluted liquid fertilizer
Peperomia Low to bright indirect light Keep soil slightly moist 18-27°C (65-80°F) Feed monthly with balanced liquid fertilizer

 

  • Benefit: The last factor is to make sure that the plants you choose are beneficial for your gecko. You need to choose plants that can provide your gecko with natural hiding places, climbing surfaces, and shelter from stress and predators. You also need to choose plants that can enhance the aesthetic appeal and realism of your gecko’s vivarium. You can use this list of plants as a reference, but always consider your gecko’s preferences and personality when choosing plants.

List 1: Some of the benefits of some safe plants for crested geckos.

  • Pothos: Provides climbing and hiding places, creates a lush and tropical look, easy to grow and propagate.
  • Bamboo: Provides sturdy and tall climbing surfaces, creates a natural and zen look, easy to care for and maintain.
  • Bird’s Nest Fern: Provides broad and soft leaves for hiding and sheltering, creates a green and leafy look, easy to grow and transplant.
  • Arrowhead Vine: Provides long and trailing vines for climbing and hiding, creates a colorful and variegated look, easy to grow and prune.
  • Spider Plant: Provides thin and curly leaves for hiding and sheltering, creates a bright and airy look, easy to grow and propagate.
  • Polka Dot Plant: Provides colorful and spotted leaves for hiding and sheltering, creates a fun and playful look, easy to grow and prune.
  • Chinese Evergreen: Provides large and glossy leaves for hiding and sheltering, creates a elegant and sophisticated look, easy to grow and transplant.
  • Earth Star: Provides low and rosette-shaped leaves for hiding and sheltering, creates a textured and exotic look, easy to grow and propagate.
  • Maidenhair Fern: Provides delicate and feathery leaves for hiding and sheltering, creates a soft and graceful look, easy to grow and transplant.
  • Peperomia: Provides round and succulent-like leaves for hiding and sheltering, creates a cute and compact look, easy to grow and propagate.

 

How to Plant and Care for Live Plants in a Crested Gecko Vivarium

Once you have chosen your plants, you need to prepare your vivarium for planting. Here are some steps on how to plant and care for live plants in your crested gecko’s vivarium.

  • Lighting: You need to provide adequate lighting for your plants to grow and thrive. You can use artificial lights, such as LED or fluorescent bulbs, or natural light, such as a window or a skylight. However, you need to make sure that the light is not too bright or too hot for your gecko, and that it does not disturb its day-night cycle. You can use a timer to regulate the light cycle, and a thermometer to monitor the temperature. You can also use a UVB bulb to provide your gecko with some beneficial ultraviolet rays, but make sure that it is not too close or too strong for your plants.
  • Substrate: You need to choose a suitable substrate for your plants to grow and root in. You can use organic and natural substrates, such as coco fiber, peat moss, orchid bark, or sphagnum moss, or synthetic and inert substrates, such as hydroponic clay balls, lava rock, or leca. You can also mix different substrates to create a custom blend that suits your plants and your gecko. You need to make sure that the substrate is moist but not wet, and that it does not contain any chemicals or additives that can harm your gecko. You can use this table as a guide, but always check the specific needs of each plant before choosing a substrate.
Plant Name Substrate Preference
Pothos Any well-draining and fertile substrate
Bamboo Water or any well-draining and fertile substrate
Bird’s Nest Fern Any well-draining and moist substrate
Arrowhead Vine Any well-draining and fertile substrate
Spider Plant Any well-draining and fertile substrate
Polka Dot Plant Any well-draining and moist substrate
Chinese Evergreen Any well-draining and fertile substrate
Earth Star Any well-draining and acidic substrate
Maidenhair Fern Any well-draining and moist substrate
Peperomia Any well-draining and fertile substrate

 

  • Drainage: You need to provide a drainage layer at the bottom of your vivarium to prevent waterlogging and root rot. You can use materials such as gravel, charcoal, or mesh to create a drainage layer that separates the substrate from the excess water. You can also use a false bottom, which is a raised platform that creates a gap between the substrate and the bottom of the vivarium. You can use a siphon or a pump to remove the excess water from the drainage layer periodically. You can watch thisto learn how to make a false bottom for your crested gecko vivarium.
  • Fertilizer: You need to provide some fertilizer for your plants to grow and flourish. You can use organic and natural fertilizers, such as worm castings, compost, or fish emulsion, or synthetic and chemical fertilizers, such as liquid or granular formulas. You need to make sure that the fertilizer is diluted and balanced, and that it does not contain any ingredients that can harm your gecko. You can use this table as a guide, but always follow the instructions and dosage of each fertilizer before applying it.
Plant Name Fertilizer Preference
Pothos Any balanced liquid fertilizer, such as 10-10-10 or 20-20-20, diluted to half or quarter strength, applied monthly
Bamboo Any balanced liquid fertilizer, such as 10-10-10 or 20-20-20, diluted to half or quarter strength, applied every two weeks
Bird’s Nest Fern Any balanced liquid fertilizer, such as 10-10-10 or 20-20-20, diluted to half or quarter strength, applied monthly
Arrowhead Vine Any balanced liquid fertilizer, such as 10-10-10 or 20-20-20, diluted to half or quarter strength, applied monthly
Spider Plant Any balanced liquid fertilizer, such as 10-10-10 or 20-20-20, diluted to half or quarter strength, applied every two weeks
Polka Dot Plant Any balanced liquid fertilizer, such as 10-10-10 or 20-20-20, diluted to half or quarter strength, applied monthly
Chinese Evergreen Any balanced liquid fertilizer, such as 10-10-10 or 20-20-20, diluted to half or quarter strength, applied every two weeks
Earth Star Any acidic liquid fertilizer, such as 30-10-10 or 20-10-20, diluted to half or quarter strength, applied monthly
Maidenhair Fern Any balanced liquid fertilizer, such as 10-10-10 or 20-20-20, diluted to half or quarter strength, applied monthly
Peperomia Any balanced liquid fertilizer, such as 10-10-10 or 20-20-20, diluted to half or quarter strength, applied monthly

Table 3: Fertilizer preferences of some safe plants for crested geckos.

  • Planting: You need to plant your plants in a way that suits their growth habit and their needs. You can use pots, baskets, or mounts to plant your plants, or you can plant them directly in the substrate. You can also use hooks, wires, or suction cups to attach your plants to the walls or the ceiling of your vivarium. You need to make sure that the plants are secure and stable, and that they do not block the ventilation or the access of your gecko.

 

Safe Plants for Crested Geckos: A List of 30 Plants You Can Use

Now that you know how to plant and care for live plants in your crested gecko’s vivarium, you may be wondering what plants you can use. There are many plants that are safe and suitable for crested geckos, but we have selected 30 of the best ones for you. Here is a list of 30 safe and beautiful plants that you can use to create a natural and stunning habitat for your gecko.

  • Pothos (Epipremnum aureum): Pothos is one of the most popular and easy-to-grow plants for crested geckos. It has long and trailing vines with heart-shaped leaves that come in various colors and patterns. It can provide your gecko with climbing and hiding places, and create a lush and tropical look in your vivarium. It can tolerate low to bright indirect light, and needs to be watered when the soil feels dry. It can also grow in water or in pots, and can be easily propagated by cutting and rooting the stems. You can learn more about pothos [here].
  • Bamboo (Bambusa spp.): Bamboo is another popular and easy-to-care plant for crested geckos. It has sturdy and tall stems with narrow leaves that come in different sizes and colors. It can provide your gecko with strong and stable climbing surfaces, and create a natural and zen look in your vivarium. It can tolerate bright indirect light, and needs to be watered when the water level drops below the roots. It can also grow in water or in pots, and can be easily propagated by cutting and rooting the stems. You can learn more about bamboo [here].
  • Bird’s Nest Fern (Asplenium nidus): Bird’s nest fern is a beautiful and easy-to-grow plant for crested geckos. It has broad and soft leaves that form a rosette shape that resembles a bird’s nest. It can provide your gecko with hiding and sheltering places, and create a green and leafy look in your vivarium. It can tolerate low to medium indirect light, and needs to be watered when the soil feels dry. It can also grow in pots or in mounts, and can be easily transplanted by dividing the rhizomes. You can learn more about bird’s nest fern [here].
  • Arrowhead Vine (Syngonium podophyllum): Arrowhead vine is a colorful and easy-to-prune plant for crested geckos. It has long and trailing vines with arrow-shaped leaves that come in various colors and patterns. It can provide your gecko with climbing and hiding places, and create a colorful and variegated look in your vivarium. It can tolerate low to bright indirect light, and needs to be watered when the soil feels dry. It can also grow in pots or in mounts, and can be easily propagated by cutting and rooting the stems. You can learn more about arrowhead vine [here].
  • Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum): Spider plant is a bright and easy-to-propagate plant for crested geckos. It has thin and curly leaves that form a grass-like clump that produces small white flowers and baby plants at the tips. It can provide your gecko with hiding and sheltering places, and create a bright and airy look in your vivarium. It can tolerate bright indirect light, and needs to be watered when the soil feels dry. It can also grow in pots or in baskets, and can be easily propagated by cutting and rooting the baby plants. You can learn more about spider plant [here].
  • Polka Dot Plant (Hypoestes phyllostachya): Polka dot plant is a fun and easy-to-prune plant for crested geckos. It has colorful and spotted leaves that come in various colors and patterns. It can provide your gecko with hiding and sheltering places, and create a fun and playful look in your vivarium. It can tolerate bright indirect light, and needs to be watered when the soil feels dry. It can also grow in pots or in baskets, and can be easily propagated by cutting and rooting the stems. You can learn more about polka dot plant [here].
  • Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema spp.): Chinese evergreen is an elegant and easy-to-transplant plant for crested geckos. It has large and glossy leaves that come in various colors and patterns. It can provide your gecko with hiding and sheltering places, and create a elegant and sophisticated look in your vivarium. It can tolerate low to medium indirect light, and needs to be watered when the soil feels dry. It can also grow in pots or in baskets, and can be easily transplanted by dividing the rhizomes. You can learn more about Chinese evergreen [here].
  • Earth Star (Cryptanthus spp.): Earth star is a textured and easy-to-propagate plant for crested geckos. It has low and rosette-shaped leaves that have spiny edges and come in various colors and patterns. It can provide your gecko with hiding and sheltering places, and create a textured and exotic look in your vivarium. It can tolerate bright indirect light, and needs to be watered when the soil feels dry. It can also grow in pots or in mounts, and can be easily propagated by cutting and rooting the offsets. You can learn more about earth star [here].
  • Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum spp.): Maidenhair fern is a delicate and easy-to-transplant plant for crested geckos. It has delicate and feathery leaves that form a lacy and graceful clump. It can provide your gecko with hiding and sheltering places, and create a soft and graceful look in your vivarium. It can tolerate low to medium indirect light, and needs to be watered when the soil feels moist. It can also grow in pots or in baskets, and can be easily transplanted by dividing the rhizomes. You can learn more about maidenhair fern [here].
  • Peperomia (Peperomia spp.): Peperomia is a cute and easy-to-propagate plant for crested geckos. It has round and succulent-like leaves that come in various colors and patterns. It can provide your gecko with hiding and sheltering places, and create a cute and compact look in your vivarium. It can tolerate low to bright indirect light, and needs to be watered when the soil feels dry. It can also grow in pots or in baskets, and can be easily propagated by cutting and rooting the stems or the leaves. You can learn more about peperomia [here].

Here are some frequently asked questions about safe plants for crested geckos, based on the “people also ask” section from Bing.

  • Can you put plants in a crested gecko’s vivarium? Yes, you can put plants in a crested gecko’s vivarium, as long as they are safe, compatible, and beneficial for your gecko and its environment. Live plants can provide your gecko with natural hiding places, humidity, and aesthetics. However, you need to choose plants that are not toxic, invasive, or difficult to maintain. You also need to provide adequate lighting, substrate, drainage, and fertilizer for your plants.
  • Can crested geckos eat Peperomia? Peperomia is a safe plant for crested geckos, and it is unlikely that your gecko will eat it. However, if your gecko does nibble on Peperomia, it should not cause any harm or adverse effects. Peperomia is not toxic or harmful to reptiles, and it does not contain any substances that can irritate or harm your gecko’s digestive system. However, you should always monitor your gecko’s health and behavior, and consult a veterinarian if you notice any signs of illness or distress.
  • Are bromeliads good for crested gecko vivariums? Bromeliads are good plants for crested gecko vivariums, as they are safe, compatible, and beneficial for your gecko and its environment. Bromeliads are plants that have colorful and spiky leaves that form a cup-shaped rosette that can hold water. They can provide your gecko with hiding and sheltering places, and create a vibrant and exotic look in your vivarium. They can tolerate low to bright indirect light, and need to be watered by filling the central cup with water. They can also grow in pots or in mounts, and can be easily propagated by cutting and rooting the pups.

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