Safe plants for leopard geckos enclosure

Safe plants for leopard geckos enclosure



In this guide, I will talk about why live plants are good for leopard geckos and give you a list of plants that are safe and enjoyable for them. Whether you're new to taking care of geckos or you're experienced, this article will help you improve your gecko's home.

Safe Plants for Leopard Geckos

Understanding Leopard Gecko Habitats

Leopard geckos do best when their living space resembles their natural habitat. In the wild, they live in dry areas with rocks and not much plant life. To keep them healthy in captivity, it's important to make a habitat that meets their needs and gives them things to do.

Natural Habitat of Leopard Geckos: Leopard geckos come from the deserts of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and parts of India. They live in dry places with rocks and sand. These geckos are active at night, hiding during the day and coming out at night to hunt for insects.

Basic Requirements for a Leopard Gecko Enclosure: When setting up an enclosure for a leopard gecko, several factors need to be considered:

  • Space: Provide enough room for the gecko to move around comfortably. A 10-gallon tank is suitable for one gecko, but larger enclosures are recommended for multiple geckos.
  • Hides: Offer multiple hiding spots using rocks, caves, or commercial hides to provide security and reduce stress.
  • Heating and Lighting: Maintain a warm temperature gradient ranging from 85°F (29°C) on the warm side to 75°F (24°C) on the cool side. Use an under-tank heating pad or ceramic heat emitter to create a basking spot, and provide a UVB light source to support calcium metabolism.

Benefits of Incorporating Live Plants:
While artificial decorations and substrates are commonly used in leopard gecko enclosures, live plants offer several advantages:
  • Aesthetic Appeal: Live plants add a natural and visually appealing element to the enclosure, creating a more realistic habitat for the gecko.
  • Environmental Enrichment: Plants provide hiding spots, climbing opportunities, and sensory stimulation for the gecko, promoting physical and mental well-being.
  • Humidity Regulation: Certain plants can help regulate humidity levels in the enclosure, creating a more stable microclimate for the gecko.

Criteria for Selecting Safe Plants

Picking the right plants for your leopard gecko's home is really important to keep them safe and happy. When choosing plants, think about things like whether they're toxic, how much care they need, how big they get, how they grow, and if your gecko can eat them. By thinking about these things, you can make a habitat that's nice to look at and good for your gecko's health.

Make sure to pick plants that won't harm your leopard gecko if they eat them, as some plants can be toxic. Research each plant to see if it's safe for your pet in case they decide to take a bite.

Low Maintenance:
Choose plants that are simple to take care of and do well in the conditions of a leopard gecko's home. Avoid plants that need lots of humidity or need to be watered often, since they might not do well in the dry environment that geckos like.

Size and Growth Habit:
Think about how big the plants will get and how they grow to make sure they fit in the enclosure without taking up too much space. Choose plants that stay small or can be trimmed easily to stop them from overcrowding the habitat.

Edible or Non-Edible:
Check if the plants are safe for your gecko to eat. Even though leopard geckos mostly eat insects, they might nibble on plants sometimes. Pick plants that are not poisonous or offer edible choices that can be an extra food source.

List of Safe Plants for Leopard Geckos

Now that we know what to look for in safe plants, let's check out some options for leopard gecko habitats. These plants are safe, easy to care for, the right size, and either not edible or okay for geckos to eat in small amounts. Adding these plants to your gecko's home will make it look nicer, give them things to do, and help keep them healthy.


  • Aloe vera: Known for its soothing properties, aloe vera is a hardy succulent that adds texture to the enclosure.

  • Jade plant (Crassula ovata): With its compact growth habit, jade plant is an excellent choice for smaller enclosures.

  • Hens and chicks (Sempervivum)
  • Echeveria
  • Haworthia


  • Maidenhair fern (Adiantum): This delicate fern thrives in low light conditions and adds a lush, tropical feel to the habitat.
  • Bird's nest fern (Asplenium nidus): With its broad, arching fronds, bird's nest fern provides ample hiding spots for geckos.
  • Boston fern (Nephrolepis exaltata)
  • Rabbit's foot fern (Davallia fejeensis)
  • Staghorn fern (Platycerium)

Grasses and Herbs:

  • Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum): Easy to care for and non-toxic, spider plant produces trailing stems that can be climbed by geckos.
  • Wheatgrass (Triticum aestivum): Safe for geckos to nibble on occasionally, wheatgrass adds a pop of green to the enclosure.
  • Cat grass (Dactylis glomerata)
  • Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis)
  • Oregano (Origanum vulgare)


  • Snake plant (Sansevieria trifasciata): Also known as mother-in-law's tongue, snake plant is a hardy, low-maintenance option that thrives in a variety of conditions.

  • Bromeliads: These colorful, tropical plants add visual interest to the enclosure and provide hiding spots for geckos.

    • Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)
    • Dracaena
    • Prayer plant (Maranta leuconeura)

    Tips for Plant Placement and Maintenance

    Once you've selected the appropriate plants for your leopard gecko's habitat, it's essential to ensure they are placed and maintained correctly to promote their health and longevity. Proper placement and maintenance not only enhance the aesthetic appeal of the enclosure but also contribute to the overall well-being of your gecko. Here are some tips to help you with plant placement and maintenance:

    Consider Lighting and Temperature:

    • Place plants in areas of the enclosure where they can receive adequate light without being exposed to direct heat sources, such as basking lamps.
    • Ensure that the temperature and humidity levels in the enclosure are suitable for the plants' needs and adjust as necessary to prevent wilting or dehydration.

    Provide Suitable Support and Anchoring:

    • Use rocks, driftwood, or other decorative elements to anchor plants securely in the substrate and prevent them from being uprooted by your gecko's movements.
    • Avoid placing plants directly on top of hides or other structures where they may obstruct your gecko's access or create hiding spots for prey.

    Monitor Soil Moisture Levels:

    • Use well-draining soil or substrates specifically designed for reptile enclosures to prevent waterlogging and root rot.
    • Monitor soil moisture levels regularly and water plants accordingly, taking care not to overwater, which can lead to fungal growth and root rot.

    Prune and Trim Regularly:

    • Trim any dead or yellowing leaves to promote new growth and maintain the overall health and appearance of the plants.
    • Prune back any overgrowth to prevent plants from overcrowding the enclosure and obstructing your gecko's movement.
    Watch for Signs of Stress or Incompatibility:
    • Monitor your gecko's behavior and the condition of the plants regularly for signs of stress, such as wilting, browning, or yellowing leaves.
    • If any plants show signs of stress or become incompatible with your gecko's habitat, consider replacing them with more suitable options.
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