What is the Best Terrarium Habitat for Bearded Dragons?

Kari | March 31, 2021
Photo by: Miriam Fischer on Pexels

Bearded dragons are lovable reptile pets that can live a long time given the right conditions. Perhaps the number one condition for their long-term lifespan is their habitat. In order for the bearded dragon to live happy and healthy, its habitat needs to be both roomy and comfortable, and one way to do this is by adding live plants to their habitat.

Set Up a Terrarium

A terrarium is a common type of habitat for bearded dragons. To set it up, start with at least a 50-gallon-size glass or plastic tank. If there will be more than one adult bearded dragon in the tank, it will need to be even larger. Wood and other cage types may be used, but a screen enclosure should never be used as it does not provide enough insulation.

To maintain a warm temperature, a heating light should be added above the tank. Add a tall spot under the light, such as a stone, to give bearded dragons a place to bask in the light as they would do in a natural environment.

Lastly, a substrate should be added to the terrarium floor. This can be either a reptile carpet or shredded paper, but it needs to be cleaned or changed out regularly. Avoid using sand as it can cause digestive issues in bearded dragons, especially young ones, if it is eaten.

Add Live Plants

Once the basic structure of the habitat is created, plants and decorations can be added to make it more natural and comfortable for bearded dragons.

And what live plants can be put in a bearded dragon terrarium? Check out this list:

  • Aloe plants—Also known as the great cure for sunburn, aloe makes a great terrarium plant, and it’s safe for bearded dragon enclosures. They come in a wide variety, but a small aloe plant works best.
  • Prickly pear cacti—Cacti are extremely easy to care for because they require little water, and they can help mimic a natural desert environment for a bearded dragon. Not only that, but prickly pear cacti actually serve as a good source of food.
  • Basil—This herb thrives in warm environments, just like bearded dragons. It’s also safe for these pets to eat, though it requires a lot of water to maintain.
  • Succulents—Succulent plants are known for being very colorful and decorative, plus they work well in all types of warm terrariums. They are also safe for bearded dragon habitats, and have been cultivated into hundreds of variations. There really aren’t any downsides to succulents, so they may be the top live plants for a bearded dragon terrarium.
  • Haworthia plants—Similar to succulents, haworthia plants have few disadvantages. They have long, thick leaves that are sometimes cultivated into colorful variations and are both small and safe. Also, they grow naturally in hot, dry areas of South Africa, so they will work well in a desert-like terrarium.

Many plants can be incorporated into ideas for a bearded dragon terrarium, though some require more work to maintain than others. It’s always a good idea to double-check plant care guides to make sure they will work in a specific terrarium environment. However, they can be a great functional and decorative addition to any well-kept, bearded dragon habitat.

About the Author

Kari

Kari is a long-time pet lover and owner. She has experience raising cats, dogs, rabbits, and aquatic life. Whenever she's not writing, she's probably baking homemade dog treats or camping with her family... Learn More

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