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Best Plants for Corn Snake Enclosures | Zen Habitats

Best Plants for Corn Snake Enclosures | Zen Habitats

Best Plants for Corn Snake Bioactive Enclosures

When choosing which live plants to use for a corn snake enclosure, It is best to stick to plants that like the same environmental conditions as your corn snake. 

Thankfully, there are quite a few commonly found plants that like to dry out a bit between watering and enjoy moderate humidity levels such as:

  • Pothos (Devil’s Ivy), 
  • Sansevieria (Snake Plants), 
  • Aglaonema (Chinese Evergreen)
    These plants are also great options because they can take a bit of abuse from the curious corn snake, who will likely slither on or over these plants frequently. 


Epiphytic ferns can be suitable for corn snake enclosure since they are able to dry out a bit as long as the surrounding humidity isn’t too low, and species with thicker leaves are more tolerant of moderate humidity. 

  • Blue Star Fern 
  • Austral Gem
  • Boston Fern 
  • Button Fern 
  • Rabbit’s Foot Fern

A few of the smaller epiphytic fern varieties will fare best when mounted onto wood/cork and secured in natural grooves where their root systems will be protected from the snake uprooting or destroying them. Using a natural groove in a log or a hole in cork to secure an epiphytic fern will give the plant the best chance of success. 


An underused, seemingly under appreciated plant type in creating natural looking terrariums is grass. 

Grasses are plentiful around pine wood and pine/oak forests which overlap savannas and shrublands in the southeast. As a terrestrial species, wild corn snakes are likely spending a good portion of time existing in or around grass. 

Grass species that have the highest chance of thriving in a corn snake terrarium are:

  • Dwarf Mondo Grass (Ophiopogon japonicus 'Nanus')
  • Blue Fescue (Festuca glauca),
  • Common Mediterranean Grass (Schismus barbatus)

You can typically find these varieties at outdoor garden centers. 

The most important aspect to growing grass in terrariums is bright light. 

A strong, bright full spectrum LED light is needed to sustain the growth of most grasses. The Arcadia Jungle Dawn LED bar is an exceptional light for fast terrarium plant growth.


Palms are endemic across a wide range of corn snake territory. They are suitable for corn snake habitats due to their preference for high humidity, and their ability to grow in sandy soils that tend to drain quickly.

Check out these palm (or palm like plant) varieties:

  • Ponytail Palm (Beaucarnea recurvata)
  • Parlor Palm (Chamaedorea elegans) 
  • Kentia palm (Howea forsteriana)

Though not a true palm, the ponytail palm makes a wonderful addition to temperate terrariums due to its ability to store water in its thick trunk. This adaptation means the palm can go a long time between thorough waterings, as long as ambient humidity levels are kept high. 

The Parlor Palm is one of the easiest indoor palm varieties to care for. It stays small and does not require much pruning, and will adapt to receiving low or poor quality artificial light. 

Note: Ferns and palms tend to be magnets for pests like spider mites, especially when kept in dry conditions. Low humidity allows spider mites to thrive and take advantage of a weakened plant. To learn more about how to quarantine your new terrarium plants, treat terrarium pests naturally, and prevent any bad bugs, check out our “Quarantining and Cleaning New Terrarium Plants for Your Reptile Enclosure” and “Treating and Preventing Mites in Your Terrarium the Natural and SAFE Way”

Arid plants such as many succulents and cacti will become waterlogged and rot in higher humidity environments. If you attempt these plants in your corn snake enclosure, placing them on the hotter, dry end of the enclosure is ideal.

Using rocks and wood, you can also attempt to grow more delicate plants by shielding them with these items that encourage your snake’s body to glide over the hardscape rather than the plant. 

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