Bearded dragons are very popular exotic pets, with part of their appeal being that, compared to some other reptiles, they are fairly easy to care for.
Novice reptile owners often choose bearded dragons as their first exotic pet for this reason.
Unfortunately, the reputation of the bearded dragon as a beginner-friendly reptile means that some owners, however well-meaning, don’t fully appreciate the many needs of this incredible animal, particularly when it comes to their environment.
It’s so sad to see beautiful bearded dragons cooped up in bare, boring tanks with nothing to simulate their natural habitat.
This is basically the equivalent of keeping a bearded dragon in a prison cell, which is cruel and can have a significant negative impact on the animal’s well-being.
The first step to creating a suitable bearded dragon tank is introducing some real plants as opposed to plastic plants.
Plants can be a source of food for bearded dragons as well as decorative features for the tank.
This article will suggest 14 plants you can put in your bearded dragon’s tank for a healthier, happier pet!
Plants For Food
Putting edible plants in your bearded dragon’s tank allows them to forage for food in the same way as they would in the wild.
This is crucial if you want your beardy to feel at home.
However, before you start putting plants in the tank, you need to be sure that they are safe for your bearded dragon to eat.
Here are a few plants that your bearded dragon can snack on from the comfort of their tank:
This hardy, fast-growing plant is nutritious for bearded dragons and also looks great in a tank.
Callisia repens is known to have numerous health benefits for these reptiles, including alleviating gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea.
However, you should be aware that callisia repens has a high water content, which means that your bearded dragon might become over-hydrated if you also feed it large quantities of green vegetables.
If you put this plant in your bearded dragon’s tank, you should monitor their consumption of the plant as well as how many other green foods it is eating.
With that being said, it is unusual for bearded dragons to consume too much food that is high in water because they start to feel full quite quickly, so you probably won’t have too much to worry about when it comes to introducing this plant to your dragon’s tank.
We know what you’re thinking – catnip is just for cats, right?
Wrong! Bearded dragons enjoy eating this herb, and although it’s not particularly beneficial for them, it makes a great snack in small quantities between meals.
With catnip being part of the mint family, it’s no surprise that bearded dragons also like to eat peppermint.
Although mint shouldn’t be a staple food in your bearded dragon’s diet, a small mint plant in your dragon’s tank will give them a tasty treat on occasion.
Basil is a delicious herb with a lot of health benefits for both humans and bearded dragons!
Again, this herb is not recognized as a staple food for bearded dragons, so it shouldn’t make up a significant portion of your dragon’s diet, but it’s a great treat to put in its tank.
Bearded dragons can consume many types of cress, such as watercress.
Just like with Callisia repens, you need to be aware of the high water content and moderate consumption to regulate your beardy’s water intake.
Also, bear in mind that watercress has a high oxalate content, which means that you should avoid feeding it to your dragon on a regular basis.
Plants For Decoration
The following plants are suitable for decoration in a bearded dragon’s tank.
While these plants aren’t part of a bearded dragon’s diet, they aren’t poisonous, so even if your beardy decides to nibble on them from time to time, they won’t do any harm.
Aloe vera is one of the best decorative plants to put in your bearded dragon’s tank because it’s safe for them to eat and copes well with hot, dry environments.
This is a low-maintenance plant that you won’t need to water too often.
However, you may need to replace the plant fairly frequently because bearded dragons like to snack on aloe vera, and the leaves will quickly start to look worse for wear.
Selaginella lepidophylla is a plant that typically grows in the desert, so it’s perfect for your bearded dragon’s tank.
It needs at least 12 hours of light per day, so it’s well-suited to growing under the heat lamps in this reptile’s terrarium.
This plant doesn’t form part of the bearded dragon’s usual diet and won’t provide much nutritional value, but it also won’t hurt your dragon if it does decide to have a taste.
If you’re looking for the ideal decorative terrarium plant for your bearded dragon, we recommend blushing bride.
Blushing bride doesn’t need watering, so it’s easy to maintain and keep healthy.
You can just mist your tank now and again to keep it hydrated.
If you don’t want to have to replace the plant due to your dragon using it as a food source, you can glue it to the walls of the tank or to the rocks inside the tank.
Make sure to use non-toxic glue, of course.
Callistemon is another popular plant for decorating a terrarium.
This plant is very hardy and can grow in a wide variety of conditions, including the dry and hot conditions bearded dragons are accustomed to.
This plant can grow up to a meter in height, however, so if you place one of these plants in your dragon’s tank, you may need to keep trimming it back – unless your dragon takes care of that for you!
Otherwise, Callistemon is very low-maintenance, so it won’t add to your workload when it comes to maintaining your dragon’s tank.
Beaucarnea recurvata is an excellent choice for decorating your bearded dragon’s tank.
The plant forms small clumps of grass-like stems that reach about 30 centimeters long.
These stems are covered in tiny hairs.
Usually, bearded dragons won’t choose this plant as a source of food, but if your dragon does take a bite, rest assured that it’s not poisonous and is completely safe for your pet.
Cycas Revoluta is a non-toxic palm plant that will look great in your bearded dragon’s home and isn’t harmful to reptiles.
The only thing to bear in mind is that this plant might not last long in the hot, bright environment bearded dragons need to stay healthy.
This is because the plant only needs moderate light and doesn’t tolerate extremely hot temperatures very well, so this is a plant choice that may need replacing regularly.
Another plant that looks good in a terrarium is Hoya australis.
This is a low-maintenance plant that requires little more than watering a couple of times a week to stay healthy.
The soil needs to be allowed to dry between waterings, however.
This is a climbing vine plant, so you might need to trim it occasionally to stop it from overtaking your dragon’s tank, but your bearded dragon will be very grateful for the natural decoration.
There are some cycads that make beautiful additions to any reptile’s habitat, including bearded dragons.
Cycadaceae is safe for bearded dragons, but it’s better as a decorative plant than as a source of nutrition.
All you need to do to keep this perennial herb healthy is water it regularly, but not often – about 2 or 3 times per week should be enough.
Finally, we recommend Gasteria verrucosa to decorate your bearded dragon’s living space.
This is an annual plant that grows quickly, reaching heights of around 1 meter in just a few months.
It has pretty leaves with yellow edges and red veins, which makes it a nice addition to your bearded dragon’s tank.
However, due to the fact that this plant grows so tall so quickly, you will need to trim it quite regularly.
We mentioned earlier that putting real plants in your bearded dragon’s terrarium is better than decorating the environment with plastic plants.
However, if you’re looking for a quick and easy way to add more greenery to your dragon’s enclosure without having to worry about keeping more plants alive, you can put some fake plants in the tank along with the real ones.
Here are some of our top recommendations for plastic bearded dragon plants:
This plant has leaves made of silk, so it’s soft and safe for your dragon to be around without risking any injuries.
It works perfectly as a singular centerpiece in a smaller tank or as one of many in a larger terrarium.
- You're busy, we know! Say goodbye to live plants --- We all know a live plant needs greater care and attention than the plastic ones. Keeping them in optimal sunlight, feeding them with their food, and regular upkeep is all that entails in maintenance. Now liberate yourself from the mess and simply add the real-looking plastic plant by SunGrow.
- A life-like plant for all pets --- If you think that only your bettas love it, think again! This plant is very popular amongst shrimps, geckos, and salamanders. The list just doesn’t stop yet. You can decorate your dragon’s enclosure or add it to your snake’s chamber. The fish lay their eggs on the nice broad leaves. The tetras and rasboras sleep in it and explore between the soft leaves. It gives a lot of room to hermit crabs to hide under. The leaves give them a hiding spot and a shaded area.
- Soft silk leaves --- If you are worried about your fish fins or snakes' scale getting cut from the leaves, leave all your concerns behind! This is a premium product and the makers have taken utmost care in designing the leaves. You will not spot any spiky branches protruding out of the leaf's stem.
- The realistic plant that looks right in smallest to biggest tanks --- Whether you own a hexagon tank or a 5-gallon one or a community aquarium, this realistically textured plant looks great. In smaller tanks, it looks lovely as the only plant. It stands upright even in a terrarium. Now, make your guest’s heads turn with awe and place this plant in your aquarium.
- Heavy-duty ceramic base --- Securely held in place by a heavy-duty ceramic base, the lightweight and lifelike leaves on the SunGrow Plastic Leaf Plant freely sway and move in the water.
The Zoo Med Naturalistic Bush Plant will make your bearded dragon feel safe because it provides great overhead coverage.
The design is very realistic, which is important in a plastic plant for a pet’s environment.
- Provides natural cover
- For all reptiles and amphibians
- Provides natural cover
- For all reptiles and amphibians
- Create your own jungle!
This plastic vine can be secured to the sides of your dragon’s tank using the suction cups attached to the stem.
The plastic material is non-toxic and really easy to clean.
- Comes with suction cups to affix to the tank and are made of non-toxic polythylene material for easy cleaning and disenfecting.
- 6 feet in length
- Lifelike & natural looking.
This plastic fern has a weighted base to help it stay upright no matter how enthusiastic your bearded dragon is when it comes to checking out new objects in its tank.
The large plastic leaves make great hiding spots for when your beardy is feeling tired or shy.
- Perfect For: Ideal for use in more 'sterile' set-ups (e.g. quarantine terrariums) or used in those spots of the terrarium where real plants cannot thrive or survive.
- Looks Natural: Extremely realistic replicas of real plants to use in your terrarium setup.
- Easy Cleaning: Exo Terra replica plants are easy to clean and maintain.
- Pair With: Can be used in conjunction with real plants to create a blended terrarium environment.
- Encourages Natural Behavior: Exo Terra replica plants create natural hiding spots for reptiles and amphibians, allowing them to thrive in safety.
If you’re looking for plants that you can add to your bearded dragon’s tank, either for feeding or decorative purposes, the good news is that you have plenty of options to choose from – 14, to be exact.
You can also add to your bearded dragon plant collection with some plastic plants if you want.
Before you add a plant to your bearded dragon’s environment, make sure you understand the plant’s care requirements to ensure you can maintain a healthy and appealing living space for your pet.
If you intend the plant to serve as a food source, you should also consider factors like water content and think about how it will fit in with your dragon’s existing diet.