While leopard geckos live on insects, they do not like to munch on greens of any kind. Even for their treats, they prefer to have mealworms and crickets. Super worms are also one of their favourite foods.
There are a few types of plants that are safe for leopard geckos and those you can place safely inside their terrarium. These plants do not give out any toxic gas, neither causes any toxicity if the gecko bites on them.
What plants can leopard geckos eat?
The plants are Christmas cactus, snake plants, pink quill, aloe-vera, sage grass, jade plant and devil’s ivy and many more.
There are varieties of live plants available from various stores, which can be used to decorate the terrarium of the gecko and make it look like a greener and luscious place.
1. Aloe vera:
There are quite a few varieties of aloe vera available in various shops. Most of the species are harmless and these are suitable for indoor life. The sizes and length of the aloe vera differ with the species and you must choose something that fits the terrarium. Aloe vera is a hardy plant and it can sustain in such difficult situations. Thus pet owners find it really useful for decorating the terrarium.
Aloe vera has some medicinal benefits and it is never harmful to the leopard gecko. In fact, humans can consume it for the betterment of health. While most of the aloe vera plants are green, you can find some colourful varieties like pink blush or sunset which are bright and vibrant coloured variations of aloe vera.
This plant can survive with minimal water so you can water it once in fourteen days. But sunlight is a vital element for the growth of this plant. However, when kept inside the terrarium it can get the UV rays not from the natural sunlight but from the UV ray emitter bulb. Minimum 6 to 8 hours UV ray will be needed to keep the aloe vera plant healthy.
2. Christmas Cactus:
This plant can be used in the terrarium to make it a gorgeous looking place. The vibrant huge or red and white makes the Christmas cactus one of the most favourite indoor plants. This is also used to decorate the interior of the terrarium as this one can stand harsh weather and it is not poisonous to any creatures. The flowers that this plant produces are beautiful bright pink or red in colour. It is also popular by the name Schlumbergera.
This plant is named so because of the blooming season, which coincides with the Christmas festivity time. This attractive plant comes with hanging branches that are not straight and tough like the usual plants, but rather glossy and flat. This plant grows up to 3 ft. and no more, thus it fits the terrarium of the gecko nicely.
The plant is more suitable for the humid climate as it originates from Brazil. Thus the humid interior of the terrarium will initiate its growth and healthy life. It needs good quality fertile soil to grow and ample hours in sun. Hence the terrarium cannot be placed under direct sunlight, you must keep the UV light on for long hours to enable the plant to absorb the light.
3. Rhipsalis Micrantha f. Rauhiorum:
This one can be counted as one of the rare plants. It is found only in Ecuador. This plant looks rather unusual with its small white flowers. The stems of this plant are segmented and give it a segmented look. This one is pretty small in size and grows up to only three inches tall. This is a perfect terrarium plant as it will not create a huge bush or not be enough tall to overgrow inside the terrarium.
Indirect light is best suited for the growth of this plant so it is a perfect indoor plant. No need to keep it in direct sunlight as the terrarium light will do good to it. The soil should be sparsely watered as well-drained soil is what this plant needs to stay healthy. But you must check for the moisture level of the soil, and can spray the plant when the topsoil gets dry.
This plant can grow bushy and thus you need to keep it trimmed to fit it inside the terrarium. This will be a perfect shady hideout for the leopard gecko and will offer it ample privacy when it needs that. The green leaves of the plant along with the small white flowers make this an ideal item to be used inside the terrarium and make it a nice looking place for your gecko.
4. String of pearls:
Senecio Rowleyanus is the scientific name of this much common indoor plant. This plant has been put on this list for its unique look which justifies the name it. The pearl-like beads are actually the green leaves of this plant which gives it an ecstatic look. This much different plant is exquisite in looks and it can withstand much harsh weather.
They say that it can survive even the draughts, which makes it a nice choice for the terrarium. Sparse watering will make this plant grow well. The high temperature never bothers it so you can keep the temperature high inside the terrarium with this plant put inside. This is actually a succulent plant and thus it will manage to flourish inside the terrarium where there will be around forty per cent humidity.
Sunlight is not mandatory for this plant, and it can live well under direct sunlight or in a shaded place. So you do not have to bother about keeping the plant outdoor for some hours daily. The natural light that enters the terrarium will be good enough for this plant to stay healthy.
All the colours and sizes of this plant make it look attractive and thus it is a good choice for the terrarium life. This plant is much common and easily found in local stores, so you can get it without much fuss. The most important aspect of this plant’s growth is enough sunlight but if you do not wish to put the terrarium into direct sunlight, then there is always the option of UV rays available.
This plant looks very pretty and thus most gecko owners choose this one to be used inside the terrarium. This plant will make a good interior item for the terrarium as this one needs minimal care to stay healthy and flourishing. This plant can survive with a very little amount of water and thus you should water it once in two weeks. When it is winter, the watering should be sparser.
These are succulent plants and need pretty little care to stay healthy. Even the soil quality need not be much high to keep this plant alive. This is a thick-leaved plant and it forms a rosette by shape. The leaves are able to hold water inside them so the little watering will not bother its growth. The side ledges of the leaves are coloured and it makes a sensible choice for the terrarium.
6. Krikle Kurl:
This one is famous by the name Hindu Rope plant and the scientific name of this plant is Hoya Carnosa f. Compacta. The name is pretty suggestive of the look of the plant. The leaves of this unique plant are all curled up in a unique way. The leaves are thick and this plant has a weak stem. But this is not a climber. This plant is originated in India thus it is pretty adjusted to the tropical climate.
Well-drained soil and high temperature is just the perfect scenario to grow this plant. The plant takes much longer to grow so it will be suitable for the terrarium. It contains flowers but it takes more than a year to grow them. However, this plant is not fitted for small terrariums and large ones will be the best place to fit them in.
If it can be given a place and time to grow fully, it can reach up to 20 ft of height. This is a long-lasting plant and will survive for many years. The flowers of this plant are similar to the ones of wax plant or porcelain flower plant. This is a semi-succulent one in nature and needs a vine to spread to its full length. The plant grows in trails and thus it needs to be trimmed when placed inside the terrarium.
Gecko owner’s views on live plants inside the terrarium:
There are quite a few versions of the gecko owners regarding keeping the indoor plants in the terrarium. Some find it a nice addition to the terrarium where others think this is an unnecessary hazard.
In support of keeping plants:
Those who are supportive of keeping plants inside the cage say that it breaks the monotony of the boring interior. Geckos are wild creature and when they are in the wilderness, they get to see a variety of creatures and change scenario around their habitat.
But when they are kept inside the terrarium, they are compelled to live in the same place and see the same background, get to eat the same kind of food mostly and also lack the variety by every means, inside the terrarium. Green plants add some colours to the interior and make the place look and feel more interesting. Along with that, there are some environmental benefits of the plants too.
Against the idea of keeping plants:
Those who are against the idea of keeping greens inside the terrarium say, there is no particular need of keeping indoor plants inside the terrarium. Leopard geckos do not eat greens and thus they will not be able to taste the leaves of the plants out of curiosity.
Also keeping the plants means an additional task, as the owner now needs to take care of the leopard gecko and the plants both. Watering the plant, checking the soil moisture and cleaning the fallen leaves is mandatory, or else that can the breeding place of microbes or other various kinds of bacteria.
Also if the plants contain thorns or some sharp edge, which is pretty common among cactus, then the owner needs to be extra cautious about the geckos. The leopard geckos are in habit of climbing the high parts of any plant, but they can accidentally get poked by the thorns. This extra care will not be needed if there would be no plants inside the terrarium.
The plants inside the terrarium offer a bio-active environment and this is a healthy option for the geckos to live in. while keeping plants has its hassles like cleaning the terrarium of the dead leaves, watering the plant and trimming or maintaining them accordingly, this also has its positive sides.
A touch of green makes the interior of the terrarium a livelier place. It also absorbs carbon dioxide and gives out oxygen to purify the air inside. Thus the plants, if chosen carefully and maintained well, can offer a fresh air flow inside the terrarium.