5 Plants for Blue Tounged Skinks
Blue tongue skinks are popular pet reptiles known for their gentle temperament. Adding live plants to your blue tongue skink’s enclosure not only enhances the aesthetics but also contributes to their well-being. Choosing which live plants to use can be difficult, since blue tongue skinks have a tendency to burrow and uproot live plants, often smashing and killing them. By planting plants in pots in the soil, ideally ceramic or terracotta, you can protect the root system from being damaged and uprooted while your skink burrows in their substrate.
Here are the top five plants you should consider for your blue tongue skink's enclosure:
1. Pothos (Epipremnum aureum):
Pothos is a popular choice for reptile enclosures due to its adaptability and hardiness. This trailing vine boasts heart-shaped leaves on study vines that can either hang down, grow up, or grow across the ground. . Pothos is known to be one of the most resilient plants, meaning the leaves can take the weight of a skink’s body dragging over them. Plant it in a hanging pot to keep curious skinks from damaging the root system.
2. Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata):
Snake plants are visually appealing due to their stiff, upright growth pattern. This plant is also extremely hardy, which means it is tough enough to withstand the occasional exploration by blue tongue skinks. These plants are well-suited for beginners and can thrive in a range of light conditions.
3. Wheat Grass (Triticum aestivum):
Wheat grass serves a dual purpose in your blue tongue skink's habitat. Not only does it provide great, easy to grow ground cover, but it can also be eaten safely by your skink. It is a wonderful option for skinks that enjoy nibbling on their terrarium plants. Wheat grass can be planted in shallow pots and is easy to maintain, making it an excellent choice for both you and your pet.
4. Ponytail Palm (Beaucarnea recurvata):
The ponytail palm adds a touch of whimsical charm to your skink's enclosure with its distinctive thick base and long, slender leaves. Although palms are generally thought to be tropical plants, these palms require minimal maintenance and can tolerate dry conditions thanks to their thick trunk acting as a water tank, making them a perfect choice for a wide variety of growing conditions.
5. Dracaena (Dracaena spp.):
Dracaena plants come in various varieties, each with its unique foliage and aesthetic appeal. The colorful leaves and upright growth of dracaenas create a visually appealing choice for blue tongue skink enclosures. As dracena mature, they form a trunk, elevating their new foliage away from being squished or nibbled on by skinks.
**Planting Tips for Blue Tongue Skink Enclosures:**
- **Heavy Pots:** Choose ceramic or terracotta pots that are heavy enough to prevent your skinks from uprooting the plants. Bury the pots partially in the substrate for increased stability.
- **Weigh down:** You can use pond stones or other medium to large sized rocks around the base of your plants to further secure them in the soil and discourage your skink from uprooting them. Ensure rocks are large enough to not become a choking hazard, but not large enough where they could shift around and become a safety risk for your skink.
- **Watering:** Water your plants regularly but avoid waterlogged soil, as excessive moisture can be detrimental to both the plants and your skinks. A good rule of thumb is to water when the first inch or more of the soil is dry.
- **Quarantine New Plants:** Isolate new plants for at least a month when bringing them home to avoid introducing pests or pesticides to your skink’s enclosure. Replanting the plant into fresh soil that you are sure does not contain fertilizers or pesticides is a good idea, as well as giving the leaves a thorough rinse.
By incorporating live plants into your blue tongue skink's enclosure, you'll not only create a visually pleasing habitat but also provide a stimulating and enriching environment for your beloved reptile!
To learn more about blue tongue skinks, bioactive enclosures, and other interesting reptile information, check out our care sheets and articles section!