Crested geckos are nice and cute creatures which can be good pets when you are looking for some reptiles to keep at home. They are easy on maintenance and thus you do not have to worry much or spend a bulk to keep them healthy and happy in their shelter.
A plane and boring vivarium is not a good place to keep the crested gecko. When they are in wild they get to see so many varieties of creatures and plants around them. Though you cannot provide them with so many varieties of flora and fauna, yet some plants can be installed within the terrarium to make it look lively and beautiful.
There are certain breeds of plants which are specific for a terrarium. These plants are accustomed to living in a hot and humid area so you can safely put them to decorate the terrarium. They should not cause any kind of toxicity to the life inside the terrarium.
Are plants needed for crested gecko?
Plants add to the beauty of the terrarium. Not only that, but it also makes the place look more natural and habitable for the crested gecko that is used to live in the tropical area. The plants also give them a good chance of viewing variety within the terrarium.
Also, these plants are able to distract the geckos and give it some chance to exercise. The little amount of exercise is really good for their health and they can digest their food in a better way.
Are artificial plants better than real plants?
There are certain types of plants which you can put inside the terrarium of the crested gecko. There are several plants which are real and then there are plants which are artificial.
You can get some real plants which will make the terrarium look beautiful but you have to maintain them properly. Real plants are always preferable as they add liveliness in the terrarium. But make sure if the plants are non-toxic so when the gecko tries to take a bite of the leaves, they do not fall sick.
If you have a hectic schedule and do not have time to spend on the cleaning and maintenance of the real plants inside the terrarium then you should invest in artificial plants.
Like the real ones, these also look good and make the terrarium a nice looking place. Also, you do not have to worry if the gecko bites or consumes the leaves, as most of the artificial plants cannot be torn easily, though you should be aware of the leaves are made of the non-toxic element so it should not harm the gecko by any means.
What plants are good for crested geckos?
Here is the list of details regarding the best vivarium plant choices for crested geckos.
There are certain plants which are good and safe for the terrariums. The first one is golden pothos which creates a vine in the terrarium. It is also called devil’s vine as it is quite hardy and needs minimal care to grow. The only con of this plant is, it contains mile amount of oxalic acid which is not good for geckos if they try to eat the leaves. This plant is also called Jade commonly.
This is a pocket-friendly option for the terrarium plants and those who want to keep something budget-friendly in their terrarium may try this one.
The growth of this plant is rather fast so to keep it inside the terrarium you must trim it once in a month. Also, you can use these cut branches to create more plants on the vivarium. This plant offers dark green foliage and that builds well-shaded place inside the cage. It will cover the ground and the walls easily so you can place it in the right place where it can grow using the surrounding place. Watering should be adequate but not daily. You can water the plant once in a week and the rest of the days just misting will be enough.
As for the lighting, direct sun is great for this one. If that is not possible, the plant will grow in low or indirect lighting as well. However, if kept in direct sunlight, you will get to see the bright colouration of the foliage. There is much moderation in the rules of this plant’s growth. This is a sturdy plant with a low height. So the weight of the plant is well distributed among the branches. Geckos love to climb this plant as it is much easy to climb on them. Rapid growth makes this plant an ideal choice for the terrarium. Another reason for the same is, allowing humidity to keep the growth unstoppable.
The second plant that is quite famous is Sanseveria. The shape of the leaves is quite similar to the tongue so it is also called the mother-in-laws tongue or snake plant. Saponin is present in the leaves of this plant but geckos seldom eat the leaves of the trees in the terrarium so it can be called a safe plant for them. It is also distinct in its shape as these are mostly upright and shaped like a sword. The colour of the shoot is bright green.
This is not an ideal plant for the small or medium-sized terrariums and is better placed at the cages which are of a good height. The leaves of this plant are not sturdy enough to hold the gecko so this will act as a decorative plant. But the wide foliage can help the gecko hide under them, which is also a favourite pastime for them. This plant does not get damaged easily so you can expect it to stand against all the odds of the atmosphere. Some drops of water and a little bit of light is all that is needed to keep this plant healthy and sturdy.
These plants live a good and long life if you do not keep them over watered. The soil of the plant should be well moisture but it should not have much waterlogged on the surface. Drainage needs to be great to make the plant alive and healthy. Misting is preferred overwatering by these plants. Roots should not stay damp or it may rot and spoil the plant. It can grow well in moderate or timid light and even if sunlight is not available always, it will survive on LED or T5 and T8 light sources. It will last for quite a few years so you can keep this plant without worrying much.
Bromeliads are smaller in sizes so you can plant them in a small or medium-sized terrarium. This is a slow-growing plant and these are completely non-toxic so a safe option for the terrariums of the crested gecko. This plant is famous in several countries but the names are different, like Guzmania, Vriesea or Neoregelia. All these are different species of this same terrarium plant. You can place this plant at the background of the terrarium as then it will be able to grow without much interruption.
This is a tropical plant so it is pretty much adjusted too high humidity and heat. 40 to 60 per cent of humidity is great for the growth of the plant. This is also the required amount of humidity for the crested gecko, so this plant can easily be placed in the terrarium without bothering its life cycle. The kind of soil needed for this plant can be an orchid mix or sphagnum moss, which is able to hold onto the humidity at a high level. A blend of bark is also good for this purpose as that will keep the interior moist but not in wet condition.
Bright light, from the sun or other source, is necessary for the growth of this plant. The temperature should be 70 to 90 degree Fahrenheit.
You can keep this plant on the side of a woody base or cork and it will provide a colourful variation in the scenario of the terrarium. There are several species of this plant found worldwide, but not all are fit to be placed in the vivarium. Get the right species by asking the shop owner that will grow well inside the heated and humid environment of a terrarium. This plant is much hardy and if taken care at the early months, will stay alive and fresh for months.
4. Bird’s Nest Ferns
Ferns of some specific types are suited to be kept at the terrariums. You can keep bird’s nest ferns and holly ferns safely in the terrariums. The large leaves of these ferns offer proper hiding place to the crested gecko that loves privacy in its living place. The plant looks pretty unique and grows in a rounded way which makes it exquisite.
This plant does not have strong branches except for the core one, so it may not be much helpful for a large crested gecko to exercise or play. You can keep other plants with stronger stem along with this one, to make the total green coverage large in shape and space. The plant is pretty hardy when it comes to longevity and adjustability. You can skip watering it for a few days and then make the soil wet. Humidity does not create much problem for this kind of ferns.
These are tropical plants and this particular species is called Bird’s nest because the foliage creates a nest-like shape when fully grown. Indirect lighting is better for this plant as these are often found in shady places in natural locations. The temperature range should be around 27 degree Celsius for its growth.
Petra or Codiaeum Variegatum is a broad-leaved plant which comes with strong branches as well. This plant also offers some bright hues to the terrarium interior so you can keep it inside the terrarium for some beauty and exercise purpose of the gecko. The stem of this plant is woody thus it will stably stand and will not let the gecko fall from it when they will try to climb up.
The plant shows good health when you see the burst of colour into it. The bright hues of yellow, green and orange make it looks vivacious. This plant is also famous by the name croton petra. Bright light is good for this one but make sure it does not stay more than 6 hours under direct sunlight. Humidity never harms this plant but you should water this plant when you see the topsoil getting dry. Too much watering may damage the root.
Humidity or heat is not a problem for this plant, only sudden change in the atmosphere can damage its health. This is a good structural plant for the vivarium and it will offer luscious auburn and green foliage inside the terrarium. This plant takes time to grow, so you can sometimes offer fertilizers that are available for indoor plants to this plant if you need to fill a large terrarium with a huge sized plant.
6. Pink Quill
Pink quill is another nice choice to decorate the terrarium of the crested gecko. This plant offers some beautiful hue of bright colours which makes the terrarium pop with bright shades. This plant brings flowers that are the source of the colour. The pink flowers which turn to purple later make the cage look nice but are not harmful to the geckos. This plant is actually another species of bromeliads but is famous by the name Pink Quill due to the shape and colour of the flower.
This plant does not much bother when there is a dry condition so that way you can call it a hardy houseplant. Good natural light is helpful for the plant’s growth but for the saplings, the direct sun may be harmful. Water spray once in two days is enough to keep this plant happy. This plant can accept hot and cool weather with much ease so you should not be worried about the temperature shock during the season change.
Not only the flowers, but the branches of this plant also have vibrant colour shades of pink. This one is good for allowing the gecko to climb on its branches. This plant can stay in good condition even when it is kept in the most humid condition within the terrarium. Also heat up to a certain level does not harm this plant. It can flourish if a good amount of sunlight is provided along with lots of fresh air.
7. Chinese Evergreen
Chinese evergreen offers colour as well as a style but is a pretty low maintenance plant for the terrarium. This plant grows a lot and thus it should be planted on a large terrarium to fill the place. It grows rapidly so it will cover up the empty space faster. This is a hardy plant and can survive in odd situations, only you need to check that water does not stagnate around its roots.
This plant now is available in many hybrid varieties as it has become a much popular indoor as well as terrarium plant. There are speckled, blotched and many other types of Chinese evergreen plants available which you can choose from. The liner or oval-shaped leaves grow from the tip of the stem. The plant, when grows old, will get a strong trunk to allow the geckos to climb upon. Warmth is much required for this plant’s growth though it will survive through low lights.
This plant grows pretty fast in the hot and humid interior of the terrarium. This is a much useful plant as it offers ample chance to the gecko to climb up on its branches. So the crested gecko will be happy to find some equipment to move around and that will also regulate its digestion. The plant is wilt resistant and thus you can be worry-free about the safety of the gecko when it rides on the branches of this plant.
Does crested gecko eat the leaves of the plants in their terrarium?
When choosing the real plants for vivarium and terrarium, most pet owners get really concerned about the toxicity. In fact, they do a lot of research to make sure that the plant they are placing inside the vivarium can harm the pet gecko or not. This is to assure them that, crested geckos are not often seen to take a bite of the leaf. Unlike some other reptiles, the crested gecko is not a vegetarian creature and it does not usually try to eat the leaves.
However, finding the right option for decorative plants in the terrarium continues. Even the pet owners, who prefer to keep artificial plants, make sure that the quality and material of the plant is non-toxic. Pets are our responsibility and we should always be bothered about their well being.
Taking care of their living place comes under the list. So the pet owner always takes great care to decorate the interior of the terrarium by using any possible items. The original habitat is imitated by putting some natural and original plants inside it so the crested gecko may not feel aloof or stranded.