Best Crested Gecko Plants – Remove These 3 Toxic Plants Out Of The Terrarium Now

Crested gecko plants are commonly called terrarium plants or vivarium plants. Crested geckos are semi-arboreal pets, and there is a need to provide climbing possibilities for them. This is why you need to put some foliage and plants in the terrarium to climb and jump.

Any good crested gecko terrarium needs to come with various accessories like a plant, substrate, and so on. Since crested geckos plants can either be live or artificial plants, you may be wondering which one is suitable for your gecko.

In this article, you will get an insight into the different terrarium and vivarium plants. At the end of the article, you will know the best plant suitable for your crested gecko terrariums and which plant to avoid.

Why Do Crested Geckos Need Proper Terrarium Plants

Why Do Crested Geckos Need Proper Terrarium Plants
Why Do Crested Geckos Need Proper Terrarium Plants

Using a terrarium plant is important for your cresties. Depending on the size of the terrarium, you can add at least one or two plants. Some of the reasons to add crested gecko plants are:

  • It helps to create a naturalistic looking terrarium
  • It will be perfect for your gecko to jump and climb on
  • It serves as a water source for your crested gecko as they lick the water droplets on the leaves
  • It serves as a shelter and resting place for your cresties during the day.

Note: baby crested geckos need only a small branch of a plant to move around and search for food in their enclosure.

Do You Need Plants for Your Crested Gecko Terrarium?

Crested geckos can be regarded as a display animal. They look mind-blowing in naturalistic settings with branches and plants. You will need to add plants in their enclosure because they spend most of the days hiding from bright light in the leaves.

At night, they will also climb the plant and explore the enclosure.

Fake Or Live Plants, What To Choose?

Fake Or Live Plants, What To Choose?
Fake Or Live Plants, What To Choose?

You will need to choose between artificial plants and live plants when selecting a plant for their terrarium. Both artificial and live plants have advantages and disadvantages in a enclosure.

However, it is best to use live plants that can be easily cared for to give a more naturalistic look for your crested geckos’ terrarium.

Fake (Artificial) Plants

Pros

  • You do not need to care or water fake plants except to clean them.
  • It is perfect for a crested gecko enclosure without any lights.
  • Most fake plants are sturdy and will not break easily when cresties bite them.
  • You can also create a naturalistic terrarium with fake plants, as many look realistic.
  • They will not grow, and you do not have to worry about trimming or removing dead leaves.

Cons

  • They have a different texture than live plants
  • Fake plants do not have the natural smell
  • The sharp edges can hurt your gecko
  • It does offer a 100% naturalistic look.

Live Plants

Pros

  • Naturalistic look to the terrarium
  • It improves air quality
  • It improves humidity
  • It looks more appealing
  • It is easier to remove live plants for cleaning than fake plants attached with suction cups to the terrarium.
  • There is a variety of color and texture to choose from.

Cons

  • You will need to care for live plants like a prune, fertilize or water them.
  • You will need artificial lighting in their terrarium, and it is not suitable for terrariums that do not need light.
  • Live plants can easily die-off
  • You will need to do regular trimming
  • You will have trouble using growing plants. Ensure that you use plants that do not grow fast, or you will have to prune them every time.

Safe Live Terrarium Plants for Your Crested Geckos

Safe Live Terrarium Plants for Your Crested Geckos
Safe Live Terrarium Plants for Your Crested Geckos

Live plants add a naturalistic look to a crested gecko tank and anybody that sees it will be amazed by it. However, some of the things to consider when choosing live plants are:

  • It is best to know the safe plants for your crested gecko, as some plants can be toxic and poisonous.
  • You will need plants that can tolerate high humidity for crested gecko terrariums.
  • Some plants grow well at high temperatures, while others grow well in lower temperatures. You will need a plant that is suitable for your crested gecko enclosure.
  • Some plants need large amounts of light, while others will grow in a dark environment. If your crested gecko terrarium does not have lighting equipment, there is a need to get a plant that can grow well in low light.
  • Since crested gecko plants will jump and climb on plants, you will have to look for a plant with strong leaves that will not break off very easily.

New to crested gecko? Check out the crested gecko care sheet now! We had listed out all the things you need to know about crested gecko as pets. Check it now!

Some of the plants that can be safely used for crested geckos are stated below.

Golden Pothos

Golden pothos is usually one of the most used plants found in most crested gecko terrariums. The plant is a very popular house plant, and it is sometimes known as the devil’s vine or devil’s ivy, as it is hard to kill.

General

Gold pothos is a vine that will easily grow fast, but you will need to trim it regularly. This is why it is not suitable for a small container or terrarium. It is best to plant it at the back of the vivarium.

You can even plant them into the background of the terrarium or in the substrate. The plant will easily fill the back of your terrarium and give it a naturalistic look.

Toxicity

Golden pothos consist of oxalic acid in its leaves and stems. However, the toxicity level is considered mild to moderate.

Although it is toxic to dogs and cats, it is safe to eat for reptiles in small quantities. It is usually safe for crested gecko because they will rarely eat the plants.

Humidity

Golden Pothos is a tropical plant. Although it is a tough plant and will easily deal with a lot of different humidity. It is best to use a terrarium with a medium to high humidity. You will also need to keep the golden pothos damp and moist soil to give it enough water to grow well.

Light

Golden pothos grow better in places with half shade or indirect light. You do not have to put it under direct sunlight to prevent overheating. However, golden pothos prefer lights. You can keep it in a place with a darker environment.

Temperature

Golden pothos can grow well under room temperatures and will tolerate temperature range between 60-85oF.

Last update on 2020-07-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Bromeliads

Bromeliads consist of varieties of plants that can be used in a terrarium. However, most of the commonly used Bromeliad species are Vriesea, Guzmania, and Neoregelia species.

They are usually smaller and will fit well in small to medium terrariums like the crested gecko vivarium.

General

Bromeliads grow slowly and are perfect for small to the medium terrarium. You can place them in the background or at the back of the terrarium.

Toxicity

They are non-toxic to pets such as cresties, and you can place it in your crested gecko terrarium.

Humidity

Bromeliads are tropical plants and will stay in moderate to high humidity environments. The humidity suitable for Bromeliads is usually between 40-60%, which is suitable for crested geckos.

They will also grow well in an orchard mix, sphagnum moss, and a blend of bark. You will always need to keep the soil moist.

Light

Although bromeliads have a wide range of lighting requirements, it will grow well in bright light. However, you will need to avoid keeping it under direct sunlight for a long time.

It is best to place the plant in indirect light while providing them with enough light every day.

Temperature

Bromeliad can grow well at room temperatures and will tolerate temperatures ranging between 70-90oF.

Last update on 2020-07-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Sansevieria

You will find varieties of Sansevieria species that are suitable for a terrarium. However, the widely available species is the Sansevieria trifasciata. It is called mother-in-law’s tongue or snake plant due to the shape of their leaves.

General

Although sansevieria is a plant that grows slowly, it can still grow to about 2-5 feet high. This is why the plant is not suitable for a small terrarium and more suitable for a large terrarium. It is best to plant them in the middle or front of a terrarium.

Toxicity

The entire plant comprises saponins. Although it can be considered toxic for cats and dogs, its toxicity level is mild to moderate. However, it is safe for crested geckos terrarium since cresties rarely eat their terrarium plant.

Humidity

Sansevieria originates from dryer areas, and it will grow better in a dry or moderate humidity environment. You will need to ensure the soil of the plant is nearly dry and well-draining. Planting the soil in moist soil can lead to root rot.

Another thing is that Sansevierias will go for a long period without water.

Light

Since sansevieria can grow well in places with a lot of indirect light. You need to avoid placing it under direct sunlight to prevent overheating.

Temperature

Sansevieria will grow very well at room temperature and will grow well in temperature between 70-90oF.

Last update on 2020-07-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Ferns

Ferns are usually used as a decorative or background plant rather than the one to climb. This is because they are fragile. Some of the common ferns used in the terrarium are Maidenhair ferns, holly ferns, and bird’s nest ferns.

The best species of ferns to use for crested gecko terrarium is the bird’s nest ferns. It has large leaves that are strong for holding a crested gecko.

Characteristics

  • You can keep it in an enclosure with a temperature range between 20-27oC
  • It requires moist soil and high humidity
  • You can keep it in indirect lighting
  • It is a tropical plant that has leaves growing from the center to form a nest.

Last update on 2020-07-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Ficus Benjamina

Ficus species are best used for decorative purposes, and it is not suitable for a small terrarium. However, you can use Ficus Benjamina in terraria, and your cresties will love climbing on them. You should ensure that you use older Ficus Benjamina with thick branches for your terrarium.

Last update on 2020-07-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Safe Crested Gecko Plants

Toxic Plants To Your Crested Gecko Terrarium

Toxic Plants To Your Crested Gecko Terrarium
Toxic Plants To Your Crested Gecko Terrarium

Lots of plants comprise toxic chemicals that can cause health issues to your crested gecko. Most of the chemicals in the plants are used as a natural defense mechanism. However, calcium oxalate crystals are among the chemicals that can cause problems for your gecko.

If small animals like crested gecko ingest the plant, the chemical will cause mild to severe health issues. Some of the toxic plants not suitable for crested gecko terrarium are:

Ivy (Hedara helix)

This plant is toxic to humans and also the feeder insects. Although you will not find a lot of research backing this, feeding your gecko with the insect could lead to health issues for them.

Philodendrons

They are a large plant family which comprises species that look like golden pothos. However, research indicates that ingestion of parts of the plant can lead to health issues.

Dumbcane (dieffenbachia)

Dumbcane contains calcium oxalate crystals that are regarded to be a neurotoxin. It can lead to death if small animals ingest these plant parts.

Voodoo Lily (Dracunculus vulgaris)

Although these plants look beautiful, they smell really bad. It is also toxic to small pets as it contains calcium oxalate crystals.

Begonias (Begonia)

Although some pet keepers use begonia as decoration in their pet terrarium, it is not a good plant to use in crested gecko terrariums. This is because the roots of begonias contain calcium oxalates that are toxic to small animals.

New to crested gecko? Check out the crested gecko care sheet now! We had listed out all the things you need to know about crested gecko as pets. Check it now!

The Best Terrarium Plants That You Can Pick

The Best Terrarium Plants That You Can Pick
The Best Terrarium Plants That You Can Pick

Some of the best terrarium plants suitable for crested geckos are stated below.

Best Live Terrarium Plants

You will find a wide range of safe live plants that you can use for crested gecko terrariums. However, some of the best terrarium plants for new crested gecko owners are

  • Dracaena
  • Bird’s nest fern
  • Golden Pothos
  • Ficus Benjamina
  • Bromeliads
  • Sansevieria Trifasciata

Last update on 2020-07-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Best Fake Terrarium Plants

You can use fake or artificial plants to decorate your crested gecko terrarium while providing climbing options for them. You will find different artificial plants for a crested gecko, some of them are

  • Fluker’s Bamboo bars
  • Fluker’s Pothos vines
  • Exo Terra Forest branch
  • Exo Terra jungle terrarium plants
  • Exo Terra Terrarium plants
  • Exo Terra jungle vines.

Last update on 2020-07-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Installing Plants in Crested Gecko Terrarium

Installing Plants in Crested Gecko Terrarium
Installing Plants in Crested Gecko Terrarium

Terrarium plants from garden centers and other shops usually contain dangerous chemicals like pesticides in the soil. The chemicals are used for treating plants against diseases and insects. However, they can be harmful to your cresties.

Before installing live plants in your crested gecko terrarium, some of the things you need to consider are

  • Ensure you wash any live plants that you buy before putting them in a terrarium. You can wash the leaves with soap and replace the soil with the soil used to make the substrate.
  • Ensure the potted plants are not too heavy and secure them to prevent them from falling.
  • If you have live plants, you will need to place artificial lighting in their terrarium. You can use a compact full-spectrum fluorescent bulb for a few plants, but you will need a full-spectrum fluorescent fixture if you have many plants in the terrarium. However, you will need to provide your crested gecko with a space to hide if the lights are bright.
  • You will need to spray the plant leaves as crested geckos will drink water droplets from the leaves.

How Many Plants Do You Need?

The number of crested gecko plants you need will depend on your crested gecko terrarium size. When fitting a plant, you need to ensure that the plant only covers half of the terrarium. This is to ensure that your gecko can easily find food in their terrarium and also for a nice look of the terrarium.

How Many Plants Do You Need in the Terrarium for a Nano Terrarium?

For a nano terrarium, it is best to use only a plant. If you use two plants, the terrarium can be overly jammed, and the terrarium will be too small for your crested gecko to move around.

How Many Plants Do You Need in the Terrarium for a Small/Medium Terrarium?

For a small terrarium, you can keep 2-3 plants. However, you need to ensure that the plant only covers half of the terrarium.

How Many Plants Do You Need in the Terrarium for a Giant Terrarium?

The number of plants that a giant terrarium can contain will be based on the plant’s size and whether you want to use a fake or live plant. However, when putting a plant in a crested gecko enclosure, ensure that it only covers half of the terrarium so that your crested gecko can easily find food.

Potting or Planting

Another decision to make when using a live plant is whether to put the plant in a pot or just plant them in your terrarium substrate. Although it is easier to remove potted plants from the terrarium, it can fall over and crush your cresties.

However, planted plants will blend in more nicely in the terrarium and will not fall over. But planting can cause the risk of the plant’s root beneath the soil unhindered.

Tips and Tricks for Using Terrarium Plants

Tips And Tricks For Using Terrarium Plants
Tips and Tricks for Using Terrarium Plants

Since you now know the kind of plants that are suitable for your crested gecko enclosure. Here are some tips that can help you to create a naturalistic terrarium that will benefit your crested gecko.

Mist the Plants

You can use terrarium plants to increase the humidity of your crested gecko terrarium. It is best if you mist the plants’ leaves once or twice daily to improve the humidity of the terrarium. Misting helps to create small water droplets on the leaves, and your cresties will enjoy licking from it.

Create a Good Plant-To-Open Space Ratio

The size of your terrarium and the number of shelters you provide your crested geckos will determine the number of plants that you can add in the terrarium. It is best to keep 50% of the terrarium open space while the other is filled with plants and foliage.

How Often Should You Clean the Plants

How Often Should You Clean the Plants
How Often Should You Clean the Plants

How often you will clean the plants will depend on how quickly that dust accumulates in your house. Dust accumulation depends on where you live, the type of surfaces that you have in your home, whether your house is closed up or open, and whether there is a lot of dust collecting crevices in your house.

The best way to decide if your plants need cleaning is to run your finger over the leaves. You can then clean them if you feel the dust or you see where your finger has been.

Do You Need to Clean the Terrarium Plants?

Dust accumulates on terrarium plants easily. Dust on the leaves of houseplants will block the sunlight, which will reduce the plant’s photosynthesis ability. This is why you need to clean the plants periodically.

Another reason to clean your plant is that it makes your house look better.

How To Clean Your Indoor Plants

The cleaning process of indoor plants is usually different for different species. Plants that are hardy with strong leaves like fiddle leaf figs or rubber plants can be sprayed with the hose or shower and wipe them with a damp cloth.

However, smaller and more delicate plants like donkey tail and maidenhair ferns can be cleaned with a soft duster and a spritz with a spray bottle of water to wash away the residue.

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