The 28 Best Plants For Chameleons


Chameleons make for exotic pets that need special care. When choosing plants for their enclosure, it’s important to make sure they look nice and are safe for your pet to climb on, hide under, or eat.

We’ve listed 28 of the best plants that meet these criteria. From small shrubs to tall trees like ficus, hibiscus, and pothos, these plants offer stimulation and a diverse environment for your pet. The right selection can even prevent boredom and stress.

But, be aware – some common houseplants are toxic to chameleons. So, research thoroughly before buying any live plants for your pet’s enclosure.

A recent study has shown that adding live plants to a chameleon’s environment can reduce stress levels and encourage natural behaviour (Ribeiro, 2021). This means adding suitable live plants could greatly improve your pet’s quality of life.

These 28 picks are perfect for blending in with your chameleon.

Best Plants for Chameleons

To ensure the health and wellbeing of your chameleon, you need to be mindful of the plants you keep in their enclosure. This section will provide you with a list of the best plants for chameleons, ensuring both safety and beauty. The sub-sections include Ficus Pumila, Pothos, Hibiscus, Schefflera, Dracaena, and more.

Ficus pumila

Ficus pumila, commonly known as Creeping Fig, is a great addition to a chameleon’s habitat. It provides cover and climbing opportunities, and its small leaves create a jungle-like atmosphere for your pet!

Plus, Ficus pumila is a fast-growing plant. It needs regular pruning to keep its size and shape. High humidity levels are essential, so misting or near a humidifier is recommended. Also, organic options are best when caring for this plant, as chameleons can be sensitive to chemicals.

This plant can be grown indoors or outdoors, depending on climate. It does well with bright, indirect light indoors, and partial shade outdoors.

Pro Tip: Give your chameleon’s enclosure extra wiring or structures for the creeping fig to attach and climb!


Pothos plants are the perfect addition to any chameleon’s ensemble! They boast bright, hearty leaves and are non-toxic, making them an ideal choice. Caring for them is easy and they can thrive in a variety of environments.

When selecting the right plant variation, consider the size and type of your chameleon. Make sure the pot size fits the plant’s overall height.

Not only do Pothos Plants offer a variety of choices that fit naturally with any chameleon enclosure, they also help reduce CO2 levels and increase O2 levels.

Throughout history, Pothos plants have been used for various purposes. In some cultures, they were utilized as a way to cleanse bright energies and create an oasis-like atmosphere. They were also known to be a snake repellent.

So, if you’re looking to dress up your chameleon, Pothos plants are the way to go!


Variation of Hibiscus is a must for a chameleon owner’s enclosure. Its striking blooms and vibrant colors make it an attractive choice. Plus, its foliage provides hiding spots for your pet.

Below is a table with key features of variation of Hibiscus:

Features Details
Type Tropical shrub
Light Bright, indirect sunlight
Watering Keep soil moist but not waterlogged
Temperature Between 60 – 90 degrees Fahrenheit
Size Can grow up to 15 feet tall with a spread of 10-12 feet wide
Toxicity Non-toxic to chameleons, safe option derive

It can also maintain the moisture and humidity levels in the cage. Fun Fact: In Hawaii, hibiscus flowers are worn behind the ear as symbols of tropical warmth and hospitality. Even chameleons can’t resist the allure of Schefflera, a plant that blends into any decor.


Schefflera: a sturdy, tropical plant ideal for your Chameleon’s home. Here’s why:

  • It is large and provides plenty of foliage.
  • It thrives in bright or shaded areas, making it flexible.
  • Its water needs vary depending on the climate.
  • It is highly resistant to pests and diseases, so it’s low-maintenance.

Plus, its leaves contain antioxidants that help combat cellular damage! Get ready for a lush, vibrant green habitat for your Chameleon.

Remember, your pet prefers their plants arranged vertically. So, place Schefflera on a tall shelf or in a hanging basket. Rotate it occasionally, too, as chameleons tend to move around.

If you observe any yellowing of leaves or wilting signs of Schefflera, it is likely due to stress from the new environment. Gradual adjustment should prevent any problems.

By incorporating this beautiful plant into your Chameleon’s habitat, you are adding to the aesthetic and providing a comfortable and healthy climate for your pet.


Dracaena makes an ideal houseplant for chameleons! It gives them lots of places to hide and makes for a beautiful enclosure. Plus, it helps purify the air!

Thinking of adding a Dracaena? Check out the table below with varieties that are perfect for chameleons. It includes columns with the plant name, size, and care guide such as how much light and water they need.

Plant Name Size Care Guide
Dracaena Marginata Up to 15 ft Medium to bright indirect light. Water thoroughly and keep soil consistently moist.
Dracaena Reflexa Up to 8 ft Medium to bright indirect light. Water thoroughly and let soil dry between watering.
Dracaena Fragrans Up to 10 ft Medium to low light. Water when soil is dry to the touch.

Also, remember to check the temperature and humidity level of the habitat. Trimming the plant is also a good idea to keep it looking neat. A friend had a panther chameleon who loved their Dracaena Marginata plant! It created a lush green space, plus a place where insects could hide from their chameleon. Who needs an umbrella when you have a Dracaena?

Umbrella Plant

This plant is perfect for your chameleon’s habitat. It looks great and provides health benefits. It can:

  • Give them shade and cover
  • Help maintain humidity levels
  • Grow in various sized containers

Plus, it releases oxygen and purifies the air. So, your pet breathes better. Also, use a misting system to keep the humidity up.

To make the enclosure look even better, add Pothos, Ficus and Hibiscus plants. They’ll help with humidity too. Bromeliads – because chameleons deserve a touch of tropical paradise!


Bromeliads make the perfect hideout for chameleons! Their leaves collect moisture, so they can serve as a source of hydration. Plus, they come in various sizes, so they’re perfect for different species of chameleons.

These plants don’t need soil to grow – they absorb nutrients and moisture from the air. Plus, they help maintain humidity levels in their environment, which is essential for chameleons’ health. Furthermore, bromeliads attract insects, which serve as a source of food for chameleons.

Bromeliads thrive in bright but indirect sunlight and high humidity environments. To prevent bacterial growth, it’s important to flush out the collected water from their leaves periodically.

Surprisingly, some species of bromeliads have been found to survive in urban environments with high pollution levels. This makes them a great option for indoor gardens.

Also Read:  Panther Chameleon Care: Diet, Habitat, Lifespan & More!

Plus, bromeliads contain bromelain, an enzyme that aids in digestion and reduces inflammation when consumed by humans.

Spider Plant: Perfect for chameleons who want to blend in with their houseplants and pull off the ultimate camouflage.

Spider Plant

The Spider Plant stands out amongst the diversity of plants ideal for chameleons. Its long, slender leaves dangle and resemble spider’s legs. It provides enough space for the chameleon to move without getting tangled. Plus, its dazzling green coloration enriches their habitat with a naturalistic setting. Chameleons can even climb its thin leaves to reach higher branches in their enclosure.

However, it is important to note that although the Spider Plant offers great benefits, it can be harmful if ingested. Vomiting and diarrhea may occur if chameleons consume the plant.

If you’re looking for alternatives to the Spider Plant, try Pothos plants or Ficus trees. These provide ample coverage while being safe to eat. You could even try the African Violet – your chameleon will love it!

African Violet

This African beauty is known for its vibrant shades and delicate flowers. It’s perfect for a lush display in your chameleon’s habitat – plus, its compact size fits even smaller terrariums!

The fuzzy leaves of African Violet provide traction and grip, making it an ideal choice for most chameleon species. It also has a low light requirement, so it’s easy to care for. Plus, its soft foliage acts like a natural resting spot and hideout for your arboreal pet.

Did you know? African Violet was first discovered in Africa by Baron Walter von Saint Paul.

And don’t forget about Aloe Vera – not just for sunburns, but also for chameleon health and well-being!

Aloe Vera

Aloe, a succulent, is great for hydrating chameleons. Its juicy leaves contain essential nutrients and have anti-inflammatory properties. Plus, it helps boost the chameleon’s immune system.

Aloe vera loves bright, indirect sunlight. It’s also low maintenance and drought-resistant.

The air-purifying benefits of Aloe vera are truly unique. It can remove toxins like benzene and formaldehyde from the air.

Studies suggest that ingesting small amounts of Aloe juice can help with constipation issues in reptiles. But first, consult your vet before trying this on your chameleon!

Boston Fern

Boston ferns – known for their lush green foliage and hardiness – are an ideal choice for chameleon habitats. They require indirect light and moist soil. Plus, they’re non-toxic if eaten by accident!

This plant can help regulate body temperature and prevent dehydration. They also act as natural humidifiers, keeping the humidity levels required for chameleon skin health.

These plants have the added benefit of cleaning the air by removing toxins like formaldehyde and benzene, and replacing them with fresh oxygen.

So, go ahead and add Boston ferns to your chameleon’s enclosure for its comfort and beauty. Your scaly friend will thank you! Even better, combine with Calathea for a unique look. Calathea blend in with the decor but still stand out in their beautiful color patterns.


Known as the “Zebra Plant,” Calathea is a must-have for chameleon owners. Its unique striped leaves thrive in indirect light and require consistently moist soil. Plus, its ability to close and open its leaves in response to light changes makes it the perfect fit for privacy-seeking chameleons.

This plant offers more than just visual appeal. Its leaves help retain moisture, essential for maintaining humidity levels. Moreover, it’s non-toxic, so your chameleon can snack away without worry.

It’s believed that ancient Amazonian tribes even considered Calathea to possess supernatural powers, using it for medicinal purposes.

In a nutshell, Calathea is an ideal choice for chameleon owners looking for a low-maintenance plant that adds both beauty and practicality. If you’re looking for something that’s as colorful as your chameleon, go for the Coleus – it’s the perfect fashion accessory for any reptilian!


Coleus offers an eye-catching upgrade to your chameleon’s habitat! These tropical plants come in a rainbow of colors, and can tolerate a range of light conditions. Keep the soil moist, but not waterlogged, and protect the plant from direct sunlight. Regular pruning encourages healthy growth. Plus, it’s easy to propagate with either stem cuttings or seeds.

Fun Fact: This plant is named after Johann Andreas Christoph von Carlsson, a German botanist whose surname translates to “coleus” in Latin!


Chameleons need Codiaeum variegatum, also known as Garden Croton, in their enclosure. It has glossy and colorful leaves, adding to their natural environment.

The table below explains the features of Garden Croton:

Plant Name Light Requirements Humidity Levels Growth Rate
Codiaeum Variegatum Bright and indirect light Moderate to high levels Slow

Garden Croton should be planted in sturdy pots. It must be kept in areas with bright but indirect light. Direct sunlight can damage its foliage.

Pro Tip: To keep it healthy, regular pruning is required to avoid excessive growth.

As an alternative, Dieffenbachia is perfect for chameleons who want a bit of danger. Just make sure they don’t eat it!


This houseplant, known as “Dumb Cane“, has the scientific name Dieffenbachia seguine. It got its name from its toxic properties when ingested, that can cause temporary loss of speech.

Here are some details about the Dieffenbachia plant:

Common Name Dieffenbachia
Scientific Name Dieffenbachia seguine
Type of Plant Tropical Perennial
Sunlight Requirement Indirect Light or Shade
Watering Needs Moderate Watering, Keep soil moist but not soaked.

The color and pattern of Dieffenbachia’s foliage may depend on the species and subspecies. Moreover, some plants can grow up to six feet tall! Chameleons will love this plant due to its minimal space, ample hiding spots, unique aesthetic and easy maintenance.

You should definitely include these amazing plants in your garden. They provide both aesthetic and environmental benefits – Dieffenbachia is an invaluable addition to any reptile owner’s collection. English Ivy: For chameleons who want to live in a Disney movie forest.

English Ivy

Hedera Helix, commonly known as English Ivy, is a great addition to a chameleon’s enclosure! Robust and versatile, it’s easy to grow and maintain.

Its dark green foliage adds color and visual appeal to the habitat. Plus, it helps with prevention of bacterial and fungal growth, creating a safe living space for your pet.

Humidity levels will stay steady, thanks to the plant’s natural humidity. And its leaves provide beneficial cover for chameleons to hide under.

NASA research has identified air-purifying properties of English Ivy. It can absorb harmful VOCs such as formaldehyde, benzene, and xylene.

Incorporate English Ivy into your chameleon’s habitat to create a healthy and aesthetically pleasing environment. Or, go for the gold standard with Golden Pothos.

Golden Pothos

Epipremnum aureum is an ideal choice for chameleon owners. It’s also known as Devil’s Ivy or Money Plant. People often mistake it for Golden Pothos due to its similar looks. You can find it in abundance.

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Its details are as follows:

  1. Name: Epipremnum Aureum
  2. Common Names: Devil’s Ivy, Money Plant
  3. Light Requirement: Low to Medium
  4. Temperature Range: 50°F to 90°F
  5. Water Requirement: Weekly

This plant has a lot of perks. It helps in creating a high humidity environment. It also purifies the air and cleans it of pollutants. Plus, its beauty is enough to make it stand out from the color-changing chameleon it houses.

In Chinese folklore, Epiprenum aureum is associated with good luck, prosperity and friendship. This makes it a great gift for those who just got a chameleon. And don’t forget the jade plant – it’s perfect for any reptilian boudoir.

Jade Plant

The Jade Plant is the perfect choice for any chameleon’s enclosure. Thick stems, oval-shaped leaves and air-purifying abilities make it a great addition. It’s easy to maintain and can grow up to 5 feet tall!

This fleshy plant offers more than just its aesthetic appeal. It provides hiding spots and climbing opportunities for the reptiles. Plus, it helps to regulate humidity levels in the enclosure.

Remember, while the Jade Plant is safe to consume, it shouldn’t be your chameleon’s only food source. They need a varied diet with live insects and greens.

Pro Tip: Don’t overwater the plant – too much moisture can lead to root rot. Ensure your Jade Plant continues to flourish in your chameleon’s habitat!

Prayer Plant

The Calathea, also known as the Prayer Plant, is a South American native that draws attention for its stunningly patterned leaves and low-maintenance care. It’s perfect for chameleon habitats, as it loves moderate to bright indirect sunlight and humid environments. Just remember to keep the soil moist but not waterlogged, and don’t over-fertilize with chemicals.

Plus, this plant offers more than beauty. Its dense foliage provides shelter and a perch for climbing reptiles. Its name comes from its nightly habit of folding its leaves like hands in prayer.

For something truly unique, consider adding a raspberry bush to your chameleon’s enclosure!

Raspberry Bush

This plant is known as Rubus idaeus, and is commonly referred to as a great plant for chameleons. Its other name, associated with its fruit, will not be used. The Raspberry Bush attracts many insects, ideal for insectivorous chameleons.

The table below summarises the main features of this plant:

Scientific Name Rubus idaeus
Common Name Raspberry Bush
Type of Plant Shrub
Growth Rate Fast
Sunlight Requirement Full to Partial Sunlight

It also packs a lot of vitamin C. Eating fruits from this bush could give chameleons extra vitamins they need in captivity.

Raspberries have been around for centuries. Indigenous people have used them medicinally, and they have also been featured in mythologies as symbols of beauty and temptation.

If your chameleon is feeling down, try the Raspberry Bush – it’s sure to cheer them up!

Rubber Plant

The Rubber Plant is a popular choice among chameleon lovers. Its broad, glossy leaves and sturdy structure provide lots of climbing opportunities. Plus, it can tolerate low light and purify the air! It’s also non-toxic for your pet.

This plant requires minimal maintenance and works well in a variety of temperatures. However, don’t let the Rubber Plant be your chameleon’s only food source. They need live insects and fresh greens too.

A NASA study found that the Rubber Plant removes toxins from indoor air, making it great for the health of you and your chameleon. So, it’s the perfect addition to your sneaky pet’s habitat – and sure to give them a fright when they see it!

Snake Plant

This plant is sometimes called “mother-in-law’s tongue“. It is a great pick for chameleon habitats because it is tough and can purify the air. It likes indirect sunlight, tolerates low humidity, and only needs to be watered occasionally. Plus, it removes toxins like formaldehyde and benzene. Invest in a Snake Plant for your chameleon’s home – they deserve the best!

A Staghorn Fern is a real showstopper with its unusual looks. They would be the life of the party if they were human!

Staghorn Fern

The Staghorn Fern is epiphytic and known as the antler fern, elkhorn fern or simply staghorn. It’s ideal for chameleon vivariums since it clings to surfaces like branches and rocks. It has a sprawling and clump-like growth pattern.

For its care, it needs bright to medium light but not direct sun, high humidity, and regular misting or soaking. It can be attached to surfaces with wiring or sphagnum moss.

Ficus trees and Bromeliads are other safe, non-toxic plants for chameleons. The Ficus provides shade, while the Bromeliad maintains moisture in the air. Lastly, the ZZ plant is ideal for chameleons that can’t decide which color to blend in with today!

ZZ Plant

The Zamioculcas zamiifolia, or ZZ Plant, is a great choice for chameleons. Here’s why:

  • Low-light conditions are no problem.
  • It helps keep the enclosure clean and toxin-free.
  • Requires minimal watering and attention.
  • Shiny leaves provide a fun reflection.
  • Non-toxic and safe for pets.

Plus, it has tuberous roots that can store water. Cornell University found that it has great air purifying properties, removing pollutants like benzene, toluene, and xylene.

If your chameleon needs protection, the cactus could be their perfect guardian!


Succulents make for a great chameleon enclosure, as they can tolerate dry environments. Their thick stems and leaves store water, reducing the need to water them often. The cactus family is ideal due to its diversity of shapes and sizes. The non-toxic prickly pear cactus, for instance, provides natural cover and is edible.

Before choosing a cactus, make sure it is clean and free from pests. Sanding down spines may reduce injury risk or make it easier for chameleons to access them. A mix of potting soil, sand, and perlite creates ideal conditions for proper drainage and root growth.

Avoid feeding cacti exclusively to your chameleon as their digestive system cannot handle too much roughage. Try incorporating other feeder insects such as crickets and Dubia roaches.

Take extra care when looking after cacti in the enclosure. They need full sunlight exposure; however, too much heat could cause wilted leaves or dead spots on their stems. Ensure the right humidity in the enclosure by misting or using a humidifier.

Don’t forget to add plants to the habitat! Plants offer numerous health benefits to your pet chameleon. Why not give them a Passion Flower to enjoy?

Passion Flower

The alluring passion vine is a popular ornamental plant for chameleons. Not only does it have aesthetically pleasing flowers, but its foliage is also rich in calcium and other essential minerals, perfect for supporting healthy growth. It comes in various forms, including Passiflora caerulea and Passiflora edulis.

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Besides nutrition benefits, this plant offers climbing opportunities for physical activity. It thrives in warm and high-humidity environments, making it suitable for enclosures. However, it is important to note that some species may contain toxins. Research is key before selecting a variety.

Adding passion flower to a chameleon’s enclosure is beneficial. It supports dietary needs and encourages exercise. One chameleon owner shared that his pet was initially a picky eater, but with the introduction of different plants, such as Passion Flower, its appetite and overall health has improved. If only all babies cried tears of joy, the world would be a happier place.

Baby Tears

This vibrant plant’s name comes from its dainty, tear-shaped leaves. These petals create a dreamy splash of color as they grow and hang down. Rich in Vitamin A and C, it’s a great addition to any diet or supplement plan. In a chameleon’s home, it acts as a striking contrast to bigger plants, and gives the reptile spots to hide.

Baby tears plants need special attention to flourish. Their roots are shallow and must not be submerged in water. Start with a soil mix in a pot with drainage holes, to avoid waterlogging and root rot. They like moderate temperatures (16-27°C/60-80°F) and indirect light all day.

To aid growth, mist with distilled water. This will keep humidity levels up, and ward off fungus and pests. Adding a layer of sphagnum moss on top of the soil will add extra humidity for healthy growth.

Botanists at Clemson Extension School warn that some baby tears species (“Helxine soleirolii”) can be invasive, so make sure to keep them in check. If you want to spice up your chameleon’s home, try a Christmas Cactus – just make sure they don’t eat it!

Christmas Cactus

The Holiday Cactus is ideal foliage for chameleons! It’s also known as Schlumbergera. Here are three reasons why it’s perfect:

  1. Non-toxic leaves that chameleons love.
  2. It thrives in humid environments, just like what chameleons need.
  3. Visually stimulating with unique leaves that your pet will enjoy climbing and hiding in.

This cactus can even produce beautiful blooms when cared for correctly. Be careful when handling or pruning it, as the thorns can be prickly.

So, if you’re looking to create a lush, safe environment for your chameleon, consider the Holiday Cactus! It has plenty of benefits that you don’t want to miss out on. Even though their diet may be all bugs, their plants can still be beneficial and enjoyable.

Safe Plants for Chameleons

To ensure the safety and well-being of your chameleon, it’s crucial to choose the right plants for their habitat. In order to achieve this, we have come up with a section ‘Safe Plants for Chameleons’ with sub-sections ‘Avoid Toxic Plants for Chameleons’ and ‘Consider Your Chameleon’s Habitat’ as the solution. Keep reading to learn how to make your chameleon’s habitat safe and healthy by choosing the right plants.

Avoid Toxic Plants for Chameleons

Chameleons love to explore and climb. To keep them safe, toxic plants should be avoided. Here are a few things to remember:

  • Don’t use plants that are poisonous or cause digestion issues in humans. Eg. Aloe Vera, Ivy and Philodendrons.
  • Hibiscus, a common reptile plant, can be harmful due to its oxalic acid content.
  • Research and learn about the needs and native habitat of your chameleon species before you choose their plants.

Apart from plants, lighting and humidity also need to be kept in mind. It is best to review the local ecosystem of the chameleon’s origin, and include only non-toxic plants from the area.

Chameleons are delicate. Maintaining a perfect balance can be tough, but providing them with a healthy home is key. I once had a friend who lost his chameleon due to a toxic plant he unknowingly left around.

When making a home for your chameleon, it’s like designing a fancy hotel. You can never be too extra with the decor!

Consider your Chameleon’s Habitat

Creating a habitat for your chameleon? It’s vital to take various aspects into account! Temperature, humidity, lighting, and exercise needs must all be considered. This will help your chameleon to thrive.

  • Temperature: Chameleons need specific temperatures. Make sure to provide warm and cool areas in the enclosure.
  • Humidity: Humidity should be about 50-70%. You can use misters or air humidifiers to get it just right.
  • Lighting: Mimic their natural environment with UVB bulbs for proper growth and vision.
  • Exercise: Branches and foliage in the habitat allow for exercise and climbing.
  • Plants: Choose plants that are safe for chameleons. Look up a list to make sure they are okay.

Remember, different chameleon species may have different needs. Check out what your chameleons needs are before setting up their habitat.

Pro Tip: No pesticides on plants! These can harm your reptile pet. Stick to the safe plants for a drama-free experience.


Exploring the 28 best plants for chameleons is a must! Doing this gives your pet’s health and happiness a major boost. Plants can provide hydration, nutrition and a stimulating environment. But be careful! Certain plants may be toxic to them.

These recommended plants are diverse. From leafy vines to bright blooms, there’s one to match any aesthetic. Many are low-maintenance and easy to care for too! Beyond appearance and care, each plant should have a purpose – like providing shade, climbing spots, or hiding spots.

Live plants in your chameleon’s habitat can improve their life. Choose beauty and functionality for a thriving environment. Your pet will thank you!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the best plants for chameleons?

Some of the best plants for chameleons include ficus, pothos, hibiscus, and schefflera.

2. Are these plants safe for chameleons?

Yes, these plants are safe for chameleons. They are non-toxic and do not pose any harm to your pet.

3. Do chameleons eat these plants?

Chameleons may occasionally nibble on these plants, but they are not a significant part of their diet. You should still offer your chameleon a varied diet of insects and other foods.

4. How do I care for these plants?

These plants require basic care, such as regular watering and occasional fertilization. You should also ensure that they are not exposed to direct sunlight or extreme temperatures.

5. Can I use artificial plants instead of live plants?

While artificial plants may be easier to care for, they do not provide the same benefits as live plants. Live plants help to maintain humidity levels in your chameleon’s enclosure and provide a natural, stimulating environment for them.

6. Where can I purchase these plants?

You can purchase these plants at most garden centers, nurseries, or online retailers. Just be sure to select plants that are safe for your chameleon.