What Plants Do Well in Closed Terrariums?

Terri Mitchell | April 29, 2021
Photo by: Egor Kamelev on Pexels

Reptile owners may want to create a cool little ecosystem for their pets, such as in a terrarium. Be wary of the kinds of plants you put in with your reptile or amphibian, as many common varieties are toxic when eaten. Furthermore, choose plants that will last and will not be vulnerable to damage from your pets, such as uprooting or eating the living plants.

Pet-Friendly Plants

Since the terrarium is home to a reptile or other pet, not all plants will thrive in a closed environment. Some plants require an open-air climate, so make sure you choose accordingly. Furthermore, avoid anything that could be potentially toxic for herbivores or omnivores. Some pet-friendly terrarium plants include:

  • Spider
  • Snake
  • Ficus
  • African Violet
  • Ponytail palm
  • Orchids
  • Schefflera
  • Peperomia

Know that every species is different so some may be more sensitive to plants than others. Also, be aware that oxalic acid, present in many plant types, can be problematic if consumed in large quantities. Talk to a veterinary provider to learn more. Some plants that are high in oxalic acid include Mostera and Pothos.

Pet Perks and Accessories

When setting up reptile terrariums, there are other features for pets beyond living plants. Consider things like ladders, hammocks and accent items that could possibly entertain or teach your pet something. Consider varying levels of stones or branches that add spots for your pet to hide or climb. Non-living elements can also make maintaining a terrarium easier.

Pet Owner Cautions

Some plants contain sap that can be toxic if ingested. So, how can owners know if this is a potential issue for their reptile or amphibian? Err on the side of caution and always consult with your vet regarding the best terrarium plants and practices for a healthy pet.

With some insight into the right plants for your pet’s terrarium, it is possible to create a self-sustaining eco-system that any reptile or amphibian would be happy to call home!

About the Author

Terri Mitchell

Terri Mitchell is a freelance content writer from North Carolina who brings years of research, experience, and passion in animal-assisted therapy to her work. A former Licensed Clinical Social Worker,... Learn More

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